Doug Johnstone releases a new album, ‘Crow Hill’, available as a download.

Better known to many as an author, Johnstone’s musical career in fact predates his time as a successful writer – as frontman of Northern Alliance, who made four albums after forming in 2002, including one release via the Fence Collective.

The new album takes its title from the geographical feature beside Arthur’s Seat in Johnstone’s Edinburgh, where the singer and author suffered a stroke in March 2020, and he cites walking the same hill as playing a big part in his recovery – the album referencing the experience including ‘The Hole in My Heart’, discovered as the reason for the stroke. On his website he details the story behind each song on the album.

‘Crow Hill’s twelve tracks were recorded in The Portobello Loft, between March and May of this year, and follow a string of EPs released at various points over the years from the musician-turned-author (and back again), most recently ‘Living All The Way Through‘.

Johnstone’s career as the writer of 13 novels – including ‘Crash Land’, Tombstoning’ and most recently, ‘The Great Silence’ – has meant that musical releases have been sporadic, but often see his two disciplines coincide. One of the author’s early novels ties in to his musical career – ‘The Ossians’ telling the tale of a band’s touring adventures, and resulting in an album by the fictional act.

He is also the drummer for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a musical supergroup featuring Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Chris Brookmyre, Stuart Neville and Luca Veste.

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