Christy Scott was a new name to me. She describes herself on YouTube as “a young singer/songwriter hailing from the North East coast of Scotland, now studying music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow”. From a young age, she’s been learning many different types of singing ranging from classical and musical theatre to folk and traditional Scottish song; she writes original folk songs and arranges old traditional Scots songs in a contemporary way. But the traditional influence seems to be rather played down on Amaranthine, her debut EP – maybe in a bid for commercial acceptance, I’m not sure.
Granted, Christy has a good voice, and her singing – and self-penned songs – prove an enjoyable and gently rewarding listen, at least on the limited evidence of this EP (which, in the nature of such things these days, is over before you know it). Christy’s lyrics (helpfully, reproduced in full in the enclosed booklet) concern themselves principally with love and romance, and probably score less than ideally in the memorability stakes but nevertheless do the trick perfectly adequately, while Christy’s voice suits their expression. As also does the choice of mode of backing instrumentation – it’s basically acoustic-based pop with dashes of folk inflection here and there, especially in the lyrical fiddle playing. The key guiding influence of producer Scott Wood is strongly felt – he employs electric guitarist Davie Dunsmuir from his own band on Christy’s EP, and the remaining musicians comprise Aidan Moodie (Gnossie) on acoustic guitar, Madeleine Stewart (Eriska) on fiddle, Charlie Stewart (Dosca) on double bass, Alice Allen on cello and Neil Paton (of Brodie Jarvie Septet) on drumkit.
Overall, the assured sophistication of the musical settings fits Christy’s music, although a couple of the songs seem a touch too breezy for their sentiment and the full soundscape can tend to dominate, even obscure Christy’s vocal expressiveness. The final track Hope Street strikes the best balance, I feel, and its impression lingers longest. But I’d like to hear Christy more in traditional mode.
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