Release Date: Out Now
Northern Irish singer-songwriter Eilis Phillips is currently based in the UK doing a PhD in nineteenth-centurty monstrosity and folklore but she also has a fervent interest in all things interplanetary. Both of these passions come out to play on her new EP ‘Moon Heart’ which kicks off with the hopeful and upbeat strum of ‘Boneshaker’ which shows off Phillips’ voice as the melodious and folk infused instrument that it is. On ‘Moon Hearted Bird’ the pace is slowed down to a more introspective and Fleetwood Mac-esque sway as the gentle acoustic notes ripple and float with an almost pagan energy through some sort of season defining ceremony.
I can’t imagine there are many songs out there called ‘Malcolm’ (or Colin or Kevin for that matter) but Phillips is nothing if not knowing of her own mind and the dreamy, twilight vocals that are somewhere between the whimsy of Kate Bush and the harmonies of Wildwood Kin are that rose by any other name that we so often hear of. I had to Google ‘Bellerophon’ but it turns up he was the son of Poseidon, famous for riding Pegasus and defeating a fire breathing monster called Chimera – not the kind of lyrical theme you’d get from Justin Bieber I’d wager. Phillips, of course, knows her subject matter but also knows how to create a real sense of history with a sombre cello and gentle acoustic picking giving her ethereal voice space to float and roam.
Now, I Googled ‘Maru’ as well but all I got was information about Scottish cats so I’m not sure I’m on the right track here. Regardless, this closing track is a gentle, beachy shuffle that speaks of the endings in its vibe – perfect to soundtrack the last night of a holiday or the first day after a break up. Phillips is one of those artists that could easily rattle out a bunch of songs and they would be lovely without trying but these are infused with stories, information and a real sense of something magical and you don’t need a PhD to recognise that. Sorry.