Danielle Doyle The Cartographer’s Wife Self-released
The sender was Danielle Doyle, and her debut album is altogether stunning.
Why, then, take five months to write a review?
Very occasionally an album is so appealing, so entirely attractive that one doesn’t want to write about it for fear of over analyzing something that should simply be enjoyed; one risks listening to the music too often, too intently and having what once sounded other-worldly become common or routine.
Quite simply, however, I’ve listened to The Cartographer’s Wife is so many situations- as background music, while listening intensely and taking notes, while driving, working, and writing, and while falling asleep- and so often that I am only now confident that my words may be able to accurately capture the majesty of Danielle Doyle’s first recording. This is a masterful creation.
Unlike me, Doyle is a quick study once she sets her mind to something. These songs took years to develop, but were recorded in a three-day blitz. There is nothing about the recording that sounds rushed or undeveloped. Sonically, The Cartographer’s Wife sounds every bit as creative and expansive as Robert Plant’s recent tour de force Band of Joy.
Sure to appeal to fans of The Wailin’ Jennys, Doyle’s voice bears considerable similarity to Be Good Tanya Frazey Ford and especially the Jenny’s Ruth Moody; phrases and verses burst forth from Doyle’s lips like so many ripe, flavour-laden berries.
This is a successful and smooth blending of jazz-inspired roots music full of brushed percussion, beautiful guitar work, and original songs that breathe as living entities.
The subject matter isn’t all love and longing, although there is more than a fair measure of Doyle’s heart revealed amongst the ten tracks; relationships- their absence, their fruition, their complexities- is Doyle’s primary focus. Every song stands independently as a highlight, but “Salome” remains a personal favourite after all these weeks; a tale of murderous payback punctuated by simply fabulous musicianship, Doyle’s anti-hero buries her lover deep in the garden.
Woven together, the songs of The Cartographer’s Wife are a wonderful listening experience. It reveals its appeal immediately and its mysteries continually.
Go to http://danielledoylemusic.com/Music.html, and listen. Then, head off to CD Baby, iTunes, or Amazon, and buy the album.
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