The Gothard Sisters are a dynamic group of three sisters, whose impressive array of talents have set them apart as one of the most refreshing and compelling acts in Celtic-roots music today. The sisters’ unpredictable and theatrical flair brings a youthful splash to the time-honored tradition of Celtic folk music, bridging the gap between classical, folk, Celtic, world and roots influences with a sunny, optimistic style that has been described as “beautifully arranged, melodic-minded Celtic folk-pop.” – Midnight Sun is their new CD, and it’s a long player with perfectly written and arranged pieces of ear candy.
This is not something you get every day, even in its field of folk, Celtic and other roots music, because it’s a cut above most you’ll hear out there creating in this genre which includes other categories but Gothard Sisters seem to have their own brand of it, and they’ve been at it long enough for anyone to see why they’re so good. They combine the traditional with the new but organic approach to lyrics and music by artists of this caliber. To call them “Pop” would be a stretch but adding the Celtic and Folk factor to that leaves their content well-described. Not to confuse them, but there’s no arguing the amount of talent here.
“Midnight Sun” itself, is the first track on the CD and it’s an enormously satisfying opener about their travels around the world. It sets the tone for what goes on the be a CD full of epic songs that contain no way to falter. Their voices are second to none and so are the musical arrangements behind them. It’s followed nicely by “Against The Grain” with a strong showing of their astonishing musical chops. It’s a great thing to wonder about how they equally match the high-end tonal quality of both their voices and music, and this particular-instrumental piece is a proving testament of it.
“Wandering,” “Hummingbird” and “Elderflower” along with the title track were all written when they traveled far and wide, so they are about the experiences they’d recently had. These numbers all check out with the same efforts, as every track on the CD does, but they’re threaded into the album’s overall lyrical subject matter, so they get mentioned together. And “Bells On The Hill” is an over the top CD highlight, being one of the most interestingly pleasant tracks on offer. This is where they get more heavy-handed and leave the rest up to your imagination on what is simply an all-around stunning track.
“Cat And The Fiddle” is a marvelously strung together tale with yet another grand result thanks to a mesmerizing amount of fiddle playing to define it all with a sense of humor and overall delicate vocals. Top marks go to this for everything about it. This is a track that embodies everything that is good about modern folk styling. Piano player and composer, Michel McLaughlin, makes an appearance on “When The Rain Falls,” adding her signature sound to the Gothard Sisters on one of the more enjoyable tracks on the CD.
“Rose, Marie and Heather” is the big faerie queen number that finds the sisters singing most pleasantly, and that winds the CD down to the percussive “Mazama Mornings” and the brutally fabulous closer “Colors Of Home.” Hat’s off to all on Midnight Sun.