Premiere: Constant Follower and Scott William Urquhart Share Single “Watching The Black River Run” | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, June 17th, 2024  

Premiere: Constant Follower and Scott William Urquhart Share Single “Watching The Black River Run”

New Collaborative LP Even Days Dissolve Out April 15th

Mar 24, 2023 Photography by Jai Ohare Bookmark and Share

Hailing from Stirling, Scotland, indie folk outfit Constant Follower have quietly cultivated a style of literate and enchanting chamber folk, one they debuted in 2021 with their record Neither Is, Nor Never Was. Fans may also have caught wind of them last year when we shared a video for one of the record’s highlights, “WEICHA.” Now, this year, they’re back with Even Days Dissolve, a collaborative album with fellow Stirling singer/songwriter and guitarist, Scott William Urquhart.

For Even Days Dissolve, Urquhart and Constant Follower frontman Stephen McAll drew from from a very specific well of inspiration. In his late teens, McAll was the victim of a violent attack that left him partially paralyzed and unable to play guitar. During the long road to recovery, he often found himself returning to the works of Scottish poet Norman McCaig. Those same poems serve as the inception point for Even Days Dissolve.

But equally central to the record is Urquhart’s virtuosic guitar work. Urquhart’s guitar serves as the album’s instrumental core, incorporating shades of improvisory blues and meditative folk into the record’s atmospheric arrangements. The union of McCall and Urquhart’s styles makes the record feel like a truly collaborative work, one imbued deeply with the fingerprints of each of its creators.

Constant Follower and Urquhart have already shared the record’s lead single, “Waves Crash Here,” and today they’re back with another new track, “Watching The Black River Run,” premiering with Under the Radar.

“Watching The Black River Run” is a beautifully bucolic effort, centering around meditative folk guitar, close vocal harmonies, and soft piano accents. It feels sparse, fragile, and unvarnished, yet it also shines with a warm lived in glow, capturing McAll, Urquhart, and company at their most moving and most honest. Meanwhile, the accompanying video, directed by Martin J. Pickering, is equally sweet, sun-lit, and pastoral, following a magical fantasy of childhood joy.

McAll says of the track, “This is my favourite song on the album. Scott had already written the guitar part and I remember sitting down one night in the studio with it. I started up the guitar track and the words just came. For me, it’s a very simple song with few words, but the words that are there hold great meaning. It was also fun to work up. I invited Mark Tranmer (GNAC/The Montgolfier Brothers) to play some piano. His friend Tom was visiting. Tom hadn’t touched a guitar in years but I invited him to have a go and see what happened. And that’s what you hear on the recording – someone tentatively finding their way. I think it complements the fragile honesty of the words. I wanted to work with a range of female vocalists on this record but there was no one but Constant Follower’s Amy Campbell who could have given this song the beauty that it needed.”

Martin J. Pickering says of the video, “Constant Follower’s music always reminds me of being a kid. It’s probably because I grew up with McAll in Scotland and the songs spark so many memories and nostalgia from back then. That time when McAll, my younger brother and I were little boys and our imaginations led our fun. The last video we made, we tried to capture just a small scent of what it felt like to be a kid in the 80s.

In a similar vein, this film explores a little girl’s imagination when the paper boat she made disappears forever down a stream and into a river with her favourite doll sitting inside. She closes her eyes and imagines being the doll. A beautiful journey in her imagination begins. It’s set in a world that doesn’t really exist anymore. An older world where kids did things like this.”

Check out the song and video below. Even Days Dissolve is out everywhere on April 15th.


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