Album: Julie Fowlis, Live at Pembershire Amber (Machair Records)

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The Independent Culture

Startlingly aestheticised Scots-Gaelic folk, as poised, glistening and "pure" as a raindrop trembling on the rim of a leaf.

Well, that's one way of thinking about Live at Pembershire Amber. Another way is to think of it is as a puzzle: for non-Gaelic-speaking listeners, Fowlis's liquid voice is an instrument and nothing more, a bearer of notes, shapes and symbols which are not readily readable. Whatever your take, you can't argue with the studied comeliness of it all.