- 09 May 22
Aoife Doyle has returned with a warmly nostalgic new album, Infinitely Clear.
There are some albums that are infused with comfort and warmth, imbued with a sort of gentle magic that seems to hold your hand as you navigate through the tracks. The new LP from Bray singer-songwriter Aoife Doyle — a 10-song fusion between jazz, folk and blues titled Infinitely Clear — is one of these projects.
It's a sound that you don't hear much of these days, a marriage between smoky 1940's jazz, traditional folk and mellow blues that twists together into something completely unique to Doyle — showcasing her honey-thick voice against a backdrop of smooth brass and disparate piano. It's a concoction that guarantees a good mood, painting pictures of dancing in the kitchen, sunlight streaming through open windows and being surrounded by love. There's a nostalgia baked in, a sonic hug that envelops the listener with comfort.
From the exposition, a crescendoing track called 'Love Conquers All,' the strength of the album is clear. Blending smooth organ, layered harmonies and an upbeat chorus, the song brings to mind Marvin Gaye or the Jackson 5, creating an ultimately feel good song that brings the sounds of the 60s into the modern era.
It's here that Doyle's range is on full display — whether it's 'Love Conquers All' or 'Bring You Back To Me,' which sound like summer sun and rolled down windows, or 'Infinitely Clear,' whose Ella Fitzgerald-esque vocals could be heard amongst the shadows of a film noir, each track masterfully unites nostalgia and innovation.
Though rooted firmly in the jazz/blues realm, there are moments that the album veers towards folk or traditional; like in the second track 'Wicklow,' which sees the singer's voice soften against gentle piano. Though still pulling in influence the likes of Billie Holiday, the natural imagery and rougher harmonies created an aspect that added critical texture to the project — rounding out the overall sound.
A joy to listen to from start to finish, Doyle's Infinitely Clear shows that jazz still has a place in 2022. Whether looking for the atmospheric organ of 'I Wish You Well,' or the comforting piano and warm vocals of 'They Say,' each song has its own distinctive sound and place, while still maintaining the sound and flow Doyle has become known for. The result — an album that is beautifully cohesive, yet still incredibly interesting.
Listen to Infinitely Clear, below: