New Moon is the exciting new album from traditional powerhouse Hò-rò. The contemporary trad album, which features delicate ballads and upbeat foot-stomping tunes, has been released on Friday 22 April.
The seven-piece band from the Highlands, known for their spellbinding, energetic live performances, have become a force to be reckoned with on the Scottish traditional music scene ever since winning Up and Coming Artist of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards in 2017.
As they enter the next phase of their musical career, this third album from Hò-rò features a largely new line-up and sees them turn up the emotional dial on their material.
Traditional music is at the heart of the group’s high octane and heartfelt sound, which combines bagpipes, border pipes, accordion, fiddle and whistle with guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. This instrumental mix is complemented further by the unbeatable poetry of Gaelic song and the vivid storytelling of Scottish folk song.
New Moon is heavily influenced by the landscape and culture of the Highlands and Islands. The atmospheric album artwork depicts a painting by Inverness-based artist Dot Walker of the view across to the Isle of Eigg from the silver sands of Arisaig.
The album features songs and tunes from across the world, including traditional Gaelic pieces and self-composed tracks. The first single, Isle Of Eigg (released on Wednesday 23rd March), is Robin Laing’s beautiful and serene ballad, brought to life through the incredible vocals of band members Calum MacPhail and Hannah Macrae. Tracks Follow The Heron and Oran An Amadain Bhoidhich also showcase delicate vocals and calming melodies that are sure to delight Hò-rò’s loyal fans.
The record also features upbeat, cheery tracks like Beinn A' Cheathaich and the fast-paced Kaylins while Dark Sky, New Moon transitions from a soft and calming tune to an upbeat jig.
Hò-rò’s lineup now features Hannah Macrae on fiddle and vocals, Calum MacPhail on accordion and vocals, Sean Cousins on guitar, Paul Martin on keys and electric guitar, Ally MacLean on pipes and whistles, bassist Calum MacQuarrie and drummer DC Macmillan. Matt Arnot can be heard on drums on the recording of New Moon, which was recorded and mixed at Glo Worm Studios with Mànran’s Ross Saunders and was mastered by Grammy-nominated Robin Scmidt.
Hò-rò guitarist Sean Cousins said: “Now feels like the perfect time to share the new music we have been working on for years. We are all coming out of a pretty dark period and we hope the new music brings a bit of light to people.
“This album feels different for us because there are a lot of big emotional and epic arrangements on it and I think it speaks to the amount of energy we have been storing up since the last record – it feels like a very cathartic moment in our catalogue.”
Photo Credits: (1)-(2) Hò-rò (unknown/website).