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Brigid Mae Power – Dream from the Deep Well (Fire Records)

30 June 2023

Time passes slowly on the enthralling fourth album from Ireland’s Brigid Mae Power, but don’t mistake her leisurely pace for a lack of intensity. Suggesting a modern incarnation of Sandy Denny, the quietly dazzling Dream from the Deep Well matches her beautifully pensive voice with a fine set of mostly original tunes that echo traditional music, yet feel grounded in the present. “Maybe It’s Just Lightning” comforts a troubled child, while “Counting Down” balances the obligations of a traveling performer’s life with the demands of motherhood, observing, “I’m considering a new career / But all I can do is play music by ear.” Power dismisses the “classist bait” of politicians on “I’ll Wait Outside for You,” acidly noting, “No matter how you doll it up / I still feel the hate,” and offers a breathtaking cover of Tim Buckley’s heartbreaking “I Must Have Been Blind.” Although her elegant version of folk music features subtle touches of everything from mellotron and violin to trumpet and steel guitar, Power would be just as compelling performing a cappella. She’s that commanding.