This weeks mix finds a strong Scottish contingent including two of Lau’s players with tracks from Aidan O’Rourke’s latest Imprint (E.P Series 2.0) and Martin Green’s Flit. Also included are two tracks from recently reviewed albums from Trail West and Iona Fyfe Band. Alongside these are some personal favourites that we’ve covered in the past as well as new offerings from The Driftwood Manor and Nick Jonah Davis’ House of Dragons album which Nick Dellar recently reviewed for Folk Radio UK saying “I doubt if I will come across a better album this year…”.
James Yorkston – Embers
From the demos that later became the Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society album.
Country Parish Music – Pretty Saro
Studio-based project led by singer Rosemary Lippard and former Owl Service main man Steven Collins.
Aidan O’Rourke – The Burn of the Shelter
From Imprint (EP Series 2.0 / Reveal, 2016) – Written and recorded with Anna Meredith – laptop, percussion (former composer in residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra & Sinfonia Viva), Tom Rogerson (Three Trapped Tigers) – piano, keyboards and John Blease drums, percussion (Goldie, Ghostpoet, Heritage Orchestra, Antony & The Johnsons). The follow up to his 2015 released and widely acclaimed Music For Film & Exhibition EP Series 1.0 (read our review here).
Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang – With Cornstalks Or Among Them
From The Wonder Show of the World (Drag City, 2010)
Fernhill – Aelwyd
From Amser (Disgyfrith, 2014) – They fuse ancient and modern, Welsh and English traditions into a seamless and coherent, contemporary whole without compromise. Fernhill are one of the finest folk groups we are blessed to be able to witness today. Read our review here.
Iona Fyfe Band – Queen Amang The Heather
From East (Iona Fyfe Band, 2016) – an excellent taster of what Iona Fyfe and her band have to offer, and I can’t wait to hear more at one of the string of live dates still to come in Scotland. Read our Review here.
Trail West – Maraiche Nan Cuantan (Featuring Kathleen MacInnes)
From Rescattermastered (Tyree Records, 2016) Four natives of the Hebridean Islands of Tiree and South Uist have been steadily building a Glasgow-based following for their unique and refreshing take on the ceilidh music that has kept dance floors on the west coast of Scotland, and far beyond, lively for decades. Read our review here.
Mairi Morrison & Alasdair Roberts – Fiullaigean
From Urstan (Drag City, 2012) – Read our exclusive interview with Mairi and Alasdair here.
The Driftwood Manor – Fire and Brimstone
From For the Moon (Folkwit Records, 2016) – The Driftwood Manor mix Irish traditional music and folk with a range of other influences, from Eastern music to alternative rock and electronica. The band have released three albums and six eps since 2008 and were voted in The Irish Times’ Breakthrough Acts of the Year for 2011 following the release of their second album ‘The same figure (leaving)’. Video premiere here.
Inge Thomson – Song for Sheep Rock
From Da Fishing Hands (Inge Thomson Records, 2015) – Da Fishing Hands is a resounding creative success on a number of levels. Inge Thomson and her collaborators have painted a vivid picture of a changed and changing community. It’s as much an important historical document as it is a powerful artistic statement and, above all, a mesmerisingly beautiful record with top class musicians including Sarah Hayes, Fraser Fifield, Steven Polwart and Graeme Smillie. Review | Interview
Martin Green – Smallest plant
From Flit (Reavel, 2016) – Premiered at Edinburgh International Festival – a new show built around a collaboration between Lau’s Martin Green, Portishead’s Adrian Utley, Mogwai’s Dominic Aitchison, Becky Unthank of The Unthanks, Edinburgh singer Adam Holmes and animators whiterobot.
Alasdair Roberts and Robin Robertson – Leaving St Kilda
From Hirta Songs (Stone Tape Recordings, 2013) – Wonderfully evocative Hirta Songs is Robin Robertson’s poetic collaboration with Alasdair Roberts’ musical settings exploring the human story and dramatic geography of St.Kilda. Review | Interview
Nick Jonah Davis – Double Peace
From House of Dragons (Lancashire and Somerset [Vinyl] 2015 / Thread Recordings [CD/Digital] 2016) – Nick Jonah Davis is a solo instrumental guitarist from Nottingham, England. He has released three albums before House of Dragons. Split Electric with C Joynes (Thread Recordings, 2016), Of Time and Tides (Tompkins Square, 2011) and Guitar Recordings Vol. 1 (self-released, 2009). He was also featured on the fourth volume of Tompkins Square’s ongoing guitar compilation, Imaginational Anthem, and their tribute album to Michael Chapman, Oh Michael, Look What You’ve Done. The release of House of Dragons by Thread Recordings follows the release of a limited edition vinyl version on the Lancashire and Somerset label in 2015. It is, quite simply, a wonderful piece of work. Review