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Iain Morrison and Daibhidh Martin - Haunted Bird (Peatfire)

Star rating: 
4

This collaborative project brings together the songwriting credentials of Scots Trad Music Composer of the Year Award winner Iain Morrison and the poetry of fellow Isle of Lewis storyteller Daibhidh Martin. Although this is by no means the first time these two friends have worked together, it is considered their first fully formed duet album, where ten songs are seamlessly bound together with a special symbiotic cohesion.

Mixing the surreal with the mythical, fables with fiction, the ten song poems are held together with some haunting melodies, helped along by a handful of musicians including Pete Harvey on cello, Iain Hutchison on piano, harmonium and guitar and Seamus O'Donnell lending his voice. The American singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell also provides another distinctive voice, particularly on one of the standout pieces Greatest Painter of Night, which also provides some of the most deliciously poignant poetry on the record: 'It's like my dad said before he had to go, I wish I could explain how much I love you, but if I could, I suppose it wouldn't be love.'

The strangely beautiful Taketori presents an ideal example of how well this fusion between classic storytelling and modern indie-folk orchestration works, further illustrated by a remarkable animated film that accompanies the song. Once seen, the visual images together with the uplifting soundtrack, are almost guaranteed to leave an indelible mark on the senses, one that will stay around for some time.  

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky