All My People
[Self Released/ Rush Hour]
Maria Somerville is a source of no small fascination within the domestic music scene. Perhaps it’s the otherworldly, oblique and deeply affecting nature of her quasi-ambient transmissions? Maybe it’s the relative scarcity of her released output? Whatever it is, Somerville has maintained a genuine, wholly unpretentious, sense of mystery over the course of the last few years.
So, considering the alluring inscrutability that has characterised her work to this point, the release of Somerville’s debut LP, All My People, feels like a coming out moment of seismic proportions. Hype wouldn’t be called hype if it was delivered on with any degree of regularity, yet Somerville’s maiden collection of ethereal excellence delivers on the years of slow-boiling promise with aplomb. From the moment the inviting drone and restrained thump that form the backbone of opener Eyes Don’t Say give way to layer upon layer of Somerville’s cooed vocals; the arrival of a major talent is acutely palpable. Whereas some records bang you over the head with their greatness, the seven tracks that make up Somerville’s debut reveal their majesty with pleasingly organic graduality. Starting small, they gently expand to reveal their latent elegance like an unfurling orchid.
All My People is a triumph of holisticism, best enjoyed as an immersive and therapeutic auditory salve. Despite the record’s success as a whole, each track side steps devolving into a pale imitator of its neighbours. It’s early days, but All My People looks an early frontrunner for 2019’s most essential Irish release.
Words – Danny Wilson
Like This? Try These:
Grouper – Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
Cat’s Eyes – Treasure House
Pram – Across the Meridian