Ailie Blunnie: West to the Evening Sun – a total eclipse of the heart

Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 05:00


West To The Evening Sun

Ailie Blunnie

Happy Out Records

Singer / Songwriter

West to the Evening Sun is the debut album by Leitrim-born, Dublin-based singer Ailie Blunnie. Its 10 songs are mostly focused on exploring the psychological and emotional distances between those two places, and the myths of personhood and identity that such important locations cause to bloom in the mind. Blunnie’s songs are dynamic, full-spectrum works that rarely stay in one place for long. She layers her voice continually, and is given to sharp structural and stylistic transitions.

There is a precious, self-consciously “poetic” quality to the lyrics, and the breathless manner in which they are typically delivered, which is distinctly old-fashioned. It’s hard not to think of well-worn notebooks, scribbles of ink, moments of solitude. All very dear to the person responsible, but a touch fragile when thrust into contact with the wider world. 

It’s an especially difficult art, being open and vulnerable in song without appearing twee. Blunnie is giving everything here, throwing all she has at this project, but that’s what undoes her. West to the Evening Sun jumps through every hoop it can think of, constantly twisting into new shapes as it labours to impress, but none of its many ideas feel original or mysterious. For all its carefully crafted emotion, there’s little that leaves an indelible mark on the heart.