Genre/Influences: Ethereal, pagan-folk.
Background/Info: Joy Shannon is an Irish artist based in the US. I got the opportunity to discover her with an album (cf. “The Oracle”) released on Kalinkaland Records. The band has already released multiple productions and is now back on track with this new opus featuring 13 songs. The songs have been separated in 3 chapters, but in the end you get a real compact work.
Content: Driven by Celtic-Pagan and Irish neo-folk Joy Shannon And The Beauty Marks is a first of all a collective revealing a truly passion for authentic instruments like Celtic harp, cello, guitar ao. It injects a real warm sensation into the music, creating this authentic feeling. It also is a composition which stands for emotions such as sadness. You can feel the melancholia driven by the magic sound of the instruments.
Next to the multiple instruments you also will discover ethereal vocals. Joy Shannon is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, but she got the help of guest singers and musicians.
+ + + : I always have liked the magic and authenticity of real instruments and that’s what this artist stands for. Emotions have been transposed by the simple power of instruments, which have been played with passion and grace. You get the impression of a soundtrack getting imaginary visions of reverie. But the songs also reveal a darker side ending in melancholia. This band makes me think to troubadours of the modern times. The music has been composed with grace and delicacy and I especially recommend the second part of the work.
– – – : The first part reveals easy listening songs, but I didn’t notice that many highlights. So there’s a kind of discrepancy between some of the chapters, but especially the debut songs are less convincing while the final part is absolutely remarkable.
Conclusion: Joy Shannon And The Beauty Marks stands for sonic poetry! Music becomes a tender caress to make forget all your pain although driven by some melancholia.
Best songs: “Folkvang”, “Grey Havens”, “Valhallavägen”.