Rioghnach Connolly (vocals), Stuart McCallum (guitar), John Ellis (piano) and Luke Flowers (drums)
The very first edition of 'Leuven Jazz' (back in 2012) already enjoyed the wonderful vibe of The Cinematic Orchestra. With three (former) members of that Orchestra in its ranks, The Breath creates that orchestral jazz-pop in an almost identical, intense manner.
The Breath is mainly created by the musical synergy between Irish folk singer Rioghnach Connolly and guitarist Stuart McCallum. On stage theyre joined by the Cinematic companions of the latter, John Ellis on piano and Luke Flowers on drums.
Their remarkable breakthrough album 'Carry Your Kin' (2016) was followed-up this September: 'Let the Cards Fall' appeared on the Real World label of Peter Gabriel and will get an exclusive Belgian concert at Leuven Jazz 2019.
The album is a bewitching collection of songs allowed to mature and breathe without losing the widescreen, multi-textured kaleidoscope of sound that marked their debut, while refining their trademark Manchester take on alt-folk. For The Breath, its all about the song. Connolly writes the only way she knows how; a stream of poetic consciousness giving rise to honest, personal, heartfelt songs as likely to touch on childhood summers and first love as cultural dislocation, post-colonial injustices and grief.
But its her deeply soulful, utterly engaging, stop-you-in-your-tracks voice whether delicate and hushed or powerful and gutsy coupled with Stuarts understated brilliance and their exquisitely crafted songs, that give The Breath such emotional depth.
The Breath is all about emotion. The guitar lines by McCallum and the lyrics, mixing love and grief, and the warm voice of Connolly create a melancholic feel all-over. Undoubtedly, the rainy days of Manchester and Ireland have had their influences. Melancholy runs through the veins. With their songs, McCallum and Connolly created exactly that atmosphere and warm the heart. (translation from WritteninMusic)
raw, soulful, often mesmeric, richly textured and lushly constructed ... versatile persuasive vocals (Mojo)