West Of Eden's "This Piece Of Earth" is included in Narada's
Faire Celts compilation (review <./digest4.htm>). Their debut self-titled
album (Tandem Records (Ireland) EKGCD002, 1997) is comprised of twelve
progressive and traditional Celtic-flavoured tracks featuring the stunning
lead vocal work of Jenny Schaub. She has been praised by Rock 'n Reel
for her vocal work, being called "a primetime Sandy Denny." Clearly
the traditional sounding track "Waltz For My Father" illustrates
her vocal dexterity.
West Of Eden are from Gothenburg, Sweden. The group was
formed in 1995 by four friends that had a desire to play Irish music. West
Of Eden combine the musical language of traditional Celtic music with their
own more pop-oriented background. Instrumentally West Of Eden mix electric
guitars, keyboards, drums and bass with traditonal instruments like whistles,
fiddle, accordian and mandolin. The result is a progressive Celtic sound,
certain to please those with traditional as well as contemporary preferences.
Further information about the band, images and soundbites are available
at their website.
The ballad "Shamrock Hotel" opens the album. Jenny's stunning
vocal is accompanied by a lovely piano melody and a calling whistle part. "This
Piece Of Earth" is a new age Celtic combination arranged with lots
of strings and brightly sung lead vocal. Certain to please many audiences
is the track "High Ground," a contemporary track with crystalline
vocals that rise above shimmering well-arranged instrumentals. "Hide
and Seek" and "Where The Ivy Is Growing" are both soothing
traditionally-rooted ballads enriched with bass and lovely harmonies.
"Raising O'Malley's Barn" is a moving traditional Celtic pop
crossover track with excellent instrumental arrangements with lead vocals
sung by Martin Schaub. He also sings the contemporary and well-arranged
ballad "Ripperton Road" and upbeat folk tune backed by mandolin
entitled "Common Wonders." "I Don't Care" is a traditional
folk song with lots of accordian and whistle led by Jenny's vocals.
Crisp percussion and rich symphonic orchestration back Jenny in the hymn-like
track entitled "King" and the contemporary Celtic piece "Endless
Sea." Both are very memorable and highlight the band's virtuousity.
West Of Eden's debut self-titled album is a wonderful combination of traditional
and contemporary Celtic crossover music by a talented group of musicians.
The majority of their tracks are highly memorable and several are awe inspiring.
The album is available from the group's website and local distributors
in various territories. Worthy of further exploration and a long distance
journey, the album is a very nice listen!
- Musical Discoveries