Eas – Iain Morrison (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

10929147_10153051981862669_5742173715268904731_nWhilst some music feels driven by where it is going and what it is trying to be, Eas is all about where it is from and what it already is. Upon even a cursory listen it comes as no surprise that Morrison hails from the isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, comes from a musical family and is steeped in the musical traditions of his home.

Morrison’s 6th album is one that matches the stark majesty of The Western Isles, is imbued with haunting mystery and revels in a feeling of mists and shadows driven by the deep resonance of low-whistles and cellos. This then forms the platform on which more conventional instruments sit, turning this into a more alt-folk album than one possibly favoured by traditionalists. That said it still has much to offer to those in the trad-folk camp and a wonderful cross over comes with Too Long in This Condition and the voice of legendary music mentor Donald MacLeod’s voice being used as the core of the song. The more commercial side is represented by The Little Spree a duet that evokes Falling Slowly from the film Once and hopefully destined for a similar cult following.

Between this the album darts in and out of times, worlds and sub-genres, from primal vocal chants to sweet close harmonies, from folk beach parties to secret outlawed gatherings, music of mythology and music of now, the stuff of legend to the stuff of modern film score. Every aspect of the celtic fringe both past and present, imagined and re-imagined, half-forgotten and fused with the modern world.   Like a glass of single malt this is an album with depth and character – character flavoured by the natural elements and geography that are both around it and within it – that will keep you coming back for more.

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About Dave Franklin

Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.
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