fri 14/06/2024

Album: Caoilfhionn Rose - Truly | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Caoilfhionn Rose - Truly

Album: Caoilfhionn Rose - Truly

Mancunian musician's second is a comfort in strange times

Her extraordinary voice makes Caoilfhionn Rose's music sound universal

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t spent more time alone with their thoughts than they otherwise would have liked over the past 12 months.

Manchester musician Caoilfhionn Rose has been confined a little longer: forced to take a year off from music after she became ill on tour in Denmark, her second album documents a physical, emotional and spiritual healing. A sonic and lyrical tapestry that is part inward-looking, part looking to the natural world for comfort, Truly offers a musical balm to a world getting ready to step outside again.

The root of that universality is Rose’s extraordinary voice: an instrument both delicate and versatile, allowing her to embody her songs as much as sing them. It floats, trills and occasionally acts as percussion, while backing vocal overdubs float back in on themselves as atmospherically as the album’s flourishes of organ, accordion and jazz-lite piano. It sings of nature in the specific – of rivers, streams and forests; of fireflies “dancing until dawn” – and self-reflection in the abstract. It lets the music speak just as loudly, entrancing the listener and knowing when to fade out, until the album hits its too-short 35 minute runtime and leaves as softly as it began.

Rose first appeared alongside The Durutti Column, lending her spectral vocals to four tracks on the Factory Records stalwarts’ late-career Chronicle XL. Keir Stewart from the band returned the favour with a co-production credit on Truly, and Rose credits him with encouraging her experimental tendencies. The results of their collaboration reward close listening: rich, layered album opener “Flourish” and the haunted, hopeful “Tubercular Skies” are masterworks of sonic detail, while percussion contributions on “To Me” and “Hold Your Own” offer startling changes of pace. “Finally feeling on track though I know there’s room for change,” Rose sings on “Fireflies”, the album’s dreamy centrepiece, and the sound is that of the first day of spring.

Below: hear "Fireflies" by Caoilfhionn Rose

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