AMY DUNCAN Undercurrents (Filly Records CD001)

AMY DUNCAN UndercurrentsUndercurrents is Amy Duncan’s fifth album. It’s a smooth and accomplished work produced by Calum Malcolm featuring harpist Fiona Rutherford and Sijie Chen, Jane Atkins and Donald Gillan borrowed from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Providing the foundations are Lawrie MacMillan and Liam Bradley on bass and drums.

The first track, ‘The Good Life’ is rich with harp and strings and in sharp contrast the second ‘Fragile From The Storm’ opens with a simple electric guitar figure joined by harp and bass before the song builds to its climax. There’s a nicely Asian feel about the accompaniment to ‘Different Dimension’, possibly my favourite track on the album, and the strings play some clever tricks at the end. In fact, Amy keeps the ideas moving – just as you think you know exactly what’s happening she introduces something new; hand percussion here, piano there, to draw the attention, and musical passages hinting and jazz roots such as the ending of ‘My Silver Net’.

Lyrically, there is much searching for certainty in the midst of doubt, in the depths of the ocean or a metaphorical fog although Amy asserts that ‘The Truth Never Changes’. I have to confess, though, that I’m not sure what, or possibly who, the subject of ‘Constant Without Me’, first encountered face down in a river, might be.

Amy is funding the promotion and pressing of Undercurrents on CD and vinyl through the crowd-funding site Pledge and supporters will receive immediate downloads of the album’s first singles, ‘The Good Life’ and ‘Different Dimensions’. There are lots of special offers to investigate, too.

Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website:

‘Different Dimensions’ – not an exciting video but a fine song:

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