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LUMIERE - My Dearest Dear

LUMIERE - My Dearest Dear
Independent Records Ltd IRL075

I’m writing this on St. Patrick’s Day, so have they sent me something with thrashed instruments and shouty voices singing Guinness-influenced standards, then? No, they’re a bit more subtle than that at The Living Tradition!

And “subtle” is a good word to describe this latest release from Lumiere, who are the Dingle-born vocalists Éilís Kennedy and Pauline Scanlon. They both have the ability to make their singing sound like they don’t have to try to make it sound so smooth and effortless. There is a breathy, ethereal gentleness to the overall sound which draws the listener in to the stories being told in this collection of songs which draws on a number of sources.

There are songs in English and Gaelic, which draw from the traditions of Ireland and Scotland, and three more contemporary numbers: Sandy Denny’s Who Knows Where The Time Goes (with a guest appearance by Sinéad O’Connor), Eithne Ni Úallacháin’s Samhradh and one of my favourite Suzanne Vega numbers, The Queen And The Soldier – just when you think there’s going to be a happy ending, the princess reverts to type (you’ll have to listen to it yourself, I won’t totally spoil the ending for you).

The backing music is provided by Donagh Hennessy, acoustic guitars; Clare Kenny, bass; John Reynolds, drums and keys; Caroline Dale, cello; Kevin Armstrong, guitars; Éamonn De Barra, piano and keys; Julian Wilson, Hammond and keys; and Catriona MacKay, harp, all of whom combine to give a flowing, gentle and lush overall feel.

More for the day after, when you want to chill a bit and appreciate the more refined things in life.

Gordon Potter


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This album was reviewed in Issue 96 of The Living Tradition magazine.