With an extraordinary voice, and equally extraordinary lyrics, Emily Kellam has made one of the best albums that I’ve heard in a long time. Her love of Celtic mythology, and her involvement in The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) have led her to write songs that draw from those two sources. While I’m not a member of the SCA, and thus much of the things that are obvious to them aren’t to me, I vastly enjoyed it because with this great breadth of influences there is something to appeal to all.
A favorite of the fourteen tracks is Poachers, a joyful song of those poaching on William the Conquerer’s land. My favorite song is an a cappella rendition of Come and Be Welcome. The song has long been my favorite song since hearing Heather Dale’s version, and it is a treat to hear the writer sing it. The lyrics set the tone for the album, in particular “You can thunder the heavens to raise up an army, or simply bring laughter and peace with a song” for a strong theme running through the album is the aspects of war from the honor and glory of it into the great loss.
The very catchy Foot To Ground and Warharvest give voice to the reaping glory in battle. Another brilliant song is the chipper Soldier Boy about a young girl waiting for her lover to come home which then has its flip-side in the loss of loved one to war in Morning Dove (“But a glorious death is a death just the same”). Washer at the Ford, which continues the theme of loss, tells a tale of a young woman’s encounter with a bean nighe. Lastly, is Waves On The Shore which gives the album its name, and tells of the various invasions of Britain and Ireland.
Kellam calls this a snapshot of her early style of singing and writing. But between her vocals, and writing, and Heather Dale’s great contribution with her vocals and production, it’s a more than presentable work. At present, it is only available through contacting Kellam herself, but it is well worth it.