The development of new talent has led to a major rise in the popularity of Scottish traditional and folk music.As the genre expands and bands are adopting new and dynamic ways of modernising the classic Scottish folk sound, opportunities for Scottish bands to thrive in the music scene are greater than ever.
Inverness-based Scottish-trad band CALA have not been in the music industry long, but that hasn’t stopped their music gaining attention from people all around Scotland, giving them greater chances than they have ever experienced. Ivan Steele, Finlay MacLennan, Amy Naulls, Alasdair MacQuarrie, Calum MacQuarrie, and Angus Walker, who are all members of CALA, command every stage with a strong presence and a clear sense of excitement and love for what they do.
The band Càrnan has maintained in touch with the traditional Scottish sound while expanding their horizons and blending two musical styles that have rarely been combined before. They are giving traditional music a twist and fusing an indie style of playing. The traditional instrumentalization along with the soft, gentle voices can be heard especially in one of their most recent tracks ‘Over the Hill’.
Càrnan initially consisted of just two lively young musicians, working as a duo. In 2022, accordionist Louden MacKay and guitarist Arthur Brook published the first of many tracks that were played on UK radio stations. The dynamic fiddler Breanna Wilson joined the duo earlier this year, turning them into the outstanding three they are now.
The phrases energetic and vibrant come to mind when describing Assynt’s music. The song stands out from the competition thanks to its distinctive blend of the traditional Scottish sound and current rhythmic cues. While other bands may be fusing Scottish music with other popular genres to create a unique sound, Assynt have made it clear that their creativity and unique take on folk music is different than the rest. One track in particular that stands out is Rescues. Starting off at a walking pace and then taking the listener into a fast-paced jig just showcases the origins and inspiration of their music.
The name “Dlù” comes from the Scottish Gaelic word “dliùth,” which means close-knit community. The ideal name for this group and the music they produce with the sound of the harsh violin contrasted with the soft and delicate underlying melody to then fuse in more instrumentals over the top and create a fascinating and exciting sound, the band’s debut single Moch immediately solidified their unique and distinctive melodies as something remarkable. The band isn’t afraid to show off each member’s unique musical abilities in their songs since, when combined, that’s what makes their music so compelling to listen to. The harmony of the music is enhanced by Moilidh NicGriogair’s piercing fiddling and the talents of Aidan Spiers on guitar and Seoras Chlad on bass guitar.
Westward the Light
Finally, a Scottish folk quartet that are taking traditional music back to its roots. Westward the Light truly strip back and create an age-old sound rather than bringing anything new to their music. The strings enable a thorough and thoughtful comprehension of Scottish culture. creating music that is not only in-demand today but might also serve as the background score for a vintage Scottish film that offers a glimpse of life in the highlands and islands back when. After taking a year off, the band reunited and shared their fresh sounds on their second album, which was released in March of this year. The strings need nothing else to put this sound across in their desired fashion.