Album Reviews

Atlantic Union

Homeward

Artist:     Atlantic Union

Album:     Homeward

Label:     Blue Island Records

Release Date:     12/19/2016

90

There’s an essential purity to Celtic music that remains undiminished by commercial concerns and the intrusion of modern trappings. Based in Newfoundland Canada, the trio known as Atlantic Union cull from their heritage naturally, although the grace and calm that they offer is a gift beyond bounds. That’s evident in the first two songs alone, courtesy of Sally Goddard’s lush vocals and the subtle nuance imbued through Jane Ogilvie’s harp and the violin, dulcimer and mandolin tapestry provided by Dan Rubin; all contribute to the music’s sensual sway. The melodies are rarefied and relaxed, a blend of original songs and traditional tunes, all providing perfect solace in a turbulent world.

With beautiful ballads like “Let Me Fish Off Cape St. Mary’s” and “Two Coves and a Bay,” as well as the chipper “The Singing Stone” — the latter given Rubin’s spry vocal — there’s little room, much less reason, for outside intrusion. Atlantic Union make folk with finesse, as well as a grace and charm inherent to their native trappings. It’s the kind of music made to put a smile on one’s face and add solace even in the midst of despair. Hopefully they’ll gain the greater awareness they deserve, allowing Homeward to become a common calling.

—Lee Zimmerman

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