Caoilfhionn Rose – Truly: Album Review

Caoilfhionn Rose brings Manchester past and present together on Truly. And more.

Release date: 9th April 2021

Label: Gondwana Records

Format: DL / CD / Vinyl (clear vinyl option!)

Caoilfhionn Rose is a singer, songwriter and producer from Manchester. A summary that suggests an embarrassment of riches. We all know and appreciate the city has a history of being a vibrant and diverse music scene and Caoilfhionn comes with the tag of being a musician “tying together remnants of Manchester’s musical past with its evolving present.” But what does that mean?

Can we expect some sneering Gallagher-isms decorated with a stark new order? Maybe some of the vocal sweetness of The Hollies with a Morrissey-an melancholy? I think not. Take any combo of Manchester bands and I’d wager that you won’t find anything like Caoilfhionn (pronounced Keelin) Rose. Being bold, what I would say is that she’s creating a fresh and seductive Manchester sound.

It’s ethereal and dreamy, ambient and spacey yet there are elements of electronica, cool jazz and even psychedelic leanings. Collaborations with highly influential and inspirational The Durutti Column (Kier Stewart from the band has co-produced the new album) played a role with the contrast between the stripped back and the more ambitious productions.

An album that’s carved from the memories of a testing personal journey. There are the old cliches about what doesn’t kill you making you more strong and how great art emerges from the most unlikely of sources. Yes, we suffer for our art and Truly is what it might sound like. The sound of recovery and reflection and a testament to the healing power of nature.

We’re left with the constant presence of the fragility of the vocal, the waves that rise and fall on the title track, the jazzy cool on Paths, the sombre piano-led coda to Hold Your Own similarly employed on Fireflies, and an inevitable shimmer. Still thinking about a Manchester sound? Readiness hints that this might be the greenery of Piccadilly Gardens in a time when the world was shifting from black and white to colour. When you could still drive your car down Market Street.

There’s even a touch of Irving Berlin….”There may be trouble ahead, But while there’s moonlight, And music and love and romance“….and you know the rest, in the sentiment of “Though there may be dark clouds, the sun will always come” in Fireflies. If there’s a thought to take away from Truly it’s that we should let life flourish

Here’s Fireflies from the new album:

Caoilfhionn Rose online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp / Soundcloud

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