Alyth McCormack is a young singer from the Western Islands of Scotland who sings entirely in the Gaelic language. Despite her youth, McCormack’s voice is rich with a striking, honest maturity. At times she reminds me of Helen Merrill (mainly the H.M. heard on her beautifully eclectic Jelena Ana Milcactic a.k.a. Helen Merrill album) and Sheila Jordan (sensuously smoky ‘n’ airy, though not wispy), as well as the trad-Balkan singer Marta Sebestyen. The rhythm of these songs is implicit and poetic, more in the rhythm and meter of the words (traditional) rather than that of the instruments, save for a couple of tracks the use drum ‘n’ bass rhythms. Whereas some would use jungled ‘n’ b sounds to "modernize" (read: make more lowest-common-denominator "accessible") traditional sounds, McCormack uses electronic sounds sparingly, as counterpoint and as a respectful modern interpretation of traditional elements. The instrumentation is spare (acoustic and electric guitars, piano, fiddle, cello, harp, whistles) and the mood somber but not oppressively so.
An Lomall (The Edge) has an affinity with the ECM Records "sound," particularly on albums by Lena Willemark, Jan Garbarek and especially John Surman (many of his albums feature Celtic over/undertones). This is austere yet soulful music for deep rumination and restless, moonless nights.