> Single Reviews - September Issue 54 - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

Single Reviews – September Issue 54

Big Thief – Vampire Empire

A live stalwart and fan favourite since it debuted in their live sets a year ago, ‘Vampire Empire’ finally gets a studio version from one of the most well-regarded bands of the moment. It’s a storming tune that encompasses all that is great about Big Thief, with a down-home feel that somehow transcends those country roots, plus Adrianne Lenker‘s wise lyrics and emotive delivery intact. – Martin Sandison

‘Vampire Empire’ is out now via 4AD


cumgirl8 – cursed angel

Despite the brazen image of the spandex-sporting New York band, this is a surprisingly subtle piece of music. Open, glimmering guitars reminiscent of The Pastels and the loping reggae-inflected bass of post-punk icons The Slits make for a slippy, sticky tune where sanity feels almost within reach before slipping murkily away. – Chris Queen

‘cursed angel’ is out now on EP phantasea pharm, via 4AD


Pinc Wafer – Niche

A danceable guitar riff and engrossing bassline draw you straight in and will keep your toe tapping and head bobbing throughout. There’s layers of snappy drums and punchy synth stabs dropping in and out, creating a textured canvas of sound. You can hear the mid-2000s indie influence, but ‘Niche’ is an unmistakably fresh sound; so good you’ll have to go out and hear it in real life. – Matthew O’Donnell

Pinc Wafer is out now via Crowded Flat


Lost Map presents Weird Wave – Astral Difficulties/Weird Wave

Nine and a half minutes of mind-bending motorik kosmische musik from Lost Map’s in-house supergroup. Written and recorded in a week-long session on the Isle of Eigg, the track features distorted synth from Susan Bear, dreamy driving vocals from L.T. Leif and Pictish Trail, and Iain Stewart’s pounding drums, setting the stage for a psychedelic Hebridean opus. – Chris Queen

Astral Difficulties/Weird Wave is out now via Lost Map


kitti – Must Be Somethin’

Glasgow’s jazz singing powerhouse is back. ‘Must Be Somethin’ is the first glimpse of her forthcoming 2024 album, and it’s nothing short of spectacular. The first thing that hits you is the groove: it’s immediate and simply doesn’t let up. The guitar, bass, and horn arrangements play off each other, creating a huge orchestral funk sound. The bridge in particular hits hard, with kitti’s vocals coming out on full display, and we’re even treated to a saxophone solo before the rest of the band comes back in for the big finale. kitti has really blown us away with this first instalment, and honestly, we all knew she would. That album can’t come quick enough. – Matthew O’Donnell

‘Must Be Somethin’ is out now


DEBUT SINGLE REVIEW: Valensteïn – About Last Night

Swamped in 80s goth and darkwave, the debut single from the Edinburgh electronic artist is a moody and minimal take on the missed nights and broken connections that come with sobriety. The indignance builds over a swirl of synths and glitchy drums that threaten to crash into a storm, before bowing to a hushed, whispered, heartbroken resignation. – Chris Queen

‘About Last Night’ is out now via Alt Milk Records

https://valenstein.bandcamp.com/track/about-last-night


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