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TWELFTH DAY - The Devil Makes Three

TWELFTH DAY - The Devil Makes Three
Orange Feather Records OFR003

The a cappella singing on the opening track here cannot fail to grab you. In fact, the voices are so pure, they remind me of a clear mountain stream as it crashes over the rocks before disappearing down the hillside. After all too brief a time, the harp and violin join in, building to a cacophony of sound with multi layers of instruments and voices. Quite stunning music. Also quite innovative.

Twelfth Day are Catriona Price (vocals and fiddle) and Esther Swift (pedal harp, clarsach and vocals), both young but with heaps of experience. I first heard them in collaboration with Gaelic singer Joy Dunlop, but both have been playing since a very young age, eventually studying together at The Northern College of Music.

There’s a cheekiness in the vocals on Young Sir, about how a young girl uses her charms to trick the more wealthy young man, whilst the emotions of the young girl (a different one, hopefully) longing for her selkie are perfectly expressed through their original words. All the songs and tunes are, with one exception, original and show an emerging maturity of songwriting. Coming through all their music is their obvious love of playing and of the music itself.

Reading the words in the booklet, the construction appears a bit one dimensional, with too much emphasis on basic rhyme, but when the music is added that could not be further from the truth. This is an accomplished piece of work and promises well for the future. The Devil Makes Three is an enjoyable album from an extremely talented pair of musicians and should sell well as a result of their live appearances which, if the clips on YouTube are anything to go by, are also highly entertaining.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 102 of The Living Tradition magazine.