Highland folk rock outfit Torridon are releasing a new album next week, signalling a significant progression in the band’s style, sound, vision and drive.
Break The Chains is set for release on Friday, 20 September, seeks to replicate the band’s enigmatic live performance and showcase a passion for serious and original storytelling and song writing, breaking the chains of Torridon of years gone by.
Several tracks are inspired by men’s mental health and the band’s real-life experience of suicide among young men in Scotland, bravely confronting the silence and taboo around suicide head on.
Torridon founding member Kenny Smith’s loss of a cousin and a best friend in the same month in August 1996 is the inspiration behind the heart wrenching Sweet 16, which captures the raw emotions and trauma of receiving this news with a thoughtful and somehow delicate approach, while the uplifting third single Lighthouse released in May and filmed with Still Game actor Scott Reid, encourages men to talk, backing the mantra: it’s okay not be to okay.
Kenny said: ‘The songs on this album represent real life stories and experiences from the band’s members and close family and friends – they are not Highland tales and fables but a representation of our present-day reality. Too many people shy away from sharing their problems and feelings, so if this album changes just one person’s mind about opening up or prevents one person from taking their own life, then our job is done.
‘We’ve worked incredibly hard to produce an album that has a genuinely refreshed direction and sound. I have been developing my song writing over the last few years and this record draws influence from rock acts such as Runrig, Del Amitri and the Saw Doctors to produce a serious but uplifting sound that we’re very proud of. We’re looking forward to sharing it with everyone.’
Torridon comprises Kenny Smith (vocals and acoustic guitar), Kenny Lyall (drums), Glyn Evans (bass guitar and vocals), Grant Milne (bagpipes and whistles), Paul Elliott (lead guitar) and Michael Macmillan (lead vocals, keyboard and accordion).
The 11-track album features eight original songs penned by Kenny Smith and three instrumental tunes, all recorded and mixed in Inverness by the band’s engineer and producer Marc Clement over the last year.
Other tracks include the upbeat Here We Go Again, the iconic fan favourite Highland Girl, released as a single in 2017, and a stirring a capella song No Bills To Pay which sees a battle against cruelty, ridicule and greed executed with finesse, using four and five part harmonies to deliver a message which can’t fail to resonate with the listener.
Over the last 14 years, Torridon have built a reputation for rocking venues and festivals throughout Scotland, including Belladrum, Loopallu, Tiree, Killin, Bute and Mull Festivals, The Ironworks in Inverness, Glasgow’s O2 Academy and Aberdeen’s The Lemon Tree, as well as audiences in France, Italy and Ukraine. That same band returns with an album and a sound that has a new-found depth and purpose worthy of a place among Scotland’s most adored, original high impact folk rock bands.
Break The Chains is available to stream and download, and buy on CD and vinyl, on Friday, 20 September.