After 12 months in production new celtic crossover act "Aniar" emerge from the studio with a new album called "Shoot the Sky". The twelve track release features original songs from main songwriter Don Stewart and vibrant new arrangements of traditional celtic tunes.
The album opens with the powerful acoustic song "My Country" which presents Stewart’s reflections on identity, culture and country from the perspective of a "white fella" realizing that the country he calls his own has a 40,000 year aboriginal heritage. Track 2 opens with a guitar/bass/Djembe groove which launches into a great arrangement of three slip jigs . Track 3 is the atmospheric reworking of the traditional irish reel "For Far Hunt" featuring some beautiful vocal improvisation by Gemma Belfrage. Track 4 is a jazz oriented song with slightly obscure, but image packed lyrics by Warrnambool glass blower - Glenistair Hancock. Track 5 returns to the bass/guitar groove of track 2 but this time to the straighter polka rhythm. Track 6 is a rendition of W.B.Yeats well known poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" with music by Don Stewart and delivered in a hauntingly beautiful soprano by Gemma Belfrage. Track 7 starts with a decidedly middle eastern almost Jewish feel for an Irish tune called "Sally Kelly". By the second tune it’s back to more familiar territory with the added flavor of a distorted electric guitar intro. Track 8 is the album title track "Shoot the Sky" which Stewart says was written as a random collection of thoughts tied together with a chorus. The title and chorus come from Stewart meeting people who live in Yemen and talked of how people in Yemen celebrate significant life events - births, deaths, marriages etc by firing their rifles into the air. Subsequently it’s quite dangerous to go out in the street on National holidays as people often are killed by falling bullets.
Track 9 features another set of slip jigs which despite their upbeat name "The Butterfly" are quite dark and moody. Track 10 is a song about being away from home and also an outsiders look at a small country town. Track 11 opens with a beautiful slow tune called Galway to Dublin and then moves into more upbeat hornpipes. The last track is the melancholic "When the Duck’s Arrive" featuring a chorus of ducks in the middle section
The album was produced, recorded and mixed over 12 months by Don Stewart at his home studio - Peopleland Studios and mastered by Tony "Jack the bear" Mantz at Sing Sing Studios. Artwork by Peta Bethell and Graphics by Barry Peters.
Aniar is Gemma Belfrage (Vocals and Djembe), Airlie Tait (Flute and Vocals), Andrew Hallett(Bass and Vocals) and Don Stewart (Guitar, Bouzouki and Vocals).
Shoot the Sky (Nice homemade videoclip, great song)