Ciara Sidine is a singer/songwriter and unlike many people who write their own material she is an intriguing and gifted singer with a supple, wonderful voice. The album’s song are all Ciara’s own with the exception of opening track, the traditional Riding Home. This and the album’s closer, the acoustic Sleepy Eyes are produced by Ciara and guitarist Conor Byrne whose playing shines throughout the album. Otherwise production is well-handled by Martin Clancy.
The moods of the songs varies from the intense and atmospheric Mercy Moon through the more traditional Constellations High, a duet with Jack L to the nostalgic feel of The Arms of Summer. Ciara is exceptionally able to convey emotion and tension with her voice, while always remaining pitch perfect – something many singers simply cannot do.
Although it is a first album Shadow Road Shining is a fully developed mature work which is engaging, incredibly musical (there are a lot of albums out there that aren’t, believe me) and one which becomes better and better the more you listen.
My only reservations are with the running order, but this is totally personal. Ciara Sidine has made a really good album and I can only hope it is the first of many.