Rant give us something to look forward to


Scottish chamber-folk quartet Rant have announced the release of their new album Spin, out Friday 9 February 2023. A bold, ambitious and reflective collection of tracks, Spin is an album of reinterpretation, weaving nostalgia with innovation.

Celebrating a decade of musical excellence, the celebrated group, comprising Bethany Reid from Shetland, Anna Massie and Lauren MacColl from the Highland peninsula of the Black Isle and Gillian Frame from Arran, embark on a contemplative journey with their latest record.

The charming body of work pays tribute to the tracks and artists that influenced the quartet’s formative years, putting a new ‘spin’ on diverse music by bands and musicians from across the globe.

An innovative take on Rant’s well-established resonant sound, the album is both energetic and evocative, all while maintaining the inimitable spark of traditional Scottish fiddle music.

The album opens with ‘Dr. MacPhail’s Reel’, a reinterpretation of the Capercaillie classic. Serving as a fitting introduction to the record as a whole, the track boasts an iconic opening tune sure to resonate with listeners far and wide. Chosen from a brimming playlist of the band’s all-time favourite tunes, this track held unanimous favour among the quartet, paying homage to Capercaillie’s immense influence on their early musical careers.

‘Roslin Castle – Miss Gordon of Gight’ is a heartfelt rendition of the tune originally arranged by Alasdair Fraser and Tony McManus. Chosen for the album by band member Lauren MacColl, the track provides a moment of reflection within the album’s energetic repertoire, further emphasising the nostalgic themes present throughout.

Also on the record is Rant’s cover of Mairtìn O’Connor’s ‘The Road West’, set for release as a single on Friday 5 January 2024, in which the quartet beautifully capture the essence of this lively showstopper. Inspired by the band’s encounter with his performance at an Irish festival during their travels, adapting it for fiddles became a joyous challenge. The track brims with the spirit of that moment, infusing humour into its vibrant melody.

Lauren MacColl said: “Our material usually consists of tracks we have written ourselves or old, traditional tunes, rearranged within the band. Choosing to do this ‘covers’ album was therefore a personal and artistic challenge – but a lot of fun to make. After touring as a band for a decade, it felt like the right time to do something reflective. The title Spin is a reference to this being our own take, or ‘spin’, on music that was influential on us in our early years.

“Creating this record has allowed us to reconnect with the foundation of our musical passion and express gratitude for the vibrant tapestry of musicians who shaped us. It’s been a rewarding experience, delving into our musical history and rediscovering the essence of what ignited our initial love for music.”

With three critically acclaimed albums under their belt, Rant remain at the forefront of the Scottish fiddle scene. A culmination of four of the country’s finest fiddle players, each band-member is successful in their own right, both as individual artists and with other groups and projects including Blazin’ Fiddles and Salt House.

Known for their love of playing in beautiful spaces, their previous album The Portage was recorded in the renowned Mackintosh Church at Queen’s Cross and awarded ‘Top of the World’ status from Songlines Magazine.

Rant will launch Spin with a special performance at Celtic Connections on Wednesday 24 January 2024, followed by a tour in February and May. The quartet are set to captivate Scottish audiences with their rich tapestry of melodies, textures and stories woven through their fiddles.

Spin was recorded at Castlesound Studios in Pencaitland with each band member playing together in one room. The album will be available on CD and all digital platforms from Friday 9 February 2024.

Artists’ website: https://www.rantfiddles.com/

‘Sir Ronald MacDonald’s Reel/Johnny D’s’ – live: