January 19, 2022

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Album Assessment: Rhiannon Giddens’ They’re Calling Me Dwelling is a timely meditation on the comforts of property

3 min read

I explained to myself that I wouldn’t entertain pandemic adjacent albums. But, Rhiannon Giddens’ newest, recorded with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, has confirmed to be an exception. It helps that it’s not an album of music about sourdough and lockdowns. It also allows that it’s wonderful. 

They’re Calling Me Property is a well timed album, with pertinent themes, many thanks to its evocative exploration of the thoughts churned up because of to our collective problem. The twelve observe album revels in a sensation nostalgia – particularly a longing for the comforts of residence. There’s also the metaphorical “call home” of dying, which has come to be a tragic reality for significantly as well lots of this year. 

These overarching themes make this album very relatable and permits for a perception of connectivity. Giddens and Turrisi, might equally stay in Ireland when not on tour, but the pandemic has grounded them, like it has with so quite a few of us. As these types of, the two expats used their lockdown to investigate the new music of their indigenous and adoptive countries. So we locate common songs like “I Shall Not Be Moved” and “Waterbound” along with the Italian lullaby “Nenna Nenna”, and “Si Dolce è’l Tormento”. 

It’d been a couple of a long time due to the fact I’d properly sat down and listened to a Rhiannon Giddens history. But, I necessary only seconds of opening track “Calling Me Home” to be reminded of what a elegant voice she has. The monitor, which is composed by folk pioneer Alice Gerrard, allows Giddens a good deal of room to shine, and is the best opener and temper setter. Even though “Si Dolce è’l Tormento”, serves to remind the listener that Giddens is an opera singer by instruction. 

All in all They’re Calling Me Dwelling is superbly understated. There is the banjo, accordion and frame drums that have come to be characteristic of the duo’s audio. But then, they’ve also augmented that with viola, cello, as nicely as common Irish instrumental, particularly flute, whistle and pipes. All the things, on the other hand, is in company to the tunes by themselves. And, whilst the album may have been recorded throughout a small six day time period, absolutely nothing feels rushed or harried. Instead, the album seriously would seem to be sitting down in that sweet place: not way too polished, not far too uncooked but just correct. 

Inspite of the melancholy and sadness of a range of these music, They are Contacting Me Residence stays an album comprehensive of warmth and compassion. From time to time, there are moments the place it begins to feel a little bit maudlin but the pair take care of to change issues up on the subsequent keep track of. “Calling Me Home”, “Waterbound”, “Avalon”, “Black as Crow” and their excellent rendition of “Amazing Grace” are among the album’s highlights. There is, on the other hand, minor to disappoint in this article. 

Rhiannon Giddens

4 STARS (OUT OF 5)

Rhiannon Giddens new album with Franceso Turrisi, They’re Contacting Me Home, is out now on Nonesuch.

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