Win 1 of 3 CD copies of Ewan MacFarlane’s debut solo album ‘Always Everlong’, out October 29th.
Clutching his guitar, Ewan MacFarlane was hit by the sun’s warmth as he climbed through the top-floor window of Austin’s BD Riley's. Looking to the crowd spilling into the street below, one thing was certain; he was not in Scotland anymore. Everything about this show was unexpected, but ever the spontaneous performer - a man of vigour, natural ingenuity, humour, and goodwill – when the authorities close the street to make way for excessive audience size, what else is a musician to do?
That was Texas. Just one stop among the many twists and turns of Ewan Macfarlane’s life on the road so far. Navigating the melodic landscape like a river knowing know bounds, his journey as a songwriter meanders from his upbringing and base in Glasgow, Scotland, to sharing international stages with Elvis Costello, Simple Minds, The Prodigy, Muse, Thin Lizzy, and The Chemical Brothers to name but a few. Formerly, as long-time member of electro maestros Apollo 440, Ewan captivated audiences around the world whilst his unapologetic enthusiasm, unbridled energy, and charisma as frontman of Glasgow’s The Grim Northern Social saw him snarl and strut his way to garnering the attention of Glastonbury festival’s Michael Eavis, who hand-picked the band for the legendary John Peel stage after tipping them to be, at the time, the best up and coming band in the U.K.
Now broadening his horizons as a solo performer and melodic troubadour in his own right, Ewan’s debut album Always Everlong (out 29th October) sees him enroute to an uncharted destination.
Its origin though, remains very much a thing of its time. Challenging himself mid lockdown to write a tune a day to upload to YouTube each evening, these songs tell tales of tension with pledges of eternal love. An expression of his hopes and fears, the record is emboldened by a personable approach to classic rock penmanship as Ewan bares his soul by putting pen to paper, unafraid of the consequences. Honouring the revered rock’n’roll songbooks of Bowie, Petty, and Springsteen, it plots the works of those making up the soundtrack to his own life, who have always called, enthralled, and entranced him.
Barely finding time to eat, shit, and sleep, Ewan worked obsessively on the album’s recordings in his home studio, alongside childhood friend Davie Rollo, who added vocals and guitar before mixing and mastering the tracks. The Grim Northern Social’s keyboard player Andy Cowan was enlisted alongside good friend Dougie Hannah, whose powerful drumming drives the album’s energy to exhilarating heights. Meanwhile, Kirsty McAfferty’s hypnotic keys and vocals coil around Andy McAfferty’s driving bass and, showing the apple never falls far from the tree, Ewan’s daughters Jenijo and Ellijai MacFarlane share their beautiful haunting backing vocals.
Channelling the raw power of Ewan’s inimitable live performances ‘Always Everlong’ captures the unnameable feeling all great musicians elicit when you find yourself in the presence of something truly special. Whether felt by the sold-out crowds gathering to see Ewan and The Grim Northern Social perform at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut over 3 consecutive nights for 2 years running (simply through word of mouth due to his loyal followers), festival-goers at T in the Park, or right there, within the commotion of that street in Austin, Ewan’s burgeoning reputation is of a musician whose experience matches his many miles travelled.
When pre-pandemic life as we once knew it resumes, the wheels will be set in motion as the album is taken to his hallowed road, allowing us all to congregate as one for the love of music once more. The stops may be fleeting but for Ewan MacFarlane, his musical destiny is Always Everlong.
Watch Ewan’s video for ‘Underneath Your Spell’ here: