Prog-trad band Aerialists release first single from new album

A Gaelic song first published in a collection in 1776, An Gille Dubh Ciar Dubh is a young woman’s song of love, longing, barely-concealed anguish and desire for a young dark-haired man, despite her family’s disapproval. She would travel throughout mountains and wilderness for him, wishes that they were in a sheltered, secret place together, would willingly drink his health from the dirtiest pond. She has no interest in the (presumably family-approved) grey-haired man, now that this young man is in her sights.

After landing a 2019 JUNO Award nomination for Instrumental Album of the Year, the restlessly innovative Canadian / Scottish group Aerialists have turned their attention to song – this one sung by the band’s harpist Màiri Chaimbeul of Skye. An Gille Dubh Ciar Dubh is the first single from their new album Dear Sienna, coming Jan 10th 2020, which also features collaborations with Swedish vocalist Isa Holmgren and Canadian songwriter Taylor Ashton.

“In a Victorian-era song collection by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser, An Gille Dubh Ciar Dubh is noted as being a song from the 13th century. The song feels like a timeless exploration of the desires and struggles of a young woman seeking love outside her familial and societal strictures. Seems like dating wasn’t much easier in 1219 than it is in 2019.”

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