Wolcum Yule: Celtic and British Songs and Carols
Anonymous 4, a female vocal quartet, has created best-selling albums of austere yet lovely music. This time, with warmhearted grace, the quartet transforms and contours its vocals into something more like four anonymous village girls, whose childlike voices serenade you outside your window. The quartet sings both familiar and long-forgotten English, Irish and Scottish Christmas songs and carols. Much of this album balances the warmth of hearth and home with a winter-tinged inner contemplation. Oftentimes, the group features various solos and suddenly joins into a choir you’d swear contained many more than four voices. Add the golden tones of harpist Andrew Lawrence-King, and you have an album that simply imparts sheer beauty far beyond the usual mix of familiar yuletide tunes.