Monday, 3 December 2012

MUSIC REVIEW: Windblown - Jamie Smith's Mabon

Release Date: 29/10/12


Original InterCeltic music from Jamie Smith's Mabon: 'Windblown' is the dynamic new album featuring their well-loved instrumental arrangements alongside new and beautifully crafted vocal tracks. 'Windblown', the crisp new 10-track studio album from Jamie Smith's Mabon, sees Wales' finest purveyors of original, InterCeltic music celebrate the autumn equinox after which the band is named. Following on from Mabon's award-winning Live at the Grand Pavilion, 'Windblown' is a coming of age album from a young band of virtuoso musicians spearheaded by composer and accordion maestro Jamie Smith. Already established as "a mighty instrumental force" (The Independent), the band also unveils songs for the first time, including the aptly named Yes We Sing Now and the haunting Welsh-language track Caru Pum Merch (Loving Five Girls). These songs take the band's well-loved sound into new dimensions, but stay in the same ethos - reaching into contemporary soundscapes but still firmly rooted in their Celtic heritage. From slick songs to joyful jigs, graceful mazurka to ecstatic muiñera, 'Windblown' is an emotional journey, an expression of joyful musicality: an autumn storm of youthful energy balanced by a mature restraint - taking Jamie Smith's Mabon on to a brand new page of their ever developing story.


OK, I’m going to be blunt here, I cannot stand to listen to Christmas music. Why? Well after working in a restaurant for years from the age of 13 to 18, I had to listen to the damn stuff from October throughout January, so when we hit this time of year I’m always on the lookout for something not only different but something that I can substitute that not only pleases the ear but gives you a wonderful emotional background.

This is why I was more than happy to discover this talented group. Each of the instruments adds another layer of emotion upon the slower tracks making it more an album of the soul than a lot of the mass produced music, it makes up a place within you and is something that you’ll want to listen to time and again. Add to this some uplifting numbers that give you a sense of euphoria and it really was an album that I loved listening to.

Add to the mix (from the sound of it) a group that clearly loves what they’re doing, highly polished and carefully selected tracks and all round this album is something that I’d advise a lot of people to at the very least check out, plus if they sound as good live as they do on here, that’s going to guarantee at least a very good night out.

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