Review: Amy Duncan – The Hidden World

Over the course of her previous six albums, Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist Amy Duncan has blossomed into one of Scottish contemporary music’s most singular talents. For her seventh album, The Hidden World, Duncan took over the production reins and played all the instruments herself, except for percussion and tablas (both played by Guy Nicholson). The new album has all the hallmarks we’ve come to expect from an Amy Duncan record…direct, personal song-writing; intimate, heartfelt vocals; and crystalline, multi-layered soundscapes.

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Review: Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter

Originally scheduled for release in August of this year, Laura Marling’s seventh solo album, Song For Our Daughter, was brought forward by four months, in view of the current global pandemic. Marling herself explains, “I saw no reason to hold back on something that, at the very least, might entertain and, at its best, might provide some union.” Based broadly on Maya Angelou’s book of essays, Letter To My Daughter, the songs on Laura Marling’s new album are written to an imaginary child, offering all the confidences and affirmations which she found so difficult to provide herself. Recorded in the basement studio of her London home, with the assistance of renowned producer Ethan Johns, the album sees Marling seeking to bring new perspective by writing beyond the edges of herself. In doing so, she has produced a highly assured and compelling set of songs, full of vivid imagery and with an unexpectedly high, and very welcome, proportion of melodic pop content.

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Review: Chloe Foy – Callous Copper

Gloucestershire-born indie-folk singer-songwriter Chloe Foy is noted for her graceful vocals, intricate arrangements and emotionally direct songs. In recent times, she has toured extensively in support of the mercurially talented Jesca Hoop (while also providing backing vocals in Hoop’s band) and completed a headline English tour to promote her third EP, Callous Copper. For this EP, Chloe Foy’s vocals and acoustic guitar are supplemented by a talented and versatile string quartet.

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Review: Marika Hackman

Marika Hackman, the London-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, brought her band to The Caves, deep in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, on 26th February. This UK tour saw Hackman riding the crest of a wave, following the release of her acclaimed third album, Any Human Friend, six months previously.

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Review: Emme Woods

The Foyer Sessions, an occasional series of gigs organised to raise funds for the ongoing restoration and renovation of the historic Leith Theatre, are staged in the theatre’s impressive, 1930s art-deco Crush Foyer. On 21st February, the headliner was Emme Woods, a Glasgow-based singer-songwriter whose distinctive sound has delicious flavours of 1960s rock ‘n roll, blues and soul and whose 10 inch vinyl EP, It’s Ma Party (released last summer), has created a whole lot of fan and media attention.

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