So as you might have guessed this post is all about the Records I have had On Repeat for the last few months. It just so happens that both of these fantastic albums have deservedly been nominated for Album of Year at tomorrow nights Trad Awards.
T A L I S K - Abyss
I think I speak on behalf of everyone when i say that this was easily one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the year, and what a debut it was. The trio have certainly built on their great reputation as a fast and flying Live band and have channeled every detail of their shows into a superb eight track debut album with a sound that is undoubtably that of T A L I S K. Mohsen, Craig and Hayley were also joined by many fine folkies to give some extra kick to the Record including Ryan Murphy (Pipes/Whistles) Adam Brown (Bodhran) Graham Mackenzie (Violin) and Rufus Huggan (Cello). There are many great tracks to talk about which have been given the T A L I S K makeover of driving guitar and on point Fiddle and Concertina. The Album kicks off with title track Abyss, in which the trio work through the gears to rise up to maximum intensity, ending with a fiery rendition of Jeremy Kittel's Curious Beatle. You wouldn't believe it but the Album also features a slow tune...ish (i know). The Hills much like the rest of the album continues to build and build until we are seamlessly flung into what is the defining track on the Album, Echo. This track which features Trad Tune of The Moment (or #TTOTM) Aye Right by late great musical magician Angus R. Grant is the best possible example of the commanding sound and spotlight the trio greatly deserve.
Ross & Ali - Symbiosis
This is another Album that we've been waiting ages for, but it was definitely worth that wait. I was lucky enough to hear this fabby album live at a packed and sweaty FolKlub night at The Hug and Pint earlier this year. Not gonna lie i was also very impressed with the support from Snuffbox, however Ross & Ali stole the show. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this album as honestly i thought the duo might suffer due to the fact that these two are basically joined at the hip! I was a little worried that due to playing in nearly every band under the sun together these two might struggle to find their own sound. Oh boy was i wrong! I can't stress enough how good some of these tracks are! For example, it took me nearly two weeks to actually sit and listen to the album the whole way through because i kept rewinding the same track again and again. That mighty track is Pongu. it's just so good! The first tune on the track is an absolute belter and is dedicated (i believe) to Chris Grace, the brilliant piper and promoter who is responsible for attracting many great acts to her wee sold out gigs in Comrie. Another stellar track to look out for is Wan which is dedicated to the producer of the album Andrea Gobbi who continues to have a great deal of Influence on the Traditional Music scene. Using his knowledge of electronic music to push the boundaries of our ever changing scene. A special mention has to be given to the final track, Gaelic, which brings this extraordinary record to a close. The final three minutes in particular are affa good. The dynamic duo were joined by some of their TO pals on the album including Steve Byrnes (Guitar) Duncan Lyall (Bass/Keys) and Martin O'Neil (Bodhran).
In all, I would not be surprised if one of these two acts were walking away with a Trad Award come Tomorrow Night. The question is, which one will it be (I hope)?