Welcome to part two of the roundup of the best new music of the last couple of months. If you missed it, we had a look at the best of the albums in Part 1, but here we are going to be concentrating on the best songs and singles that have found their way to Scots Whay Hae’s inbox in October and November.
December is going to be full of those ‘Best Of 2015’ lists, so this will be the last roundup of new music before the Bells, but luckily it is a fitting finale for the year. There’s art-rock, folk, pop, singers singing songs and bands at the peak of their powers. In some ways it is an accurate summary of the musical genres that ruled the year, or, at least, the best ones.
First off is ‘Chirology’ by The Color Waves, a single which was released earlier in the year but which only reached these ears in October and it is too good not to mention it. It opens with the sort of chiming guitars that graced many of Sarah Records best releases, and then the understated and evocative vocals come in to gently carry you through as the music remains respectively restrained; vocals reminiscent of Tracey Thorn, Isobel Campbell and Hope Sandoval, and at least their equal. For those who are connoisseurs of indie-pop, (and you know what that means, and you know who you are), this is all your Christmases come at once as it reminds you why you fell in love with this music in the first place. Simply enchanting:
We have featured his work many times on these pages but Blue Rose Code refuses to be ignored, in the most charming manner possible. He simply makes moving and memorable music which is, like the best things in life, deceptively simple. If it was that easy, we’d all be doing it – but only a few can. This is the new single ‘Grateful’, which you can buy here, and if you are a fan of the sort of Americana as played by the likes of Gillian Welch, Conor Oberst or Micah P Hinson or, closer to home, the music of The Bathers, then look no further for your new favourite song. A beautiful piece of music that will stay with you – and a video to match. This is ‘Grateful’:
Easily one of the best songs of 2013 was ‘Olive Tree’ by Brown Bear and The Bandits. Well, now newly lower-cased, brownbear is back as a solo artist and with a new single, ‘Covers’ and it’s another song as catchy as my parents’ cold, apparently. With a thankfully restrained production which allows his raspy vocals to shine, it’s the sort of classic pop song that many do badly, so it is always a blessed relief when you hear it done as well as this. It fair restores your faith, so it does:
Another great song from 2013/14 was ‘Victory Lap’ by Book Group. They are back with something its equal, and that’s high praise indeed. It’s called ‘Late Show’ and it’s an epic slice of guitar and drum driven power pop, with enough subtlety to keep things interesting and a pleasing cynicism at its heart, and it’s all the better for that. See all those bands who talk of playing big venues, get all the equipment, and think they’re the ‘dug’s’ before they’ve even written a decent tune (and there are plenty of them, although I’m now thinking of one in particular), this is how they wished they sounded in their dreams. Big and bold, it’s the first single from Book Group’s debut album The Great Indoors which should be out in the Spring, 2016, and ‘Late Show’ promises great things. The single’s out on the 4th Dec, and you can listen to it here, but in the meantime here’s an acoustic version thanks to Scottish Fiction:
While we’re talking bands who could be massive, in the summer we recorded our first podcast as an outdoor broadcast at the Live At New Lanark music festival, and one of the highlights of the day were Patersani who heroically played in front of a small but beautifully formed crowd as if addressing the ABC. Fronted by brothers Craig and Dave Patterson, with Danny Harris drumming and Colin Orr now on bass, their sound has grown since those heady days of summer, and their debut single ‘Lost and Found’ is bursting with ideas and energy as a result. This is a band who are the right side of cocky as they know what they’ve got is a wee bit special, and I would have to agree. See what you think:
We haven’t heard from the Ramisco Maki Maki Rocking Horse for a while, and that’s a shame as the world is a better place when The Horse is around. Fear not, for he is back with a new EP called ‘Possessed by the Gods of Cowbell Oblongata’ (of course it is!). It’s a little bit country, a little bit psychedelic, a whole lot of Horse. If you don’t know what that means you are in for a treat as it is as life-affirming as the man himself. It’s the soundtrack to the best Quentin Tarantino film that hasn’t been made yet and as uplifting on a dark winter’s day as a dozen SAD boxes. You should welcome The Horse into your life. You won’t regret it. You can buy the whole EP here, but as a taster this is ‘And We Will Dance’:
That’s yer whack of new music for 2015. The very best of the year will be here soon, so don’t y’all go away now. (I blame you for that, Ray!)…