Breaks your heart and then mends it again
I saw/heard Julie Fowlis (link to her website) as part of an arts festival in Galway a few years ago and found myself alternately with tears pouring down my cheeks and unable to stay seated because of the need to jump, jig, whirl and dance. She has a voice of great and effortless purity, musicality and heart. To listen to Julie sing is to be convinced that opening your mouth and having heavenly sounds pour forth is our natural birthright. Alas that probably isn’t true; its just that her voice is so natural and seemingly uncontrived.
Unless you speak Gaelic (or perhaps another of the Goidelic languages) you won’t have a CLUE what she’s singing about (nor will you care) You’ll just be amazed at her apparent facility to be singing tongue twisters with precision and speed (try Puirt-a-Beul-Set and I defy any listener to stay composed and seated!)
The charm, skill and passion of these songs are beautifully rendered by Julie and the musicians with fiddle pipe and drum – and for those coming to her music via MP3 and so missing the lyrics in translation I think you can find them in translation on her own site
It may or may not aid your enjoyment!
Unfortunately this particular album is not available to listen to on mp3 on Amazon, but the store page of Julie Fowlis’ site DOES have tracks on 30 sec listen, though you may have to download a particular player
However, the Youtube video IS of one of the tracks. Curiously, what the video doesn’t do justice to is the way Julie engages with and connects with a live audience. I suspect there was a degree of ‘production for camera’ in this – I’ve seen her in concert on a couple of occasions now, and she is one of those performers who seems to sing just for you alone. All several hundred of you.