BOREAS – Ahoy Hoy (Isle Music ISLE04CD)

BOREAS Ahoy HoyAhoy Hoy is the debut album from Boreas, the latest expression of Scandi-Scottish music fusion. Britt Pernille Frøholm and Irene Tillung represent the Scandinavian side while Lori Watson and Rachel Newton wave the saltire for the Caledonian contingent. An all-female, mostly string line-up – including Hardanger fiddle and electroharp – with two voices and Tillung’s accordion standing up for free reeds.

The combination of instruments allows for some spooky sounds with the accordion bass and Frøholm’s hardingfele providing drones when needed. A prime example is Frøholm’s ‘Bjørnen’, a dark and gloomy pair of compositions. The first song we hear is the single, ‘North Sea Holes’, written by Ewan MacColl for Singing The Fishing and a most appropriate choice for Boreas. We may think ourselves fortunate that they chose to include ‘Happy Set’, four traditional tunes including a puirt a beul, ‘Bat’ An Tàilleir’, and ‘Geld Him Lasses, Geld Him’ which I’m pleased to say doesn’t have words but which can be found in a collection of bawdy tunes. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

The second song is a superb setting of ‘Braw Sailin’, traditional but with adaptations by Watson. It’s a perfect example of the way Boreas construct a track. Lori’s is first heard unaccompanied but a fiddle drone creeps in quietly. With each verse the accompaniment builds in intensity and then, for a split second, everything stops before picking up again.

This is a record that demands repeated listening – I swear that some tracks sound different the second time round. Impossible, of course, but you’ll hear different things, a perception informed by listening carefully the first time, no doubt.

Dai Jeffries

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Bjørnen – official video:

Ahoy Hoy – Boreas release debut album

Ahoy Hoy
Photograph by Louise Bichan

AHOY HOY is the eagerly awaited debut album from Boreas, shaped by spanning the expanses of the North Sea. In this recording the band have created something both warm and sparse, shadowy and glistening, simple and intricate, it is indeed a glorious debut.

An enchanting musical union between Scotland and Norway, Boreas began as a collaboration between Lori Watson from the Scottish Borders and Britt Pernille Frøholm from Hornindal in Sogn og Fjordane. Lori and Britt are joined by award winning accordionist Irene Tillung from Voss and Rachel Newton from Edinburgh. Together, Boreas have a passion for new and experimental forms of traditional music creating a unique expression based on Norwegian and Scottish folk music. Boreas seek to emphasize old traditions and shared musical aspects, while exploring the spaces between their different yet connected cultures.

Britt Pernille Frøholm (Hardanger/fiddle) has released several albums and frequently works across genres including solo traditional music on Hardanger fiddle (National Champion 2014), folk bands, electroacoustic compositions, collaboration with contemporary composers and free-improvising big band.

Lori Watson (fiddle, voice) is the first doctor of Artistic Research in Scottish Music having completed her PhD in contemporary Traditional music practice. She has released several critically acclaimed albums under her own name and with trio Rule of Three. Her songwriting and compositions explore tradition and innovation, and she is in demand as an educator in Higher Education, and youth music.

Irene Tillung (accordion) is a versatile musician with a background in both classical/contemporary and traditional music. She has released several award winning albums with her groups Tindra, Maar and Frøholm/Tillung. Collaborating with Polish trio Kroke, she has toured widely following the release of a live album in 2010. Irene has composed several commissioned works, one of them for Førde Folk Music Festival in 2009.

Rachel Newton (Scottish harp, voice, electroharp) is a singer and harpist, regularly touring with her own trio, The Shee, The Furrow Collective and the Emily Portman Trio. Rachel has also performed with Karine Polwart, Blue Rose Code and The Elizabethan Session among many others. Her solo albums The Shadowside (2012) and Changeling (2014) earned her much critical acclaim including nominations for Album of the Year and Instrumentalist of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards.

Artists’ website: http://www.boreasband.com/

Boreas release MacColl song ahead of debut album

Boreas release MacColl song ahead of debut album
Photograph by Louise Bichan

‘North Sea Holes’ is the single taken from Boreas’ forthcoming debut album Ahoy Hoy. The song was written by Ewan MacColl and the band are glad to have already received high praise for their version from Ewan’s son Calum MacColl (‘Very lovely indeed…beautiful! I love it. Very atmospheric, like the harmonic journey.).

An enchanting musical union between Scotland and Norway, Boreas began as a collaboration between Lori Watson from the Scottish Borders and Britt Pernille Frøholm from Hornindal in Sogn og Fjordane. Lori and Britt are joined by award winning accordionist Irene Tillung from Voss and Rachel Newton from Edinburgh.

Britt Pernille Frøholm (Hardanger/fiddle) has released several albums and frequently works across genres including solo traditional music on Hardanger fiddle (National Champion 2014), folk bands, electroacoustic compositions, collaboration with contemporary composers and free-improvising big band.

Lori Watson (fiddle, voice) is the first doctor of Artistic Research in Scottish Music having completed her PhD in contemporary Traditional music practice. She has released several critically acclaimed albums under her own name and with trio Rule of Three. Her songwriting and compositions explore tradition and innovation, and she is in demand as an educator in Higher Education, and youth music.

Irene Tillung (accordion) is a versatile musician with a background in both classical/contemporary and traditional music. She has released several award winning albums with her groups Tindra, Maar and Frøholm/Tillung. Collaborating with Polish trio Kroke, she has toured widely following the release of a live album in 2010. Irene has composed several commissioned works, one of them for Førde Folk Music Festival in 2009.

Rachel Newton (Scottish harp, voice, electroharp) is a singer and harpist, regularly touring with her own trio, The Shee, The Furrow Collective and the Emily Portman Trio. Rachel has also performed with Karine Polwart, Blue Rose Code and The Elizabethan Session among many others. Her solo albums The Shadowside (2012) and Changeling (2014) earned her much critical acclaim including nominations for Album of the Year and Instrumentalist of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards.

Together, Boreas have a passion for new and experimental forms of traditional music creating a unique expression based on Norwegian and Scottish folk music. Boreas seek to emphasize old traditions and shared musical aspects, while exploring the spaces between their different yet connected cultures. Spanning the North Sea has shaped their debut album Ahoy Hoy and the single from the album North Sea Holes. In this recording the band have created something both warm and sparse, shadowy and glistening, simple and intricate.

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/


Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD
Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us. Can’t find what you are looking for? Search Amazon Store below.

Artists’ website: www.boreasband.com