Rough Trade have an exclusive release of “To Be Still” with a bonus 12 track mix cd entitled ‘calm as the owl glides – songs for stillness’. It features Kate Wolf, Jackson C Frank, Karen Dalton, Fairport Convention, Mariee Sioux, cat power etc. Alela’s ‘pirates gospel’ was their album of the year for 2007, and it seems that she has surpassed even that with this amazing album “To Be Still”. Where ‘pirate’s gospel’ benefited from a bare-bones production that emphasized her powerful voice, the fuller and more varied sounds here help bring the strength of her songwriting to the fore. Alela’s remarkable voice remains a joy; she can let loose with gale force when she wants to and can reign it in with a ghostly, mournful style at other times. Those little songbird curlicues she adds in the midst of a melody are just beautiful.