Compass Records is proud to announce the release of STILL TIME, an album of new music from revered Scottish folk songstress Karen Matheson, on February 5, 2021. A video for the album’s lead-off track, “Cassiopeia Coming Through,” is available HERE. Widely recognized as the compelling voice of Celtic super-group Capercaillie, Matheson’s life in the limelight began with her performing as a child in her local village hall in Argyll on the west coast of Scotland, where she was brought up immersed in the deep well of traditional songs that have been her inspiration for over 35 years of recording and performing worldwide. STILL TIME is a collection of contemporary and traditional sounding songs featuring an intoxicating palette of sonic textures wrapped around Matheson’s distinctive voice. Featuring piano and production by Donald Shaw, also of Capercaillie, the album came about during a period of creative discovery from this summer’s unexpected lockdown.
From the opening acoustic cinematic sway of “Cassiopeia Coming Through,” one of four songs from the canon of Glaswegian songwriter James Grant, to the title track, written 20 years ago by Donald Shaw, STILL TIME captures an artist exploring her identity and rich cultural history. Two songs by Robert Burns, “Lassie with the Lint White Locks” and “Ae Fond Kiss,” join an anti-war song by musician and political activist Si Kahn titled “The Aragon Mill.”
‘’Ten years ago I was working on a bunch of different tracks, unsure of what direction to go in when I found myself facing a number of personal challenges including the loss of both my parents,” Matheson explains. “It felt right to concentrate on the Gaelic songs of my childhood, in tribute to what had given true shape to my life, resulting in the purely Gaelic release of URRAM in 2015.
“We were then left with a body of work, waiting in the wings to be resurrected at a later date with my sore heart eased and my faith in humanity restored. Fast-forward a decade and while the world paused, birdsong soared and banana-bread baked, STILL TIME was reborn with the help of some familiar, brilliant musicians who could accommodate the home-recording situation we worked through lockdown.
“’Still Time’ was penned by my producer and partner Donald 20 years ago and reflects on the passing of time and life’s choices. The words ‘still time’ resonated with me while collating the tracks for this album in lockdown, firstly on an obvious level of time ‘standing still,’ but also on another level in that there was ‘still time’ to finally finish this project.
“Somehow having time to reflect and consider music in a different way helped me finally finish the record and I am super proud of it!’’
As a solo performer, Matheson has been involved in various projects worldwide including the award- winning BBC series Transatlantic Sessions, where over the last decade she has filmed tracks with artists like James Taylor, Emmylou Harris, The McGarrigle Sisters, Nanci Griffith, and a host of respected Scottish musicians. Her many collaborators have included Algerian singer ‘Idir’, Breton guitarist Dan Ar Braz and Portuguese star Dulce Pontes and the late Pete Seeger.
She has released four acclaimed solo albums. For The Dreaming Sea” (1996) and Time to Fall (2004), many of the songs were written by acclaimed singer-songwriter James Grant (Love & Money) and feature the Scottish Ensemble on strings. On Downriver from 2010, she worked with Ireland’s legendary producer Donal Lunny to create an award-winning acoustic album, which provided the perfect platform for her mesmerizing vocals.
1 Cassiopeia Coming Through
2 The Aragon Mill
3 Still Time
4 Little Gun
5 Diamond Ring
6 Lassie with the Lint White Locks
7 Glory Demon
9 Laurel to a Wreath
10 Orphan Girl
11 Ae Fond Kiss