Kim Edgar

The Ornate Lie

(Quietly Fantastic)

Before sharing the collective spotlight with The Burns Unit, Kim Edgar released Butterflies And Broken Glass, one of the best but most overlooked Scottish albums of the century so far. If anything, she outdoes herself with its follow-up. Piano is at the heart of Edgar's writing, and writing is the strength of her music: this is a songwriter and arranger who is accumulating a body of work that, as her label says, is quietly fantastic. The sheer artistry of her work is obvious from the start, as big keyboard chords form dark clouds behind the delicate light of Edgar's vocals on A Poppy Blossoms. Elsewhere, A Favour From The Sea is heart-stopping in its simplicity whereas the title track is huge in its melody and musical scope. Edgar also takes a fresh look at Burns Unit collaboration Blood, Ice & Ashes, calling in the talents of Corrina Hewat and half of Mr McFall's Chamber for a haunting harp and string quartet arrangement – a thing of beauty from our very own Tori Amos.

Alan Morrison