Album Review | Shovel and Spade records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5
Produced by Michael Chapman, who sees his role not unlike that of a film director, in his pursuit of getting “more out of Sarah than she thinks is in the tank”, Sarah McQuaid’s fifth album showcases the Madrid-born, Chicago-raised singer songwriter’s idiosyncratic approach to song writing. The songs here are well thought through, highly measured and beautifully captured in all their moody splendour. Accompanying herself on both electric and acoustic guitar, with some piano and in one case, a totally percussion-based backdrop (“One Sparrow Down”), the dozen songs capture both her distinctive voice and her mature musicianship. The songs here cover a range of topics, such as mortality, or more importantly, what exactly is the most eco-friendly way of disposing of oneself after the Grim Reaper has made his inevitable house call. The subject matter of “Break Me Down” is perhaps something most of us would rather not think about – but probably should. There’s a couple of instrumentals, a medieval chant and a cover of Jeff Wayne’s memorable “Forever Autumn”, yet the album really focuses on some of Sarah’s most enchanting songs to date, including the first single release from the album, the ethereal “The Tug of the Moon”.