Ailsa and the Seahorses
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Ailsa and the Seahorses

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo Alternative Indie


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Scottish singer/songwriter Ailsa McEwan, going under the name ‘Ailsa and The Seahorses’ is back with her new debut single.

‘Seventeen’, has been unveiled along with a fantastic music video. The single features on her colourful EP ‘The Centre of Everything’ which will be released on the 26th July!

Something I found quirky about this piece was the way it was recorded. The single was recorded in a wardrobe and yet still sounds smooth and clean – with the professional element still present.

Ailsa has managed to marry dream pop elements with an ethereal indie sound, bringing her own twist to the Scottish music scene with this track and others from her album.

Ailsa is an easy artist to fall in love with, her signature sound making her compelling and captivating as a performer.

Her vocals in combination with the mesmerizing dreamlike undertones make the song flow nicely, a song that could easily be played on repeat.

Ailsa and The Seahorses will be performing at Kelburn Garden Party in Ayrshire, Scotland, and Lindisfarne Festival this Summer before she embarks on a European tour which will take her sound across the continent.

I find myself excited listening to Ailsa’s independent sound, knowing that she is going to do incredibly well as she continues to rise up in the Scottish music scene. - Discovery Scotland

Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland ethereal indie singer/songwriter Ailsa McEwan started solo project Ailsa and the Seahorses in 2012 and has been wowing audiences with her signature guitar strum paired with uniquely casual yet arresting vocals. Part of a new generation of DIY artists, her latest video release was recorded in a wardrobe, mixed in a living room and filmed with a friend on a very limited budget.

“Seventeen” is the debut single and video from Ailsa and the Seahorses‘ upcoming debut 4-track EP “The Centre of Everything” set for release July 26th and launched two days later, the 28th, at Edinburgh’s Leith Depot.

Catch Ailsa at the Kelburn Garden Party and Lindisfarne Festival this summer!

Gentle, easy, and breezy relaxed strums layered under poignant gleaming tense guitar melodies create a contrast between the carefree happy days of naiveté and the dauntingly distrustful days of adulthood jaded by experience. The star of the song is the prominent subtly expressive relaxed, mellow, and crystalline vocals that casually give insight into the shallow layers observed while hints of sass, sorrow, and pride illuminate the deep feelings lying buried beneath years of heartbreaking afflictions acquainted with the dark side of existence.

A song about inner demons and struggling to see the good around you with a little bit of longing to go back to a simpler time. A woman searches her memories for a time when life was simple and realizes nothing has changed except for herself. A nostalgic trip to the dreamy age of seventeen brings magic, wonder, and disappointment as life’s arrows have hardened her heart. Struggling to find goodness amid the turmoil she allows warm memories into her veins, but the cold melancholy and malaise overcome the remembrance leaving her alone and longing for a yesterday that has long gone by.

The companion montage portrays a lonely and nostalgic journey in an attempt to recapture the innocence of youth. A fearsome day in the life video depicts a lost young girl opening her eyes on a deserted beach before beginning an esoteric journey to find her unblemished soul. An ominous stop to gaze at tombstones foreshadows the tour as it comes full circle with a ceremonial bonfire on the beach. The accompanied lyrics, “I’ve been down for five years now, In the coldest heart, in the ground, Put the earth over me”, engulf the haunting medley adding intrigue to an undeniably spooky mystery. - White Light-White Heat


Still working on that hot first release.



Since emerging onto the Scottish music scene, Ailsa McEwan has captivated audiences with her distinct brand of ethereal indie. Performing under the name Ailsa and the Seahorses, she is known for her independent approach and songs characterised by dreamy guitar chords and hypnotic melodies.

Growing up in Edinburgh, Ailsa’s teenage years were spent immersing herself in the melancholia and jangly guitar-playing of her heroes, The Smiths. On writing her first songs she became one of the new generation of DIY artists making low-fi recordings in their bedrooms. As someone who lacked the confidence for public performances, making music from the solace of a cupboard was ideal for Ailsa, and it was many more years before she would ever sing live.

Her unique sound, both tranquil and haunting, is somewhere between the atmospherics of Mazzy Star and singer-songwriter tradition of Suzanne Vega and Rickie Lee Jones. Her lyrics – a combination of stream of consciousness and narrative – are delivered by her warm, smoky vocal, described by one fan as sounding like “liquid gold”. Growing up however, it was Ailsa’s belief that she did not possess vocal talents that stopped her from pursuing a musical path initially.

Abandoning her teenage dreams of rock stardom, she undertook a degree in journalism with the intent on being the next best thing – a music journalist. In time though, she found a new determination, and aged 20 gave her first live performances. It was not long before she was a seasoned performer busking on the streets of Edinburgh and playing established venues such as the Jazz Bar and Sneaky Petes.

On graduating from university, Ailsa quit her day job to live as a full-time musician, taking her music to the streets of Lisbon and wandering the stunning landscapes of Croatia. On arriving home she returned to her cupboard studio to record her debut EP, The Centre of Everything, out now. The 4-track EP is her most refined recording to date, whilst remaining faithful to her low-fi roots.

Following the release of the EP, Ailsa plans to tour extensively. Catch her at Lindisfarne Festival this summer.

Band Members