Ana Alcaide: La cantiga del fuego (ARC)

Ana Alcaide: Khun caravan
Ana Alcaide: La cantiga del fuego (ARC)

Although perilously close to New Age music in places, this gently beguiling album should find wide favour because within it are familiar melodies and chord progressions found in Celtic folk (think Clannad) and Northern Europe, but she also brings North Africa sounds too which add exotic spice.

Quite a seductive mixture by this Spanish singer, songwriter and practitioner of the nyckelharpe (a bowed fiddle with a keyboard which apparently originated in Sweden).

And to blur the musical picture even further these 12 songs – embellished by santur and veena from India – are inspired by the city of Toledo and the exile of Sephardic Jews.

But rather than being a cosmopolitan melange and fragmented by so many elements, Alcaide's clarity of vision pulls all these threads together in a quietly charming, memorable and highly listenable journey through its influences as it evokes romantic or melancholy moods.

Gentle, almost medieval in places and it will win you by stealth.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section

Kristi Stassinopoulou and Stathis Kalyviotis: Greekadelia (Riverboat/Southbound)

Kristi Stassinopoulou and Stathis Kalyviotis: Greekadelia (Riverboat/Southbound)

Adding the suffix -adelic to a style (folkadelic) or album title as in this case, isn't always quite as helpful or true as it seems.  This well-established traditional-into-today duo... > Read more

Balkan Beat Box: Give (Crammed Discs/Southbound)

Balkan Beat Box: Give (Crammed Discs/Southbound)

The cover here -- megaphone as gun/gun as megaphone --gives you a clue to the BBB out of New York who mash up dance culture, dub, Balkan styles and much more into often bruising techno-rock . . .... > Read more

New Elsewhere

DAVE GROHL CONSIDERED (2014): Good, better . . . best

DAVE GROHL CONSIDERED (2014): Good, better . . . best

This is true: I was in the studio when Dave Grohl's post-Nirvana band Foo Fighters recorded for the first time. And it wasn't in Seattle as you might expect. Roll the tape back and me being... > Read more

T BONE BURNETT INTERVIEWED (2014): Are we rolling again, Bob?

T BONE BURNETT INTERVIEWED (2014): Are we rolling again, Bob?

By happy coincidence, the very day we speak with producer T Bone Burnett about his new project – five well-known musicians setting 16 recently discovered lyrics by Bob Dylan from the late... > Read more