On her previous six albums Amy Duncan set a consistently high standard. We know to expect glorious vocals, smart lyrics and first-class musicianship. On latest release, The Hidden World, we have all that and more.
The title track kicks things off and it sets the scene perfectly for the song cycle that follows. There is a distinctly dream like feel to the song as it contemplates the way barriers, put up to protect ourselves, end up restricting our horizons. It’s a constant theme throughout the album, the prescience hard to ignore as we contemplate the current lock-down period and beyond.
Next up is Labyrinth. It’s description of tantalising opportunities, briefly glimpsed and rarely grabbed is totally captivating. It is worth noting that Labyrinth is one of three tracks from the album which have had video releases. Created by animator Tracy Foster they provide a wonderful visual accompaniment to Amy Duncan’s voice.
It would be almost unfair to single out one track as a highlight. Medusa, A Forest and the haunting Butterfly are all songs that will linger long in the mind. The album closer, Make it Good provides a fittingly hopeful finale to what is a decidedly uplifting and beautiful album.
The Hidden World is an album to be listened to from start to finish. There really is no filler here, the synergy of this collection testament to the care that has been taken putting the songs together.
Find out more by visiting amyduncan.co.uk
The Hidden World is available don Bandcamp
You can also find Amy Duncan on Twitter and Facebook
Sometimes an album appears at just the right time. Antidote, the sixth album from Amy Duncan is just such a collection. Primarily a group of songs about a personal battle with adversity, the lyrics here contain metaphors and images which chime perfectly with the fears and anxieties that today’s increasingly uncertain world generates in us all.
‘Steady the Bow’ sets the tone perfectly for what is to follow, Amy Duncan’s voice appears immediately, the accompanying instruments perfectly reflecting the mood of the lyrics as the song ebbs and flows. ‘The Journey’ is mesmerising, from the opening sound of birdsong until the singer alights from her journey, voice and instruments blending flawlessly. Sounds recorded on the streets of Edinburgh are used throughout the album and the effects are startling, the sonic landscape being increased exponentially. If the opening line on ‘Severed Head’ seems childlike, the grisly follow up will certainly grab your attention. It’s something that happens frequently, you never really know just where Amy Duncan is going to take us.
There is darkness but it is more than countered by the frequent signposts towards the light and this is what makes this such a satisfying album to listen to. It ends with the title track and it leaves you in no doubt that there is always hope, the vivid image of green pushing up through the gaps in the concrete sure to linger long in the mind.
The honesty of the lyrics and the accomplished delivery of the songs marks this album out as something rather special. The beautifully ethereal atmosphere wraps around you like a comfort blanket as Amy Duncan tackles universal real world emotional issues. The perfect Antidote? It’s certainly close.
You can buy Antidote here.
To find out more visit Amy Duncan’s website here.
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