- 03 Oct 22
Celtic lore-inspired electronic folk meets a mix of harp, transcendental melodies and unexpected rhythms on the County Down native's third album.
Northern Irish singer-songwriter Bróna McVittie has dropped her ethereal third album The Woman in the Moon.
Known for her eerie, Celtic lore-inspired electronic folk, the release follows McVittie's acclaimed LPs We Are the Wildlife (2018) and The Man in the Mountain (2020).
'Tiocfaidh an Samhradh (Summer Will Come)' is a standout song on The Woman in the Moon, featuring heart-wrenching lyrics in Irish Gaelic. "A curse on the sea because it's so vast, it goes between me and the one that I love," the County Down native shares on the unrequited love ballad, which was first released in May 2022.
The otherworldly lead single 'The Woman in the Moon', however, "taps in to our mystical relationship to the earth's only natural satellite; and pays musical homage to her majesty over the ebb and flow of our tides, and the cycles of our female bodies," the musician revealed on Instagram.
The album production of the track replaces the drums of the single version with steel guitars by Kentucky-born multi-instrumentalist Myles Cochran, which give it a more open, spacious feel.
The Woman in the Moon also draws on the sound of American jazz singer Alice Coltrane and skillfully incorporates a mix of harp, transcendental melodies and unexpected rhythms from guest musicians Brazilian drummer Marius Rodrigues and jazz double bassist Oli Hayhurst. Having previously collaborated with legendary Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen on The Man in the Mountain, the vein of jazz-influenced instrumentation is a continuation of McVittie's desire "to present traditional and contemporary folk songs in new clothing".
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Multiple of the songs on The Woman in the Moon were inspired by nature. "Sometimes when you’re out roaming the wilds, you have a sense of what we’ve lost in our overly complicated modern lives. How often do we stop and just listen to the sound of our heart beating?," the cosmic folk artist said about 'I Left My Heart on the Misty Mountain'.
'The Fairy Glen (Gleann na Sidhe)', came to be when she was sat on her front doorstep, opposite a riverside walk called The Fairy Glen. "A melody came to me, as if from the fairies," McVittie recalled. "It begins with the age old traditional Irish song entry “As I roved out…” and is inspired by my fascination with the ‘Leannan Sídhe’ or the deathly muse, a concept that has been attributed to W.B.Yeats."
Of course, "a wee love song thrown in for good measure" shouldn't be missing either. 'Your Heart Wants to Go' is just that, the singer said.
Once again, the album features ongoing visitors to Bróna McVittie's sonic universe Hutch Demouilpied (trumpet), Richard Curran (strings), and Myles Cochran (steel guitars). The cosmic folk artist also reimagines the two traditional Irish ballads 'Star of the County Down' and 'Tiocfaidh an Samhradh' on The Woman in the Moon.
McVittie’s sophomore album The Man in the Mountain was ranked 4th in The Guardian’s 10 Best Folk Albums of 2020 and received four-star reviews from Mojo, and the national and local press. Her songs have been broadcast on BBC Radio 2 Folk Show, BBC Radio 3 and BBC 6Music, as well as regional BBC channels and on RTÉ radio by John Kelly, Ellen Crannitch and Cian Ó Cíobháin. She has also received international support from Italy, The Netherlands, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Following performances at Dublin’s National Concert Hall, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, London’s Kings Place, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Celtic Connections, TradFest and WOMAD in 2019, the singer-songwriter is "over the moon (pun intended)" to embark on her UK tour this month - with dates in Belfast, Manchester, Oxford, Birmingham and Brighton.
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The Woman in the Moon was recorded at Corkbot Castle Studios in County Down, Ace Recording Studio in Devon, and mastered in Denmark by RedRedPaw.
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