After ten years of playing together and a lifetime of getting to know one another, the Gothard Sisters collaborative process and eclectic style has evolved into a jubilant live performance, full of entertaining sibling-banter, Irish step-dancing, foot-stomping tunes, lyrical melodies, storytelling, and a genuine lightness of heart that leaves audiences feeling refreshed and inspired, coming from essentially the Seattle, WA area, but touring extensively around the U.S. and into parts of Europe as well. Their new album – Midnight Sun, is a magnum opus of 12 songs they can be proud of and so can their fans.
“Jubilant” would also be a good word to describe their artistic studio performance on this album, as well as their live stage presence. “Midnight Sun” is the title track which gets the album off and running with something only true music lovers can fully appreciate, and the rest are there to musically educate but not in any over-clinical way. They just happen to make anyone, including musicians, double take their own musical skills in the entire process of what they do. They are no new girls on the block, they are at the top of their game and one of the industry’s best kept secrets to those who’ve never heard them.
“Against The Grain” weighs in without vocals and it’s a blazing instrumental song with an assortment of string instruments on display. This holds up to anyone to be found playing Celtic music in 2018, it’s that perfect in all its splendid glory. The excellence of such a tune can only be complemented by the next song, with “Wandering” being another soothing listening experience. It’s purely medicinal music and that’s putting it mildly. It’s clearly about the life of a traveler, but there’s more worth looking into that on what some of the songs are about in the grand scheme of it all.
More violins just sizzle through the entirety of “Hummingbird” with another monumental effort at conveying their musical spirits with an instrumental that would impress anyone. This is the most intricate track on the Midnight Sun album. As where “Mermaids” keeps to their traditional understanding of folk music, with a Pop essence to it. But it sticks to the classical script, with some of the album’s best lyrics. They get a little darker on this track, but it’s about staying safe from a big storm. It’s a very colorful track with everything the Gothard Sisters are well-known for.
After making it through the looming storm, “Elderflower March” answers back with some exquisite string-play on another instrumental to die for. These aren’t pedestrian songs, nor are they produced that way. It’s all fireworks on this album full of superior songwriting, singing and playing by three professional sisters who know their craft inside out by now, and I would be they can do it on autopilot and still bring a magical result. And don’t forget to check out New Age pianist and composer, Michele McLaughlin’s collaboration with the sisters on “When The Rain Falls,” which is one of the album’s featured tracks. You get all that and more, on the glorious Midnight Sun album.