If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous

Sarah McQuaid

of discs
Stock Status (?)
In Stock
Delivery Estimate
2-5 days
Folk, Singer Songwriter
Shovel & Spade Records
February 2, 2018

Format: Compact Disc



(Free delivery & returns within the UK)


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New studio album by Sarah McQuaid.

"The precision and sophistication of the writing and playing blows me away. I am so glad to be involved," writes guitar legend Michael Chapman in his introduction to Sarah McQuaid's fifth solo CD. In addition to producing the album, Chapman's given Sarah a long-term loan of his own electric guitar, which brings a new dimension and drive to her music. With her artistry on the piano also featuring for the first time here, this compelling collection of songs and instrumentals marks a major step forward for an artist who's been consigned to the "under-the-radar" department for far too long.

Recently honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ards International Guitar Festival in Northern Ireland, Sarah's also drawn critical praise for her voice (which has been variously likened to malt whiskey and melted chocolate) and her engaging rapport with audiences: "I've attended hundreds of concerts of all kinds, and her subtle mastery onstage launches her straight into my fave shows ever," wrote The Huffington Post.

Reviewers of the Madrid-born, Chicago-raised, Cornwall-based singer/songwriter's previous albums have repeatedly alluded to her "relative obscurity" (The Big Takeover) and "under-the-radar" (The Vinyl District) profile. With her new album ? on which she expands her battery of instruments to include piano and electric guitar ? she looks set to change that.

"One voice, one guitar, and the wondrous reminder of the magic of music. Sarah has the gift." ? The Huffington Post

"The songs are acutely observed and literate, almost like journal notes set to music. They're measured and tranquil but they're never dull because there is always a sense of restlessness and unease behind the poetry.... And it's all lovely." ? R2/Rock 'n' Reel

Press Quotes

"Seeing a shared world in a new way, from a different angle, is the role of the songwriter. Sarah gets a gold star on that front. This is a fabulous album. ... Sarah brought the songs, Michael brought the attitude. Together they turned on the electricity."

The Afterword

"An entrancing album ... dark, sophisticated lyrical imagery and a spare but atmospheric production." "This U.K. songsmith has a commanding, dusky voice that bears echoes of great British folkies like Bridget St. John and June Tabor, and that alone might have been enough to make this an entrancing album. But when you add her dark, sophisticated lyrical imagery and a spare but atmospheric production by legendary English singer-songwriter-guitarist Michael Chapman, the whole thing becomes impossible to ignore."


"Captivatingly fragile vocals ... Spine-chilling ... The songs are exceptional: some of the lyrics here would look equally at home in a volume of poetry, though it would be a pity to deprive them of Sarah's voice and melodic flair."


"Captivating, unorthodox songwriting … layered satin vocals ... enthralling, harrowing arrangements … The record is as consummate and eclectic as fans of McQuaid would have come to expect. It's a gateway into a true innovator's soul."

Jonathan Frahm, PopMatters

"A major statement in contemporary folk adding considerable depth to an already personal approach."

The Vinyl District

"Sarah McQuaid's fifth full length album opens in the smoke and shadow of hanging blues tones, a blistering burn embedded in the rough electric slashes, a steady red-hot glow in the embers of rumbling picking. It's a dark-toned, echo-shrouded, intoxicating sort of sound … A sense of unresolved mood, of shifts and shadows and intangible atmospheres pervades her work."

Dusted Magazine

"The soundscape embraces immediately … Successive tracks reinforce the previous, with a flow that is wholly contiguous, each in turn combining to build into a work of formidable passion."


"Sarah McQuaid and album guest Michael Chapman give their guitar work center stage as the top shelf players offer an instrumental with "The Day of Wrath, That Day"."

The Alternate Root

"I never thought UK guitarist and songwriter Sarah McQuaid could ever top her brilliant, ethereal 2015 release Walking Into White, but thankfully, I was mistaken … If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous is a beautiful, engaging work that showcases two of the world's premier guitarists and songwriters."


"A thick and well-trained alto reminiscent of Annie Lennox astride ringing electric guitar and piano ... a powerful album that simply shimmers with nuance, observational depth, and despair ... sure to please fans of The Unthanks, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, and Tom Waits equally."


"Regal and starkly beautiful."


"Light and dark swirl through If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous … There is a depth to the vocals of Sarah McQuaid, the velvet resonance a match for her talents on guitar."

the Alternate Root

"A darkly melodic, richly layered folk tapestry ... haunting and sparse, yet beautifully rendered ... a voice as thick and soft as fur."

Elmore Magazine

"Añade en pequeñas dosis ciertos toques eléctricos fusionando a su vez elementos de corte jazzístico. ... De lo más destacado en lo que llevamos de año en folk." (Take a few electrical shocks in small doses and blend in turn with jazzy elements. ... A highlight of the year so far in folk.)

Off the Hook - Spain

"A work built upon the courage of a singular vision. … If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous has a satisfying completeness about it, an expansiveness made concrete. It is, in short, the work of a consummate artist."

Stereo Embers Mag

"Stunning sonic depictions of songs of depth and meaning. McQuaid's style is full on engagement, with vocals that draw you to the lyrical rocks better than any siren song. The album is brilliantly arranged, with flawless production and a completely compelling aural persona. This is about as good as it gets and is an absolute must have."

Florshime Zipper Boots music blog

"A consummate artistic triumph that marks a new phase in McQuaid's career."

Folk Radio UK

"If We Dig Any Deeper... is the culmination of both sides of her musical personality, and is undoubtedly her finest yet."

Shire Folk

"Intricate playing, thoughtful songwriting and consistently outstanding vocal performances … McQuaid is an artist who really needs to be sitting at the top table of roots musicians in this country."

Art Tree

"I've died and gone to heaven, I've fallen in love, and any of a million other things I could say to let you know how good this record is."

Jersey Boat

"Noted English guitarist Michael Chapman is the producer here, and his slightly rough-edged approach serves as an ideal foil for McQuaid's polished precision: the album is not merely a fine showcase of her liquid voice but also of her superb guitar style. When she marries both to her unerring songwriting skills, something truly marvellous happens." 8/10

Jackie Hayden - Hot Press

"A gem of a record, rooted in folk but standing on its own, and one that deserves to be widely heard. So get it sorted. Now."

The Rocker65

More Info

Key Value
Catalogue number SAASCD001
Barcode 5060366785473
Number of items 1
Packaging type Jewel Case
Imported No
Weight 100g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 142mm x 10mm x 125mm

Disc 1

Track Listing — Disc 1

Song Title Time
1. If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous -
2. Slow Decay -
3. One Sparrow Down -
4. The Silence Above Us -
5. Forever Autumn -
6. Dies Irae -
7. The Day Of Wrath, That Day -
8. Cot Valley -
9. New Beginnings -
10. Time To Love -
11. Break Me Down -
12. The Tug Of The Moon -