Talented Tolsta A Chaolais tcheuchter, Iain Morrison has released his third solo studio album. After Empty Beer Bottles and Peat Fire Smoke and Skimming Stones he delivers Trust The Sea To Guide Me a new long player made with a little funding help from the Scottish Arts council.
Not to any detriment, there are no major departures from Iain’s previous beatific melancholies here and, as with previous releases, simple threads are woven between the past and present, drawing together diverse influences from his land, seas and people.
Sitting alongside the excellent new compositions, A Lewis Summer from his stalled Weather Journals sessions with local bard Daibhaidh Martin makes a welcome (re)appearance, 7th Floor’s lyrics and drive echoes those found on the Broken Off Car Door track by his former band Crash My Model Car and as ever we are treated to a good dose of, often untraditional, instrumentals as re-imaginings of old arrangements are given new edge witnessed in the spoken word splendor of a hushed Omu Prins Lament and An Ann Air Mhire Tha Sibhe as well as original works like Roddy MacIsaac.
Instrumentally throughout, acoustic guitars are backed by long drawn cello strings, pipes (great and small) and piano, traditional bouzoukis, well suited flutes, tip-tapped snared skins, harmonium and solid harmonies. His father, Pipe Major Iain M. Morrison also makes an appearance on canntaireachd or chanter.
It’s another great album, both winsome and uplifting, heart-rending and shot through with happiness. While his work is thoroughly evocative at times, the music remains more than strong enough to stand on it’s own off-island.
“I just kept swimming in this old wooden boat and although the lightening was cracking all around me, I didn’t feel scared”