Caoilfhionn Rose: Truly – Album – 2021

Caoilfhionn Rose: Truly – Album – 2021 – Gondwana Records

Genre: Folk, Modern Folk, Indie / Alternative, Singer/Songwriter


Caoilfhionn Rose (pronounced Keelin’) from Manchester, whose second album Truly is out April 9, 2021 on Gondwana Records, is waiting for me to finally get the review of the album “Truly” together and finished.
And that was/is quite a hard nut to crack for me and had massively stopped my writing flow for about 14 days, but please don’t judge that negatively now. Caoilfhionn’s sound is hard to categorize, absolutely unique and a perfect fit for Gondwana Records, the UK label for sophisticated music such as jazz from the meditative-spiritual world, contemporary modern jazz, neo-classical, ambient and electronic crossover. The review was a feat … 🙂

Classify it, assign it – But how?
Caoilfhionn Rose PRESS SHOT 5 credit Emily Dennison 300
(c) Emily Dennison

To assign Truly to any genre is really extremely difficult. Juno Records from the UK just puts this in the indie/alternative bin, which is certainly not wrong, but doesn’t really tell that much. I would put a second copy on the folk shelf and put a gaudy “Modern-Folk” sticker on it.

A third copy is then added to the jazz shelf, which is pretty daring, but the jazz fan will definitely be enthusiastic about “Truly” if you are a good record seller and do a little educational work And a fourth copy of the album fits very well on the psychedelic shelf and I would offer a potential customer a cup of strawberry tea with it. He will buy – he must – I will bet on it!

Some Tracks

The opener on the album “Flourish” is a real ear catcher and goes straight into the ear, where it bites into the ear canal with a wonderfully reverberant twang guitar. And with the extremely filigree fragile second song “To Me” – there is that twang guitar again – I ask myself the question, damn, where have I heard that before? And the penny falls by the penny, but it falls. Chris Isaak used that reverberant twang guitar (album Silvertone, 1985), and in terms of reverb guitar sound, there’s a grandmaster of reverberant folk, Irish folk singer Luka Bloom, who set this standard with the album “Turf” in 1994.

Caoilfhionn Rose
Caoilfhionn Rose – Truly

And so we have already set two stakes for those who are interested on the album “Truly” and are still a little undecided.

With her flying musical carpet Caoilfhionn steers unerringly over the most different genre landscapes like singer/songwriter, folk, jazz, ambient, electronica, but not in order to plunder them mercilessly, but to be inspired rather, in order to develop her sound continuously. Caoilfhionn is not even afraid of a musical time travel to the Woodstock of 1969 and inhales the feeling of Love, Peace & Happiness. She also takes the one or other psychedelic influence – and that gives her album “Truly” a – as the Austrian so aptly says – light sympathetically “verspinnert” touch [i. e. inspiring crazy] (“Teburcular Skies”, “Paths”, “Truly”).

The ingenious “Readiness is All” and “Hold Your Own”, maybe also the great “Fireflies” belong to the tidily arranged tracks, which let some people think of jazz when listening to these songs. However, Caoilfhionn is at best breathing jazz without actually playing it, these three tracks evoke associations for me with Paul Weller’s early Style Council (Introducing, 1983) or the very early Pengiun Cafe Orchestra (dto, 1981). And Caoilfhionn Rose also likes some jazz Ă  la Portico Quartet, GoGo Penguin or the incredible creative Hania Rani, all of whom are at home in jazz and related styles and belong or have belonged to the creative laboratory of Gondwana Records. A very slight jazzy influence is certainly evident in Keelin’s music.

“Every Waking Minute” and “Point in Time” are very nice midtempo folk/folk-rock stuff, even Natalie Merchant (Leave you up, 2010) or Cat Power (the wacky but fantastic 2012 album “Sun”) wouldn’t be able to do better.

However, the acts I mentioned are not meant to be 1:1 comparisons, they are just meant to throw a spotlight on what kind of music from my musical past is coming back to my mind when listening to Caoilfhionn Rose “Truly” – and that is something that doesn’t happen all that often. Rose awakens old musical passions in me again.
By the way, the album was co-produced by Kier Stewart of “The Durutti Column”, where Rose had already collaborated with on the Durutti album “Chronicle LX:XL”. Kier Stewart has delivered a top job and left the incredibly wide musical range of Caoilfhionn Rose with the many inspirations and influences a wide space to crystallize out.

“This record marks a difficult time in my life and writing this album has helped me get through that time. I’m really grateful to have music as a ventil,” Caoilfhionn Rose tells us about her album “Truly.” Ventil This positive force emanating from the songs can be felt on the whole longplayer and shows us that there is a sunny side of life even in these difficult times.

Technical Aspects

The album was available to me in 24 bit 88.2 kHz and convinces with a great sound quality on reference level. The recording is unbelievably precise and very well defined mixed – with a round and deep bass, where absolutely nothing is rattling, an airy and realistic midrange, clean and clearly mixed vocals and a high frequency range that is convincing all along the line.

Facts about Caoilfhionn Rose – “Truly”

Artist: Caoilfhionn Rose
Title: Truly
Format: Album
Label: Gondwana Records
Release date: April 9, 2021
Genre: Alternative / Indie / Modern Folk
11 tracks • 35m 15s

Hi Res Logo 45

At qobuz available in Hi-res
24-Bit 44.1 kHz – Stereo

My test equipment:

Studio 1 (High End):

  • 2 x System Audio SA Mantra 50 (front)
  • 1x System Audio SA Mantra 10 AV (center)
  • 2x System Audio SA Legend 5 (rear)
  • 1 x System Audio Saxo 10 (subwoofer)
  • 4 x Onkyo SKH-410 (B) (Dolby Atmos)
  • Auralic Altair (audio streaming client with max. 32 bit / 384 kHz)
  • NVIDIA Shield Pro with Plex, Kodi (max 192 kHz for  Audio, Tidal (MQA Streaming Client)
  • AppleTV 4K (Streaming Client) Dolby Atmos, HDR, Dolby Vision
  • Amazon Cube 4K (Streaming Client) Dolby Atmos (restricted), HDR, Dolby Vision
  • Panasonic DP-UB9004 (4K UHD Player) Dolby Atmos, HDR, Dolby Vision
  • Oppo UDP-203 (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player) Dolby Atmos, HDR, Dolby Vision
  • Yamaha CX-A5100 (Preamp) 4K, Dolby Atmos, Hi-res
  • Yamaha MX-A5000 (Power Amp)
  • Sony KD-55A1 (TV) 4K OLED, HDR, Dolby Vision

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