It’s time for the musical roundup for November and just because this is the time of year where many people are rounding up the year’s ‘best ofs…’, (and have no fear there will be a few of those appearing on these pages in the coming weeks), I am still giving proper consideration to those who released new stuff last month.
This is particularly because November saw a new album from one of our favourite people, new tracks from old favourites, a new track from a new favourite, some free stuff from some of your favourites, and remastered versions of two of the greatest albums of all time. It’s been a hell of a year, as you’ll be able to see soon, but it’s not over yet. Not by a long shot.
Let’s start with Like Lovers, the new album from Arran Arctic. I hope you’ll have listened to Arran when he came to play and chat on the Scots Whay Hae! podcast earlier this year, and he also featured in the best tracks of 2011. Arran makes some of the best music around, and Like Lovers just proves this opinion is a correct one. It advances his pared down, fragile sound, making it more moving than it has ever been before. The 11 tracks all have single word titles which reflect the minimalism of the music, but this just goes to highlight Arran’s heartbreaking vocals and lyrics. For anyone who has ever had their heartbroken, so everyone then, this is a must hear. Just gorgeous. This is ‘Window’ and if you like this you’ll love Like Lovers:
Sometimes I get an email that says something like, “we think you’ll like our music because we like the music you like”, and when that simple logic works it makes my week. For instance The Flutes got in touch last month and as a result I have a new favourite song and video. Their first single Auld Archie is a great piece of pop which reminds me of Echo and The Bunnymen and The Psychedelic Furs, and that is a sentence I’ve never written before. This is Auld Archie:
Now for two bands whose return I’ve been waiting on. First off it’s Mitchell Museum, whose album The Peters Port Memorial Service was one of my favourite records of 2010. They have a new EP called The Spanner Works which you can get for free here. It’s more of the slightly offbeat melodic music that you’ll have come to expect from them. Have a listen:
Another new track from one of Scots Whay Hae’s favourites is Wandering Wits from Washington Irving and this is a terrific live version of the song recorded at Glasgow’s 13th Note (and hats off to the cameraman for making it seem twice the size it actually is). Lots of bands do this type of pop/folk music, but WI are back to remind us that few do it as well as they do:
Now for a band who featured last month, but this is just too good to leave out. They are The Deadline Shakes who are another great find for Flowers In The Dustbin, and this, following on from last month’s brilliant Sweeten The Deal, is their new single Don’t You Be Too Cool. It’s spiky and poppy and it’ll lift your spirits as you plough through the slush and Christmas shoppers. A real tonic:
Last month saw the remastered versions of the seminal The Blue Nile albums A Walk Across The Rooftops and Hats. If you’ve not got these albums then I insist that you must, I may even buy them for you*, but even if you do then there are bonus tracks to be found in these releases which are some of the best things you’ll hear all year. Songs such as the debut single I Love This Life and this, the never before released St Catherine’s Day. It is too, too, pleasant:
* offer not legally binding.