I first heard of Stornoway by accident. It was one of those fortuitous moments where, on a whim, I decided to take YouTube’s sidebar suggestion and found myself watching an unsigned band from Oxford playing a song on Later…With Jools Holland. I’ll never forget the first time I heard that song. It was simple, yet beautiful. The lead singer’s ability to casually alternate between soaring and sweet vocals struck me immediately. There was immeasurable charm to be found in that song, and after that one listen, I was hooked.
Stornoway’s debut, Beachcomber’s Windowsill, was a record over five years in the making, and the band proudly boasts of its personal and DIY nature. Recorded in bedrooms using over one hundred instruments, Beachcomber’s Windowsill is a joyous album and immensely easy listen. I wore that album out back in 2010, and it is with much excitement that I received the announcement of their sophomore effort, Tales From Terra Firma.
In anticipation of this release, Stornoway played an intimate set atop London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. The show was recorded in full and is available for your viewing pleasure. If that first song doesn’t break your heart, then keep watching. The rest of the performance certainly will.
Although they have found a certain amount of success in the UK, Stornoway is not quite as internationally known as they should be. If you have even a passing interest in folk, harmonies, British accents, or heartbreaking music in general, check these guys out. You won’t be disappointed.
Tales From Terra Firma is set to be released in March of 2013. For more info, check out Stornoway’s official website.