Bùmarang Echo Land Fallen Tree Records
Canada’s well-known for their power trios, Rush, Triumph, and Lafleur-Lemaire-Shutt being but the three most famous. Now out of Monteal comes Bùmarang, a powerhouse of Celtic energy and nuance.
The history of the Celts isn’t a quaint one, and their music reflects centuries of turmoil, conflict, and survival. Bùmarang—Sarah Pagé (harp, vocals, harmonium, and bouzouki,) Kate Bevan-Baker (violins and vocals,) and David Gossage (flute, whistle, and guitar)—reflect the dichotomy of struggle and joy often found within Celtic sounds, and do so in a manner that is fresh and energy-laden.
As with most modern folk music, the influences of world music (whatever that means), jazz, chamber, and post-50s folk are evident in that of Bùmarang. Echo Land plays like an ideal summer festival set (ahh, how we long for a hot summer’s day surrounded by noisy talkers and the wandering clueless)—lay back and listen a bit to “Single Girl” (the album’s most familiar song, perhaps) or one of the other-worldly instrumentals (“Weasel” and “Road to Shigawake” are recommended,) and you’ll soon feel the sun warming your face and reddening your nose.
“Perry Merry,” including a bit of “Cumberland Gap,” is another appealing piece, as are “Shot of Jamie” and “Searching for Lambs,” one of a few songs featuring Kevin Laing (Besnard Lakes) on drums. Also Monteal-based, Leif Vollebekk fleshes a pair of numbers with guitar and Moog. “Mullingar Lea Set” is a number that will transport the keen listener.
I’m no Celtic music expert, but I know what I like. And I quite love Bùmarang’s wee debut, a fair shock of musical love.