Edinburgh-born and based singer-songwriter Dot Allison is one of Scotland’s most sought after yet selectively spotted musicians. Since launching her career 30 years ago, fronting electronica trio One Dove, she has sung and co-written with the likes of Massive Attack, Paul Weller and Pete Doherty and was a longstanding collaborator with the late Andy Weatherall. Her solo outings, however, have been sporadic as Allison took time out to raise a family with her composer husband Christian Henson.
Happily, her first new album in 12 years, Heart-Shaped Scars, lands around the same time and from the same location as her atmospheric Scotsman Sessions recording of recent single, Long Exposure – both were recorded in the legendary Castlesound Studios in Pencaitland, where The Blue Nile made their seminal albums A Walk Across the Rooftops and Hats with producer Calum Malcolm.
“The first album I bought was A Walk Across The Rooftops,” says Allison, “so there is a sort of symmetry about being there for me. I coincidentally ended up being neighbours and have remained friends with Paul Moore from the band, and he messaged me on the first day of recording this album there to wish me luck…I shed a tear!”
As it turns out, this is a bountiful summer for Allison fans. In contrast to the wistful languor of Heart-Shaped Scars, she has also collaborated with Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre on the score for a new TV crime drama to be screened in August – Annika stars Nicola Walker as the head of a Marine Homicide Unit operating along the Scottish coast.
“It’s the first 'score to picture’ I have done and has been a really interesting and enjoyable process,” says Allison. “I think the show is brilliant, and obviously Nicola Walker is a fantastic actress.”
Heart-Shaped Scars is released by SA Recordings on 30 July and will feature on Tim’s Twitter Listening Party at 9pm on 5 August
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