While band frontman McAll survived a catastrophic head injury caused by a gang attack, he lost every childhood memory, and spent the following decade in a cabin on the West Coast of Scotland, eventually resuming songwriting.
A series of raw ideas were recorded onto old cassettes, before being worked into beautiful, fully-fledged songs, brought fully to life by the band he formed around him, including guitarist Andrew Pankhurst, who fills us in further on Constant Follower.
Who and Where?
We’re a Stirling-based band featuring acoustic guitarist/singer/noisemaker McAll, guitarist Andrew Pankhurst, Amy Campbell on backing vocals and synth, and Kessi Stosch on vocals and bass; hailing from Glasgow, West Yorkshire, Dunblane and Hamburg respectively.
Constant Follower began life as McAll’s solo project back in 2017 as a platform for a long-gestating collection of spare and plaintive songs for acoustic guitar and electronics, but started to flesh out into a band setup after meeting guitar player Andrew Pankhurst at a gig and sensing possibilities for adding new dimensions to the songs.
After a brief stint with Moonsoup’s Niahm Baker on vocals and bass, we kind of solidified as a three piece with Kessi Stosch taking on the role permanently, and added singer and synth player Amy Campbell late last year.
The songs come together starting with a vocal and acoustic guitar part. McAll writes all the basic structures and words, then usually electric guitar comes second. We seem to gravitate to dreamy sounds, so this often means trying to create long formless guitar sounds that kind of float around the tracks.
We find it’s best not to speak about what notes or chords are involved, and just react to the music on first listen. Then if it needs synth or bass, we add those. But many of our songs are super stripped back – the sense of space is definitely key to what we do. The female backing vocals are an essential ingredient also – they provide such an important counterpoint to the lead vocal – like Bob Ross’s light and shade.
We’ve recorded quite a lot of stuff at McAll’s studio, though we did do the basic tracking for the record at La Chunky in Glasgow, which was a great experience.
This is a question we’ve grappled with since the start – we still don’t really know the perfect few words to describe the music to be honest. One reviewer said ‘Dream Folk. Another, in Poland, called our music ‘Scottish Expanse’. We settled on soaringambientdreampopxperimentalfolk.
You wouldn’t think it’s easier to sing about some things than it is to talk about them. But sometimes it is.
‘Set Aside Some Time’ is available to stream or download now.
More at www.constantfollower.com / www.facebook.com/theconstantfollower.
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