Colin Macleod – Hold Fast

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: SO Recordings
Released: 2021
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Band Website:

Band Line Up

Colin Macleod – Vocals, all instruments


01. Queen of the Highlands
02. The Long Road
03. Warning Signs
04. Old Soul
05. Sleep
06. Made of Stone
07. 33
08. Runaway
09. Looking for God
10. This Old Place


Colin Macleod’s “Hold Fast” is a beautiful piece of storytelling. A story that is fiction but could quite as easily be based upon his own life. Colin Macleod being from the Isle of Lewis it gives him the unique ability to be able to write songs from his experience from a place in the world which most people have never got to see.

Colin Macleod himself states about the album:

“When we were teenagers, we used to play covers in the pub. When you do that every night you see all these stories unfolding before you, and that made me think about a guy who leaves the island to seek his fortune before things go wrong, as they so often do. He returns to the island, down on his luck, and as we move through the songs he has an epiphany about what life is really about. It is one step removed from events that actually happened.”

After leaving the island back in 2009, Colin Macleod was discovered playing in a pub in Aberdeen which led him to releasing his first album in 2010 entitled “Fireplace.” This was released under the name “The Boy Who Trapped The Sun,” but after this release Colin Macleod found himself feeling homesick and returned to the island. After his return, he realised that being from the island gave him something unique to write about which then led to him releasing the “Bloodlines” album, and then taking us to where we are today with “Hold Fast.”

This album opens with the gorgeous “Queen of the Highlands” a song that makes you feel like you could be in amongst the hills. From the first second I heard Colin Macleod’s voice, I was totally encaptured by this project. As the song went along I was drawn in by the lyrics that told a story of far away but at the same time was so relatable. By the time the song neared its end I actually found myself tearing up a little. A story of love and loss, something I believe most people can relate to and Colin Macleod managed to capture those feelings perfectly.

Later in the album, we are met with the pop-rock belter “Warning Signs.” This for me was a great, feel-good song. The kind of song that I would enjoy driving around in the country with it turned all the way up to full volume. The catchy chorus makes it easy for this song to get stuck in your head. This one definitely felt more pop-rock than the other songs on the album which have more of a country vibe. I feel like this one and “Sleep” (the other one I thought sounded rockier) add a nice variation within the album. Giving the listener something that they can rock out too. However, both these songs still manage to hold onto the fantastic storytelling that is seen within the rest of “Hold Fast.” I think that no matter what Colin Macleod sings I would be drawn into the story, his voice just has that effect.

A couple of tracks within this album feature country legend Sheryl Crow. Her voice really adds something magical to the songs “Old Soul” and “33.” I found that especially in “33” the way the two musicians’ voices harmonised was stunning. Also having another voice adding to the story gave it even more depth.

Overall, I would one hundred percent recommend listening to this album. “Hold Fast” pulls you into another world while still managing to be totally relatable. It’s a story of a man who goes out into the world looking for something bigger before realising he had all he needs all along. A story that I feel in some ways we all experience at times throughout our lives. Colin Macleod’s way of storytelling is truly something special and while listening to the album I found as each track ended I was excited to see what the next would bring. This man’s voice mixed with the intoxicating story makes for something really inspiring to listen to.

Review by Kayleigh McKenzie