Amy Duncan - Cycles of Life - The Digital Fix

Sometimes it's in the detail. Producer Calum Malcolm earned his spurs with the likes of The Blue Nile, The Go-Betweens and Orange Juice. Cycles Of Life is released by Scottish label Linn, best known for their high-end audio equipment. It's a collaboration that, if nothing else, is likely to sound good. And it does: enthusiasts of warm, in-the-room-with-you singer songwriter albums will sink back into their favourite armchair, dram in hand and simply enjoy Amy Duncan's uncomplicated take on the genre.

This is album number four for Duncan, but the first with proper label backing. It's easy to see why Linn were charmed. She has one of those clear Celtic voices that will show off that expensive hi-fi - and she's backed by some elegantly arranged guitar, harp, strings, and not a great deal more. There's a general theme of positivity running through the folk-tinged material, despite the overall melancholic air; after all when you call your climactic track 'Everything's Going To Be Alright' it's hard to come away thinking anything else. The album comes too late for this year's Celtic Connections festival but don't be surprised to see Duncan's name on 2014's bill.

The Digital Fix
22 April 2013