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Emily Smith – Traiveller’s Joy

January 22, 2011 by  

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Emily Smith – Traiveller’s Joy

NAME: Emily Smith
ALBUM: Traiveller’s Joy
DATE: 24January2010

LABEL: White Fall Records


FIVE WORD REVIEW: Scottish folk at its finest.

LOCATION: Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

LINE UP: Emily Smith (Vocals, Piano and Accordion), Guests (Flute, Whistles, Mandolin, Fiddles, Drums, Guitar, Strings, Bouzouki, Backing Vocals)

Emily Smith.jpg

WHAT’S THE STORY?: After her starting her professional career in 2002, Emily Smith now releases her fifth studio album Traiveller’s Joy having become one of Scotland’s finest folk musicians and making a real name for herself over the past few years.

She also makes the return after the critical success of her last album Adoon Winding Nith, having kept the same winning formula of simple, classic folk music for this album. And it’s presence is instantly felt in opening track ‘Traiveller’s Joy’. A subtly plucked guitar, a pleasant violin and the simple yet highly effective shaking of a tambourine add as the backing track to Smith’s delightful vocals, wherein we learn the specific sound that this album is trying to achieve. The slightly more uptempo ‘Take You Home’ serves as a great bridge into third track ‘Dreams of Lullabies’ in which we find Smith at one with her piano, singing “but you have your dreams and I have my lullabies”, sounding very contempt with what she has at the moment. And we’re happy for her, because she delivers it all in her angelic voice that has seen her rise to being the folk star she is today.

‘Sweet Lover of Mine’ serves as easy listening and is a brief return to the uptempo sound we heard at the beginning of the album, before she slows things down again with ‘Still We Dance On’, made all the more emotional with the sound of a violin accompanying almost her every word in the chorus, where she sings “falling, falling, still we dance on”. Again, seemingly contempt with the simple things in life.

‘Butterflies’ again shows that Smith can easily switch between uptempo and much more mellow tracks, but serves as nothing more than that unfortunately. However, it’s songs like ‘Waltzing’s For Dreamers’ which shows Smith at her finest; just a girl and a piano doing what she does best. Brilliant. She continues with ‘Roll On Lovely Doon’, which, much like ‘Butterflies’, is a bit of a nothing track. Lyrically it’s very sound, much like the rest of the album, but the music she sings over is not what we’ve come to expect after what we’ve been treated too so far. It’s almost disappointing.

She gets back on form though with ‘Gypsy Davy’, which you can just tell is going to be great from the joyous first few seconds of guitar. She’s enjoying herself with this song and we feel like we can enjoy it with her. She has a bit of another miss with ‘Lord Donald’. It does serve as a reminder of what she can do vocally, but again the accompanying tune doesn’t draw us in or live long in the memory.

‘Somewhere Along The Road’ is the last piece of music we hear and it’s something special. Flute’s, strings and a soothing strumming of the acoustic guitar make for the perfect backdrop for Smith hoping that “Tomorrow will bring a new sunrise/Somewhere along the road, someone waits for me”. As for the final song, we are treated to Smith’s version of the aptly named ‘What A Voice’. No music. Just talent.

The album as a whole is a success, in the sense that she has made a better album than her last one but won’t alienate any of her fans with how she’s gone about it. Yes, there are a couple of songs that don’t really work, as well as a few covers dotted around here and there, but the vast majority of this album is a step in the right direction towards making her masterpiece. She’s almost there, but not quite. Not yet, anyway…

SOUNDS LIKE: A talented lady making folk music that musicians in her field will struggle to keep up with. A huge variety of instruments and strong, penetrating vocals make this the perfect recipe for a folk album, which ultimately, is what Emily Smith has given us. And we thank you.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: You love anything to do with folk music. The album epitomises the idea of folk music at it’s best and is something you’ll no doubt be drawn into if you begin to sniff anywhere near it.


Submitted By MattOrd



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