Where From Here is the dynamic second album from award-winning traditional trio Assynt, due for release on Friday 24 February. This exciting new record not only includes a modern, unique approach to a number of traditional tunes but it also exhibits some of the band’s own compositions inspired by the culture and landscape of the Highlands and in particular the area where the band’s name originated, Assynt.
The group have come to be recognised for their tight-knit fiddle and pipe playing, which is blended with intricate guitar lines and grooves. This powerful and intuitive musicality continues to be showcased throughout their second album.
The record features Assynt members Graham Mackenzie on fiddle, David Shedden on pipes and whistles, Innes White on acoustic guitar and guest musician Charlie Stewart on double bass.
Each member of Assynt has a forward looking and creative approach when it comes to arranging traditional tunes. With the inclusion of melodies such as John Morrison of Assynt House by Peter MacLeod, a reel from renowned piper Donald MacLeod and the famous Gaelic puirt, Nighean Donn nan Gobhar, the group continue to pay homage to their musical heritage while still showcasing their own distinct and more modern take on each of the tunes across this spellbinding album.
Assynt fiddler Graham Mackenzie said: “We have been gathering self-penned tunes and developing our own unique sound over the past few years and now feels like the perfect time to release new music.
“This album really showcases how much we have grown as a band since we started out five years ago, while still remaining close to our Scottish roots that continue to inspire us.”
The record layers tracks with synth, electric guitar and additional string parts in order to give more depth and an overall expansive sound.
Standout tracks from the album include the lively and upbeat opener Assynt House and the innovative medley Rescues, while Nighean Donn and The New Normal demonstrate the band’s creative skills in arranging and developing tunes, both old and new.
Collectively as a band, Assynt were recipients of Up and Coming Artist of the Year at the 2018 MG Alba Traditional Music Awards. Also successful solo musicians in their own right, the band consist of a former BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner Innes White, as well as BBC Radio Scotland Young Musician of the Year finalists Graham Mackenzie and David Shedden.
The group, described as “refreshingly contemporary” and “one of our most impressive young bands”, released their debut album The Road to the North in 2018 and have performed at venues and festivals throughout Europe, with highlights including Belladrum, Celtic Connections and Piping Live.
The trio’s music is influenced by Capercaillie and Daimh, who continue to be at the forefront of the Scottish music scene, as well as the popular Canadian trio, The East Pointers.
Where From Here was recorded by Scott Wood at Oak Ridge Studios, produced by the band, mixed by guitarist Innes White and mastered by Peter Beckmann at TechnologyWorks Mastering. The album artwork was designed by Somhairle MacDonald.
Assynt have tour dates throughout Scotland this year and will also be touring Germany, China and Australia.
Where From Here will be available to buy on CD and stream and download on all digital platforms, on Friday 24 February 2023.
Celtic Connections 2021 recorded at The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow.