Following a series of intimate acoustic sessions that premiered on Folk Radio UK (watch them here), Scottish guitarist, troubadour, balladeer and storyteller Ewan McLennan revealed that he was recording a new album with Guardian journalist and bestselling author George Monbiot.
The album, called Breaking the Spell of Loneliness, is based on an idea / concept that George Monbiot has been writing about.
An epidemic of loneliness is sweeping the world. The results are devastating: depression, paranoia, anxiety, dementia, alcoholism, accidents and suicide all appear to become more prevalent when connections are cut. To stand back from the state into which we have fallen is to marvel at this misery. It is to witness seven billion people walking past each other.
Today they revealed a new video which provides a preview and overview of the project. When George’s article on the epidemic of loneliness went viral he decided that he wanted to do something more with it – but not through the isolated medium of writing (he couldn’t think of anything more depressing). He eventually decided to turn to music, which automatically brings people together. He jokes that his singing is banned under international law so he looked to Ewan to bring his words to life with the caveat that Ewan could do whatever he wanted to each piece. The video includes an example of this in action with a lyric sketch he wrote called ‘The Child Inside”. After reading it aloud you hear the transformation Ewan has put it through. The idea and the results are remarkable – a great reminder that words and music do unite people in what is becoming an increasingly socially isolated world. This album is high on our list of the most anticipated albums of the year so far so make sure you try and catch them on tour. Dates start next month (see below).
Breaking the Spell of Loneliness is available 28/09/16; offcial release date 14/10/16
George Monbiot and Ewan McLennan – Breaking the Spell of Loneliness
12 October Durham Book Festival
18 October St Georges, Bristol
20 October Liverpool Philharmonic
21 October Live At All Hallows, Leeds
22 October Sheffield Firth Hall
23 October Ludlow Assembly Rooms
4 November Bridport Arts Centre
5 November Berry Theatre, Southampton
3 December Kings Place, London