Canadian folk-rock quartet Villages have shared their new single “Play the Fiddle All Night,” the next offering from their upcoming album Dark Island, out February 17 via Sonic Records. Propelled by masterful rich instrumentation and timeless Celtic music influences, “Play the Fiddle All Night” arrived with a behind-the-scenes music video. The track was praised by Glide Magazine who said, “This gorgeously infectious tune finds the band channeling the likes of Richard Thompson while marrying their Celtic roots with more of a contemporary indie folk sound. Layering in orchestral textures and soaring choruses, the song feels like it could fill an arena.” Fans can stream the new single here and Dark Island is now available for pre-order.
Listen to “Play the Fiddle All Night”
Watch the Official Video for “Play the Fiddle All Night” via YouTube
Pre-order Dark Island
"The song was written after reflecting on the traditional poem ‘The Dark Island,’” says Villages, made up of members Matt Ellis, Travis Ellis, Jon Pearo and Archie Rankin. “Stirring up thoughts of mortality and what of our home on Cape Breton Island would be pined for when the time comes. The song presented itself very quickly and we finished it only a few days before we were scheduled to record. There was a striking similarity in themes carried in both the poem and our tracklist, so it ultimately gave namesake to the album. The song immediately felt vital to the record and given the spontaneity of it all, it was one of the more exciting experiences in songwriting that we’ve had.”
“Play the Fiddle All Night” follows the uplifting “Love Will Live On,” which arrived with a cinematic music video and was met with acclaim from outlets including Earmilk and Atwood Magazine, who said that the track “emphasizes the charm of simple living.” Over the holidays, the band treated fans to their jubilant holiday original “Merry Christmas (From the Dowie Dens)”.
Villages’ forthcoming album Dark Island finds them penning a euphoric and reverent love letter to their native Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. The album has already garnered support from the CBC who said, “With Dark Island, the band can easily claim its own folk niche,” and Music Connection Magazine who hailed it as "a masterpiece, delivering a combination of gently harmonized vocals and maritime-shanty melodies alongside lilting instrumentals ... a soothing ethereal experience.” Produced by JUNO-winning composer and producer Joshua Van Tassel (David Myles, Great Lake Swimmers, Fortunate Ones), Dark Island results in a type of Celtic music that respects its heritage while taking sonic chances. These musical risks can be credited to early influences like indie rockers Teenage Fanclub and Belle and Sebastian, as well as their previous incarnation as acclaimed indie-rock outfit Mardeen.
Lyrically, nature is a dominant theme on Dark Island, painting a wild and beautiful landscape for listeners with vivid images of fields, waves, trees, rivers and rocks, presenting this as a kind of soundtrack to island life, and an immersive experience where everyone can feel at home. For the members of Villages, that sense of home is soundtracked by traditional Celtic music, and to create new music that faithfully honors their roots is no small feat and no small responsibility. With this in mind, Dark Island showcases the band embracing their musical sweet spot – expertly melding timeless tradition with an infectious rebellious spirit.
Villages' self-titled debut took a deep dive into the haunting and meandering melodies of the Cape Breton Highlands and presented them through atmospheric arrangements that bring to mind groups like The War on Drugs and Fleet Foxes. Described as "the perfect sunrise soundtrack" (The Line of Best Fit), the band’s 2020 EP Upon the Horizon built onto their unique sound and was mixed by Phil Ek (Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes).
Dark Island Tracklist:
1. Wearing Through the Pine
2. Love Will Live On
3. Easy When You Know How
4. Dawnless Nights
5. Lost Again
7. Flower of the Morning
8. Play the Fiddle All Night
9. Pink & Grey
11. Rocks in the Field