New Musical Success: The Best New Music From The Last Month…

a3715261681_10To say we live in strange times is understatement veering towards sarcasm. I don’t wish to appear trite, but in the worst of times, for whatever reasons they may be, music in particular brings me comfort like nothing else can.

Feeling down? Listen to Smokey sing, Johnny play guitar, or Dylan do anything. It never fails me, and it hasn’t this time round. With that in mind, putting together this roundup of the best in new music from the last month has not simply been a pleasure but seriously uplifting. In short – I needed that.

First off, we have what I consider the pop song of the summer. Ette’s album Homemade Lemonade is out on the 22 July – and you really should get your order in now. But you don’t need to take my word for it as listening to ‘The Attack of the Glam Soul Cheerleaders (Parts 1 & 2)‘ will persuade you within the first 10 seconds. This is pop music at its very best, from the opening handclaps and keys, through the guitar riff which drives things alongside Carla J. Easton’s perfect bubblegum vocals, to the false ending and joyous wig-out which follows. It’s a reminder that the best pop music does not need a big production – it can spring from anyone and anywhere when the inspiration strikes. If Phil Spector had lived round our way, this is the sort of wall of sound he’d be making:

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3452021734/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/track=2148438149/transparent=true/

Ette headlined the Olive Grove Records Review at Oran Mor last month, which is one of the gigs of the year so far. No real surprise as it also featured Call To Mind, The Moth and The Mirror (and what a set that was) and the debut of The Royal Male, the solo venture from Woodenbox’s Ali Downer. The Royal Male’s album is Plastic Throne and the single is ‘Start When It’s Over’. Both have a wonderful mix of eclectic piano, understated horns, and a liberal sprinkling of whip-smart melodies reminiscent of Neil Hannon and Ben Folds. Having heard the whole album I can confirm it’s an absolute joy. The single alone brings a smile to my face every time I play it, which has been a lot. What say you?:

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2539166407/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/

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New Lanark, New Music: Scots Whay Hae! At The Live At New Lanark Music Festival…

DSC_0324On the 27th June, Scots Whay Hae! made our way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as New Lanark for the inaugural Live At New Lanark one-day music festival to listen to the tunes and hopefully talk to some of the acts.

This podcast is the result of what turned out to be a memorable day.

New Lanark is the village built by enlightened cotton mill owner Robert Owen, who wanted to provide his workers and their families, not only with decent housing, but witIMG_0433[1]h schools, free health care, and fair wages to boot.

You can learn all about it here, but it also turns out to be a great venue for live music, and the day turned out to be a small but perfectly formed celebration of local music and musicians.

DSC_0290[2]From experienced players such as Blackthorn Buck, Robbie McFaulds and Peacock Waters, to recently formed bands such as Jo Callis’s Fingerhalo and the excellent Light Arrows, there was something for everyone on a bill which had over a dozen acts appearing.

Other highlights included Kelvin, Patersani, Steven Telfer, M.E.G. and The Begbies, and we managed to have a chat with most of them.

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If you are a subscriber to the Scots Whay Hae! podcast you’ll likely know all of the above as it will have already arrived in the inbox of whatever mode you choose to use.

If you aren’t yet a subscriber you can do so, (or simply listen) at iTunes or by RSS. You can also download it by clicking on the relevant link to the right of this post, or, if you want it right here, right now, you can listen by clicking on the video below:

 

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Tunes For June: The Best New Music From Last Month…

The-Begbies-–-‘Sleeping-Dogs’

It was always going to be hard to follow last month’s roundup, but I think we’ve just about managed with a selection which is diverse, strong and a wee bit longer than normal as there was such a wide selection of music to choose from. In all honesty it could have been twice the length, but, believe it or not, there is a structure to these roundups and we’re determined to stick to it.

The music which did make it includes some electro-punk, folktronica, alternative rock, classic pop, and one unexpectedly good collaboration. Surely something for everyone? We’ve also put together a Spotify playlist called Scots Whay Hae’s Best of 2015 to which some of these tracks will be added, and which will be updated on a monthly basis.

But first off we have a bit of ska. SWH! were at the inaugural Live At New Lanark Music Festival to listen to the music and talk to the bands. We’ll have a podcast out soon with the results of our recordings, but there was no doubt that one of the highlights was the set by The Begbies, a ska band in the classic tradition of the best of 2-Tone such as The Specials, The Selecter and The Bodysnatchers. The perfect way to prove this point is for you to take a listen to their new single ‘Sleeping Dogs’. There are plenty of bands around who do ska badly, so when you discover one who plays it as it should be, full of attitude, anger and energy married to the classic ska rhythm and brass, it reminds you just what marvellous, infectious music it can be. Clear a space on the floor, and take a listen for yourself:

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