mon 17/06/2024

Album: Brigid Mae Power - Dream From The Deep Well | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Brigid Mae Power - Dream From The Deep Well

Album: Brigid Mae Power - Dream From The Deep Well

Irish singer-songwriter’s fourth album is her most direct yet

Brigid Mae Power's 'Dream From The Deep Well': about the whole not its constituent parts

The cover versions on Dream From The Deep Well include “I Know Who is Sick,” most familiar from the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Maken interpretation, and “Down by the Glenside,” which The Dubliners incorporated into their repertoire. The first opens the album, the second closes it. Between, amongst the original compositions, there is also an adaptation of Tim Buckley’s “I Must Have Been Blind.”

Taking these as a way in to the fourth studio album from the UK-born but Irish singer-songwriter Brigid Mae Power is an understandable path to follow, but after Dream From The Deep Well concludes it becomes clear it’s a dead end. These are not up-front tributes, like her recent EP featuring the songs of Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Jason Molina, Townes Van Zandt and more. Here, other people’s songs are so totally reframed they may as well be original compositions by Power.

Equally, the presence of a couple of popular folk songs does not make this a folk album. An autoharp and pedal steel bring a country flavour, similar to what colours Mazzy Star’s She Hangs Brightly. Odd stabs of distant trumpet suggest the coming and going of a New Orléans procession band. Power’s accordion appears on “Some Life You’ve Known.” Life experiences are drawn from: the motivation for writing “Lightning” came from the refugees she opened her home to; “Ashling” honours the murdered Irish schoolteacher and musician Ashling Murphy; lyrics expose an ambivalance about her life as a musician. Ultimately, Dream From The Deep Well is about the whole not its constituent parts.

Largely absent is the gauzy, wraithlike feel of her previous records. The songs are also more linear, underpinned by acoustic guitar. The themes are as impassioned as ever, but the setting is more direct. Perhaps this is the album to bring Brigid Mae Power her widest audience so far.

@MrKieronTyler

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