In today's world where almost anyone can record and release their music it's harder and harder to find a real quality. Artists who aren't trying to copy anybody, remain themselves yet bring something unique. This is exactly the case of Reid Jamieson from Vancouver, Canada. The songwriter and his wife Carolyn Victoria Mill write and perform together, their first album as a duo, entitled Juniper's Kitchen, was released in 2014 after 12 years in the making. Now they're back with the latest offering called Me Daza which is a Cork slang for "most excellent." The album was recorded in Schull, west Cork in Ireland with producer Kieran Kennedy (Maria Doyle Kennedy). Reid and Carolyn wrote all the songs, except Don't Go Down which was written by the late Fergus O'Farrell (Interference) and Glen Hansard (The Frames). The themes on the album range from loving a woman during and after "The Change", Ireland's abortion referendum, to coping with mental illness, social media and overcoming it all.
From the first chords of the opening song, Evergreen, the listener is taken to a different world. The world of imagination, the world of magic. Whether intentional or not, you can hear certain Celtic influence. Overall, the track is an atmospheric composition and Carolyn Victoria Mill's vocal adds another mystical layer to it. Intriguing and without doubt something that makes you eagerly anticipate another discovery as you move through the album.
Enough is a gentle ballad showcasing Jamieson's vocal in its full range and also showing these two artists as skillful writers of touching yet powerful songs that contain a message and one has to think about what he's listening to.
."...just the way you are has always been enough for me..."
Circles is probably the catchiest of this collection. Do you know those songs that get into your head and you keep singing them even without realizing it? Or when you even wake up with the song in your head? This is one of them. One of those demanding complete attention right from the start and when you find out what the song says you maybe surprised that there is something more serious hidden behind seemingly cheerful facade.
We mentioned Don't Go Down in the introduction to this review. It's the only cover on this album but a well-chosen one. It posthumously features the voice of Fergus O'Farrell and gives the whole song a haunting and very special feel. The lyrics resonate with you long after the song ends. It shows the power of O'Farrell's (and Hansard's) songwriting. In this case we feel the need to mention - without any intention of comparing - that Reid Jamieson reminds us very much of O'Farrell's style, songwriting-wise. Carefully crafted lyrics that carry a message within.
" When I'm up against a turning tide and everything starts to twist inside, won't go down on my knees, gonna let it ride over me..."
The aforementioned Celtic influence is most evident in the closing track of the album, Lullaby for the Lost. Mostly instrumental piece creates that evocative atmosphere and when there is Reid's vocal he sounds like a forest fairy casting a spell on us. Doesn't get more Irish than that.