Hailed as “one of Ireland’s most essential talents”, singer-songwriter Maria Somerville offers the next taster of her debut album, ‘All My People’, with the exquisite ‘Brighter Days’. A timely track as the light begins to stretch that little bit longer into the evenings and flowers start to bud, Somerville explains that this single “pines for longer evenings, brighter mornings. Beckoning summer, Brighter Days also signifies friends going away and a vivid sense of place.” With a fuzzy, VHS video directed by Frank Sweeney that playfully follows Somerville through leafy Dublin parks, ‘Brighter Days’ perfectly captures the last gasp of icy crisp air as winter turns into spring.
On ‘All My People’, Somerville draws on conventional folk forms alongside post-punk, traditional Irish motifs, starry eyed pop and hypnotic drones to create wholly original music that is a product of its environment. A Connemara native, Somerville channels the wilderness of the Irish landscape through dense, ethereal soundscapes and bare boned percussion interspersed with ghostly vocals that are ever present and all encompassing, like crystalline glints of sunshine peeking through dark stormy clouds.
The duality of darkness and light is at play throughout the releases seven tracks – comfort is found in heartbreak, solace in despair and quixotic wonderment in the infinite melancholia. Somerville lays her heart bear and invites you into it with tales of doomed romance, bittersweet love stories and longings of ‘home’, in both the physical and metaphysical sense. The music is a collection of works recorded across Dublin, Cornamona and Inis Óirr – a tiny island sitting off Ireland’s west coast. ‘All My People’ is a luscious entry into the world of Maria Somerville.