Bella Gaffney - Reflections

2023 studio album

Reflections - Bella Gaffney

the bright young folk review

Yorkshire guitarist, singer and songwriter Bella Gaffney, recipient of the Danny Kyle Award at 2016 Celtic Connections and of the Friends of Towersey Festival Award in 2018, is one of the artists who found new inspirations during the lockdown periods of 2020-2021. Her first solo album Reflections is the result of introspection and artistic development during that time, an album which includes both traditional and original songs.

The opening track Black Water is a fitting tribute to her native Yorkshire, its atmospheres and landscapes, all of which played an important role in forging her love for traditional singing. It is followed by Blood in the Earth, a self-penned piece denouncing the lack of environmental consciousness around the world, here delivered with Australian singer and songwriter Leesa Ghentz.

There are also other special guests appearing on this album, among them Sam Kelly, whose voice interweaves with Gaffney’s to create a memorable rendition of well-known traditional song Fair and Tender Ladies. The release closes on a high thanks to a dark rendition of Gallows Pole, another old song, quite famously interpreted by Led Zeppelin in 1970.

Her sincere love for the genre and her storytelling talent shine throughout, inviting the listener on a journey through shared experiences, feelings and emotions, a mix of personal and yet relatable glimpses of human nature, delivered with passion and delicacy. The well-calibrated, sometimes sparse, but always thoughtful arrangements are the icing on the cake and will surely contribute to the success of this first solo effort.

Poignant, at times moving, but always inspirational, Reflections is a powerful statement of intent by a young musician that beautifully combines heritage and modernity.

Michele Mele

Released on CD and digitally on 28 July 2023

1. Black Water
2. Blood in the Earth
3. Going Through the Motions
4. Holy Island
5. Seven Black Roses
6. Wide Awake
7. Blue
8. Fair and Tender Ladies
9. No Ash will Burn
10. Gallows Pole

Bella Gaffney discography