Musings on Finvarra’s eponymous album

Genre: Folk

If Finvarra were one of the best pleasant surprises of Castlefest then it is perhaps not overly shocking how much I have listened to their CD since then.
This CD is one of those that you can put on in the background quite happily and I’ve found that a lot of my studying and essay writing has been completed with it playing. It’s also something that’s gentle enough to have playing when you have guests yet it’s really lovely too. I appreciate albums that can be used as background music and enjoyed in their own right.
While the whole album is enjoyable there are a few pieces that stand out for me. My favourite is probably ‘Only our Rivers run free’ for it’s stunning lyrics and a simplicity that allows the emotive aspects to shine. The vocals are emotive while the arrangement is simple, with instruments emphasising certain key passages.

Finvarra’s ‘Drink Down the Moon/Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine’

The other song that I’ve been playing way too much off this album is, in fact, the next one on the track listing, ‘Drink Down the Moon/Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine’. Starting slow and building throughout the song, and into the tune, there’s a real pace to this piece which makes it good fun to listen to. The song is not just sung but, as a story, it’s really well told, a compliment that can extend to the vocals on all the tracks.This is also really clear in the final track ‘The Blacksmith’.

The other track that stands out, and because I’ve ended up having a conversation with a friend about it, is ‘Dimna Juda’. I believe this is a Macedonian song, although I could be wrong, and about a folk story witch figure, again, I could be wrong. However, what I am sure about is that this is a really beautiful almost spiritual sounding piece. It’s very vocal based with a build of harmony throughout and is relaxing and uplifting at the same time.
Finvarra’s ‘Dimna Juda’
While I may not have chosen the greatest range of tunes to showcase this album, it is a CD with a diverse range of music but maintaining a unity throughout that makes for a great album. As I said, this is one of the CDs I’ve been listening to most since Castlefest and both mother and I am looking at booking to see Finvarra again soon (she’s actually going to fly out for it, hopefully!)
If you want to find out more about Finvarra then you can visit their website and listen to previews of their CD there. Struggling to find how to buy the CD easily. There’s information on how to buy here but the Etsy shop is currently closed so if anyone, who’s a friend, from England wants it I’d be happy to act as a Dutch intermediate and order it to my address and do a swap when I’m in the country visiting again 🙂
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