Isobel Campbell with pink guitar
Image © VV:NKD:RH

Scottish singer-songwriter Isobel Campbell unveils first single from new album

Isobel Campbell’s new album, Bow To Love, is set to be released on 17 May via Cooking Vinyl.

To accompany the announcement Campbell has shared a captivating video for first single 4316 directed by Richard Heslop, Vee Vee and Natalya KD. Heslop has previously made videos for The Cure, Queen, Sinead O’Connor, New Order, Happy Mondays and more, but stopped making them around 20 years ago.

The video was shot in and around Hastings – watch below:

Sign Of The Times

Campbell was first noticed as a teenage founder member of Belle & Sebastian, before she released two dream-folk solo albums under the name The Gentle Waves and left B&S in 2002. Two records under her own name followed, leading to a union with late Mark Lanegan for three albums of  Americana duets.

On Bow To Love, a soft-spun yet sharp-edged set of reflections on modern crises that doesn’t stop at diagnosing the problems, the singer asks how we might progress from our tense and conflicted times.

Hope & Despair

With all the dexterity the Glasgow-born singer-songwriter and cellist is known for, the result is a deeply personal record, poised between hope and despair.

“The album is about what we’re all in right now, and my response to that and my life as a microcosm within that,” says Campbell, before suggesting how exposing modern horrors might prove purgative. “I think there’s a quote from A Course In Miracles which says, ‘Love brings up everything unlike itself for the purpose of healing and release.’ Maybe these horrible things are coming up and out so we can get rid of them and things can be better.

“Anyone with two eyes, a brain and a heart can see that people are struggling, and I suppose I have a lot of thoughts about that. And it’s this album.”

Human Touch

Technology is touched on with first single 4316. Favouring “honest, decent communication” over AI, Campbell takes a dim view of our “friend, unfriend, block, unblock” culture. “I know what I love and it ain’t that,” she says. “I was talking to an Uber driver the other day and I said, ‘I don’t want to be living in a video game.’ And he said, ‘Well, we are.’ I feel like I’m offering a human element in these transhuman days of artificial intelligence.”

The looping sing-song swing of the title track applies that open, complex thinking to myths about love: “It’s not enough to bow to love” is the full lyric, offering a grown-up take on the matter. “I grew up loving The Beatles and All You Need Is Love,” Isobel says, “but sometimes love’s not enough. Sometimes love can get a bit wonky. Love brings up everything – good, bad, ugly – and it can push your buttons.”


1. Everything Falls Apart
2. Do Or Die
3. Spider To The Fly
4. Second Guessing
5. Bow To Love
6. 4316
7. Dopamine
8. Keep Calm Carry On
9. Saturday’s Son
10. Take This Poison
11. Om Shanti Om
12. You
13. Why Worry

Bow To Love is an album that also has thoughts about how the future remains unwritten. Campbell said: “I feel like we’re living in some kind of dystopia, but I think it’s up to us what we buy into and what we react to. We do have a choice, even if sometimes we think we don’t. You can still see acts of great kindness. In all the bleakness, that’s what I hang on to. We are co-creators. Where we go next is up to us.”

The first edition of Bow To Love on CD will include an exclusive bonus disc featuring French translations of the songs from the album. There will also be a limited edition vinyl version of the album, with the vinyl available in both blue and yellow formats.

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