Dundee singer songwriter Neil McLaren presents his latest offering with the release of single Middle of It All, available from 17th November 2014 via Two Thumbs. The Scottish troubadour has been making a name for himself north of the border since he started to write and perform in 2012. Following a path first trodden by the likes of Nick Drake in the ‘70s and, more recently, popular artists such as Ben Howard, Damien Rice and David Gray, Neil McLaren has been able to run with these influences and push them that little bit further by creating a sound that is very much his own. This sound has seen him pick up support from XFM Scotland, STV, The Daily Record and Amazing Radio.
You can stream Middle Of It All via Neil McLaren’s Bandcamp page. You can also watch the video that accompanies the single on McLaren’s YouTube Channel.
Middle of It All is a heartfelt shanty where McLaren’s vocals really are the star of the show. There is a character that shines through his voice, not dissimilar to Ray Lamontagne, as McLaren evokes a feeling of warmth, heart and soul with his lyrical content adding a depth to proceedings. A choral harmony further enhances an already impressive track as McLaren let’s his expressive vocals and lyrics run free. The track is especially important to Neil as the song was written around a time when he felt lost in a melee of disputes and family disharmony. Using the themes as a way to escape these troubles, Neil was able to produce an emotive, heartfelt offering of which many of his contemporaries would be proud.
Neil McLaren’s journey to becoming a recording artist has been anything but ordinary. He is registered partially sighted and was the first person in Britain to receive pioneering eye surgery having been born completely blind. He also has an unorthodox playing style due to being self taught. Neil has no knowledge of guitar chords or of reading music, instead preferring to experiment with instruments in order to find a sound that fits the lyrics he has written. This hasn’t stopped him from succeeding as he is now able to creating music on both piano and guitar.
To support the release Middle of It All, Neil will playing live dates in and around Scotland. He will also be looking to release another single before aiming to launch an EP in February 2015.
Middle of It All is due for release on 17th November 2014 via Two Thumbs.