Emer Kenny’s hushed delivery and smoldering vocal intensity draw favorable comparison to The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan, a less flamboyant Björk and, perhaps most of all, elder countrywoman Sinéad O’Connor. Kenny’s third album, Parting Glass, further explores her Irish roots. Contemporary Celtic styles mingle with world music influences on self-penned songs such as the rousing instrumental “Emer’s Jig.”
Though the song itself may be a bit too familiar, Kenny’s take on English folk with “Scarborough Fair” is anything but ordinary. Her sound alternates between the veiled, glacial mystery of the Cocteau Twins’ Heaven or Las Vegas and the dense atmospherics of Daniel Lanois’ Shine. The Spanish guitar in the Gaelic-sung “Moll Dubh” plays like an old music box salvaged from Grandma’s attic.