- 21 Oct 20
Limerick songwriter Emma Langford released her debut album, Quiet Giant, three years ago and officially stepped onto the Irish music stage with grace and vulnerability. Her talent later the nabbed the Best Emerging Artist trophy at the inaugural RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, and her sophomore work showcases her modest yet powerful growth in stature.
Luckily for her widening audience, Sowing Acorns is as achingly personal an album as Quiet Giant, with her trademark vocal range and lyrical poetry marking it out as yet another work of art from Emma Langford.
Drawing on the expertise of the Grammy-nominated producers Graham Murphy & Chris O’Brien, Sowing Acorns was recorded between Golden Egg Studios in Laois and The Production Suite in Dublin. Murphy and O'Brien were on hand during the creation of her highly acclaimed debut album, but it appears that Langford hasn't struggled with the infamous difficulty of crafting a sophomore album.
The album includes a special booklet featuring childhood photos, her dad's sketches, personal notes, and the lyrics to each track on the record. 13 beautiful songs illuminate Langford's charm, with changes in tone taking place throughout the work.
Opening with the haunting acapella folk ballad 'Birdsong', featuring vocals from Ruth Smith, Alma Kelliher, Sive, Jess Leen, Cari Q and Niamh Farrell, the musician's storytelling power emanates within the track's simplicity and harmonies, which perfectly platform Langford's crystal clear vocals.
Possessing both a knack for creating personal tales in pop formation and harnessing traditional Gaelic oral mysticism and linguistic prowess; Sowing Acorns winds through themes grief, autonomy, nostalgia and relationships without Langford losing her sense of humour or Celtic influences.
The title track 'Sowing Acorns' has the tone of a lullaby but features a stunning spoken-word interludes from Vanessa Ifediora who reads from her 'Off-White Sheets'. The inclusion of various art forms only elevates the album. Langford repeatedly notes the women in her life who have inspired her, as well as Ireland's campaigners who have changed the society for the better. Profits from 'Mariana's sale will go to Safe Ireland, supporting people sheltering from domestic violence.
With accessible lyrics shrouded in warmth ('He Came From The Sea'), a more ambitious production and composition level ('A Song For My Younger Self') and her ever-beguiling voice ('Free To Fall'); Sowing Acorns has a wide range of maturity, emotions and stories for any listener to enjoy.
Concluding the work with the amusingly titled 'You Are Not Mine (This Song Isn't About You, You Lying Bollix)', a self-reflective Langford has used the last three years to focus on independence and strengthening empowerment, emerging with an album as truthful and intimate as ever.