Album: Karine Polwart, Traces (Hegri Music)


The Traces of the title are the memories and marks that bind a people to a place, whether it's the "black hills" so fatally glimpsed in "Tears For Lot's Wife", or the "minarets of industry" of the petrochemical plant at Grangemouth in "Tinsel Show".

It's an impressively mature collection, with several moving ruminations on bereavement, and an ambitious piece, "King of Birds", yoking past and present vistas of St Paul's Cathedral. The finesse isn't confined to the playing: in "Cover Your Eyes", Polwart uses a celebration of a landscape's barren solitude to deliver a critique of Donald Trump's ghastly golf course so subtle he won't feel the stiletto sliding between his ribs.