Don’t let the name confuse you—Stornoway are not of Scottish origin, but are, in fact, a product of Oxford’s ever-growing music scene. Almost seven years since they became the first ever unsigned band to appear on the BBC’s Later... with Jools Holland, Stornoway have been steadily building up international recognition and developing their sound. The new album, Bonxie (2016), is a window into the mindset of the band, who often mix their interests in wildlife and conservation with their folk music—in fact, ‘Bonxie’ refers to a species of bird that originates in the Faroe Islands, halfway between Norway and Iceland. Described by the Independent as a ‘conservationist’s heartsong’, the music encourages and promotes a greater respect for the environment. Singer and lyricist, Brian Briggs, who wrote most of the material for the new album whilst staying in a caravan in the Welsh countryside, has clearly been influenced by the PhD he is currently pursuing, which focuses on ducks. And if their melodic, indie-folk does not appeal, surely the subtle incorporation of the calls of 20 different bird species will intrigue most music fans out there.
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