Prydwen describes themselves as Celtic newgrass, and their album, Ignitions, offers lively upbeat rhythms to bear that out. The only caveat with the vocals, as on the title song, is that female lead Jennie Bice is sometimes singing so fast that it's challenging to catch what she's saying. Instrumentally, on the other hand, that speed is definitely an asset. "Blacksmith Forge" starts as a mellow banjo accented ramble that has some soulful fiddling interwoven as well, and then the tempo picks up and starts to swing, and picks up again, and goes through several rounds of lively upbeat rhythms, slows, then pretty much goes for percussive warp speed (like the spaceship on their album cover) for the grand finale. Quite an enjoyable set, and definitely one meriting repeat play. "Driving Darby" offers frisky fiddle dancing its way through the able support of the other instruments in another rousing fast-paced number. Any listener who's had a tiring day and needs to wake up for that last push to reach a deadline would certainly benefit from choosing this one as motivation music. They offer male vocals, too, from Jason Homey on "Pride of Petrivor," which is remarkably bouncy and upbeat for a tale of the love who went away. It's about the polar opposite of the deeply mournful "Stretched on Your Grave," which shows they can ably handle diverse topics. In all, instrumentally, Prydwen does a fine and lively job, one that's likely to have fans up and dancing. Vocals could still use a bit of fine tuning, yet some of that might also be adjustable by remixing, with the volume boosted a bit to make the lyrics more audible. Fans who enjoy this album will likely want to pick up their followup release, Live From the Silvertone, as well.
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