Review Archive

‘Cycles of Life’ - shared experiences from Amy Duncan

(April 02, 2013)

When Amy Duncan sings there’s a feeling that her emotionally charged songs are a reflection of a amy duncanlife-lived. There’s a level of experience that goes beyond imagining. It’s the old maxim ‘You had to be there’ and with these songs you just know that the singer has walked the roads she sings about. This is evident in her latest lovingly fashioned and superbly produced album Cycles of Life’. It’s an album that for some will hold the key to shared experience and for others act as a signpost to understanding.

‘A Song To Myself’ has a melody to die for and lyrics that you wish you’d written – a powerful and lyrically moving song. On the surface this album is a singer-songwriter delivering her wares, on other levels it’s a deeply moving encounter with life. There’s a shadow of childlike immaturity about her voice, a trace of frailty and then there’s a flush of force that makes you take notice. There’s a depth of serious understanding here that demands attention, listen to ‘Your Very Soul’ and then ‘Ivory Tower’ to hear what I mean. Then there’s the soulful expanse of ‘Wild Animals’ – a haunting, spectral song that begs multiple interpretations, and ‘Navigating’ complete with hopeful lyrics sliding across scintillating strings.  

Playing on ‘Cycles of Life’ there’s Amy Duncan (vocals, guitars, double bass, piano, keyboard, bowed double bass) Fiona Rutherford (harp) Ted Ponsonby (dobro) Calum Malcolm (keyboard) Robert McFall (violin) Brian Schiele (viola) Su-A Lee (cello) and Liam Bradley (drums).

Reviewer: Dan Holland

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