If the last two single releases from Skipinnish are anything to go by, the music world is in for a treat when the band launches their latest single, ‘The Island’, today.
If its success matches that of its’ two predecessors, Skipinnish will be looking at an incredible hat-trick of appearances in the official UK download charts within a year.
Skipinnish field a 6 piece line-up based on powerful vocals and foot-stomping bagpipe tunes. Their new-found chart topping success would have been hard to believe over 15 years ago when the band was formed by accordionist Angus MacPhail from Tiree and piper Andrew Stevenson from Lochaber over some tunes in the then Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
‘The Island’ is a summer festival hit waiting to happen. Written by MacPhail and lead vocalist Robert Robertson from Lochaber, it is both powerfully nostalgic and irresistibly feel-good. “Will you dance and return to the island of the young” is a profoundly emotional take on the Gaelic idea of going to Tìr nan Òg (the land of the young), while it also reflects the vibrant atmosphere of the western highlands and islands during summer festival season.
In some ways the song is fresh and uniquely modern; yet in others it is deeply traditional and metaphorical. This paradox between old and new is reflected in the track’s sound, which blends the band’s West Highland roots (it is led by a lively riff played on accordion, whistle, and fiddle) with a subtle presence of electronica – driven by bass and synth. The electrifying energy which has made Skipinnish so popular at festivals is bursting from this studio recording.
Skipinnish’s increased popularity in the past year has been due in no small measure to their pioneering approach to social media. This will be their third single to be released with an accompanying music video online – a unique situation for a band on the traditional, Scottish scene.
The video, directed by Dol Eoin Mackinnon from the island of Scalpay, Harris, intersperses stunning shots from the coastline of Argyll with footage of a bouncing Skipinnish gig. While the song will make listeners want to get up and dance, the video’s storyline of love and loss resolved by impassioned, eternal reunion in the island of the young will pull upon the strings of even the hardest heart.
Music video releases have always worked well for Skipinnish. Last year’s ‘Walking On The Waves’ became something of a summer anthem. It hit number 1 in the iTunes World music charts, overtook the likes of One Direction and Ellie Goulding in the official UK download charts, and also made a huge splash on social media –receiving well over 100,000 views to date on YouTube, and being tweeted about by celebrities such as Hollywood actor Alan Cumming, and television presenter Lorraine Kelly. Shortly after ‘Walking On The Waves’, the band released ‘December’ which climbed even higher up the UK charts and remained on top spot in the World charts for over a week.
As MacPhail and Robertson continue to build upon a formidable songwriting partnership, this driving summer single looks set to take Skipinnish to the next level.
Artists’ website: www.skipinnish.com