In one respect, Tales From The Western Isles, by The Delerium Trees, is literally a map covering some of the most beautiful and perhaps reflective locations within the album title’s actual geography. Yet the six-track collection is also a vehicle for an assortment of music ideas from multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and song writer Drew Jarvie, also known as The Delerium Trees.
Tales From The Western Isles suggests an instrumental sound of substance and contemplation which reaches up and out, beyond the surface. Consequently, it is no wonder plans for a future audiophile friendly vinyl release are a strong possibility. Jarvie is also reworking the album for orchestra.
A remarkable accomplishment
Beginning with the first song, “St. Kilda,” drawing upon the Outer Hebrides, Drew Jarvie went to various locations around the Western Isles, absorbing history and musically poetic energies. “St. Kilda,” based on “Tango In D Minor,” holds a special romantic significance for Jarvie and wife Ashley. The 14:46 track begins with a kind of sweeping feel, piano leading the way. Organ soon takes hold before the song expands and other instrumentation shares the mix. At about 6:30, the Trees deliver an earthy resonance before a thicker drumbeat enters. Listen for the terrific, subtly smooth brass work. By the way, production is excellent.
Next up, the 7:03 “St. Clements’s Church (Harris),” reference to the religious site built in the 16th century, provides the inspiration for Jarvie’s “Medieval-style hymn and four-part fugue for organ.” History rings forth in a sanctity of tone and swells until about midway, when a Procol Harum-type ambiance emerges. Skipping around the album, at 4:19, the fourth track, “Tea At Inverlussa (Jura),” carries an exceptional melody, while the 6:48 “The Dance At Baleshare (North Uist)” can be rousing and fun. All the same, enthusiasts will have to listen and decide which songs from Tales From The Western Isles qualify as personal favorites.
The personnel on Tales From The Western Isles are Drew Jarvie – narration, vocals, piano, keyboards, post horn, trumpet, cornet, trombone, guitars, accordion, drums, bass, percussion, programming; and Ashley Craig – vocal on “The Dance At Baleshare (North Uist).”
Mixing and mastering by Heitor Alves.
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