Acclaimed contemporary Scottish folk band Breabach are back with their first full-length album in four years, set for release on Friday 14th October 2022.
The album entitled Fàs - a Gaelic word meaning ‘growth’, ‘developing’ and ‘sprouting’ - is heavily inspired by the natural environment of Scotland and sees the band showcase more progressive elements in their music than ever before.
The protection, conservation and regeneration of the natural world influenced every part of the album making process, from song composition and sourcing material to the recording process and album production.
The first single Eadar an Dà Bhràigh, out 16th September, celebrates the natural diversity and significance of the Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve in Lochaber. It will be followed by the release of the title track Fàs on 7th October. Elsewhere, Revolutions looks at renewable energy and Changing World explores how nature flourished when the human world slowed down during the Covid lockdowns.
The album retains the familiar sound Breabach are known and loved for, while incorporating new layers and textures to their sound. The majority of tracks are self-composed, taking influence from traditional and contemporary compositions from Scotland and Cape Breton - now fused with an avant-garde edge.
Fàs is Breabach’s first album to feature newest member Conal McDonagh, who appears on Highland pipes, vocals, whistles, and in a new sound for the band, the Uilleann pipes. Conal joins Megan Henderson (fiddle, vocals), James Lindsay (double bass, Moog, vocals), Calum MacCrimmon (Highland bagpipe, whistle, bouzouki, vocals), and Ewan Robertson (acoustic & electric guitar, vocals). Fàs also features special guests Keir Long on synthesiser and Inge Thomson on additional programming, percussion and kalimba.
Calum MacCrimmon of Breabach said: “Fàs is much more song-based than our previous albums and is deeply rooted in nature. It features original instrumental compositions from each band member inspired by global climate-action youth movements, seed-vaults, figures close to the band and places close to our hearts.
“Working in isolation at home over the last few years gave us a lot of time and freedom to be creative, and I feel that really comes across on this album. We looked at pulling out different sounds from our instruments and voices on this one. We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out - you’ll still know it's a Breabach album but it’s definitely a new sound for us.”
The band began putting material together for the album during a workshopping week in Glasgow’s Hidden Lane in Autumn 2021. It was recorded, engineered and mixed by Iain Hutchison at GloWorm Recording Studios in Glasgow. The album was mastered by Peter Beckmann and produced by esteemed musician and producer Inge Thomson.
Fàs will be available to buy on eco-digipack CD and LP, and to stream and download on all major digital platforms on Friday 14th October 2022.
The band will celebrate the release of Fàs by hosting a special album launch party at Eden Court in Inverness on Friday 14th October, a chance for fans to hear the album live on the day of its release.
Breabach will be touring their new album this autumn, with 14 dates taking in venues from Edinburgh to Colchester.
September 30th - National Centre for Early Music, York
October 1st - McKillop Institute, Lochwinnoch 6th - Regal, Tenbury Wells 7th - Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda 8th - No. 8, Pershore 9th - The Fleece Inn, Bretforton 10th - Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester 11th - The Stables, Milton Keynes 12th - Theatre by the Lake, Nottingham 14th - Eden Court, Inverness 15th - Letham Village Hall, Letham
December 1/2nd - Glassel Village Hall, Glassel 3rd - Queens Hall, Edinburgh
Securely ranked among Scotland’s most skilled and imaginative contemporary folk acts, Breabach unite deep roots in Highland and Island tradition with the innovative musical ferment of their Glasgow base. They have released six increasingly acclaimed albums, whilst fuelling their creative appetites in collaborations with indigenous Australasian artists Moana and the Tribe & The Black Arm Band, Quebec’s Le Vent du Nord, video game composer Big Giant Circles and as artists-in-residence at 2019’s Celtic Colours festival with Cape Bretoners, Beolach.
2020 saw the introduction of the supremely talented, multi-instrumentalist Conal McDonagh to the band which coincided with the production and release of ‘Dùsgadh’, a newly commissioned short film with original score in collaboration with BAFTA award winning animator Cat Bruce and supported by Creative Scotland. Their 17 year adventure has included live performances from Sydney Opera House to Central Park NY. They have racked up an impressive array of accolades including five Scots Trad Music Awards, nominations as ‘Best Group’ in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and ‘European Album of the Year’ in The Songlines Music Awards.
Acknowledging and respecting the origins of both the music they play and the roots of the band whilst embracing the future with new ideas, energy and belief is a key attribute of the band and has remained a constant theme throughout their 17 years.