SIOBHAN McCRUDDEN Icarus Girl
(2018 - Hungersleep Records - UK)
With such grand authenticity, this woman created a set of beautiful folk tunes, that reach deep down at the earthy Scottish, and emotional roots of Irish folk music. It comes natural since she was raised by parents, one from each country. With a shepherd's staff the strength of Scotland's brilliant Dougie MacClean (check out 'Following You' - track 2) to the grace of Ireland's Cara Dillon (listen to 'The Forest' track 4). Siobhan writes with a rare elegance. Her voice expresses the lyrics in copious affection.
McCrudden grew up in London and was exposed to early folk acts like Pentangle, Fairport Convention, and plenty of older traditional material. She has those roots but brings a few modern brooding artists in the ring, with occasional darkness as subject matter. The title cut 'Icarus Girl' (track 7) has a slight country flair, with gorgeous orchestration, and haunting steel guitar. A tip top set of musicians aid in the realization of the album including Siobhan McCrudden: vocals, acoustic guitar/ Grice Peters: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keys, string arrangements, drum treatments and sound design. Vocal harmonies on tracks 2 & 8)/ Al Swainger: bass, double bass/ Steve Bingham: violin/ Brenda Stewart: viola/ Glen Hawkins: mandolin/ and Jack Lawrence: autoharp. Music and lyrics all by Siobhan McCrudden, superb production by Grice, with mixing and engineering done by Duncan Chave and Grice.
From unreal violin from Steve Bingham, super tasteful bass by Al Swainger, and a full band's worth of instruments, string arrangements, and support by Grice Peters (who with his wife Maria, own and run the Hungersleep Productions label, which this album is on), the other featured artists who do a wonderful job, Siobhan's music and voice (and acoustic guitar) shines like a beacon for more to come. This 'Icarus Girl' will not melt her wings by the sun on this debut. She will continue to fly free and make another platter of delights, I predict. RECOMMENDED.