LAUREN MACCOLL- When Leaves Fall

LAUREN MACCOLL- When Leaves Fall
Make Believe Records MBR1CD

There’s a lightness of touch, a sense of playfulness and a moving air of elegance about When Leaves Fall, and it’s a wonderful listen.  This is Lauren MacColl’s debut album, recorded with the support of the Dewar Arts Awards and produced by Chris Stout.  Lauren is a previous winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.  Originally from the Black Isle, she remained in Glasgow after graduating from RSAMD – her fiddle playing is consummate and beautifully controlled throughout.  Accompanying her are Barry Reid on guitar and James Ross on piano. Luke Daniels contributes button accordion on three tracks.   There’s a fine sense of interplay and communication between all the musicians, but it’s Lauren’s playing that remains at the forefront of this recording. 

Lauren composed some of these gorgeous tunes herself, including When Leaves Fall and the spirited, lively Graham’s Delight.  Anyone who remembers the cheeky, cheery face of young fiddler Graham Mackenzie (he performed in Donald Shaw’s “Harvest”) will realise how the latter tune befits its source of inspiration, though he’s no doubt changed a lot by now!  She chooses her material well, interpreting a largely Scottish and Gaelic repertoire, interspersing these fine tunes with her own material and a little-known Norwegian tune by Hans W. Brimi.  Highlight tunes include the sparsely interpreted An T-Iarla Diurach and the exquisitely moving Tha mi tinn leis a’ghaol/I am sick with love.

It’s the sort of album to reach for when you want to relax, and it reminds me very much of Rachel Hair’s Hubcaps and Potholes in this respect – there’s the same musicality, the same delicacy of touch here.  Couple these attributes with Lauren’s own tunes and her refreshing interpretation of beautiful traditional melodies, and you have a recording that makes for exquisite and relaxing listening. 

Debbie Koritsas
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This album was reviewed in Issue 76 of The Living Tradition magazine.