Amy Duncan – Undercurrents

Album Review by Katie Hawthorne | 02 Feb 2016
  • Amy Duncan – Undercurrents
Album title: Undercurrents
Artist: Amy Duncan
Label: Filly Records
Release date: 19 Feb

Amy Duncan’s fifth studio album is as gentle, elegant and lovely as any believer in softly orchestrated folk could want. The multi-instrumentalist directs a broad band of musicians, spanning the harp, violin, viola, cello, bass and drums, with Amy taking on guitar, piano and double bass duty. It’s an exhaustive list, but worth detailing as Undercurrents feels far from crowded – each element is heard, there's no need for shouting. 

Duncan marries reassuring, homely harmonies with suggestions of pagan unease and an extra-natural awareness of the elements. Although some tracks stray onto slightly sugary ground, the work shines brightest when it's tinged with darkness; stand-out No Harvest carries a softly weighty kick, building into an eerie, ominous climax. Weathering storms literal and emotional, Undercurrents sweeps with a understated but grand sense of scale. The record was funded through Creative Scotland and a fan-sourced campaign, with any extra pennies forwarded to The National Autistic Society: You can't help but feel the results truly are a communal treat.

Playing Edinburgh Voodoo Rooms on 25 Feb