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Julie Fowlis: Gach Sgeul (Machair Records)

Can Julie Fowlis, like Scotland's tourism industry, enjoy a Brave bounce? no doubt, but even as her name becomes more globally known, the Hebridean singer heads in the opposite direction, back to North Uist, to sift through her home island's traditions for this fourth album, the first to be released since she appeared on the soundtrack of the Disney Pixar movie.

The song styles, as much as the arrangements themselves, deliver plenty of variety, as Fowlis weaves a rich tapestry of work songs, folk tales, lullabies, dances and mouth music. In the period since 2009's Uam, she has completed a Masters Degree in Gaelic culture, which has clearly informed her choices here, although her connection to the songs remains personal, never academic.

One of the best things about Fowlis's previous albums is the fact she always leaves space for her fellow musicians to play (well, you would if you had the likes of Duncan Chisholm,Ewen Vernal and Michael McGoldrick to hand) while also branching out into different instrumental terrains. Here, instead of the a capellas and voice/pipes duet of Uam, the warm embrace of RANT's four fiddles, halfway between the bothy and the concert hall, provides an alternative musical highpoint.

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