Album Review: Iain Morrison – Eas

 

Eas Front CoverI have to confess I had not heard of Iain Morrison prior to listening to Eas, his sixth solo album, and it seems I have been greatly missing out on a very talented and innovative folk musician.

Hailing from the Outer Hebrides Iain Morrison Jr is the son of Iain M Morrison – one of the world’s leading voices and tutors in the Piobaireachd (the classical music of the highland bagpipes). Eas (Gaelic for cascade / waterfall) is a beautifully evocative album painting a musical landscape of vast horizons, stormy seas and nature at its most powerful and beautiful.

Highlights for me are the opening track ‘Siubhall’, which sets the tone perfectly with its haunting drone, spine tingling pipes and soft Gaelic lyrics which transports you to another place and time. The title track has a softness and simplicity which only an artist who is at the top of their game can achieve, with beautiful backing vocals, great lyrics and a gentle crescendo – this for me is one of the stand out tracks on the album.

The intro to ‘Crackle’ starts with a Gaelic narration backed by gentle pipes followed by a steady drum beat before getting into a rhythm followed by male / female vocals and various stringed instruments, which interweave and then suddenly disappear to be replaced by a gentle fiddle.

There is a freshness and newness throughout this excellent album which occasionally reminds me of artists such as Martyn Bennett and Jim Moray in so much as they respect their traditional roots but are also brave enough to take it to the next level, which I believe is the best way of keeping it alive.

More info can be found at http://www.iainmorrisonmusic.com/

Review by Graham Steel