The older I get, the more I find myself listening to folk music. It’s odd to think that during my teens I grew up on a staple diet of heavy rock and punk. I think my teenage self would be horrified by my current taste in music, then again what do kids at that age know? I think it helps that there are so many talented folk artists in Scotland at the moment, perhaps there always were, but at least now I am picking up on them. The most recent artist to prick my ears up is singer-songwriter, Lorraine McCauley, who originally hails from the Inishowen Peninsula, Donegal, and now lives in Edinburgh.
She sent me over a copy of her new EP, ‘Haunt Me’ a good few weeks back, but at the time I was pretty swamped doing stuff for Olive Grove. Normally there would have been a danger of it being over looked, but there was something about her voice that really struck a chord with me. She appears to draw inspiration from an array of folk-rock singers, personally I hear touches of Laura Marling, Joni Mitchell and even a touch of Karine Polwart in there.
At this time of year as everything starts to slow down a little, when it’s just a bit too cold to venture out, and you’d rather just stay cosy at home – this is the perfect soundtrack for such an evening.
Would you care to introduce yourself?
Hello, I’m Lorraine from Lorraine McCauley & The Borderlands. Pleased to meet you.
How would you describe the music you make?
Ah ha well I’d say that it is a Modern Folksy kinda thing. With myself on the guitar and singing and The Borderlands on cello, accordion, viola, fiddle, glock and any other instruments on hand at the time.
How did you come together as a band?
I met Jonee Duggan the accordian player and sound engineer when playing a gig in Glasgow and that set in motion the formation of our band, Lorraine McCauley & The Borderlands. We decided on a free trade swap. Jonee recorded my songs and I gave him singing lessons. Jonee then accompanied my songs on the accordion as well. I first met Nick Jenkins a fiddle, viola and mandolin player in a late night jamming session at a festival. So when I seen him perform again at Creative Scotland I asked him to play on the EP. Billy Hamilton seen me performing at Secret CD’s in Edinburgh and offered to play cello. So Billy joined us in the studio too for the recording of my debut EP “Haunt me” and from that The Borderlands came to life.
How did you start out making music?
I grew up in Donegal and from an early age I was singing in Irish Feiseanna. But it wasn’t until I went to live in Japan that I picked up the guitar and started writing my own material. During this time I collaborated with many artists ranging in styles from folk rock to trip hop. Mostly I wrote songs and performed with Japanese multi-instrumentalist artist Ritsuko under the name RiLo. Upon leaving Japan I travelled throughout England working, farming and finding my own way of writing and singing. But it wasn’t until moved to Edinburgh that I started writing and gigging regularly, inspired by the vibrant Scottish folk scene here.
What process goes into the way you write songs?
I write songs and then bring them to the band. The guys are all extremely talented and develop their parts and really bring the songs to life. Who are your big musical influences? People whose music inspires me would be Martha Wainwright for her honesty and freedom, Jesca Hoop for her originality and creativity and Karine Polwart for her ability to tell great stories in her songs.
What kind of influence do you feel that where you come from has had on the music you create?
Well growing up in Donegal traditional music was part of life, so I’d say that has influenced my accompaniment choices. What can people expect to see/hear from your live shows? See? Me in a dress usually and three men with beards if they haven’t shaved recently! Hear? The modern folk sound of Lorraine & The Borderlands with lyrics that reach out to you from the start with music for the soul and senses ;0)
Has there been a particular gig that has stood out for you so far (good or bad)?
Our fourth gig as a band was at Knockngorrach festival in the West of Scotland – we were sharing the line up with Jesca Hoop, King Creosote, The Beat and Lunasa and it was amazing. The crowd were great and in the middle of our set two stilt walkers joined in the performance with an impromptu dance to our music.
What are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond? Do you have any new releases planned for any time soon?
Next up is the official launch event for our debut EP “Haunt me” at Coda Music, Dec 1st at 6pm. We will be playing live in Coda Music Shop on the Mound in Edinburgh and celebrating with mulled wine and mince pies. So we hope to see you there. To find out more please visit Myspace or join our Facebook page.
Lorraine McCauley & The Borderlands.
Lorraine McCauley’s EP, Haunt Me is available to pre-order now through CD Baby, you can also download it on iTunes and through Amazon. On the 1st of December, Lorraine an her band The Borderlands celebrate it’s release with a gig at Coda Music in Edinburgh.