I’ve been talking up the Screaming Orphans a lot recently. But, it’s hard to describe these four sisters from Ireland without just bringing someone to the nearest Irish festival to see them live.
This Friday’s release, Life in a Carnival, is album number 14 for the band. It was recorded in London with producer John Reynolds (Sinead O’Connor, Damien Dempsey, Brian Eno, Robert Plant, David Byrne). The 12-tracks bend and blend genres as the multi-talented Diver sisters Angela (bass, violin, vocals); Joan (drums, vocals), Marie Thérèse (keys, accordion, vocals); and Gráinne (guitar, vocals) take us on a journey of musical emotions (don’t worry you’ll be smiling the whole time) and ignite a sunshiney mood that will launch us into festival season.
The Orphans always stick to their roots when they release albums showcasing their vocals and lyrical skills. Irish/traditional albums (like 2015’s Ballads Rule OK), filled with a perfect blend haunting fiddle tunes and upbeat reels, are a must for any new fans. But, pop-focused collections with original lyrics and a feel-good vibe like Life in a Carnival still give us a taste of their home in Donegal. With fiddles embracing each track and songs that tell stories, their Irish roots shine bright throughout (try “Guardian Angels”, “Someday”, “Raise Your Glass”).
Fan favorite “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by the Proclaimers sneaks into the Orphans’ 2017 trad-focused release, Taproom. Naturally, die-hards will fall in love with their even more upbeat and poppy version of the Turtles’ “Happy Together”, complete with a unique fiddle intro, on Life in a Carnival. Other standouts include “Ordinary Woman”, our new Women Power anthem (“don’t give up if you mess up, just rise above and then you’ll be strong enough”). I can picture audiences at Orphans’ shows this summer with fists raised and voices loud! And “1 2 3 4”, a song everyone needs to hear right now- we are all the same. Why fight? What is this all for? The message is simple and powerful. “Sunday Morning” highlights their sweet and smooth voices; calming even the hardest souls. It’s beautiful.
And then there’s “Scream”. It’s a perfectly fun, get-up-and-jump-around song to (sadly) end an album. You’ll have a blast listening to this. I’m head banging- nicely- as I write this. Encore please!
If you’re looking for something different, light and fresh, and full of musical thrills, meet the Screaming Orphans. Need something that will knock your socks off while helping you pull them back on? You’re in the right place.
I could go on and tell you all about these gals, but it’s easier to just see for yourself. The band will be in our area this June at the Penn-Mar Irish Festvial in Glen Rock on the 15th, and the Celtic Fling & Highland Games in Manheim on the 22nd and 23rd. Do. Not. Miss. Out…
And be sure to introduce yourself. They’ll love to meet you!
(Visit their website to learn more about the ladies and their Irish roots background).