Review Archive

‘Wintersong’ from One Star Awake - shadowy folk tales from an evocative voice

(November 23, 2012)

Just listened to an EP called ‘Wintersong’ from One Star Awake - if you’re a fan of gloomy, shadowy wintersongfolk tales delvievered by a voice that imparts a haunting presence to the songs then this is worth a listen. One Star Awake is Sue Mara providing the vocals with Paul Cooke on guitar, bodhran and backing vocals. The short slection of folk tales on this EP certainly wander darkly around the essence of winter and evoke the spirit of the season.

It’s clear that Sue’s voice is the force behind One Star Awake, and this short collection of songs leaves you wanting more – exactly what a good EP should do. The opener ‘Christmas at Sea’ (words from a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, music by Sue) is filled with mournful longing and sung to perfection over a simply picked guitar. I have to say that adding backing vocals on Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘The Bee Carol’ adds little and obscures Sue’s voice; the band’s crowning asset. One Star Awake return to their engaging format with the traditional ‘The Snow it Melts the Soonest’ – allowing Sue to carry the vocals solo. There’s the same charisma to ‘Winter Blessing’ with words and music by Sue, offering a blessing to secure you through the dark months with Paul providing a gentle bodhran-driven pulse.

‘Wintersong’ is available at One Star Awake gigs or as a free-of-charge download at Soundcloud –, which is strange because I reckon it’s worth at least a few of anyone’s beer tokens. And if we don’t hear more from this enchantingly-voiced lady I will be surprised.

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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