Enya’s new Reprise/Warner Bros. album, “Amarantine,” reaches a new level of ethereality. Though the Irish chanteuse has a proven track record, she was not afraid to take risks on her first new studio release in five years. The 12-track set is filled with Enya’s signature celestial vocals and haunting arrangements. Linguistically, however, the project showcases her voice like never before.
Past albums have featured Enya singing in English and Gaelic, and occasionally in Latin, Welsh or Spanish. On “Amarantine,” she performs three tracks in Loxian, a language created by her longtime lyricist, Roma Ryan. The new project also includes one track in Japanese, with the remaining songs in English.
The impetus for the Loxian language was Enya’s presentation of the new melodies and influences from her work on the soundtrack to 2001’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.” “When I came in with a song, I would sing sounds along with it to capture its feeling,” Enya recalls. “Roma used some of these sounds to create this language. We had used the fictional language Elvish on ‘Lord of the Rings,’ and it was very lovely.”
Enya says that as she collaborated with Roma Ryan on the new album track “Water Shows the Hidden Heart,” they realized the lyric was not working in English, Gaelic or Latin. “Roma suggested a fictional language for singing and tried to create a culture and history behind it,” Enya says. “The Loxians live on another planet and are looking out, wondering, ‘Are we the only ones who exist?’ It’s a beautiful idea.”