SNACK. September. Students. That’s about the gist of the magazine this month, and as today’s students are unaware of Paul Calf, we don’t have a suitable opening reference. We might as well crack on with your musical round-up.
Given the album isn’t far away, we’re not going to overload you with Poster Paints content just yet. That said, ‘Circus Moving On’ is worth checking out. It’s been a live favourite at their shows, and while it’s restrained, it’s a bit epic. It’s sure to burrow into your mind, popping to the forefront of your thoughts when you’re just about to drop off to sleep.
For something jauntier, walk this way, where Maxwell Weaver serves ‘The Disconnect Between’, a track we’re pleased to say is Euros Childs-esque, which is a big compliment. Keyboards, quirkiness, and a meandering story are a great combination, and the teamwork makes the dream work right here!
One thing we’ve noticed with the many new bands bursting onto the scene of late, and you’re free to judge whether this is a good or bad thing, is that new Scottish artists across a broad range of genres have lofty ambitions, reaching for the stars. And by that, we probably mean the ceiling, dressing room, and outdoor décor of the Barrowlands.
Which is good. Scottish bands have been slightly embarrassed about showing ambition or acting professionally for far too long. If that’s what you are, fine, but it feels like there are acts that want to be huge, emulating their heroes. Good luck to the acts aiming for the stars; in these desperate times, we all need some escapism and dreams, so why not?
Kamora are one such act. They’ve had singles dating back to 2019, a different world, but they’re still to lay a notable footprint in the local music scene. And yet, on ‘Feel Alive’, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were dealing with main stage crowds and demanding audiences. The backing vocals, the ‘everyman’ lyrics and the clean-with-a- slightly-dirty-underside production hark at a band who think they’re ready for the big time. They’re not there yet, but on the basis of this song, no one should rush to bet against them.
Of course, some acts like this are rubbish, but the editor moans if they’re mentioned, so let’s leave it at that.
And we should, because there is a thriving hotbed of talent in Scotland right now. Alexander Romance and ‘Ghost of the Romance Past’ serves more romance than this column has seen in years, but as songs go, it’s a moody little number in an understated pop way. If you like reserved pieces with a stepping shuffle, stick it on a playlist.
Majesty Palm are another Scottish act serving up mature and measured pop, and ‘Side Eye’ has the disdain for those around it that you’d hope for with that title. They were a support act at King Tuts in August, and if this track is anything to go by, they’ll be higher up the bill on their return.
‘Good Girls’ by Lou McLean is a rather poignant track, scored with strings and a breezy vocal that distract you from the serious message detailed in the story, notably the dangers women face in everyday life. Good pop songs often work on a couple of levels, and Lou has served up a fine example of the genre here. The artist is on a bit of a roll now.
‘Heather’ by Lloyd’s House is great: a forward step that retains the pop sensibilities but wraps it in something more glamorous. ‘Calculated’ by Dylan Wilson is a bit punk by numbers, but as long as those numbers are 1,2,3,4, it’s okay in our book. It does the job.
Midnight Ambulance make a swift return to SNACK Bits with ‘Stained Cotton’, a song which steps through the genres faster than this writer tearing through Soundcloud pages on magazine deadline day. The folky intro quickly makes way to darker climes, where the paranoid land between rock and metal lies. With the outro bookending the song, they’ve cast a spell on us, and let’s hope for more from the duo before the end of the year.
And there’s no other way we’re ending this column than with the Origins EP from Arkley. A song called ‘Back 2 Love (House 89)’ gets to the point faster than any review could, and if the title piques your interest, you’ll not be disappointed. To be fair, the other titles, ‘All I Got Is Love’ and ‘Burnin’ (138 Energy Mix)’, also wear their hearts on their sleeves. The middle track is a bit garage, but it’s the latter that fires your early 90s rave dreams to life and surely puts a smile on your face.
That’s all for this month: stay good, September Gurls, and we’ll see you in October!