Singer-songwriter from Kirkholt releases new album 'You Are Not Your Past'

Date published: 12 June 2021

Singer-songwriter Kirk McElhinney, who grew up on Kirkholt estate in Rochdale, released his new album on Friday 4 June.

A real mix of musical styles with influence from his childhood heroes, 'You Are Not Your Past' is Kirk's second album, consisting of ten songs.

Rochdale born but now Manchester based, Kirk is renowned for his soulful voice, insightful lyrics and conveying inspiring messages of hope and positivity in both his recorded music and live performances.

His musical journey began at age 13 when his uncle gifted him a guitar featuring only three strings.

Kirk’s first inspiration as a child growing up was The Beatles, particularly Paul McCartney, followed by Pete Townsend of the Who, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Frank Sinatra, Queen, and the Rolling Stones. This interest in the rock ‘n’ roll and soul musical greats led to him joining a blues band in his late teens, when he started playing electric guitar.

His switch to acoustic guitar came when he met, and was hugely inspired by, Scottish folk and guitar legend Bert Jansch. Kirk admits: “I spent hours, days, months, years learning his stuff and trying to master his craftsmanship, and still am.”

Since then, music has taken Kirk all over the world, to India, Australia, across Europe and beyond; even supporting his hero Jansch on UK dates. Not only that, a collaboration with internationally renowned musician, producer and composer Nitin Sawhney led to Kirk forming The Safires, who released one album ‘Epic in the Ordinary’.

Kirk’s debut solo album ‘World Gone Blind’ landed in 2014, and unfortunately marked a bad time for the singer - his poor health forcing him to revise his lifestyle.

His recovery from what was a difficult and challenging time was his inspiration for his new album: “I poured my all into this album, it’s been a real labour of love but also been a real therapy for me. I find song-writing a great way of getting the inside out and untangling all my thoughts. It’s a very honest album, lyrically and musically.”


Kirk Mcelhinney - You Are Not Your Past (front cover)
Kirk Mcelhinney - You Are Not Your Past (front cover)


You Are Not Your Past also exudes positivity and encourages a metaphorical ‘uprising’, with a message of hope and of ‘elevating’ our life’s mission.

“The title came about because I feel like too many people are stuck in their past and don’t know how to move on from it,” Kirk added, “almost like they don’t feel like they’re allowed to move on. I think the world would be a better place for all of us if we didn’t all hold so tightly onto our past.”

Kirk’s second album ‘You Are Not Your Past’ is out now and available across all download and streaming platforms.


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