The forthcoming debut solo LP from celebrated Irish folk chanteuse and harpist Brona McVittie is a psycho-geographic journey through a collection of traditional folk ballads and original compositions inspired as much by the geometries of London’s urban fringes as by the sonic phenomena within the great rural landscapes of Mourne.
This mixing of traditional songs with her own compositions, and thematic ties between songs old and new, coupled with the use of traditional instruments (harp/flute/strings, etc.) against subtle electronic backdrops all adds up to a record that is heartfelt, timeless and yet pleasingly contemporary in feel, a perfect mix of new and old.
The title track was seeded from the “electric trees” (pylons) of the Lea Valley, and embodies the philosophy that humans along with their infrastructure are as much a part of nature as spiders and webs. Under the Pines arose from the reverberation of (dogs) barking off the trees on the edge of Rostrevor’s pine forest. McVittie’s inspiration draws deeply from Irish folklore – she borrows several of her song titles from W.B. Yeats. The lesser-heard traditional County Down love ballads The Flower of Magherally and Newry Mountain are thematically and geographically balanced against the tragicomic Molly Brannigan (after the singing of flute-player and Sligo farmer, Colm O’Donnell) and death ballad The Jug of Punch (after Joe Heaney’s The Road from Connemara).
“Nature reverberates wonderfully in an alchemy of traditional and contemporary instrumentation, making for an exquisite listen from this post-folk electronic chanteuse” Across the Line, BBC Radio Ulster
We Are the Wildlife is out 19th January 2018 on her own label Company of Corkbots.