The Gothard Sisters have recorded their second album of all-original songs — this one inspired by their Western travels.
The trio from Edmonds will release the Celtic-folk album “Dragonfly” on June 4.
Sisters Greta, 34, Willow, 31, and Solana, 26, agreed that they wanted to make an album that reminds them of why they fell in love with Celtic music.
As kids, the sisters listened to tapes of “The Thistle & Shamrock” on NPR in the family car while traveling through Washington, British Columbia, Montana, Idaho and Oregon.
“It was the music of choice every time we went on a trip,” Greta Gothard said. “We actually called it ‘travel music’ and associated it with looking out the window at mountains, lakes and rivers — that feeling of going out on an adventure.
“When we write our own Celtic music, it is also uplifting, joyful and nature-inspired.”
Though the album was written, recorded and produced during a pandemic, its songs are filled with hope.
“We spent a lot of time with these songs, and they cheered us up all year,” Greta Gothard said. “Now we’re looking forward to everyone else hearing them — and hopefully it can cheer everyone else up as well.”
The 12-track recording features “Wise One,” “Shadow and Sun,” “Long Road,” “Hurricane Ridge” and “Wildflower Jigs.” The title track is about a dragonfly’s adventure. That song is inspired by a trip to the hot springs in Montana in which dragonflies were everywhere they looked.
“Dragonflies are unique in that they can fly in all directions — they can go up and down and back and forth — so the song symbolizes the freedom of choice,” Greta Gothard said. “It probably had a lot to do with being stuck at home, but I was imagining the freedom to go wherever I want.”
The sisters have put out nine albums in all — including three Christmas recordings — in their 11 years touring and performing as a Celtic-folk trio. Their first all-original album, “Midnight Sun,” reached No. 6 on Billboard’s world music chart in 2018.
That album’s title track was inspired by the trio’s travels in Norway, the Land of the Midnight Sun. The sun doesn’t set during Norwegian summers because the Arctic Circle runs through Norway.
In 2008, after forming their Celtic band, the sisters started adding layers to their sound. All together, they now play six different instruments: violin, guitar, mandolin, bodran, djembe and whistles. Greta and Willow sing backup vocals, while Solana is the lead singer.
They also added cello to four songs on the new album, thanks to Willie Braun of the Seattle-based Skyros Quartet.
They’re marketing “Dragonfly” as the most authentic Gothard Sisters record to date because it’s most like “The Thistle and Shamrock” songs they listened to from the radio. Fun fact: A few Gothard Sisters songs have since been featured on the NPR program.
“It was one of our dreams to get our music on ‘Thistle and Shamrock,’” Greta Gothard said. “It’s really cool; we’ve gone full-circle.”
The sisters also are performing free mini concerts — “The Hummingbird Sessions” — once a month via Patreon. A new video with five or six songs each is posted every 15th of the month on the Gothard Sisters’ Patreon page. You don’t have to be a Patreon subscriber to watch them.
In each video, which are 20 to 30 minutes long, the trio shares a mix of original, cover and traditional songs that they almost never play live.
“I guess you could say we realized from doing these concerts that we were running out of songs,” Greta Gothard said. “We wrote all these songs during the pandemic.”
Hence the new album with 12 original songs.
Now that Snohomish County is OK’d for Phase 3, the Gothard Sisters are looking to book shows here. Expect a Gothard Sisters concert in September at the Tim Noah Thumbnail Theatre in Snohomish.
Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; firstname.lastname@example.org; @sarabruestle.
If you stream
The Gothard Sisters new album “Dragonfly” will be available on June 4. Go to www.gothardsisters.com for more information.
Also: Watch the the Celtic-folk trio perform a mini concert on the 15th of each month for “The Hummingbird Sessions” via Patreon. You don’t have to be a Patreon subscriber to watch these shows for free. Find the Celtic-folk trio’s Patreon at www.patreon.com/gothardsisters.