A Winter Light: A Winter Light review – art-inspired music collective

A Winter Light
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Artist: A Winter Light
Genre: Alternative
Label: Bluestack Records

It's not often that you hear of an album being inspired by an art exhibition, but that was the case with A Winter Light, the 11-strong collective of musicians who have come together for the third time since 2009 to record an album.

Taking their moniker from a collection of visual art of the same name by Irish artist Mark Garry – also the brainchild behind the whole musical operation – musicians drawn from the Irish, UK and German music scenes congregated at Sligo's Model Gallery to record this 10-song collection. Some came with fully-formed ideas, others allowed the muse to direct them in the moment and the distinction is audible on most songs.

The haunting Son is a standout, channelling the 1970s British folk revival with its sparse, delicate acoustic framework and baleful harmonies. Changes uses piano and clarinet to tease a capricious jazz-addled soundtrack, while Nina Hynes – the best-known name among the collective – brings her offbeat DIY indie-pop sound to Raging Fire.

Elsewhere, the quality varies between "meandering atmospherics" and "self-indulgence", as heard on the discordant jumble of sounds that is Mirrors. Still, an interesting project, if not quite a fully-realised one. awinterlight.com

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. She writes about music and the arts for The Irish Times