Single Review

Mànran – Wild Mountain Thyme: Single Review

Ethereal and moving; Mànran reel you in and keep you captivated with their latest single.

Release Date: 24th November 2023

Label: Mànran Records

Format: Digital (pre-save here)

The award-winning Scottish folk group Mànran have been bestowing their musical prowess upon us for the last 10 years, and we receive it with open arms and ears.  They have wowed audiences around the globe with their unique and inimitable take on Scots traditional folk.  You only have to have a quick flick through their back catalogue and you’ll find your toes tapping to the steady beat of the guitar, your heart soaring with the pipes, your body swaying in time with the rhythm section and as the fiddle and accordion leap into tunes, you leap with them. In fact, it’s very difficult to keep still at all whilst listening to Mànran play. 

They have, to date, released 4 highly regarded studio albums; the seven-piece never fail to deliver, charting out new territory with their music and continuing to tour across the globe.

Mànran’s breathtaking version of Wild Mountain Thyme is both dreamy and subtle yet powerful and bold. The exquisite vocals of Kim Carnie, which open the track directly, are enough to pull at the heartstrings, her gentle Scottish lilt shining through beautifully; when the pipes come in it’s the icing on the cake. The powerful playing of Ryan Murphy is showcased here with the haunting sound taking you back in time, to the raw wild beauty of Scotland’s coast, the Atlantic pulling at your hair and the ancestral echoes pulling at your heart. The subtle, consistent and expert guitar playing of Aidan Moodie ensures the song steps along, contained yet spacious. Trad players Ewen Henderson and Gary Innes on fiddle and accordion respectively add just enough sparkle to the mix to ensure the classic Mànran sound is maintained.  The group’s soft harmonies build towards the end of the song adding to the passion and caressing her vocals perfectly.  They build the song to a crescendo before its closure and Kim’s voice leads us back into the emotional heart of this song.

The song left the audience wowed at BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay show in 2022, with this incredibly passionate version of the classic Scottish/Irish folk song.  The song went down so well that they decided to record it and release it with all proceeds going to homelessness in Scotland, an issue that is becoming more and more pressing across the whole of the UK. This song will no doubt do them proud and for such a worthy cause

Mànran don’t fail to deliver on a song that was originally recorded by Francis McPeake in 1957 and has been performed by a vast diaspora of artists from The Clancy Brothers to Joan Baez and Rod Stewart. Indeed the stakes are high when covering a song as well known as this.  However,  Mànran’s version can absolutely take its rightful place amongst the versions past, it stands alone, in fact, If this song doesn’t give you goosebumps in all the right places then I’m not sure what will. It’s a fantastic addition to their musical catalogue.

Mànran online: Website / Facebook / X – formerly Twitter / Youtube

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