The new second solo album from Nova Scotian Brad Lannon taking time off from highly thought of Celtic-Punkers Black Matilda. 

Back in 2021 we featured the self titled EP from Black Matilda. Based in the Celtic heartland of Nova Scotia in Canada (go read that review for some history on the region and it’s links to Ireland and Scotland). The EP would later go on to land a #10 in that years Best EP of the the year and, even better, the runner-up spot in the Readers Choice best of 2021.

Black Matilda accordion player Brad Lannon has struck out on his own here with this years Dark Waters a follow up to his debut album Batten Down The Hatches from 2020. Ten tracks that Brad wrote entirely during February of this year.

It’s a little self-challenge that encourage you to write and record music in the month of February. Nothing like a deadline right? I try to do it every year, often times coming no where close to finishing the 10 song or 35 min requirement. Usually you’ll find something in there that’s a gem though. Which is where a few of the Black Matilda songs came from.

Kicking off with the short intro of ‘Hi’ before ‘Underneath The ‘Ol Blind Tree’ and it reveals itself to be gentle wistful Folk music akin to the likes of Papa M or whatever Will Oldham is up to. ‘Footprints’ brings in piano and at 5 and half minutes is Dark waters epic. Next is ‘At The Dusk Hour’ and somewhat surprisingly the accordion is not loud in the mix which is a shame as I’m a accordion nut but it’s catchy and laid back with a multitude of instruments all complementing each other. Now a instrumental and ‘The Wild Wind Blew’ sounds like a track we can expect to be given the Black Matilda treatment in one way or another. Of course being a Nova Scotian the ocean is a theme that comes up again and again and ‘Calm After The Storm’ is a nice wee ballad giving Brad a chance to air that accordion as well as vocal chords!

(Their are no videos of Brad playing any of the songs here so here’s Black Matilda with their incredible video to ‘I Must Sail Away’ from their debut EP which was created by Brad!)

‘In The Tick Of It’ is over in pretty much a flash and the piano led ‘Night In The Woods’ is a creepy number that’ll give you the shivers before another instrumental, this time the piano led ‘Go To Bed Out Of it!’ that leads us nicely into the final song ‘Am I Dreaming?’. Recorded at home with friends popping by from Black Matilda the ideas for the songs came from Brad’s recent time spent in the back woods.

“I find it great for self-work especially during stressful times where I can just hang out in nature and enjoy the many deer paths. You know, using the forest as a mental health tool. Which is all great until you encounter an evil being of sorts! haha”

Black Matilda were a band that I was expecting BIG things from and then the blasted Covid came along and Canada like everywhere else went insane. Brad informs me they are back with new material and have already trialled it at gigs and gotten a fantastic response so already looking forward to that forthcoming studio album but Dark Waters is a very interesting ride through the creative spirit and it’ll be interesting to see how and if these songs end up for Black Matilda.

(You can stream and download Dark Woods via the Bandcamp player below)

Get Dark Woods  Bandcamp

Contact Brad Lannon  Facebook  YouTube

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