Vicky Grey – Atlaness
Sew Information – Out now
Fiddler Vicky Gray’s new four-track EP, Atlaness, could run at a vigorous twelve minutes but it surely’s a recording crammed with some reasonably splendid conventional touches, while concurrently bringing the sound updated with a wholly modern vibe.
Maybe higher generally known as a member of gifted Scottish indie group Dante, Atlaness is Grey’s first solo launch and a tremendous, exhilarating recording it’s too.
Named after the realm in Hamnavoe, Shetland, the place a few of Grey’s household stay, the EP is embedded in each household custom and the historical past of the isles themselves. Initially impressed by tunes learnt from her late Grandfather, the fiddler Gilbert (Gibby) Grey, the EP is a celebration, and exploration, of Shetland’s cultural and musical previous in addition to current. Though now extra centrally primarily based in Scotland it’s clear the lure of the isles nonetheless beats robust for Grey.
The presence of her Grandfather is felt all through. While every observe pertains to conventional tunes recorded by Gibby, they aren’t slavishly copied. As Grey notes: “By making a brand new recording of those tunes, I didn’t need to attempt to replicate them, however retell them.” Though the EP is rooted in Shetland’s musical heritage, Grey is assured and expert sufficient to permit the tunes some flexibility thus highlighting the vitality and timelessness of the custom.
The EP opens with ‘Glybie’s Tune / Kale & Kyoksie’. It’s impressed by a recording of James Irvine (Glybie) who occurred to be the great-grandfather of Grey’s artist pal Jenny Deschenes. The unique recordings of Glybie enjoying some tunes and speaking about previous traditions offered the inducement for the observe. As Grey notes, Glybie’s enjoying was “fantastically ornamented and filled with character” and that very same sense of construction and character is manifested sublimely in Grey’s enjoying.
A fiddle solely opener, it’s a tremendous introduction to Grey’s personal expertise as a musician and arranger. Effortlessly enjoying with custom, it’s a sprightly, spirited little tune, which units the scene nicely for the delights to observe.
‘Da Nippen Grund / Brunt Scones’ extends this experimentation, in an atmospheric Shetland reel that lays guitar and percussion over Grey’s fiddle. It’s a mournful opener which quickly offers strategy to a merry, and full of life little dance, while title observe ‘Atlaness / Paul Chamberlain’s Reel’ picks the tempo up a notch with a tasty set of reels. Some brisk guitar completely enhances Grey’s skilful fiddle.
The EP closes with ‘Teif on da Lum’, an experimental observe and one which showcases Grey’s expertise as an arranger. A synth led piece, full with a recording of the spoken phrases of her grandfather, it’s a lovely and evocative recording. Grey’s personal, ethereal, vocals lend a considerably dreamy and mesmerising atmosphere on what’s an emotive conclusion.
While it is extremely a lot an EP targeted on multi-instrumentalist Grey (she performs fiddle, guitar, keys and offers vocals) accompanying her is Steve Morrison on drums and percussion, and Alex Johnson on bass, while Vicky’s husband Seán McLaughlin joins with varied different devices.
Atlaness proves Grey to be a gifted fiddler, composer, and arranger in her personal proper. Fantastically organized, and chock-full with sleek and efficient touches, topped off with some very good musicianship it’s a brief, however a wholly thrilling gem. With a concentrate on the vivacity and legacy of the Shetland custom Atlaness is a good-looking, and totally pleasant hear.
You may order the Atlaness through Bandcamp: https://vickygray.bandcamp.com/releases
Photograph Credit score: Gordon MacKenzie