Iona Leigh - Beside The Waves Of Time

2009 studio album

Beside The Waves Of Time - Iona Leigh

the bright young folk review

Born in Sydney but raised in Scotland, this is the 2nd offering from folk-siren Iona Leigh. A beguiling mix of the traditional and the modern, combined with an eclectic range of influences, Beside the Waves of Time offers something for everyone whilst still maintaining a cohesive feel.

Inspired by an old American folk song, ’Peaches in the summertime’ is the perfect antidote to the miserable weather. Conjuring up images of sultry summer evenings and wide-open fields, Iona paints a picture of pastoral perfection of fields ’filled with fine fruit trees’ and rivers both ’wide and long.’ A prominent drumbeat drives the track forward, but without ever swamping Iona’s vocals or the other harmonic lines.

Mimicking a lover’s wail for their beloved, the mourning cry of a far off whistle sets the scene for the traditional lament ’Must I be bound.’ Their ghostly qualities bring the album’s cover art to life transporting you to the side of a Highland’s loch covered in fog. Above all this Iona’s incredible voice rings as clear as a bell guiding you to safety across the moors with the vocal harmonies adding extra weight whenever the lyrics demand.

Written whilst meditating ’Trees’ is less a folk-track and more the melodic outpouring of the soul. One that perfectly demonstrates the reach of Iona’s voice A simple, drone-like accompaniment allows the vocal line to fly free from the constraint of time or key signatures. The end result, a beautiful chant that touches the very inner reaches of your soul.

’Blow the candle out,’ in contrast, picks up the pace once again. Without doubt one of the catchier tracks on the album, Iona has added her own twist to this tale of a jilted lover. The burst of violin between verses throws different harmonies into the mix

With her hauntingly beautiful voice, unique adaptations and wide reaching sources of inspiration, Iona Leigh has moulded Beside the Waves of Time into the perfect showcase for her incredible talent. An absolute gem of an album.

Mary Stokes

Released by Crescent Moon Records on 6 April 2009.

1. Peaches In The Summertime - 4:11
2. The Girl He Left Behind - 2:56
3. Let Erin Remember - 4:29
4. Must I Be Bound - 4:14
5. Blackbird - 3:34
6. White Dove - 5:03
7. Forever To Sleep - 4:51
8. I Let You Go - 4:14
9. The Selkie - 4:30
10. Trees - 3:07
11. Blow The Candle Out - 4:25
12. Brown Haired Maiden - 3:34
13. No More Tears - 2:52

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