I know this is beginning to become a habit, but, hopefully, better late than never here’s the roundup of the best new music from April. There are some welcome returns, some who are new to me, and likely some new to you, but I genuinely believe there is something for everyone. If you can’t find a suggestion to pique your interest in the following then one of us is doing something wrong.
As I start to write, the sun is in the sky and the lark is on the wing, so there is only one place to begin. David Scott is one of my favourite songwriters, and The Pearlfishers are one of my favourite bands, so I think you can guess what’s coming next.
They have a new album out, Open Up Your Colouring Book, and it immediately warmed my heart and soul. For those of you who don’t know, that’s what Scott does better than most; create melodies which can make your day and break your heart within the same song. This is music that you don’t listen to once or twice and then move on; you invite it in to stay and wrap your arms around it as it does the same to you. From the album, this is To The Northland:
Once you’ve listened to Open Up Your Colouring Book you may want to know where to go next in The Pearlfishers’ back catalogue. My suggestions would be Across The Milky Way, Sky Meadows and Up With The Lark. I could go on, but there was other great music released last month, so I won’t, at least not here and now.
*As an aside, it’s also great to see a record released on Marina Records which has been home to The Bathers, Cowboy Mouth, Shack, Sugartown (ah, Sugartown), June and The Exit Wounds, Adventures In Stereo, James Kirk and many more over the years. That’s a hell of a roster to boast, and I would happily sell a kidney to hear new material from at least three of the above.
Ian Gregson, Scots Whay Hae!’s sound guru, (without whom the podcasts would sound as if they were recorded in the toilet), is a man steeped in music so when he recommends a band we would all be foolish not to listen. In a past life he played a few gigs on the same bill as The Amazing Snakeheads and was glowing in his praise. They have an album out on Domino Records, Amphetamine Ballads, which will blow your head off and then kick it around the floor for a bit. I have said previously that there are few things better in this world than a great three-piece, and that’s exactly what The Amazing Snakeheads are shaping up to be. Here’s the single Here It Comes Again:
Last month was full of good recommendations from good friends. One of those came from Jennie Scammell (who sang on one of our Burnscasts, SWH! trivia fans). She lent me her copy of No More Tiger’s album No More Tiger and after one listen I went and got a copy to call my own. It’s an album full of lo-fi pop treats laced with unexpected twists and turns that add up to the perfect summer soundtrack. Here’s just one of those treats, this is My Song:
Campfires in Winter have been making regular and welcome appearances on these pages for years now, and they never let us down. They’ve a new single out, We’ll Exist, and not only is it a thought provoking slice of existential pop, which at times recalls Echo and the Bunnymen, but the video is a cracking 3.25 mins long kitchen sink drama which stars the fabulous Daniela Nardini! And that exclamation mark is deliberate and well deserved on both counts. If you watch only one video this month, make it this one:
Book Group were behind one of the most catchy songs of 2013, Victory Lap, which I still find myself humming on a daily basis. Well, they’re back with a new EP called Tantrums, and it’s yet further evidence that we are dealing with a rather special group indeed. If you like classic indie pop that is packed to the gunnels with hooks and licks and all those other sensual musical terms which make it all worthwhile, then this is the one for you. And any one who writes the lyric ‘I was in the Boys Brigade, it’s never, ever got me laid’ is alright with me. It is in this song, from the EP, this is Here Is Too Near:
Talking of groups who are back with a vengeance, PoP Campaign release their third album, Hame, which is…well, if I was to describe it as a concept album about being home-sick for Scotland I would only be telling you half the story. It showcases their love of electronica and a great tune, as you would expect, but this is obviously a personal, and probably emotional, project which translates into one of the most interesting and moving records you’ll hear this year. Here’s a wee taster…see what you think:
The more I see and hear of Natalie Pryce the more they become one of my favourite bands. With hints of early Bad Seeds, Afghan Whigs and Sons & Daughters, they are dark, twisted, immaculately suited and booted, and the music gets better with every release. Don’t believe me? Then have a listen to their latest single, Raquel. Don’t have nightmares:
That’s all from April, but May is already shaping up to be a brammer and a belter and many other ‘B’s, with at least one legend releasing something absolutely beautiful. Til next time…