KARAN CASEY - Chasing The Sun
Vertical Records VERTCD070

‘Chasing The Sun’, produced by percussionist John Anthony (who was behind Casey’s debut release, ‘Songlines’), marks a return to a pure, acoustic recording style for this Waterford-born singer-songwriter. Recorded at Caseys home in Ireland , these thirteen songs constitute an exquisite listening experience – subtlety seems to be the name of the game here, both vocally and instrumentally.

The album has the potential to become overshadowed by contemporaneous singer-songwriter releases such as Kate Rusby’s ‘The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly’, but this beautifully lyrical, acoustic album should not be overlooked – this is traditional Irish song at its best, and Casey’s voice is at once haunting and pure. She now has three solo albums to her credit – ‘Songlines’, ‘The Winds Begin To Sing’, and ‘Distant Shore’ – and this fourth offering stands tall alongside its predecessors. She contributes seven of her own compositions here; I’ve found myself listening time and again to self-penned numbers such as ‘When Will We All Be Free’, with rhythm-defining guitar-playing from Paul Meehan and Robbie Overson. Double bassist Ewen Vernal expresses himself sublimely on ‘The Time Will Pass’. Niall Vallely’s concertina playing underpins many songs very subtly. But it is Karan’s voice that draws you in from start to finish – this album’s a real grower.

Flautist/piper Barry Kerr contributes three beautiful songs, with discreetly expressed political undertones – there’s nothing ‘in your face’ about this album. The two traditional songs reveal Casey’s voice at its most haunting – her lone, stark, ethereal voice has the power and grace to carry traditional songs such as, ‘The Brown And The Yellow Ale’, with strength and absolute confidence.

This album has irresistible, addictive qualities that make it very hard to switch off from.

Debbie Koritsas

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The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 65 of The Living Tradition magazine.