Bare Knuckle (2017) is a contrasting response to the music we had created for White Nights. There are obvious links with our ‘northern inspirations’ but this album became much more about rhythms and grooves, catchy and immediate melodies. Perhaps more ‘pop’ in feel than White Nights. In the year of its release we were awarded the title of ‘Best Duo’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. An award that we are extremely proud to have received.
Dealer in Hope
Time to Retreat
Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4 Preludio
2nd Dec 2017
Bare Knuckle denotes the gloves coming off and it’s an apt title not just for the track of that name but for the album as a whole. This is a duo exposing flesh and feelings in a series of conversations that can go right out to the edge of musical expression, sometimes ecstatically, as in the extraordinary, dizzying, adrenaline-fuelled Moscow Rush, sometimes atmospherically, as witness the keening, majestic impressionism of Tingaholm.
Stout’s tonal range and bow mastery – now gliding on Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No 4 Preludio, now choppy as the North Sea in winter – and McKay’s sense of enquiry and harmonic strumming and shape-forming are as breathtaking as they are excitingly, gorgeously, emotionally satisfying. A landmark release.