Siobhan Miller is a remarkable singer. When she was 13 years old Siobhan (from Penicuik, near Edinburgh) made her singing debut at the Auchtermuchty Festival. She won both the children’s and women’s competitions. Siobhan Miller never arrives anywhere quietly.
Recently Siobhan’s soulful and stirring renewal of traditional song has seen her voted Scots Singer of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards, not once but twice. After two albums in partnership with Jeana Leslie (2008’s In A Bleeze and 2010’s Shadows Tall) Siobhan joined Salt House, a group with the finely matched abilities of Lauren MacColl, Ewan MacPherson and Euan Burton. Their album Lay Your Dark Low was released in 2014 (The Guardian called it ‘seamless’.) But those who’ve witnessed Siobhan Miller stilling and silencing everywhere from a sold-out Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to the bar session afterwards have waited impatiently to hear that voice take centre stage on a solo album. Flight Of Time is that album. And it takes Siobhan’s talents far beyond anything we might’ve anticipated.
Made over a period of two years, in collaboration with reputed singer-songwriter James Grant, Flight Of Time may seem far from the trad ballads Siobhan is famed for. But these 10 contemporary songs are, for her, as compelling as any ancient tale. Accompanying Siobhan are producer James Grant on guitars and vocals, Ewen Vernal on double bass, James Mackintosh on percussion, the ubiquitous Donald Shaw on piano, Rhodes & harmonium, Emily Smith and Kirsteen Miller on backing vocals, and her Salt House bandmates on viola, guitars and bass. Highlighting the scope and ambition of this album, three songs feature the cinematic sweep of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra with spectacular arrangements by Pete Whitfield. But at the heart of it all is the remarkable voice of Siobhan Miller.