Clare Byrne is a dancer-choreographer-turned-musician who has performed and taught in New York City and environs, Burlington, VT and around the world. She is quite an accomplished artist and she has recently released Celestials.
Her music is poetic, folk infused and also dabs into a number of genres. Celestials is very much a slow burn in a number of ways. The first way is the actual songs which often unravel at their leisure. There are a number of songs that go past the six-minute mark and aren’t in a rush to go anywhere. The album is actually a double album’s worth of material. There are sixteen songs. I personally had to split the album up and took a number of weeks to be able to submerge myself.
Since there are a lot of songs I want to focus on the moments which had the most impact on me. “Summer Star” was very loose sounding in a good way and the vocal melodies were memorable.
“Feelings Feel” was also a good one that stuck with me. It’s so mellow and warm just like the whole album. I think part of the reason I liked “Reflection” was because the first part of this song has the same chord progression as “Atlantis” by Donovan and in fact has a speaking part that has a very similar vibe. I’m pretty sure it was an homage but at any rate the song unfolds into a number of different parts, kind of like a play. I really loved this song.
“Cincinnati Lover” has a gospel and soul vibe. The multiple vocal harmonies were very well done. I also have to mention that fantastic flute playing on “Ocean Arrives.”
I felt a little like I was in a beatnik art house in the late ’60s while listening to this album. Actually, maybe a lot at times. Celestials is an expansive album. I will admit you might need some patience to fully explore but there are rewards. Take a listen.
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