Due for release 25th August 2023 via Rough Trade Records
2LP [Ltd First pressing Blue & Yellow vinyl]
In 2009 the band, then known as British Sea Power, were commissioned by the Edinburgh Film Festival to create their own soundtrack for the 1934 quasi-documentary, which they premiered by playing along live during a screening at the event.
A studio version of the album followed in May the same year, while more screening/performances took place at the BFI in London and at cinemas in Brighton and Sheffield, while events were also staged on a series of islands, including Jersey, the Hebrides and a Norwegian islet in the Arctic Circle.
Charting the activities of fisherman based on a remote outcrop in mouth of Galway Bay in western Ireland, Robert J Flaherty’ Man Of Aran captured a disappearing way of life as Aran’s inhabitants battled daily against the elements to survive, something that chimed deeply with Sea Power’s own curiosity for the past and their urgent, environmentally-driven concerns for the future.
The resulting, mainly instrumental score, proved to be a true artistic collaboration that stretched across the decades, earning the group widespread acclaim upon its release, both for the music’s simpatico relationship with the original film and as a stand alone work in its own right.
Declared by The Quietus on release as a “perfect symbiosis that should rightly be regarded as something of an understated classic,” Ireland’s Hot Press called it “Stunning... breath-taking” while NME encouraged listeners to “let it all gloriously wash over you.”
Fans will finally be able to experience that artistic and emotional depth on vinyl with this reissue.
Described by The Independent On Sunday as “chiming perfectly with BSP’s fascination with lost ways of life”, that band also found Man Of Aran resonated strongly with audiences when they performed the soundtrack live, producing the same, inspiring emotional responses from widely different demographics, which included a group of tear-stained Norwegian fishermen packed into in a 14th-century wooden church; an enthralled crowd of ravers at the UK’s Big Chill festival; and 2000 Irish ex-pats at Australia’s Perth International Film Festival.
It is fitting then that Man Of Aran is now finally coming out on vinyl, where the format’s deep dive qualities with allow the impact of Sea Power’s music to be felt in full.