Title - 'Angel'
Artist - Elan Catrin Parry
For those not in the know, and in some very exciting news, 15-year-old Elan Catrin Parry has landed a major record deal with the same label as Katherine Jenkins re: Decca Classics.
Signed to Decca after being spotted during an Eisteddfod singing competition, Parry is, believe it or not, the first female Welsh singer to be signed by Decca since the aforementioned mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins 15 years ago - the same year Elan was born!
The Ysgol Morgan Llwyd pupil is a keen Welsh speaker and singer and has been competing since she was four years old in Eisteddfod singing contests. Indeed, as aforementioned, last year, Elan was a finalist in her category which is where she was spotted by Decca executives.
Her debut single, "Anfonaf Angel" - or "Guardian Angel" in English - was previously performed by tenor Rhys Meirion, but here Parry gives it a softer edge to lead off the album of 13 new tracks (that also includes the bonus track of "My Guardian Angel" sung in English).
1. "Anfonaf Angel"
2. "See Upon Your Path"
3. "My Lagan Love"
4. "Can Annie"
5. "Wild Mountain Thyme"
6. "Calon Lan"
7. "Windmills Of My Mind"
9. "Morning Has Broken"
10. "Bright Eyes"
11. "Scarborough Fair"
12. "Dros Gymru'n Gwlad"
13. "My Guardian Angel" (Bonus Track)
This wondrous debut album, Angel features both English and Welsh songs and being as vocal as she is, the teenager is always happy to relate about how passionate she is about continuing the linage of Welsh choral music and keeping the tradition alive.
"I've always sung in Welsh and it's something that comes naturally. It is my generation's responsibility now to bring it forward."
As noted, the album begins in fine style with the Welsh-sung Arwyn "Anfonaf Angel," and is backed seamlessly by both the upbeat, poppy Coulais "See Upon Your Path" and then the Traditional "My Lagan Love."
"Can Annie" is a Welsh take on John Denver's beautiful "Annie's Song," and that's backed by Traditional takes on both "Wild Mountain Thyme" and "Calon Lan," before Dusty Springfield's elegant "Windmills Of My Mind" (Legrand).
The traditional American folk song "Shenandoah" is next, but (for me, personally) it's the following pairing of both "Morning Has Broken" and "Bright Eyes" that makes this album soar. The former, done in Traditional style, is the well-known Christian hymn (and one that was popularized by Cat Stevens), the latter is a rather glorious Art Garfunkel cover.
Continuing on with that particular artist theme, Parry's Traditional version of Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair" has to be heard to be believed, and that's followed elegantly by the Sibelius of "Dros Gymru'n Gwlad." The album then comes to a close with the Arwyn English version of "My Guardian Angel," as a delightful bonus track.
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