A new studio album from Julie Fowlis appeared yesterday and I have begun to listen to it. Alterum contains 11 tracks and, as one would expect, there is plenty of Gaelic. However, almost for the first time, English gets a look in - with Go your way and Windward away with Mary Chapin Carpenter. who also sings with Julie (in Gaelic!) on the opening track. There is also a spoken intro in English on Cearcall Mun Ghealaich (circle around the moon) done very nicely and uniquely here with piano.
Another duet is Camariñas, a song in praise of the Galician town of the same name with Gillebrìde MacMillan. Instrumentally, there is more of an orchestral feel (strings at least) to many tracks and the bodhran hardly gets a look in. No a capella songs or instrumentals this time round. Puirt a beul style mouth music is again featured (on two tracks) but it seems a little restrained somehow compared with earlier offerings.
It is important for artists to somehow follow up on previous albums and yet develop in some way as album follows album - not easy to achieve. This album seems to manage it and I look forward to getting to know it better in the coming weeks.