Film and music come together for Stirling group’s debut album project

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A group from Stirling collaborated with young filmmakers to create atmospheric visuals to accompany the songs on their debut album.

Dream folk group Constant Follower is also set to tour the United States for the first time next year and perform at the prestigious South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in Austin, TX.

Their debut album ‘Neither is Nor Ever Was’ was released last Friday (October 1) and the filmmakers made videos to accompany the ten songs on the album as well as one of the groups filmed on the Cowal Peninsula.

Formed three years ago, Constant Follower includes Stephen McAll (vocals, guitar and synths), Andrew Pankhurst, or Kurd, (electric guitar), Amy Campbell (vocals and synth) and Dave Guild (bass).

The group emerged after Stephen met Kurd at a concert and they realized they had to work with more musicians to play singer-songwriter Stephen’s solo songs live.

Stephen, 39, of Riverside, said: “The songs on the album are about space, time and recognizing that things change, nothing stays the way it is.

“It’s a very visual album in a way. It conjures up images when you listen to it.

“I knew from the start that it would take some very interesting films to accompany it.

“Every movie responds honestly to the music, the movies don’t represent the subject of the songs, but they are the artist’s honest response – and that’s what matters most.”

“What we got were 11 amazing full-fledged short films.”

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Filmmakers involved in the project include Alva’s George Farrow-Hawkins and University of Stirling Film and Media graduates Fiona Burton and Sean Hall.

“Nither is Ni Ever Was” was recorded at Stephen’s CFFC studio in Stirling and co-produced with US producer Kramer, whose credits include Daniel Johnston, Low and Bonnie Prince Billy.



Filmmaker George Farrow-Hawkins contributed to the group’s video project

In addition to the band, the album also features Tolbooth’s youthful officer Kenny Bates, who plays guitar on two tracks, and Mark Tranmer of indie band The Montgolfier Brothers as well as Stirling musicians Jimmy Hughes (extra bass ) and Jimmy Chadwin (additional guitars).

Stephen’s partner Kessi Stosch from Hamburg also sings and plays the synth and bass but, as a mom with a little girl who is also studying for a doctorate at Stirling University, does not participate in the performances in direct.

The quartet look forward to touring the UK, Europe and the US in 2022, as well as recording new tracks.

Stephen added: “We have been fortunate to have the support of American radio stations such as KEXP, WFMU as well as BBC 6 Music and BBC Scotland.

“We’ll be playing a few gigs in support of the new album, including a short tour of the US with next year’s SXSW festival and a number of other cities.

“This will be our first time in the United States and we are all very excited about it.

“We’re almost done writing the follow-up album and will start recording it in the New Year.”

Six films to accompany ‘Nither is Ni Ever Was’ have been released so far on YouTube and more will be released in the coming months.


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