I would never say anything as dumb sounding as “music has the power to heal.” Though it may be true, it’s a cliché phrase. In my life aspirin and greasy food seem to have the best healing power to heal me from the booze I had used to heal something else previously. However I will say and stand by the fact that music, no matter the genre, does have a certain endorphin inducing quality, especially when it shows up at the proper time.
For me the proper time is now, roughly 1:00 am after a long day spent making money for the man. I’m indulging in some red wine and sitting in semi-darkness. I hit play on the machine and soft and sad sounds of fiddle and piano lull me into a relaxed state.
The album I am listening to is Waves Rise From Quiet Water by the Scottish duo Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach. The song is gentle and melodic instrumental “A Thank You Won’t Pay the Fiddler.” This is followed by the traditional folk balladry of “Sleepless Sailor” which again pairs soft piano melodies with heart wrenching fiddle and male-female vocal pattern that sounds like a lullaby with its “li de dum dee, li de dum day.” The stark and beautiful piano-fiddle folk instrumental returns on “Maureen Fraser’s,” before treating us to just straight slow and wandering piano on “Dornie.”
Just when you get comfortable in this soft and terrifically traditional balladry however Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach take it to a whole new level turning the fiddle driven “The Last Mile” into some odd yet endearing electronic amalgamation of Scottish folk with some Gaelic sounding female vocals. It works however and serves as an out of sync but welcome change-up.
But let’s face it Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach are best when creating sad sounding fiddle and piano ballads and they don’t hold back on the slow rolling, tearjerker “Ristol,” which gives way to the simple yet key-happy and clean piano piece “The Wren No. 2.” The title track “Waves Rise from Quiet Water” quietly closes out the record with its instrumental fiddle and piano framework.
Waves Rise from Quiet Water is a somber record. Its repetition of piano and fiddle seems somehow as repetitive as the breaking of waves. It seems as though that is the point. The pair are not reinventing the wheel here, rather they seem to be showing those who have taken simple things for granted for so long, the beauty these inventions still hold.
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