Dean Owens releases a new single, ‘A Song For The Dark Times’.Eel Pie Records.

Written and recorded during lockdown, Owens freely admits to stealing the single’s title from Ian Rankin’s new Rebus book – “with his blessing” he adds.

Indeed, there’s a tie-in with the author, with a limited offer where fans who buy a copy of ‘A Song For The Dark Times’ – the book – in selected branches of Waterstones, get a free copy of the single. A download code will be available with the book purchase for a limited period only, at branches in Edinburgh (Princes St, Ocean Terminal, Cameron Toll); Falkirk (High Street); and Glasgow (Sauchiehall St, Argyle St, Byres Rd).

The track was recorded in a socially distanced style, with Calexico drummer John Convertino recording his parts at home in El Paso, Texas, and The Southerners’ Tom Collison, playing “pretty much everything else” – keys, mellotron, bass and slide – in London.

It was then mixed and mastered by Garry Boyle at the Slate Room Studio in Pencaitland.

Owens tells how he got the melody for the song’s verse from a blackbird in his garden during the spring and early summer months of lockdown. “His song kept waking me up in the wee small hours so one morning I got up and turned it into this song.”

‘A Song For The Dark Times’ is available worldwide on all the usual digital platforms, but especially on Bandcamp.

The track also comes with a promo by Owens’ regular videomaker Ruth Barrie at Waltzer Films.