SINGLE REVIEW: SARAH MCQUAID – TIME TO LOVE (THE ST BURYAN SESSIONS)

Over this year Sarah McQuaid has been releasing tracks from the St Buryan Sessions, a set of beautiful contemplative songs recorded on 1 July 2020 in St Buryan’s, an 11th century Church in Cornwall. For an artist who is usually happy packing her guitar and heading off to play around the world, lockdown pushed the pause button and allowed a time for reflection which led to the live recording and filming of these sessions.

Time To Love’ is the fifth release from the set and is co-written with veteran performer Gerry O’Beirne. It’s a song that makes the world turn a little slower on its axis, like you have chanced upon someone else’s intimate thoughts and if you made a noise whilst listening the spell would be broken. The lyrics may also resonate with many people who have struggled in the last year “If we only had one more day. If we only had time. Time to love” and “How can we take this moment now? And try to make it better now”. It’s a simple prayer that seems to hold optimism tightly whilst recognising that sadness lies in wait.

This bone china sliver of hope is so gentle and heartfelt that it’s hard not to be moved when listening to it. The quality of Sarah McQuaid’s voice is stunning: clear as a crystal but with a slight shimmer in the held notes and a strength of purpose that encourages the listener to feel the words as emphatically as she does. I wholeheartedly recommend the other tracks released so far from the St Buryan Sessions, including the melancholy piano lullaby of ‘The Silence Above Us’ which is one of my favourite songs of 2021 so far.

What are we doing here now?

What are we dreaming now?

Up and down the street

If we only had time

If we only had one more day

If we only had time

Time to love

How can we take this moment now?

And try to make it better now

Then let it go

If we only had time

If we only had one more day

If we only had time

Time to love, Time to love

I woke up laughing, I don’t know why

To see you sleeping beside me

What are we doing here now?

What are we dreaming now?

Up and down the street

All the releases in the St Buryan Sessions will culminate in the release of the full 15-track, 72-minute album on CD and double LP in October, 2021.

Sarah McQuaid on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Patreon

Review by Paul F Cook

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