Cara Dillon – Hill of Thieves (Charcoal Records)
When I put this CD into my laptop, iTunes told me it was a pop record. I can’t really see how that applies to this album other than perhaps it might be popular amongst the folk community. I’m not really sure what the function of folk music is anymore, I think it is mainly a stylistic tag, but, I would call this album a ‘folk album’ if I had to categorize it: it sounds and feels very much ‘in the tradition.’
It’s important that this kind of music is still written and recorded because it has the echoes of our musical history and culture in it, and some people forget about our great folk past; Nick Drake is among the very few British folk artists that are still played by young listeners.
The brilliance of this album is that Cara Dillon doesn’t forget her Irish roots. But at the same time, certain tracks, such as the sublime ‘The Parting Glass’, have more modern song-writing influences, and she starts to sound like Dido – but without the pop sensibilities.
This album may be too traditional for some: it would probably be better to describe it as easy listening… that sounds more appealing than folk, these days.