A farmer from the Isle of Lewis makes a debut album with the intensity of Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness On The Edge Of Town. It may seem surprising, but Colin Macleod’s influences are the same as the Boss: wide open spaces, hard physical work, and a love for his local community – though in this case, a community that goes back 600 years. His recently released LP Bloodlines is folk music, according to producer Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Kings Of Leon), but not as you’ve heard it before. Modern, moody and epic, the album owes more to The National or My Morning Jacket than Hebridean reels. Just don’t expect Colin to go on tour at lambing time.
In a former life, he was alt-folk artist The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, cutting his teeth on the same vibrant Glasgow scene as his friends Frightened Rabbit and Snow Patrol. But his love for the wild land he was raised on, 300 miles north of Glasgow, proved too strong and three years ago he made the move back to the Eye Peninsula, east of Stornoway, buying a small farm. Funnily enough, there couldn’t have been a better move for his music career.
With Bloodlines there is no denying that Springsteen, and the clarity and beauty of the way he writes about home, was a huge inspiration. Macleod had always been inspired by American artists, as by all the Scottish rock bands who’ve embarked on that long-established musical trade route across the Atlantic. But it was producer Ethan Johns, whom he befriended on a short solo tour, who told him he was actually writing Scottish folk songs.
“Ethan said, these are really traditional Gallic songs,” he recalls. “You’re rewiring old stories of ghosts, seafarers. It wasn’t until he pointed it out that I realised that’s what it was!”
And that’s what’s unique about Bloodlines. Macleod’s music is folk music in its attitude rather than technique – filled with ancient archetypes and an overwhelming sense of the landscape, all in a modern, cinematic setting.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the video for “Dream”. The video captures performance from Macleod’s recent U.S. tour, shot on the road over the last few months and filmed and produced by David Martin. The collection of travel and performance footage presents a snapshot of life on the road set to Macleod’s mellow and dreamy indie rock. Macleod’s sound is unassumingly powerful, with a persistent drumbeat and a psych-pop guitar sound to complement his lilting vocals. There’s a euphoric pop quality to the song that makes it clear Macleod is a musical force we need to watch for.
“This video was filmed between the UK and U.S. over a years worth of touring and playing shows. It’s a special one for me as it shows how far it’s come with the band and for me personally, right from the very start,” says Macleod.
Bloodlines is out now: http://smarturl.it/Colin-Bloodlines