Review | Songlines


Top of the World

Rating: ★★★★

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Album and Artist Details


Catriona Price


Orange Feather Records


Glasgow-based violinist, composer, vocalist and founding member of FARA, Catriona Price's new release is a suite for string quartet, vocal trio, harp, piano, flute, drums and bass, all centred round Price's Orkney upbringing and inspired by the writing and poetry of her fellow Orcadians.

The title-track, (Orcadian Scots for ‘Heart’), sets the scene well for an inspiring, mesmerising, and thoroughly energising listen. Taking as its source a poem by Kevin Cormack, the track references the famous Orkney Ba’ game which takes place on Christmas and New Year's Day. It is a frenzied affair that is reflected in the track's synth rhythm and multiple voices. ‘Swans’ sees Hert take a different route from the vigour of its opener, with a spellbinding vocal of George Mackay Brown's poem, while Harry Josephine Giles’ ‘No Such Thing as Belonging’ takes us on another eclectic journey with a fun jazz inspired soundscape. Pam Beasant's ‘If’ provides an evocative, sublimely tender close to what is an enchanting album. Hert captures the richness of Orkney's musical and poetic history. Price, with one eye to the past but one always confidently focusing on the future, has created a beguiling, elegant, and thoroughly stimulating listen.

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