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LONGLIST 2022

Niteworks
— A'Ghrian

  • Label: Comann Music
  • Released: 14 January 2022

Niteworks

Niteworks are Innes Strachan (synth/keys), Allan MacDonald (pipes), Christopher Nicolson (bass)
and Ruairidh Graham (drums). Childhood friends and long-term fellow musicians from the Isle of
Skye, Niteworks blur the lines between Scottish traditional, folk and Gaelic music with contemporary
electronica, creating a unique and exhilarating sound.
The band have just released their third studio album ‘A’ Ghrian’ to critical acclaim and are gearing
up for a busy touring schedule in 2022, including a collaboration with the BBC Scottish Symphony
Orchestra for a 90 minute show as part of Celtic Connections. Their spellbinding show combines
musical collaboration and visual spectacle, which has won them legions of fans and seen them
perform at venues across the UK including a sold out show at the iconic Barrowlands in Glasgow.
Festival appearances have included Celtic Connections, Hebridean Celtic Festival, Cambridge Folk
Festival, SkyeLive Festival, Rudolstadt Germany and The Rainforest World Music Festival in
Borneo.
The band is also much sought after for their experience with music commissions for high profile
national events. In 2018 they created a bespoke score for Edinburgh's Hogmanay fireworks display in
collaboration with BAFTA Award winning composer Dan Jones and the BBC National Orchestra of
Wales. They composed the soundtrack for the BBC’s multiplatform international media and TV
project ‘Speak Gaelic’. Most notably, in 2020 the band joined with Edinburgh’s Hogmanay again to
create a soundtrack for their ‘Fare Well’ video project. Featuring a spectacular drone display set to
words by Jackie Kay, the Scottish Makar, the project was a huge success with over 10 million views
worldwide.

A'Ghrian

A’ Ghrian is the dramatic new album from folk-electronica powerhouse Niteworks. The record, set to
be released on Friday 14 January, features an electrifying mix of Gaelic, Scots and English folk songs
infused with cinematic electronica.
The four-piece band are at the forefront of the new wave of trad music and released two previous
albums to critical acclaim, the latter of which was longlisted for Scottish Album of the Year. They
expertly blur the lines between Scottish traditional, folk and Gaelic music with cutting-edge
electronica, creating a unique and exhilarating sound that has seen them rightfully earn a reputation
for unapologetic innovation.
A’ Ghrian [Ah Ghree-un], meaning ‘the sun’ marks a new dawn for Niteworks as they incorporate
English folk and Scots songs into their repertoire for the first time, alongside Gaelic tracks.
This is something that’s at the heart of their vision, as drummer Ruairidh Graham explains: “There is
so much value to be found in Scotland’s minority languages and cultures that deserve to be
presented to mainstream audiences in ways that’s accessible to them. This means the music and
culture that goes along with it can be celebrated not just by those who use it, but by a much wider
audience that want to enjoy it too.”
The band, comprising Innes Strachan (synth/keys), Allan MacDonald (pipes), Christopher Nicolson
(bass) and Ruairidh Graham (drums), grew up together on the Isle of Skye, giving them an
appreciation for Gaelic culture and music. Their traditional roots, paired with their experiences
discovering club culture and electronic music in Glasgow, helped them create their signature folksy
electronic sound.
As you might expect, there is an abundance of vocal talent to be found on the new album including
stunning guest vocals from long-time collaborators Sian (Eilidh Cormack, Ceitlin Lilidh and Ellen
MacDonald) including a solo vocal from Ellen. The inimitable tones of celebrated Scottish singers
Kathleen MacInnes, Beth Malcolm, Hannah Rarity and Alasdair Whyte also feature.
Ruairidh Graham continued: “With this album we’ve sought to create a more expansive sound that’s
cinematic in its nature. We were partly inspired by our work writing the music for Edinburgh’s
Hogmanay Fare Well film that reflected on what 2020 had been like for many during the pandemic.
The nature of the project required broad expansive sounds, and that led to us going further in that
direction through the writing and recording of the album.
“Our upcoming orchestral concert for Celtic Connections further reinforced our desire to keep down
that path. A lot of the material from this album will lend itself well to that show and with the backing
of a full orchestra it’s going to be really powerful - we still can’t quite believe it’s happening!”
The album, which was funded by Creative Scotland and recorded in autumn 2021 with Andrea Gobbi
at GloWormRecording in Glasgow, also features Fiona MacAskill, Aileen Reid and Laura Wilkie of
Kinnaris Quintet alongside Susan Appelbe on strings.
The first single from this album, released on Friday 26 November, is Gura mise tha fo Èislein. The
powerful Gaelic track gradually builds in momentum, complemented by Ellen MacDonald’s soft and
soulful vocals and sets out the band’s stall for the record to come.
Other standout tracks include Each-Uisge, a dramatic intro to the cinematic record, which
masterfully combines synths with traditional instruments to create a bold sound. Meanwhile, John
Riley is an ethereal song which features Beth Malcolm’s incredible vocals as she weaves a folk tale
throughout the track. A' Ghrian is the perfect track to finish off the album, with a slower and more
reflective sound that has Kathleen Macinnes’ raw and emotive vocals at the centre.
Elsewhere, the striking sound of Thèid mi lem Dheòin Feat. Alasdair Whyte is bolstered by an all-star
backing choir of Pedro Cameron (Man of the Minch), Deirdre Graham, Donald Macdonald (The
Islands), Seonaidh MacIntyre (Trail West), Robert Robertson (Tide Lines) and Sian.
A’ Ghrian will be available to buy on CD and stream and download on all digital platforms, on Friday
14 January.
The band will tour the album with live dates scheduled from December 2021 until the end of 2022,
including a sell-out return to Celtic Connections in January, where they will join forces with composer
John Logan and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra to showcase exclusive orchestral versions of
their genre-bending back catalogue.

LONGLIST 2022

Niteworks
— A'Ghrian

  • Label: Comann Music
  • Released: 14 January 2022