We’re making a list; the editors are checking it twice. No, we’re not in the festive spirit, it’s just that sometimes with pressing deadlines, the quality of writing drops off. And with that nod to professionalism, you join us for the final SNACK Bits of 2022.
With a name like Brat Coven, you’d assume this Glasgow trio would be on our naughty list, but we’ve thoroughly enjoyed their releases to date. Given the whitewashing of prominent UK Government figures in recent weeks, shouts of ‘You let everybody die, you let everybody pile high’ is the most topical thing in this month’s issue. ‘Ready to Kill’ concludes with guttural screams but throughout, it volleys around with searing takes, punishing bass, and a passion we need to drag into 2023.
Another track on the right side of where we want to be in society is ‘Sinner’ from Kryptik, with the Paisley-based artist pulling no punches on this drill track. The controlled aggression throughout is impressive, and while this particular column talking about the flow of rappers should be accompanied with that Steve Buscemi meme, there’s no denying it’s a contagious track that draws you in. For us older folk, there’s a ‘mirror and razor blade’ reference full of Morning Glory, and Macy Gray gets a shout out. Anything that helps others see there is a path out of the darkness should always be encouraged, and it’s not going to come from the mouths of an older generation, so more power to acts like Kryptik, and again, let’s hope there is more of this next year.
We’re not going to subject you to the ordeal of driving home for Christmas, but we recommend ‘Travel at Peak Time’ by Berta Kennedy. It’s a jazzy little number, perfectly showcasing the swinging 90s RnB-tinged feel of the vocals. This’ll be a good addition to any chilled playlists you have for the days you can’t face venturing outside the front door, a feeling often associated with the song’s title.
The driving theme continues with ‘The Motorway Song’ by Hanley and the Baird. The slightly trippy percussion could divert the song in a number of ways, but the melodies are pure Americana. Fittingly for that genre, the tale starts off in trouble before finding hope and redemption, alongside some sweet sections.
We also like the sneak peek of the forthcoming Air In The Lungs album. Due for release in spring of 2023, the group showcases Deborah Arnott, who you might remember from Blueflint. The lead single, ‘Sweet Is The Dream’, is a pleasing folky number, which existing fans will appreciate immediately. However, album opener ‘You Didn’t Know’ moves through the gears impressively, and lays down a great marker for what is coming next. We’ll be listening.
The fast-moving nature of Bits (in thought, not physical exertion) means we sometimes miss songs, and we don’t have a chance to look back. As things are slightly more relaxed this month, we can squeeze in ‘People in Airports’ by Dinner At Night, and why not, seeing as Christmas Day is the only time of the year we have a full dinner in the middle of the afternoon. That quirkiness aside, there’s a charming post-punk feel with danceable bass and an excited rush to the end. It came out in October, but if it’s new to you, embrace it as fresh, and stay tuned for more.
‘ARMS’ from SIPHO. combines a lo-fi, almost trip-hop backing with impassioned vocals that ascend throughout the track. There’s also some stirring strings, ensuring there’s a climactic end.
Eve Simpson’s ‘The Strangest Company’ wouldn’t be out of place on a Christmas TV advert based around the narrative of outsiders (eventually) finding warmth and comfort with others. The piano takes centre stage while Eve navigates the scales with confidence and clarity. Again, strings see us home, and if you can’t enjoy a joyful ending at this time of year, there’s no hope for you.
All being well, there should be a review of No Windows, and their Fishboy EP, elsewhere in the magazine. It’s great, and they’re playing live in Glasgow and Edinburgh this month. In the capital, there’s a headline show in Sneaky Pete’s on Thursday 15th December. In Glasgow, head to King Tuts on Monday 19th, when No Windows play alongside NewDad and Cloth, which should be a fantastic evening’s entertainment.
That will do us for this month. Have a great one whatever you do, and take the time to raise a glass to ‘Just Like Christmas’ by Low.
We’ll miss you, Mimi.