Lewis musicians pull together for new project

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A singer/songwriter from Lewis has teamed up with another musically talented islander on a new project.

Released last week, Invisible Things is the new single from Willie Campbell and The Stations – the new creative guise of collaborative working with fellow Lewis man Norman Paterson.

This first single has the familiar, bitter sweet tones that are present in Campbell’s songwriting but with a new melodic approach due to Paterson taking on the bulk of the lyric writing.

‘Campbell and MacNeil’s first single is built around the former’s chiming music box-cadence, absolutely beautiful.’ – The Guardian.

‘There must be something in the Scottish air that inspires this sort of thing. Regardless, it’s a gorgeous, compelling listen.’ – Drowned in Sound Social.

Willie first came to widespread attention in the late 1990s when co-fronting Astrid which by the time they had disbanded had racked up everything from soundtracking Jamie Oliver cookery programmes to a Simon Mayo single of the week on Radio 1.

Along with Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, Willie was a founding member of turn of the century indie collective The Reindeer Section which also included members of Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap, Mogwai, Belle and Sebastian and many others.

More recently, Willie has been releasing records as The Open Day Rotation and has three critically acclaimed albums: 2008 debut Down by the Head followed by Toxic Good Toxic Bad and in 2018 New Clouds in Motion, the latter produced by Tony Doogan of Mogwai, Belle and Sebastian.

Willie was also the subject of a BBC documentary, An Estate Car and a PA, which documented his return to his native Lewis and successful writing trips to the fiercely competitive environment of Nashville. Campbell signed to Nashville-based Big Loud Shirt publishing in 2010.

The multifaceted musician was commissioned in 2018/2019 to write songs for the ‘Dìleab’ project which was centred on the history of emigration and war experience of island communities in the Outer Hebrides. Recent projects include a tour of Between Islands – a collaborate inter-island songwriting collective with Kris Drever and Arthur Nicolson.

Astrid reformed in 2019 and released a new record Fall Stand Dance produced by Edwyn Collins. It was released through his AED label.

‘Campbell rises above all other references and stakes his claim to being one of the country’s truly great pop songwriters.’ – The Herald.

Photograph (NO_F49_WillieCampbell 2021): Willie Campbell is a Scottish singer songwriter based on the Isle of Lewis who first came to widespread attention in the late 1990s when co-fronting Astrid.