Album release 2nd September 2020 via Company of Corkbots
London launch show 16th September 2020
“A twittering of a duet of harp and birdsong cushioned in a gentle ambient drone as McVittie’s spirit soars aloft with sun, sky and stars”
★★★★ Andy Gill, The Independent
The Man in the Mountain is the new album by Northern-Irish singer songwriter Bróna McVittie including tracks released as a double A side single in January 2020, The Green Man and Eileen Aroon. This follows Bróna’s 2018 debut album We Are the Wildlife, and showcases new collaborations with avant-garde Nordic composer Arve Henriksen on The Lark in the Clear Air and electronic duo Isan on Eileen Aroon and Falling for Icarus.
McVittie’s second album includes fewer traditional folk songs than her debut with more focus on her original compositions, drawn from her deep love and knowledge of Irish folk mythology, music and the natural world. The title track The Man in the Mountain explores the legend of Irish giant Finn McCool wrapping it in a rich tapestry of harp, drones and hushed vocals. Henriksen and McVittie together find a completely new mood for widely-favoured Irish folk song The Lark in the Clear Air. His experimental trumpet and electronics provide an innovative sound-bed for her elongated vocal phrasing that stretches two verses across seven minutes, paying deep reverence to the well-known Samuel Ferguson ballad. Electronica trailblazers Robin Saville & Antony Ryan (Isan) co-arrange 14th-century folk song Eileen Aroon and original sun-worshipping anthem Falling for Icarus, which adopts nuclear fusion as a metaphor for love. Elsewhere on the album, as Bróna weaves a thread between cosmology and ancient myths, track titles abound with literary references from poets and authors including Siegfried Sassoon Glamour Obscures her Gaze, Pablo Neruda Secretly, Between the Shadow and the Soul, William Wordsworth So Be it When I Shall Grow Old and Henry Williamson Strange and Forgotten Things of the Moor reflecting the breadth of her influences. Her lockdown documentary provides further insight into her inspiration.
The marriage of styles in McVittie’s work reflects her musical influences, from her upbringing listening to British and American artists like Bert Jansch and Dolly Parton,to her later interest in the electronic music of Boards of Canada and Plaid; and contemporary composers such as Peter Maxwell Davies. She cites Tunng and Juana Molina as direct influences to her combining electronic sounds with folk instruments.
We Are the Wildlife received glowing reviews from top critics across the board in Uncut, Mojo, The Guardian, The Independent and R2;airplay in the UK from Lauren Laverne, Gideon Coe and Cerys Matthews on BBC 6Music; Lynette Fay, Across the Line and Eve Blair on BBC Radio Ulster; in Ireland from Ruth Smith on RTÉ Radio 1, Cian Ó Cíobháinon RnaG and John Kelly on LyricFM; and worldwide broadcast as far as the USA, Canada and Australia. On the back of this success she has gone on to perform at top concert venues including Dublin’s National Concert Hall, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Celtic Connections), London’s Kings Place and WOMAD festival. Brona is well-known on the global folk scene in her former role as lead singer and harpist for trad folk stalwarts The London Lasses. In addition to her solo career she is musical director of the Mourne Community Choir.
Byline: Bróna McVittie is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland
For all press + radio enquiries, contact Seb at Pindrop Publicity firstname.lastname@example.org / +447932635856
The Green Man (shot and edited by Adam Thomas Hale)
London Album Launch Show
Wednesday 16th September 2020
7.30pm (doors) / £15.00-£22.50
St Pancras Old Church, Pancras Rd, London NW1 1UL
Bróna McVittie (vocals, harp, acoustic guitar, theramin, production) and contributors: Myles Cochran (steel guitar 1-9, arrangement 4, co-production 1-10); Richard Curran (cello 1, 3, 5, 8); Hutch Demouilpied (trumpet 10); Anne Garner (flute 1, 5); Arve Henriksen (trumpets, electronics 7); Marius Rodrigues (drums 5); Isan: Antony Ryan & Robin Saville (electronics 2, 6)