Rounding up a year’s music, as we did in December, makes it feel like each year is self contained and we start afresh all over again, but in reality the music never stops and thank your lord for that. If January was anything to go by 2017 is going to be just as diverse and exciting as 2016 was, with this roundup featuring indie, pop, lo-fi electronica, alt-country and some amazing metal. As long as it’s good, it’ll find a home here.
Exhibit A. We’ve been waiting for new music from Campfires In Winter for what seems like an age, but I am delighted to say it has been well worth the wait. Appearing at the end of last year, ‘Free Me From The Howl’ is the first track from their soon to be released debut album Ischaemia. It’s driven by a three pronged attack of drums, bass and guitar all of which support Robert Canavan’s plaintive vocals which are a perfect match to the lovelorn lyrics. It’s one of those records which helps to make sense of broken hearts and lost love – which we all need in our collection. And if you don’t right now, you will someday. It’s also got one of the best videos I have seen in some time:
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’: