The Breath announce new album and reveal first new song

The Breath have announced details of a new album, ten original tracks of raw, gorgeous, acoustic-minded music. Songs that tell stories in ways that soothe, thrill and hit like a sucker punch. 'Land of My Other' is set for release on vinyl, CD and digitally via Real World Records on 13 October 2023

‘If it all falls tomorrow, be glad of today,’ sings Ríoghnach Connolly, on ‘Don’t Rush It’, the first song to be taken from the album. It might be about the toll we pay for leaving home, the mistakes we make by hurrying grief or something else… it’s the opening track of an album where Connolly’s emotions run the gamut: righteous, sorrowful, joyous. Authenticity is at a premium. Shame is cast aside.

LISTEN TO ‘DON”T RUSH IT’

Land of My Other is produced by renowned composer/pianist Thomas Bartlett, and with the wildly acclaimed duo that is singer Ríoghnach [Ree-uh-na] Connolly and guitarist Stuart McCallum at its core.

“We work like two halves of a single songwriter,” says McCallum, the Manchester-based composer and producer. “Imagine a guitarist and a singer who are not separate but are separate people. We just have this really special connection that lets us listen, adapt and evolve a piece of music together.”

Connolly nods her agreement. “Stuart is the yin to my yang,” says the reigning BBC Folk Singer of the Year, her north of Ireland accent untempered by two decades of Manchester living. “He has one face. I have many. He’s very measured. I’m not. I like mayhem. He doesn’t. I know where I am with him.”

Such a remarkable bond might have intimidated a lesser producer. But the Ireland-born, US-based Bartlett, famed for his work with the likes of Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, Florence Welch and Irish/American supergroup The Gloaming, intuited how to frame The Breath’s distinctive brand of art.

“The main aim was to capture the duo” he says of a work that was recorded in Manchester and at Real World Studios. “I’d sit at the piano not playing very much, just locating the energy and helping to focus it in a way I wanted it to happen. Sometimes I wanted to join in the fun.”

Land Of My Other is a place of memories and melodies, lyricism and lore. A place of sunlight, faerie-tales and rowan trees; of grief, incarceration and thunder in darkness. A place where ancestral trauma and colonial injustice meet blazing pride, romantic self-rule and hands held in a circle in the sea.

Where songs are sung with feeling, instruments are everywhere and music lives deep in the bones.

Land of My Other. The third studio album by The Breath.

  • Land of My Other

    The Breath

    Released 13 October 2023

    Land Of My Other is a place of memories and melodies, lyricism and lore. A place of sunlight, faerie-tales and rowan trees; of grief, incarceration and thunder in darkness. A place where ancestral trauma and colonial injustice meet blazing pride, romantic self-rule and hands held in a circle in the sea. Where songs are sung with feeling, instruments are everywhere and music lives deep in the bones.

LIVE
25 July Daltson Eastern Curve Garden, London

5 August Valley Festival, Bristol
11 August Miinack Theatre, Porthcumo
19 August Keep Her Lit Festival, Kilkenny
29 August Solfest, Cumbria

By Online Editor

Published on Tue, 25 July 23

Further reading

Real World Records to release ‘lost album’ by the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Discovered in the label's archives, the album captures the singer at the height of his vocal powers.

Jasdeep Singh Degun makes history at Royal Philharmonic Society Awards

The Leeds-based musician was the first sitar player to receive the 'Best Instrumentalist' award.

Track of the day: ‘AmmA’ by Bab L’ Bluz

'AmmA' draws on music from north-east Morocco and influences from Tunisia and Algeria.

Track of the day: ‘IWAIWA FUNK’ by Bab L’ Bluz

French-Moroccan power quartet Bab L' Bluz, release the third track from their album Swaken.