Fiona Mackenzie - Elevate - Songlines
Scots singer's stunning solo set.
"Elevate" is a real beauty of an album, exquisitely crafted and melancholy in feel. Fiona's voice is imbued with a gorgeous wistfulness and fragility throughout the 11 finely crafted original songs on this, her first solo album. She grew up on the island of Lewids, but now lives in Inverness, an increasingly important area for the furtherance of the Gaelic Language. She is well-known as a Gaelic singer through her acclaimed performances with Mackenzie, Anam and Seelyhoo. Three of the tracks are in Scottish Gaelic; the remainder in English. With their melancholy lyrics, these are beautiful songs that exude an emotional, sometimes forlorn, on quality gorgeous numbers like Bye Bye with its poignant string arrangement and A Little While Longer, with its anthemic, poppy hook. The album's three Gaelic numbers haul you back to Fiona's Hebridean roots. There's a version of Sorley MacLean's well-known poem set to music, An Roghainn (The Choice), while Mackenzie's sister Eilidh penned the lyrics to the two other songs, including the surprisingly funky Hi o Hè.
Mackenzie has an ace up her sleeve with Blue Nile producer Calum Malcolm at the helm. He helps create a detailed feel that is sometimes sparse, sometimes lush, but always contemporary, with instrumentation including acoustic and electric guitars, sax, strings, piano and bass and drums. Delicious, captivating listening.