27 April 2018 (released)
01 May 2018
In 2013 Finch & Keita released ‘Clychau Dibon’ to huge acclaim, capturing awards and hearts in equal order.
Fast forward to 2018 and they are finally releasing their second album ‘SOAR’, the intervening 5 years seeing virtually constant touring.
The combination of harp (Finch) & Senegalese Kora (Keita) is a match made in heaven as the two stringed instruments are capable of jamming in a way that few other instruments can. The sheer musicality of the two, swapping rhythm and melodies between them is magical and the sound, although relatively quiet, fills the room with a sense of swooping and circling notes and rills.
I have to say that I found the album completely captivating. The theme of the album is the migratory flight of the Osprey – a 3000 mile journey from West Africa to the estuaries and lakes of Wales, eating on the wing and calling both places home.
The songs reflect the different elements of that migration and the birthing of the first Welsh Osprey for 150 years. The bird migrated to West Africa as an adolescent and return to Wales to rear chicks and its own brood so the music takes you to the flight and loneliness of the bird, the sense of hospitality offered in its new home (much different to the persecution of the 17th Century which almost saw them eradicated) and all through the album there is a shared respect between the musicians and their love for the bird is obvious.
The album never raises much about an even tempo, the dynamics provided by the plucked notes rather than changes in volume. One of those albums that can be listened to as delightful background music but that rewards you many times over when you listen deeply into the music.
It is more than special – this is an album that stands outside of time and fashion. Not for everyone but if you can get inside the music it will lift your spirits in a remarkable way.