Music recs: 10,000 Maniacs, Enya, Loreena McKennitt

…so it turns out I hit the end of my alphabetical “underappreciated music artists I should rec” list. Which means I get to close the tab I’ve had open for (*checks*) more than a year now. Yowza.

Just in time to avoid migrating it to the new computer, too!

But there’s this separate folder of Soft Songs by Soft Female Vocalists that I skipped over, so I’m circling back and doing one last post.


10,000 Maniacs: The softest of alt-rock, with Natalie Merchant as the lead singer. Their peak years happened back when I was a toddler, but their songs give me college feelings anyway. (10,000 Maniacs playlist.)


Enya: Irish singer-songwriter; occasionally gets close enough to “mainstream pop” to have a mainstream hit, but most of her stuff is dreamier, stranger, slow and wistful. Inspiration from mythology, astronomy, and natural scenes around the globe; lyrics in English and Gaelic, and, at least once, in Quenya. (Enya playlist.)


Loreena McKennitt: Canadian composer-harpist-accordionist-pianist-soprano. Lots of influence from Celtic and Middle Eastern myth/legend. First choice if you need a soundtrack for being kidnapped by faeries. (Loreena McKennitt playlist.)

2 thoughts on “Music recs: 10,000 Maniacs, Enya, Loreena McKennitt

  1. Awesome recs! I always enjoy your music rec posts, whether or not every artist is up my alley. Great stuff here!

    I’d call the 10,000 Maniacs just alt-rock, and, blush, they hit it big when I was in college. ;-) I saw them perform at my college and Natalie Merchant (who didn’t sing the “More Than This” cover, but now I want to buy that cover; great steampunk video, too!!) was great, as was the whole group. She kinda danced around without moving much, staring at her feet, occasionally twirling; she seemed shy or nervous to be on a big stage, but her voice was awesome. I loved that concert; I bought “In My Tribe” the next day, wanting so much to hear it again, and playing it . . . a TON.

    I’m a huge Enya fan and own all her work. It’s funny you rec’d her today; for the last couple of days, I’ve been listening to her! I’ve needed her folk-pop, at times ethereal sound and it was great to hear while I work. One of my all-time favorites, really, even if I may not always be in the mood.

    I need to try more Loreena McKennitt! I really love a specific live version of “The Mummer’s Dance” so much (more than the album version, which is rare for me), plus a few other songs, but I don’t believe I have or have heard much of her work. Time to rectify that, because she’s just the kinda of alt-Celtic-folk stuff I’m in the mood for, after a couple days listening to Enya. I just sampled a few seconds of each of the vids you posted for her and liked them, so . . . time for a deep dive and some digital-album purchases for me! ;-)

    Thanks and sorry to ramble! (blush)

    • Glad you’ve liked these!

      Enya is my first go-to for “this task requires background music that’s pleasant and gentle and totally non-distracting.” I waffled over whether she had too much fame/recognition to qualify for my Underappreciated Artists Rec Posts, but finally decided it would be a huge mistake to leave her off a Calm Relaxing Artists Rec Post.

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