The new decade marks an exciting new chapter for Scotland’s fabulous fiddle-led FARA, as founding Orkney frontwomen Jeana Leslie, Catriona Price and Kristan Harvey welcome young Highland pianist Rory Matheson to the line-up.
Shortlisted in 2015’s Scots Trad Music Awards, for Up and Coming Act of the Year, FARA followed their critically-acclaimed debut album, Cross the Line, with a triumphant set at the 2017 Radio 2 Folk Awards, as nominees for the Horizon prize. Televised live from London’s Royal Albert Hall, it marked quite some journey travelled from that maiden gig just three years before, upstairs at the Stromness Hotel.
After winning a German Critics’ Choice Award that same year, FARA have continued to widen their reach, both artistically and geographically, drawing in strands of classical, Appalachian, jazz and indie-pop influence, while steadily multiplying the band’s fanbase across Europe and North America. Since Cross the Line, FARA’s musical focus has shifted from traditional and other borrowed material to collaborative original compositions, matched with exquisitely wrought, radiantly inventive arrangements, as heard on 2018’s rave-reviewed second album Times From Times Fall. A third studio album, Energy Islands was released in 2022 as their newest fourth brain brought an influx of fresh ideas, energy and influences, together with a deep-seated empathy for the band’s beginnings.