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Scottish instrumental folk trio Talisk combine stunning musicianship with a bright, accessible, vaguely pop-oriented tone, becoming multiple award-winners with their 2016 debut album, Abyss.
Formed in Glasgow in 2014, originally just for a one-off gig, the trio comprised fiddler Hayley Keenan, guitarist Craig Irving (also of Mànran), and concertina player Mohsen Amini, an Anglo-Iranian prodigy who broke the mold of the "typical" trad player. Counting Hans Zimmer and Ludovico Einaudi among his biggest influences, he won a shelfful of prestigious titles including BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year in 2016 and BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year in 2018 -- the youngest person ever to win it. He also co-founded and played in no fewer than three other folk bands: Fourth Moon, the Lowground, and the popular and successful Ímar.
Shortly after their formation, Talisk started winning prizes, beginning with a Danny Kyle Award at the Celtic Connections festival and following up with a BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award in 2015. They toured the U.K., and in August 2016 self-released their debut album, Abyss, a high-energy collection of tune sets that was modern, accessible, and faintly pop-oriented. The album sold well and was nominated for album of the year at the 2016 MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards. At the following year's awards, the group took home the trophy for Folk Band of the Year. They toured internationally, playing at many of the big festivals including Cambridge, Tønder, Celtic Colours, Cropredy, and, of course, Celtic Connections. For their second album, Beyond, Irving was replaced by Graeme Armstrong. The album was released in October 2018 and saw them experimenting with more sedate tempos and a more melancholy flavor on some of the tracks. ~ John D. Buchanan
- Glasgow, Scotland
- Alternative Folk
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