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In 2010 Stornoway alighted on the UK music scene, eschewing academia and the dreaming spires of their hometown Oxford, with their single, Zorbing. They were set apart by a gentle magnetism and lead singer Brian Briggs’ “exceptional ear for that most distinctive of sounds – the British pop melody”.
Now in 2015 Stornoway are set to release their third full-length album, Bonxie, on 13 April, accompanied by the single, Get Low. The first single from the album was The Road You Didn’t Take and it won the 6 Music Rebel Playlist and the band headlined the folk stage at the 6 Music Festival in Newcastle last month. Whilst The Road showcased Stornoway’s more pastoral side, the band’s talent for tapping into the seam of golden pop has not abandoned them. ‘Get Low’ is probably their most shining example of this since their debut.
Not only is it a sonic return for the band, songwriter Dr. Brian Briggs has sought inspiration for the album from his previous life as a PhD in Ornithology. Bonxie is the nickname of, a Hebridean sea bird, the Great Skua and the album features the calls of 20 different species of bird. With a deep-rooted belief in the potential of our species, Stornoway have always aimed to reconnect their listeners with nature and the outdoors, Bonxie does this but Get Low is a song that radiates the positivity embodied in the band.
Inspired by David Attenborough’s footage of imprinted Greylag geese, flying low along side the broadcaster and naturalist, the video for Get Low features the same geese this time flying along side the band. There is something truly wonderful about the focus of the birds and the improbability of this interaction with humans. That sentiment is exactly what the song Get Low is about and in a marvelously evocative lyric about fighting the odds (from his time as a conservationist on Chesil beach in Dorset), Briggs and Stornoway sing “You line up all the shoes you find washed up along the shingle. They never pair together only seem to end up single… Keep dreaming. Dream high. Some other time you’re going to Get Low”.
Dreaming high and flying low Stornoway tour the UK with their new album during 2015, stopping off in Norwich and Newcastle.