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Alyth - People Like Me

Alyth, People Like Me

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

ALYTH is being hailed as one of the most exciting singers on the Celtic scene but while undoubtedly talented, you have to really have a fond appreciation of Celtic music to really dig People Like Me.

At its best, the album kicks up a lively pace and sets Alyth’s beautifully pure vocals against some really rousing fiddling (as in out and out crowdpleaser, The Vices Set (Puirt Set)), while there’s an earnest beauty to storytelling moments such as The Queen And The Soldier, which sets a tale of circumstance, war and heartbreak against some melancholy piano chords.

But at other moments, it can stretch the patience (and tolerance), as with moments such as The Beautiful Lie, Til Morning Come and Neptune, which are either too sweet, or too deliberate for their own good.

When she doesn’t try too hard, however, Alyth’s vocals can be really moving, as with A Smuggler’s Prayer, which chronicles the plight of drug mules, and piano/guitar laden title track People Like Me, which offers a heartfelt plea for tolerance in today’s Scotland (which was penned by Del Amitri’s Justin Currie). It actually brings the album to a satisfying close.

But while diverse, the overall feeling is that this collection of songs works best in small doses. When it’s good, it can be really moving and/or inspiring, but when it struggles into more traditional Celtic territory, you may find your listening pleasure waining with it.

For those that don’t know, Alyth was born and raised on the island of Lewis off the north west coast of Scotland and was given the opportunity to perform as a child after deciding to leave the island for the bright lights of the big city. She honed her singing and drama skills at RSAMD in Glasgow, before recording her debut LP, The Edge, at the turn of the millennium.

Aside from singing, Alyth is a professional actress and her theatrical work includes Scottish ballet, dance productions, Arthur And Machair for STV and the lead role in the Scots/Irish musical On Eagle’s Wing. She has also featured on the film soundtrack to Annie Griffin’s Festival. So, if you like this album, there’s plenty more exploring to do with her.

Download picks: The Vices Set (Puirt Set), The Queen And The Soldier, Chaidil mi raoir air an airigh, A Smuggler’s Prayer, People Like Me

Track listing:

  1. Nuair Bha Mi Og
  2. The Queen & The Soldier
  3. The voices set (puirt)
  4. The beautiful Lie
  5. Dh’fhag e gun chadal am dhusgadgh mi
  6. Neptune
  7. A Mhairead OG
  8. Til Morning will come
  9. Chadil mi raoir air an airigh
  10. I wonder whats keeping my true love tonight
  11. A Smuggler’s prayer
  12. mo ghaol oigfhear a chuil duinn
  13. People Like Me