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Caoilfhionn Rose – Truly Review

Sounds like…

Indie folk that prides itself on the little things.

The review

I love it when you repeatedly listen to an album and discover new sounds or layers to the music each time. Keyboard synths or ambient tweaks you didn’t hear before. Hidden backing vocals poking out on the third listen. A hidden melody awash in the guitar haze. This is part of the fun of playing ‘Truly’, the second album from Caoilfhionn Rose.

The mixture of airbrushed ambient, folk music and gentle psychedelia means that whilst melodies may seem straight forward at first, they are deceptively deep underneath. Not a single song is a straightforward piece. Even the acoustic guitar ‘All That Light’ outro ballad is soaked in ambient field effects and a swirling haze. Only one track deviates from this blissful cloud. ‘Hold Your Own’ delves tentatively into a jazzier side for Rose so instead of playing with long-tail chords, she plays with quirky chord structures instead. The songs on ‘Truly’ are catchy but never direct.

Photo of Caoilfhionn Rose
Caoilfhionn Rose (photo by Emily Dennison)

That mysterious shroud makes each track a discovery. ‘Fireflies’ is an absolute revelation as Caoilfhionn’s voice sighs and caresses the listen on her higher register. It is reminiscent of how Natasha Atlas (Bat for Lashes) tackles chamber-pop but this is strictly folk. The layers of the outro on ‘Fireflies’ is easily one of the best guitar bliss-out’s I’ve heard in ages.

Elsewhere hazy rock effortlessly glides along with longing pieces such as ‘Point in Time’ that uses echoes to great effect on the guitar solos. ‘Paths’ evokes that luscious 60’s rock where electric guitars feel warm-bodied and inviting. Rose never really gets fully rocked out but ‘Readiness Is All’ does have Bic Runga rock-n-rock vibes to it. Other tracks such as ‘To Me’ enjoy the thinness of the bass work to let Rose’s voice evoke sensitive emotions from you. Again, that high register is a heart slayer and she knows exactly when to use it and when to restrain herself.

Everything about ‘Truly’ spells out a second album that exudes confidence and direction. It is an album that feels cohesive and concise. In just over 35 minutes, it tells an enticing story about staying on your journey and holding your own through the storm. With its blissful reverbs, lush ambient guitar haze and intriguing melodies, Caoilfhionn Rose pulls you into her world with ease. She doesn’t tell with direct words and melodies, she paints a sonic picture with sound for you to get lost in. This is one of the best examples of ambient ideas transferred into folk-rock I’ve heard in years. Get it. It is pronounced Keelin by the way…

Recommended track: Fireflies

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Caoilfhionn Rose - Truly

9.5

9.5/10

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