Scottish musician Hannah Read now lives in Brooklyn but on her new album Way Out I’ll Wander she keeps her sounds intimate and rootsy rather than reflecting the bright lights of the city. Listening to her music you feel like you’re walking in the gloaming, along a moorland path somewhere far from civilisation. The simple black and white cover conveys the stark beauty of the folk music contained within this album. Continue reading “Album Review: Hannah Read – Way Out I’ll Wander”
On the cover of A Pocket of Wind Resistance Karine Polwart’s profile merges with images of the natural world: birds, trees, leaves seem to be a part of her just like brain, blood and bone. Together with Pippa Murphy’s spellbinding soundscapes she has produced a hymn to motherhood, nature, life and death. A companion piece to her one woman theatre show Wind Resistance, to call this work an ‘album’ barely scratches the surface of the ambition of its songs, stories, poetry and politics. This is a piece of compelling conceptual art. Continue reading “Album Review : Karine Polwart with Pippa Murphy – A Pocket Of Wind Resistance”
It’s shite being Scottish, especially in winter when it’s dark by four o’clock, the streets freeze over and everyone is in a worse mood than usual. Thankfully we have the new album from The Just Joans, the self proclaimed ‘laziest band in Scotland’, to brighten up the dreich days and nichts. Modern life might be rubbish but You Might Be Smiling Now… finds glitter in the gutters of Glasgow. Continue reading “Album Review: The Just Joans – You Might Be Smiling Now…”
Nothing screams ‘Scottish folk singer’ more than appearing on your album cover wearing a dead pheasant on your head. It is a striking image, classic portrait in style, looking like it would be at home on the walls of any Scottish castle. Julie Fowlis, internationally known for singing the theme song from Pixar’s Brave, is the most famous Gaelic singer to emerge from Scotland in the last few years. This album may be called Alterum, suggesting change, but make no mistake this is still a collection of deeply traditional music. There are songs sung in English and two feature American star Mary Chapin Carpenter, but the album does not take her too far away from her roots. The combination of Gaelic songs, folk music and even spoken word makes this an engaging and enjoyable listen. Continue reading “Album Review: JULIE FOWLIS – ALTERUM “
Siobhan Wilson couldn’t sound any less like she was from the far reaches of northern Scotland, such is the dazzling mix of influences and inspirations on her debut album ‘There Are No Saints‘. Experimenting with sounds as varied as vintage French pop, classical music, folk and grunge has resulted in one of the most original and engaging albums from a young Scottish singer in a long time.
The longlist for the prestigious Scottish Album of the Year award was announced last week in Glasgow. The last two winners were both female: Kathryn Joseph for her stunning album Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled in 2015 and last year Anna Meredith won for her experimental opus Varmints. This year there is an interesting mix of albums nominated for the award (the full list can be found here) and so I thought I’d share some thoughts on the long listed albums which are by female artists. Continue reading “Thoughts on the Scottish Album of the Year Longlist”