If the name of the group sounds very familiar I added them to this year’s Tune Tuesday for Ireland. I just didn’t know they were going to release a new EP before I put up that post, so I thought I should go ahead and review it on here.
ANÚNA are a choral group made up by Irish singers, including their director and composer Michael McGlynn. Their music is made up of traditional Irish songs and hymns, plus some are completely new written by Mr. McGlynn as well. They tend to have an a Capella sound, less music and more about the message of the song itself. However in this EP they are working with the Ulster Orchestra. The songs were inspired by Irish poet Francis Ledwidge.
The first track is simply titled “May” and you mostly hear the most eternal sound in the world. I love choirs so much, so this is technically a weakness of mine! In these types of songs you basically have to pay attention to the words, this is actually one of Francis’s poems. It is a beautiful start. You hear everybody – unfortunately I don’t know anybody in the group besides Michael so I apologize there! The second is “Midnight” which features the Ulsters Orchestra, there is a beautiful female soloist but I do not know her name. Surprisingly, I love a men’s choir than an all girl’s, don’t ask me why. I’ve always been more amazed in a man’s voice in these more controlled moments in a choral atmosphere! It starts like a very plain a Capella song but then you can slowly hear the symphony chime in and I sensed a more exotic sound, like Chinese than Irish! I still like it though!
Next is “August” is a lot shorter than the first one. It is less than two minutes long, but it is very beautiful! I kind of felt this had a dark but romantic tone. I really liked that and thought it was interesting. Fourth was a song called “Behind The Closed Eye” which features Kenneth Edge, who plays saxophone. Another weakness I have! Surprisingly, it is an interesting instrument to place into a song like this. You’re used to only hearing a sax in jazz and blues music, not something such as Celtic music! I thought it was very neat! The song sort of has a dark undertone, so I think it gave it a lighter vibe to it.
After is “My Songs Shall Rise” and it is another track that is uses the whole choir. I think it was hauntingly beautiful, especially around these high notes! The next one is “Where All Roses Go” and it features the Ulster Orchestra again. This one has Michael as the soloist. I think this is another one with a dark tone. It has a more traditional Irish sound, and you can tell right away. I don’t know why but it gives me like it belongs on the battlefield, just the vibe I’m getting from it while hearing it through my headphones. Last one, I added this onto my June Playlist as the group’s song to be featured. I thought it was gorgeous but didn’t even realize it was new until like a day later. Anyways, it is called “When The War Is Over” and this has a more somber vibe to it. I’m feeling the same way I did with the previous track.
I think this type of music makes you appericate what a person can do with just their voice, because you’re basically getting the essentials with three of the tracks having various of instruments playing within them too. I mostly go with how I feel afterwards, since I’m programmed to look at the lyrics in that anymore I basically let my mind flow, which is why with these darker and somber tracks were taking me to places like battlefields, I just go wherever the sound takes me.
Are you a fan of ANÚNA? What do you think of their newest extended play?