"Dark Sky Island (Deluxe)" by Enya on iTunes

14 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the time that’s passed since 2007’s Christmas-themed And Winter Came, Enya’s influence has made itself heard in a new generation of female artists—from Julia Holter’s classically informed art-pop to the hallucinogenic melodies of Grimes. On Dark Sky Island, the new age icon returns with a set of lush, synth-lined reveries as melodic and mesmeric as anything she’s recorded since her strangely ubiquitous 1988 debut, Watermark. While its gorgeous title track is layered with her singular brand of yawning vocal harmonies and gossamer strings, “The Loxian Gate” is an anthem sung in Loxian—a fictional language invented just for her.  

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the time that’s passed since 2007’s Christmas-themed And Winter Came, Enya’s influence has made itself heard in a new generation of female artists—from Julia Holter’s classically informed art-pop to the hallucinogenic melodies of Grimes. On Dark Sky Island, the new age icon returns with a set of lush, synth-lined reveries as melodic and mesmeric as anything she’s recorded since her strangely ubiquitous 1988 debut, Watermark. While its gorgeous title track is layered with her singular brand of yawning vocal harmonies and gossamer strings, “The Loxian Gate” is an anthem sung in Loxian—a fictional language invented just for her.  

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5

468 Ratings

In Defense of Enya’s New Single, 'Echoes In Rain.'

JMPrater,

In Defense of Enya’s New Single, 'Echoes In Rain.'

Like so many people, (and like a crazy person) I woke up at 3:23 am this morning to listen to Enya’s latest single, Echoes In Rain, broadcasting from the UK. After 7 years, in complete silence, I was ready. When the song began, it was almost like shock took over. I didn’t know what to think of anything. I listened, checked around Facebook and Enya’s official forum, Unity to see what people were saying. Not much. It was early still.

I woke up again later and listened to the song via Enya’s official YouTube channel. Still, no reaction. I wasn’t sure if I was insanely tired, or if it was the fault of the music. I was however being messaged through Facebook of my reaction to the track. I didn’t know. I didn’t know how to feel. The only thing I was sure of, I had to listen to this new song over my regular and amazing speakers. Eventually, I was able to. I liked it. I didn’t love it. I liked it.

During this time I am getting into heavier conversation with longtime friends, and fellow Enya fans. I’m being asked again, what are my thoughts. I say ‘I like it’ taking great care not to use the term ‘love.’ I didn’t love it, not yet. I had an appointment later in the day, and I set up the song on my phone to play through my incredible car speakers. The moment it began, I started falling in love. Never before had I heard Enya’s vocals so clearly. There are many elements of the track that are familiar, and at the very same time, everything sounded new.

Echoes In Rain is a response to Orinoco Flow. It's a song that marks the end of a journey, as Orinoco Flow marks the beginning. It’s a full circle track, with elements and ideas we’ve heard in songs past. I listened to Echoes In Rain about 6 times, turned up as loudly as I could take it. By the time I arrived home from my appointment, I was fully in love with this sound.

There are criticisms about the track, that it’s the same old Enya, nothing new. I completely disagree. I have never heard this Enya before. I’ve never listened to such clarity of melody, such pristine multi-vocals. Echoes In Rain needs a patient listener. I am not one to fall in love with something because everyone else has. I’m a slow burn.

Echoes In Rain deserves a good listen, as many times as possible. While perhaps loud drums would have serviced portions of the song to more dynamic effect, Echoes In Rain is a singularity, a triumph of sonic wonder, a conjured spell that only Enya can create.

Before I leave you…I must turn attention to the lyrics. If there’s anything that stands out as ‘something new’ it’s Roma Ryan’s (Enya’s lyricist) words. Instead of the usual ‘stars, chimes, moons, and midnights’ Roma has chosen from a new group which have been invigorated by Enya’s simple, yet lofty melody, and Nicky Ryan’s perfect arrangement.

JM Prater

About time

Medickep@me,

I’m very stoked to hear her new album! I’m sure she deserved a break, but we’ve been missing out!

About Enya

With her blend of folk melodies, synthesized backdrops, and classical motifs, Enya created a distinctive style that more closely resembled new age than the folk and Celtic music that provided her initial influences. Enya is from Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland, which she left in 1980 to join the Irish band Clannad, the group that already featured her older brothers and sisters. She stayed with Clannad for two years, then left, hooking up with producer Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan, with whom she recorded film and television scores. The result was a successful album of TV music for the BBC. Enya then recorded Watermark (1988), which featured her distinctive, flowing music and multi-overdubbed trancelike singing; the album sold eight million copies worldwide. Watermark established Enya as an international star and launched a successful career that has continued into the new millennium.

Enya (born Eithne Ní Bhraonáin) was born into a musical family. Her father, Leo Brennan, was the leader of the Slieve Foy Band, a popular Irish show band; her mother was an amateur musician. Most important to Enya's career were her siblings, who formed Clannad in 1970 with several of their uncles. Enya joined the band as a keyboardist in 1980 and contributed to several of the group's popular television soundtracks. In 1982, she left Clannad, claiming that she was uninterested in following the pop direction the group had begun to pursue. Within a few years, she was commissioned, along with producer/arranger Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan, to provide the score for a BBC-TV series called The Celts. The soundtrack was released in 1986 as her eponymous solo album.

Enya didn't receive much notice, but Enya and the Ryans' second effort, Watermark, became a surprise hit upon its release in 1988. Enya spent the years following the success of Watermark rather quietly; her most notable appearance was a cameo on Sinéad O'Connor's I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. She finally released Shepherd Moons, her follow-up to Watermark, in 1991. Shepherd Moons was even more successful than its predecessor, eventually selling over ten million copies worldwide; it entered the U.S. charts at number 17 and remained in the Top 200 for almost four years.

Again, Enya was slow to follow up on the success of Shepherd Moons, spending nearly four years working on her fourth album. The record, entitled Memory of Trees, was released in December 1995. Memory of Trees entered the U.S. charts at number nine and sold over two million copies within its first year of release. In 1997 came the release of a greatest-hits collection, Paint the Sky with Stars: The Best of Enya, which featured two new songs. Enya's first album of new material in five years, Day Without Rain, was released in late 2000. In 2002, she contributed material to the first film in Peter Jackson's award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy, scoring a hit with the single "May It Be." Amarantine, her first full-length recording since Day Without Rain, followed in November 2005. A holiday EP, Christmas Secrets, arrived in 2006, followed by an all new, full-length collection of original seasonal music called And Winter Came in 2008.

Her second greatest-hits collection, The Very Best of Enya, was released in 2009, though it would be another six years until her next album arrived. "Echoes in Rain," the first of two singles from Enya's forthcoming eighth album, appeared in September 2015, and the normally reclusive star opened up for a number of interviews and was promoted heavily on social media for the first time. Created with longtime collaborators Roma and Nicky Ryan, Dark Star Island was released in November of that year. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & William Ruhlmann

  • ORIGIN
    Gaoth Dobhair, Donegal, Ireland
  • BORN
    May 17, 1961

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