Young Aberdeenshire-based musician Arthur Coates will release his upbeat folksy album Trapdoor to Hell on Thursday 6th October.
Arthur Coates, 20, from Insch in Aberdeenshire, grew up surrounded by his parent’s love of folk music from their native Shetland. The in-demand session musician studied fiddle and piano at Aberdeen City Music School where he realised his calling for Québécois traditional music. He released his debut solo album Focus in 2019 and toured the UK with English guitarist Kerran Cotterell earlier this year.
The new album is influenced by progressive Québécois folk powerhouses like De Temps Antan, who also play on the album and were involved in the production, and Le Vent du Nord. The record features exciting new compositions by Arthur and a range of collaborators, alongside some much-loved borrowed songs.
Standout tracks include Orangedale Whistle, which encapsulates the rock n roll attitude of the album, Sap Ain’t Running, a bluesy single about climate change, 17 Horses, a groovy track with a catchy folk tale at its heart, and upbeat instrumental Suite du ‘Sexy Fiddler’.
The album was recorded earlier this year at Arthur’s own CLOUDN9NE Studio and in Studio de la Côte Jaune in Quebec, where it was produced and engineered by De Temps Antan’s Éric Beaudry, with additional engineering from bandmate David Boulanger.
Arthur Coates features on fiddle, vocals, foot tapping, guitar, bouzouki, bass, electric guitar, synthesizer and percussions. Also featuring on the record are Cumbria musician Kerran Cotterell on guitar, accordion and vocals, Quebecois musicians Pierre-Luc Dupuis on accordion, harmonicas, jaw harps and foot tapping, and Éric Beaudry on guitar, foot tapping.
Folk and ceilidh musician Mark Insley plays harmonicas and jaw harp, Alex Walters plays moog, synthesiser and piano, Douglas Barber features on percussion, Manchester-based Guitarist and Songwriter Louis Campbell features on guitar, and Stuart Jack features on percussion. Stuart Jack, Kris Taylor and Ellie Beaton also perform hand claps and responses on the album.
Arthur Coates said: “Trapdoor to Hell is definitely a step ahead from the last album and has a very different sound. ‘The trapdoor to hell’ is a funny expression my Dad uses for the plank of wood we use in Quebec music for the feet tapping, and it felt like a fitting name that matches the tone of the album. The theme of many of the tracks is changing times, as well as climate change. It's also referring to the style of the music, which since my last album, is heavier, in a kind of rocky blues way.
“This is also a very special record for me because I’ve had the opportunity to work with three of my musical heroes: Eric Beaudry, Pierre-Luc Dupuis and David Boulanger, who together make up the band De Temps Antan. They have had a profound impact on my music, so it was perfect because they had the implicit understanding of what I wanted to create.”
Arthur will play Tarland Food & Music Festival in Aberdeenshire on Saturday 24th September as well as upcoming shows in Aberdeen, Newcastle and London.
Trapdoor to Hell will be available to buy on CD and stream and download on all major digital platforms on Thursday 6th October.