Graceful and emotive - Clair Tierney's first album is a work of beauty
By Daniel Orr
WITH a voice akin to a chorus of angels, Clair Tierney's majestic debut Of The Deepest Dye will melt even the coldest of hearts.
Having made a name for herself gigging on the busy Glasgow circuit, the Scottish singer-songwriter has produced a work of rare beauty, with moving songs capturing moments of joy, the strength and fragility of the human spirit, and the complexities of celebrated literary and historical figures.
You only have to listen to the delicate, breathtaking harmonies on Sylvia - inspired by Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar - to know this is someone who understands the hypnotising power of music.
Her vocal range is stunning, as are the thoughtful country and folk-tinged musical arrangements and melodies, and the listener cannot help but be struck by the strength in depth of Tierney's songwriting abilities.
Mr D'Arcy waltzes along gracefully, with its Nicky Hopkins-esque piano weaving its merry way through the enchanting tribute to searching for love.
The vibrant Mary is full of verve, and I challenge anyone not to feel the urge to have a dance as it explodes into the Road to Errogie reel.
Tierney certainly knows how to write a hook. Whether it be the chorus in The Ships The Stars, which charts Mary Campbell's plunge into despair over her ill-fated romance with Robert Burns, or the beautifully-penned 'I have dreamed of dresses' section in Autumn, you'll find yourself humming and singing these tunes wherever you are.
'Of The Deepest Dye' is available to buy or download at and bandcamp.com
Album reviews: Garbage | ABC | Music Makes Me
Meanwhile, far from the madding crowd, Music Makes Me is a project conceived by the Argyll-based Walking Theatre Company as a way of bringing artists together in a rural region where it is too easy to become creatively isolated. Eight local musicians were invited to collaborate on songs inspired by the landscape, with former Superstar frontman Joe McAlinden overseeing the recordings. The songs on In The Wild Country (***) won’t set the heather alight -– most being as calming as a country walk – but there’s an almost holistic comfort in Joy Dunlop’s Is Duine Me and a satisfying, wistful melancholy running through the gentle folk pop and country balladeering of this haunting collection, available from www.musicmakesme.scot. Fiona Shepherd