Fan Review by Andrew O’Kane

“This EP is nothing less than beautiful. Eilis’ voice, whilst having a folksy timbre, has an understated power and magnetism that draws you in and gets into your psyche. The five songs on this disc will melt your heart and replay in your soul. The voice is redolent of Maggie Reilly, Maddy Prior, Joan Baez and Kate Bush. But the style is her own, and it is effortless and natural. George Sloan enhances the soundscape with light touch percussion and haunting harmonies on the cello. The backing vocalists complement Eilis so well that it sounds as if she may have cloned herself.  Every song is driven rhythmically by the lead vocal. The only guitar I can hear is the author’s own bass. Delightfully hard to categorise, this dark-folk opus has a rock sensibility not far below the surface. It is a gem.

“The opening track (Boneshaker) is the author’s feminist declaration of independence. Any man that tries to own her or control her will be shown the door. If you can’t see galaxies in her eyes, you had better move along. The author is an explorer of ideas, emotions and self. A partnership of equals is not too much to ask, is it? Eilis’ brand of feminism is not the grating and dated white noise of a Germaine Greer but is the dignified demand for respect that we have seen from Rose Magowan, Jodie Whittaker and Benedict Cumberbatch. Yes, men can be feminists too. This song shakes me out of my complacency and challenges me to be better and do more.

“My favourite melody of the entire disc is the title track (Moon Hearted Bird). I cannot pretend to understand every reference in this song but that does nothing to lessen the emotional impact of the melody and the lyrics. A moon hearted bird flies tonight. A soul is released tonight. The one who is moon hearted is mystical, melancholic and free. Freedom requires sacrifice.

“Malcolm is an ode to Lieutenant Malcolm Reid, a bridge officer in Star Trek: Enterprise. He is a taciturn man of action; the kind of man you would want at your side heading into a phaser fight. He might be the author’s ideal man but alas he is fictional. The song is an atypical love song that keeps breaking down the fourth wall. The lover of Malcolm cannot settle on whether he is real or not. Perhaps this is a metaphor for love itself. When we are in love, the person we are in love with is often a caricature of the real person. Loving a fiction is less risky than loving a real person. The song has humour, pathos, love and longing. The author is an unclaimed treasure who never has been caught. She finds her ideal man only to realise that he is imaginary. But she is used to loving illusions. The heart yearns to glide rudderless. I love this line. It captures the universal longing to board a ship, hoist the sails, and journey wherever the winds take us. Falling in love is one such journey. Being single equally so. Heading, Captain? Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.”

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