Sophie Ramsay, The Seas Between Us. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

It often only takes a gentle reminder, the sway of a musician’s performance to remember what is deep in your bones and in your soul, that the infectious delight they spread by performing music that is heritage, a long and distinguished inheritance that outweighs anything that comes from the banal and repetitively dull, is something that will stir the conscious and play havoc with the heart.

The Seas Between Us, the new album by Sophie Ramsay, is the turn of the Scots and Gaelic Songs that many quite rightly find inspiring and part of their natural appreciation for the words that come over in modest and unpretentious style, yet they are part of a crowning glory that seeks to affirm the beauty carried over by instruments such as the fiddle, mandolin, lowland pipes and the cello. Swept along by Ms. Ramsay’s extraordinary voice and the delicate sounds of the piano, Matheu Watson, Fraser Fifield, Jim Rattigan, Ben Cashell and the wonderful surprise of finding Findlay Napier’s voice tucked in between the covers as if pulling back on the humble spread even further, The Seas Between Us engulf the listener with care and attention.

There is so much resonance, the feeling of the unassailable and positive that flows outwards that listening to the music is like stepping underneath a waterfall and allowing the water to cleanse your soul completely; it is the finality of life mixed with the infinite wisdom of birth rolled together and Sophie Ramsay welds those two states of conscious together firmly and with virtue.

In songs such as The Burning of Auchnindoun, By Yon Castle Wa’, the stunning The Dowie Dens Of Yarrow and the exceptional ballad of My Love’s In Germanie, Sophie Ramsay reaches into the waterfall and gently bathes you clean, she reminds you that it is only water, that The Seas Between Us is purely that, water under the bridge and it only takes a handshake across the ravine to remember what we share is far more than what divides us.

An album of natural and delicate rememberance, The Seas Between Us is such that it guides us to a time when music was simple, jargon free and it is something that should be celebrated more.

Ian D. Hall