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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Isle of Lewis Based Celtic Rock Band Face The West Release Powerful New Single

The Long Night to New Orleans is the powerful new single from Isle of Lewis based Celtic Rock band Face The West. The bagpipe-infused track, which is influenced by synth pop and rock music, and is the second single from their upcoming album.

Face The West are stalwarts of the Scottish traditional music scene with three albums under their belt, and a fourth on the way. The band formed while still in school in 1998 and includes Keith Morrison, Euan McNab, DC Macmillan, Jane Hepburn and Alasdair Maclean, with numerous other musicians having joined the line-up throughout the years.

The high energy outfit were nominated for Live Act of The Year at the 2009 Scottish Trad Awards and over the years have established themselves as festival favourites and performed across the UK and beyond.

The single was recorded during lockdown at Keith Morrison’s own Wee Studio in Stornoway, with previously recorded bagpipe parts. The dramatic track was also produced by Keith. Euan McNab performs bagpipes on the single, while DC Macmillan plays drums and Keith plays synths, piano, acoustic guitar and electric guitar.

Face the West moves with the musical inspirations of the time. When they started in 1998, they were influenced by the likes of celtic rock band Wolfstone and accordionist Sandy Brechin. For their upcoming album, they’ve been inspired by the textures and sounds of modern synth pop and rock music, while keeping a traditional theme at the heart of their sound.

Keith Morrison said: “The Long Night to New Orleans is the first pipe only set that we have released. It’s a new French tune written by Tangi-Oscar Josset, discovered as part of a pipe band performance on YouTube by our piper Euan. We got in touch with Tangi and he very kindly gave us his blessing. It’s a banger to get people excited for large festivals and gigs and to forget about real life for a while.

“The single is a brave new direction for the band – it’s strong and very powerful. The track is a labour of love and complete creative freedom, with forceful bagpipes screaming like they are coming over a battlefield held sturdy by mighty synths and electronic beats. New and old are mixed together for an epic listening experience. We set out to make music that didn’t really belong in a genre, just to create something we loved with no barriers or fears.”

The music video accompanying the single is just as powerful and adventurous, with Keith’s children entering into a virtual reality world where they can race cars and explore magical landscapes to their hearts’ content.

Keith added: “The music video needed to be just as epic as the track. It’s inspired by my children finding adventures and a whole lot of craic with their friends by playing video games on the internet over lockdown.

“The video has everything from racing classic cars round a race track together to shooting lasers through the mountains. Their use of virtual reality created memories and life long friendships when we were unable to get together in person. It was really fun to create and my boys love how it has turned out!”

The Long Night to New Orleans is available to stream and download on all digital platforms.


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