In ‘Scots’ (a traditional language spoken in Scotland), natural phenomena are often given beautiful phrasing – the ‘Merry Dancers’ of the song being the Scots term for the Aurora Borealis. The song speaks to the things in life we miss in the bustle and stresses of modern living. In writing the song, McAll was thinking of a particular episode where friends missed the real Merry Dancers above their cottage whilst they were indoors watching a documentary about them.
The band’s debut album Neither is, nor ever was was borne out of a respect for change, and the inevitable passing of time that frightens, comforts and humbles every one of us. It is a haunting testimonial to the temporary joys and fleeting moments that define the human experience.
Co-produced by Scottish singer-songwriter Stephen McAll and renowned producer and Shimmy-Disc founder Kramer (Low, Galaxie 500, Will Oldham), the recording for Neither Is, Nor Ever Was began in early 2020 at La Chunky studios in Glasgow with engineer Johnny Smillie. This was interrupted by the birth of McAll’s daughter (if you listen closely, her cries are just audible during some of Kessi’s backing vocals on ‘Little Marble’), and shortly afterwards by Covid 19 restrictions. McAll began recording the rest at his own CFFC studio in Stirling. The resulting recordings were then mixed and mastered by Kramer at his Noise Miami Studio, to breathtaking effect.
Each album track is accompanied by its own short film. McAll sought-out the most exciting new talents in Scottish film and animation and invited them to be part of the album project. Each video, the artist’s personal response to the song, with no direction or interference from the band, resulting in incredibly moving and enchanting short ‘films’ in their own right (with multiple film festival considerations including Edinburgh International Film Festival and Manchester Film Festival in process).