Alyth McCormack

The Edge

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Scots singer Alyth McCormack has a pretty but rough-edged voice and a penchant for placing traditional Gaelic songs in settings that involve various combinations of breakbeats, cello, piano, and barely recognizable electric guitars. The arrangement on "MhicShiridh," which opens McCormack's debut album, is one case in point: the accompaniment consists of string bass, piano, and a gauzy, distorted guitar part that lurks and hovers in the background. "Hi Horo" combines intricate jungle beats and faintly robotic synthesizers with a treated flute and heartbreakingly lovely sung melody. Settings like these rub shoulders with a capella renditions of other songs. The cumulative mood ends up being stark and sometimes challenging, yet strangely comforting overall. The Edge is a sometimes willfully challenging but consistently beautiful record.

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