Emma Langford: Sowing Acorns review – Limerick folk singer growing in stature

The RTÉ Folk Award winner’s second album is bristling with insight and truth

Sowing Acorns
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Artist: Emma Langford
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: Self-Released

Three years ago, Co Limerick songwriter Emma Langford released her debut album, Quiet Giant, which introduced a talent so blindingly obvious that a year later she nabbed the Best Emerging Artist trophy at the inaugural RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards. In the interim period, Langford has staked a claim on being the busiest bee in the colony with a veritable relentless sequence of live shows, video-making, and other smart examples of collaborative work.

She has, of course, also found time to look inwards, and so if her debut was mostly about finding her feet and trying to see the wood for the trees, then Sowing Acorns sees her stand firmly on the ground with a look on her face that suffers no fools. We know this for certain because one song is called You Are Not Mine (This Song Isn’t about You, You Lying Bollix).

Shrivelling former friends with an icy stare is only part of what we have here, however. An empathetic preoccupation with levels and shades of emotional liability form the spine of the album. From inner potency (Birdsong) and anguish (The Winding Way Down to Kells Bay) to self-purpose (A Song for My Younger Self – ‘her voice was broken so I sing aloud’) and autonomy (Mariana), Langford delivers a baker’s dozen of warm but crunchy folk/pop songs, each one bristling with insight and truth.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture