"Macfarlane belts out hard, driving sounds with catchy-as-hell lyrics and rhythm" - Rolling Stone
“Sparking with triumphant Wah! exuberance, the former Apollo 440/ Grim Northern Social frontman channels his inner Tom Petty to excellent effect with his debut solo album, Always Everlong” – Classic Rock Magazine
"Gritty and melodic, soulful, and driven with an enthusiastic energy, a terrific debut" – 4/5 RNR Magazine
"the best voice in rock this side of the Atlantic” -The Sunday Times
“a mesmerising live act and decidedly the best the country has to offer "- Music Week
“Surely we have a brand new candidate for the album of the year!”- XS Noize
"Hooky, classic rock with a Springsteen meets Tom Petty feel. Listened to it once, skipped it back and listened to again straight away. Twice.- 5/5”- Louder Than War
“This is for playing loud with the windows open enjoying the singing in the rain vibe. If you haven’t heard this man’s voice before, then now is the time.”- Backseat Mafia
Second Album - 'MILK'
The Story So Far ...
In 2018, Ewan MacFarlane played his final show as frontman of Apollo 440 in front of 30,000 fans in a sun-kissed
Seville. His next step was to do something completely different when he released his debut solo album ‘Always
Everlong’ in October 2021. It emerged to a rapturous reception, with praise from countless publications
including Rolling Stone, Classic Rock, Louder Than War and The Sunday Times, who declared him to be “the best
voice in rock this side of the Atlantic.” winning praise for the rich timbre of the soul of his voice, as well as for songs
that felt like a kindred spirit to Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen.
Amidst the praise almost everyone posed the same question. How come the guy from Apollo 440 is now making
music that feels like a kindred spirit to Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen?
Embracing a rich run of creativity, Ewan quickly released a Deluxe Edition of ‘Always Everlong’ before following it
with his second album, ‘MILK’, in October 2022. If Always Everlong delivered the unexpected, Ewans’s second
album Milk throws another thrilling, fascinating curveball into the mix. His love of Petty and Springsteen remains
in sharp focus as heard with his debut album, but now you can hear touches of Al Green, Arctic Monkeys, The
Clash, Foo Fighters and The Replacements within a stellar set of songwriting.
“‘Always Everlong’ was an ode to my heroes, like Springsteen, Petty, Fleetwood Mac and Bowie,” he begins. “My
new album Milk, is a bit more edgy, and there’s a lot more soul. It’s very varied and unpredictable with some big
changes in the way that some of the songs go. That’s my favourite thing about being a solo artist. I can do exactly
what my mind and heart wants to do.”
The album’s title track ‘MILK’ is one of the finest moments that Ewan has ever delivered. Opening with a
swaggering, indie-rock riff with a hint of Alex Turner in his vocal phrasing, it opens up epically during its chorus,
while Ewan’s voice takes on a tone that recalls Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction. “It shouldn’t work,” he admits,
“but that’s the beautiful thing about music. There are no rules.”
“‘Milk’ is a concept album all about the same woman, my wife Jo. I suppose a modern take on a love album, with
twists and turns. It’s about all the highs and lows of love, lust and passion, whilst being in a long-term relationship
and one that I believe many people will relate to. For me personally it’s the best piece of work I’ve done to date.
Everything about this record just flowed from start to finish with regards to the process. I’m very proud of the
Featuring the sublime and varied singles such as “Won’t Stop Burnin”, “Tangled”, “All Those Years”, and title-
track “Milk”, the album also features the simmering country-tipped centrepiece “How To Build An Empire” -
which you can tune into here. Speaking about the track, Ewan adds :
““How To Build An Empire” offers a universal message. So often these days we focus on money & capitalism to
build a so-called empire. The world would be a very different place if it was built through love & good intention
and not the manipulative power from governments and “big pharma”, praying on the less fortunate, poor, or
Which begins to answer our earlier question. Ewan initially moved to London in the early nineties and was
managed by the legendary Bill Curbishley when he first met Apollo 440. He was invited to drop by their studio,
and his jaw dropped when he heard a fusion of drum ‘n’ bass and rock ‘n’ roll that they were working on. Ewan
insisted he could add vocals, and after a little persuasion, his one-take, improvised lyrics became an essential
element of one of their definitive moments in their album Electro Glide in Blue. His connection with the band
continued over the years until he became their full-time live vocalist in 2007 and then a key creative force on their
album ‘The Future’s What It Used To Be’.
Apollo 440’s disinterest in being confined by genres (they loved Led Zeppelin as much as they admired Roni Size
and the Beastie Boys) has continued to serve Ewan well. And now he’s unleashed his similarly sprawling second
album, only a few months after releasing a deluxe edition of his debut.
“Working independently means I can push in whatever direction I like, with no expectations from anyone else,”
he concludes. “It’s really liberating. The variety of this album might confuse people at first, but when you put the
jigsaw together it all makes sense. I’ve always been obsessed with song writing and this is full of good tunes.”
Whether it’s with his work with Apollo 440, The Grim Northern Social or his solo career, Ewan’s world class vocal,
magnetic stage presence and easy-going charm have made him an essential live performer. He also has the
versatility to switch between full-band shows, solo acoustic gigs or a stripped-back trio Johnny Cash-style skiffle
line-up. The release of ‘MILK’ will prompt a greater discovery of one of Scotland’s greatest cult talents.
2022 has proved to be a benchmark year for MacFarlane as his solo career continues to bloom. Ewan’s latest
works have received warm support across media including Classic Rock , The List Magazine, Amazing Radio,
Maverick, The Daily Record, BBC Radio Scotland, Americana UK, RTÉ Radio 1, Backseat Mafia, Glasgow Herald/
The Times and many more, plus support from the legendary Rodney Bingenheimer too. Earning the respect of
three generations of major Scottish bands in the process, The Snuts (who are name-dropped in his “Won’t Stop <br>Burnin”) showed their support for his previous single, hard rock heroes GUN extended their invitation for him to
join them on tour as their special guest, and now Ewan is also due to support Big Country this December 2022.
Available for download/streaming formats, ‘Milk’ is also available on CD and limited edition red vinyl. The CD
format also features two live bonus tracks. Order/Stream ‘Milk’ now HERE
With ‘Milk’ now out in the world, fans will be able to hear the songs live for the first time since its release with his
most recent Coatbridge show selling out in 24hours,
- Ewan’s debut full-band solo show in March 2022 sold-out in 12 hours - a subsequent acoustic show then
sold-out in 48 hours. He then completed his debut full-band solo tour of Scotland in September / October
After the completion of his Scottish Tour, his recently announced Coatbridge show in November 2022
Sold out in 24 hours.
- This year he has also played shows as support to Reef, GUN, and JJ Gilmour, as well as a co-headline gig
with Astrid. He is also scheduled to open for Big Country and Danny Vaughn before the year is out.
- As frontman of Apollo 440, Ewan played major festivals all over the world as well as gigs with The Prodigy
and The Chemical Brothers.
- With The Grim Northern Social, Ewan performed alongside Muse, Elvis Costello, Simple Minds, Thin Lizzy
and Skunk Anansie. The band were hand-picked to play Glastonbury’s John Peel stage by the festival’s
founder Michael Eavis, performed at T In the Park for three consecutive years, and sold-out three nights
at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut two years in a row, with no promotion beyond word-of-mouth.
- There was such demand for The Grim Northern Social’s show at SXSW that the authorities had to close
the road down. They also played another major North American showcase gig at CMJ.
- He has been featured by The Sunday Times, Rolling Stone, Classic Rock, Clash, Music Week, Daily Record,
Glasgow Evening Times, The Herald, The National, Louder Than War, Maverick, Americana UK, Backseat
Mafia, XS Noise and more. The List highlighted ‘MILK’ as their Album of the Month.
- Airplay for the ‘MILK’ campaign has included Amazing Radio, BBC Radio Scotland , Rodney Bingenheimer,
Radio 1 Ireland . The song, ‘This Year’, from the Deluxe Edition of ‘Always Everlong’, was picked as BBC
Radio Scotland’s Record of the Week.
- His summer single ‘Won’t Stop Burnin’ was shared online by The Snuts.
- “The best voice in rock this side of the Atlantic.” - The Sunday Times
- "MacFarlane belts out hard, driving sounds with catchy-as-hell lyrics and rhythm." - Rolling Stone
- “Sparking with triumphant Wah! exuberance, the former Apollo 440 / Grim Northern Social frontman
channels his inner Tom Petty to excellent effect.” - Classic Rock
- “A mesmerising live act and decidedly the best the country has to offer.” - Music Week
Debut Solo Album - 'Always Everlong' - Bio
Clutching his guitar, Ewan MacFarlane was hit by the sun’s warmth as he climbed through the top-floor window of Austin’s BD Riley's. Looking to the crowd spilling into the street below, one thing was certain; he was not in Scotland anymore. Everything about this show was unexpected, but ever the spontaneous performer - a man of vigor, natural ingenuity, humor, and goodwill – when the authorities close the street to make way for excessive audience size, what else is a musician to do?
That was Texas. Just one stop among the many twists and turns of Ewan Macfarlane’s life on the road so far. Navigating the melodic landscape like a river knowing know bounds, his journey as a songwriter meanders from his upbringing and base in Glasgow, Scotland, to sharing international stages with Elvis Costello, Simple Minds, The Prodigy, Muse, Thin Lizzy, and The Chemical Brothers to name but a few. Formerly, as long-time member of electro maestros Apollo 440, Ewan captivated audiences around the world whilst his unapologetic enthusiasm, unbridled energy, and charisma as frontman of Glasgow’s The Grim Northern Social saw him snarl and strut his way to garnering the attention of Glastonbury festival’s Michael Eavis, who hand-picked the band for the legendary John Peel stage after tipping them to be, at the time, the best up and coming band in the U.K.
Now broadening his horizons as a solo performer and melodic troubadour in his own right, Ewan’s debut album Always Everlong sees him en route to an uncharted destination. Challenging himself to write a tune a day, for uploading to YouTube each evening in lockdown, it tells tales of tension with pledges of eternal love. An expression of his hopes and fears, the record is emboldened by a personable approach to classic rock penmanship as Ewan bares his soul by putting pen to paper, unafraid of the consequences. Honoring the revered rock’n’roll songbooks of Bowie, Petty, and Springsteen, it plots the works of those making up the soundtrack to his own life, who have always called, enthralled, and entranced him.
Barely finding time to eat, shit, and sleep, Ewan worked obsessively on the album’s recordings in his home studio, alongside childhood friend Davie Rollo, who added vocals and guitar before mixing and mastering the tracks. The Grim Northern Social’s keyboard player Andy Cowan was enlisted alongside good friend Dougie Hannah, whose powerful drumming drives the album’s energy to exhilarating heights. Meanwhile, Kirsty McAfferty’s hypnotic keys and vocals coil around Andy McAfferty’s driving bass and, showing the apple never falls far from the tree, Ewan’s daughters Jenijo and Ellijai MacFarlane share their beautiful haunting backing vocals.
Channeling the raw power of Ewan’s inimitable live performances Always Everlong captures the unnameable feeling all great musicians elicit when you find yourself in the presence of something truly special. Whether felt by the sold-out crowds gathering to see Ewan and The Grim Northern Social perform at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut over 3 consecutive nights for 2 years running (simply through word of mouth due to his loyal followers), festival-goers at T in the Park, or right there, within the commotion of that street in Austin, Ewan’s burgeoning reputation is of a musician whose experience matches his many miles traveled.
When pre-pandemic life as we once knew it resumes, the wheels will be set in motion as the album is taken to his hallowed road, allowing us all to congregate as one for the love of music once more. The stops may be fleeting but for Ewan MacFarlane, his musical destiny is Always Everlong.