Album Review - Ailie Robertson / Little Lights

Ailie Robertson dispels some of the myths associated with the harp on her new solo album called Little Lights.  With Tim Edey on guitar and accordion and Natalie Haas on cello they push the boundaries of what a harp can, or should be.  They experiment with the natural harp resonance through the use of pedals and other plug-in effects.  The opening La Valse á Huit Ans, a French waltz exploits harp and accordion with typical French flair. La Gueussinette featuring Haas is a beautiful tune by Quebecois band Raz-de-Marée

Robertson pushes the rhythmic and percussive elements of the harp to reveal a voice that is seldom heard from such an instrument. Edey’s mellow approach on tracks like The Fairy Queen reveals a pairing of instruments that works to great effect.  At times he leads with a strong melody line and lets Ailie provide accompaniment, then their roles reverse with Ailie once again taking command. This is an album that reveals much about the role and musical scope of the harp in traditional music. Artists like Ailie Robertson are starting to explore some new ground and Little Lights is leading the way.  A wonderfully adventurous outing.

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