Enya has been on my mind a lot lately, and not just because I’ve been listening to her stuff practically non-stop for three weeks, but because she has a new album coming out later this month. I pretty much live for new Enya albums. I was lucky enough to catch on to her in the early 90’s, so I was only a few albums late to the party. Thus, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of enjoying the suspenseful anticipation of five new albums, and lemme tell you, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – as gratifying as walking into a record store on the release date of a new Enya album and blasting it full volume in the car on your way home.
If you’re a fan of Enya, you know that she has a distinct sound. I own everything she has ever produced, but even if I didn’t, I’m pretty sure I could recognize something by Enya immediately. The haters try to say that all Enya songs sound the same, and you know, I can understand that sentiment, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. Enya is working in a medium, like how some artists work in oil or charcoal. The elements of her work are usually the same from piece to piece, but each piece is unique and masterful. I credit her melodies for this. She really is a genius when it comes to melody. They are all so simple and straight-forward, and yet sublime… it’s pretty amazing when you think about it. She is equally gifted when it comes to chord structures and harmonic motion, and I think that explains how she is able to make these melodies transcend their simplicity and bloom into grand musical gestures that send chills up and down my spine and maybe even make me cry.
A personal example of my deeply affectionate relationship with Enya’s music can be found in the song Angeles, from the album, Shepherd Moons.
I’m not usually one for superstition, but I’ve had a ritual with this song for as long as I’ve known about it, and it’s never let me down. I’ve listened to this song before many of the more trying moments in my life; when I’m anxious, nervous, stressed out beyond belief, really angry, terrified, you name it… I put on this song and just sit still and it centers me. The combination of the words and music is so incredibly peaceful and comforting… it’s kind of like a tranquilizer. All that said, I avoid this song if I’m sad, because one minute of it is like being pushed on to the train tracks of hysteria in front of a raging locomotive of doom and it’s a long way back from there, so it’s better just not to go there at all. You know?
Aaaanyway, here we are again, a new Enya album. It’s a winter-themed album, which is just so marvelously appropriate for Enya, I’m surprised she hasn’t done it before. Titled, And Winter Came, it was apparently conceived as a Christmas album, but as the work progressed became more of a seasonal collection about the cold, the death/life cycle, and the holidays in general. Why am I explaining this when Enya released an interview laying it all out for you? Do click here… it’s a fascinating interview and she’s so pretty, isn’t she?
The first single is called Trains and Winter Rains, and as usual, it’s breathtaking.
After the jump, a few more of my fav Enya tracks, just for kicks…
Book of Days from Shepherd Moons
China Roses from The Memory of Trees
Pigrim from A Day Without Rain
If I Could Be Where You Are from Amarantine