I have known Eamonn musically for a few years, and now that the Irish artist has joined the Real Music label he has really upped his game. On Celtic Skies Karran has gone right back to his roots. Celtic Skies is a slice of real quality. Take a listen to “Irish Skies” with Erin Kelly on vocals. Here we are gifted a track that not only has true emotion, but a real passionate love for the homeland built into the arrangement, and Karran’s delicacy on the piano is so deeply moving.
“New Life” is a composition that seems to float around you like a new dawn in early September, full of potential, but calming and sensitive in every aspect. Karran has a way with the piano that few have; he caresses the keys with a tenderness that is beautiful to feel.
The longest track off the album is called “As One.” More beautiful vocals can be found here and the Irish vibe and lilt are in full swing. There is a real sense of a oneness of souls in this wonderful composition. The percussion here gives a slight military feel that ushers forth a real sense of movement. And also listen carefully to the keyboards as they bring in a soft background vista for us all to explore.
The dark and emotive “Boy Buries Mother” is now upon us. I found this deeply moving and emotional, and I would defy you not to be moved by this piece, as well. Karran has respectfully arranged a song of great quality from the lyrical hand of singer songwriter Dylan Walshe. We can also take our hats off to Emma Lusby for her angelic vocals on this piece.
A subject I have a keen interest in is up next and called “Ley Lines.” Interestingly enough my house in Paphos Cyprus is upon the only one on the whole Island - no wonder we have such good energy here. Eamonn Karran has created something here that is very special. As I write, the sun filters in through my studio window and the tones from this calming and meditative track float around the room in a perfect state of ambience. This is one of my favorites off the album. Trust me when I say, you will never grow tired of this one and will want to play over and over.
Now for a real change in direction, the pipes are calling us on “Wildflowers.” I really enjoyed every second of this one. The arrangement, vocals and depth of composition were simply stunning, and one could easily imagine running through green valley’s carpeted with a myriad of colorful wildflowers.
The curiously entitled “Call of Hy-Brasil” is up next. The tempo of this piece is beyond blissful. I adored this track which has a slight global feel to it, but not one that detracts from the core element of the album. This is also a remarkable track in other ways, too. As you listen carefully to it, you may very well find an amazing depth and vastness about its arrangement that makes it so very appealing. This is one wonderfully composed song.
Next up, a classic New Age styled piece entitled “Lost Souls.” This takes me back to an earlier era of New Age music, and I have to say, it is so wonderful to hear music like this again. Listen for the shift in energy at just over one and a half minutes; the percussion kicks in to add an extra layer and dimension which is totally appreciated by my ears.
“Ocean” is our next piece for consideration, and utilizes the skills of Robert Peoples on violin. But before we get to that point in the song, we get to sample some of the most heartfelt piano playing you are ever likely to hear. Karran is the ultimate empathic performer, adding Peoples on violin was a stroke of sublime genius. I live near the ocean and this track will suit my sunset perambulations along the coast perfectly.
Now for something a little mysterious entitled “Curse of Glenveagh.” I am always a sucker for music that has that motif of minor chords and a theme of the supernatural, and once more violin master Peoples creates layer upon layer of suspense with his instrument that almost breaks into a reel at times. The percussive magic used on this was incredibly powerful and immensely addictive, as well.
On “From Afar” Karran has composed an ending to a film soundtrack styled piece. Surely this has to be the melody as the credits roll and the tears fall gently from the eyes, as the story is completed. This is beautifully written, and adding a layer of symphonic mastery into the mix, as well, only endeared this track to me further.
Our penultimate piece is called “Brokenhearted.” Sweet lyrics and soft vocals bring us a song that is guaranteed to move you. Once again the pipes are back as Karran’s piano seems to almost dance together with them. The care and attention that Karran has obviously taken on this piece is here for all to recognize.
So we come once again to the end of another musical journey. The last track is called “Late Night Piano” and contains the lush and beautiful orchestration of a dear friend of mine, Craig Karolus. Karran’s decision to include one of the finest symphonic keyboard players around is yet another stroke of supreme musical intellect. This is the most ultimate ending album style piece that you ever could wish for.
Celtic Skies from Eamonn Karran shows just how much Karran has grown since I last spoke to him on the phone when we did an interview for his first self-released CD back in 2012. That title was eventually added to and remixed, and released in 2014 on the Real Music label as Distant Sun. I never had any doubt he would make it and now, with Celtic Skies, he has built on his previous two releases with Real Music and shown what an amazing talent he truly is. If you’re a fan of the Celtic genre this is a must for you, but if you like to hear really good music, arranged, produced and performed exceptionally, do your ears a favor and buy this album as quickly as you can.