Joy Shannon and the Beauty Marks
hail from Long Beach, CA and are formed by an ensemble of musicians, fronted by Joy's beautiful opera-trained vocals
accompanied by harp, cello and other myriad of instruments. Focusing on Celtic folk music they have released a number of albums over the years with the release of
in late 2013 being their latest work.
The Oracle - Review
While this is our first introduction to this talented ensemble, this is actually the band's fifth studio album.
This has been a great introduction to this artist and I regret not hearing about her sooner, especially since she's a local artist here in S. California and
I end up hearing about her through this release on Kalinkaland Records
out of Geramny! It's been great listening to this album and also catching up
on previous works including a number of music videos all found and featured on the website listed below. With this album we're presented with a dozen
sweet, simple and beautiful pieces that Celtic music fans will really enjoy.
The album starts off haunting with a minor key and simple broken chords on the harp with "Morrigan". This haunting piece sets the tone for the album somewhat,
though as we move along the music isn't quite so dark and brooding, but brightens up a bit throughout while still maintaining the beautiful minimalistic style.
As a huge fan of Celtic music, especially with an emotional and ethereal twist to it, much of this album really stands out as a great selection of new classics
which listeners have been enjoying on our Ethereal radio show in the past few months. A few that have quickly become favorites definitely include those
with a solid Celtic style, such as "The Parting Glass" which comes near the beginning of the album. The ballad-like lyrics are shared through the beautiful
lilting soprano over the sweetly layered cello and harp with the occasional backing vocals adding some nice texture. "The Coat" picks up in similar fashion
as another great piece on this album, keeping the picturesque imagery of a visionary quester beginning an adventurous journey through life. This concept and
style remains strong across several beautiful tracks like the spell-binding "Dreams", the soft and sweet "Everything You Are" which has become a definite
favorite on this album.
The artist definitely has some great influences ranging from J.R.R. Tolkien
's The Lord of the Rings
as portrayed across the
hauntingly beautiful tracks like "Ophelia" and "Faramir" as noted in the liner notes on the disc, but also maybe not so directly, but still the general feeling
remains with some of the aforementioned pieces. All of these elements from all of these songs really come together for a beautifully haunting, full and complete
album. Fans of some of the simpler classics from Dead Can Dance
fronted by Lisa Gerard
will definitely relate and enjoy these pieces. The prominent
Celtic style definitely stands out throughout the album that fans will love and enjoy.