Meilir : Arabella EP2014
First, before we take the thing out of its card slip, it is a marvellous cover - just a piano picture, but the image, text and composition make you feel a moment of fleeting reverence as you hold it.
Then the music. This is Meilir's third release. The debut EP Bydd Wych was released in 2009 - experimental, fragile songs that retain a strong sense of melody and frame Meilir's slightly other-worldly vocals; Misshaped in particular is a perfectly realised song full of fraught longing. Cellar songs, another EP, followed in 2011 - just as good; you have no idea what half the noises are in the soundscapes, or why it all works - but from start to finish it is utterly enthralling to listen to.
Shorter than its predecessors Arabella is a single, released in 2014 (and due for re-release 11.07.16), with three songs:
The title track, Arabella, is piano driven pop; a slightly off kilter Roxy Music, a straight forward love song lyric that somehow suggests at the same time you'd better not look under the patio.
Next opens with an acoustic guitar and delicate voice, then a sombre marching drum beat and multi-layered vocals - just dazzling.
Spero is a quieter piano song with a lovely descending melody about isolating despair, with a repeated raw refrain of 'Why worry when joy surrounds me'.
Meilir's songs - their impact, composition and the sheer emotional honesty they convey - are animated, human and quite extraordinarily good.
MEILIR I Arabella