Trad band Ceòl an Aire release feel-good EP

Oban-based trad band Ceòl an Aire are back with a bolder and livelier sound than ever before with a new feel-good EP, titled Doubles.

The six-piece Scottish traditional folk group showcase a renewed sense of energy and passion in Doubles, reflecting their roots on the west coast of Scotland and projecting an underlying sense of ease and a thirst for life.

Take driving rhythms, two sets of Highland pipes and big rock-inspired drum and bass sounds and the result is undeniably catchy tunes with an infectious, upbeat style – all inspired by everyday goings on and the band’s adventures around Scotland.

The captivating vocals of Clare Jordan (vocals, piano) are paired with the powerful sounds of Ruairidh Morrison (box), Ewan Macdonald (guitar, bass, piano), Alastair MacLean (pipes, flutes, whistle), Struan Thorpe (pipes, flutes, whistle) and Darren Brown (drums), to create a range of sounds, shifting from fast tunes to slow Gaelic song.

The self-released EP features five tracks and 11 tunes and was recorded last year at Castlesound Studios in Pencaitland and Oak Ridge Studios in Bishopbriggs, with mixing and mastering by Ross Saunders at Dusty Reel.

Revive was the first single from the EP, and as the name suggests, signaled the start of Ceòl an Aire’s new chapter, epitomising the dynamic, modern trad sound that developed among the six musicians over the last year.

The track, composed by the band’s accordionist Ruairidh, is inspired by a range of fun-filled adventures, from memorable nights out on the town to the generosity of an old, friendly Glaswegian lady at Celtic Park hospitality.

Elsewhere, Ruairidh and Ally’s ascent up Barra’s highest hill, Heaval, in the middle of the night after a gig in Castlebay – and possibly a few ‘doubles’ – led to the creation of The Heaval Hike. Complete with instruments in tow, the pair managed to play a tune at the top of the hill and The Heaval Hike is the happy consequence of that unavoidable hangover.

The rousing Sail Away showcases Clare Jordon’s stunning vocals at their best. An original English self-penned song, this track tells the story of optimistically looking to the future and enjoying the moment. While Fine 4 Pointer is a play on the Fine 10 Pointer referred to in the popular song, Loch Maree Island, and makes light of everyday mishaps – from speeding tickets and cars that won’t start to broken guitars and lost wallets.

Ewan Macdonald of Ceòl an Aire said: ‘This is an exciting new chapter for Ceòl an Aire – we’ve done a lot of work in recent years to grow our sound and have fun with what we’re doing and Doubles is the result. We’re truly excited about this new material and it gives us new vigour to put new music out again and start playing new stages. We can’t wait.

‘We know that the recipe of two sets of Highland pipes, fast tunes and a healthy amount of bass, creates something that resonates with people – and we hope this new EP will get folk on their feet. Enjoying Doubles with a double in hand is, of course, optional.’

Ceòl an Aire first formed in 2010 and released their debut EP It’ll Be Fine in 2013. They have performed on festival stages across Scotland including Oban Live, Tiree Music Festival, Carradale Music Festival and Gig in the Goil.

Doubles will be available on Saturday, 21 March on CD and for digital pre-sale. It will be released digitally on Saturday, 28 March.

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