As a music network that focuses on Americana and Roots music, we understand that the origins of a lot of what we love today are rooted in the Scots-Irish music of Appalachia from 200+ years ago. Seamus Egan has been a continual force in traditional Irish music, and on Jan. 17 he’s releasing his first solo album in more than two decades. It’s an instrumental album and we think it’s something that should be on your radar.
At the head of the supergroup Solas, Egan toured the world and pushed the music in new directions, incorporating complex arrangements and elements of global and Americana music. His work defined Irish music for multiple generations. As a composer, he put his stamp on film soundtracks, symphonic collaborations, and, most famously, co-wrote Sarah McLachlan’s smash hit, “I Will Remember You.”
But Egan was confronted with two major life changes: his band Solas went on hiatus, opening up more time for his own music-making, and he moved from his long-time home in Philadelphia to rural Vermont. “Both things coalesced not by design,” Egan says, “but they came together at the same time. I liked the symmetry of it.” Holed up in his Vermont cabin, Egan finally had time to go through tunes and melodies he’d composed over the years.
Inspired by this time alone with his music, he enlisted close friends and collaborators to make a new album of entirely instrumental music, Early Bright, to be released Jan. 17. The goal of Egan’s new work was to reweave the threads of the Irish roots music he knows so well with a more compositional perspective, drawing from classical influences such as Bach, Segovia, Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, and modern composers such as Meredith Monk and Philip Glass. Early Bright marks Egan’s first solo album since his groundbreaking 1996 instrumental album When Juniper Sleeps.