The Irish Times Ticket Magazine - Siobhán Long
I Won’t Go Home ’Til Morning
The benefits of reflection are evident on Sarah McQuaid’s second album. Here she shifts her focus from Irish traditional to the Appalachian music beloved of her late mother. McQuaid’s voice has evolved in texture as well, and she inhabits Loretta Lynn’s In the Pines with an ease that reflects her lifelong acquaintance with the songs of the high country. Her cover of Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe is particularly elegiac, the spare arrangements revealing the full impact of the winding storyline. Her own songwriting is beautifully spare, and Only an Emotion casts a weary eye on the embarrassment with which society deals with grief these days. Producer Trevor Hutchinson and guitarist Gerry O’Beirne bring a muted, perfectly pitched presence to what is a melancholy but somehow celebratory collection.
Download tracks: The Wagoner’s Lad, In the Pines