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  • Alistair Braidwood

Marching Power: The Best New Music From Last Month…

March was the month Scots Whay Hae! started a Facebook page dedicated to music alone. This is so we have a handy place to post any music we like, but also so there was a place for the best music that hasn’t quite made the final cut for these monthly roundups, of which there is plenty.

As if to prove the point, March was packed full of great new music, from old friends and new. As you’ll know from January and February, 2015 has got off to a blistering pace in terms of great new music, and it shows no sign of slowing. That is proven as much by those who have been left out of this selection as much as those who are featured, and if you regularly check out Scots Whay Hae’s Music Page you will get an even clearer picture as to what’s on offer (as well as being able to wallow in some comforting nostalgia). Here endeth the self promotion.

We start with the welcome return of Glasgow’s Errors, and if, ‘Slow Rotor’, the single from their new album Lease Of Life (above) is any indication they are at the top of their game. It’s further example of their mastery of melodic electronica. If you like Metronomy or Summer Camp, then you’re in luck as Errors are better than both, incorporating a greater pop sensibility, and melodies which Paddy McAloon, Bernard Summner and Neil Tennant would kill for. It’s also got the best video of the month by a country mile. But don’t take my word for it:

Change of sound, but not of quality, with Glass Museums new single ‘Missiles’. Glass Museums make deceptively powerful rock music, working as a perfect example of the magic that can happen when the right combination of musicians get together to make something greater than their sum part. It is hard to explain exactly why it works when it doesn’t for so many others, which I guess is a problem when I’m writing a review. Suffice to say if you like your music anthemic without resorting to bluster, stereotype or cliche, then Glass Museums are the band for you: This is ‘Missiles’:

As regular readers will well know, we have all the time on the world for Olive Grove Records and the good work they do, and a new release from them is always hotly anticipated. When that new release is from Henry & Fleetwood, one part De Rosa and one part State Broadcasters, then that anticipation becomes fevered. Henry is Martin John Henry whose work with De Rosa and solo prove him to be one of the best songwriters around today. He may have found his perfect musical partner in Gillian Fleetwood, whose musicality, harmonies and harp enhance Martin’s plaintive vocal style. On The Forest Floor is the name of their debut EP, and is one of the best things you are likely to hear all year. Simply gorgeous:

If you haven’t yet got yourself down to one of Warren McIntyre’s monthly Seven Song Club Nights at The Tron Theatre in Glasgow, and you can, then you really should. Last month saw Scots Whay Hae! favourites No More Tiger support The Strange Blue Dreams for a great evening of music. The Strange Blue Dreams seemed familiar to me, and I soon realised that they are also know as The Shiverin’ Sheiks, who I have seen on a regular basis in Glasgow’s Blackfriars of a Tuesday night. As such, I already knew they were one of the tightest bands around, but the difference is that The Strange Blue Dreams play all original material, and I would suggest they are all the better for it, taking ’50s influences and rockabilly stylings and adding a dash of country, and even some southern gothic, to proceedings. If you get the chance to see them live, in either incarnation, you really must. In the meantime, this is their ace single, ‘Up To The Stars’:

Someone whose musical tastes I respect implicitly, despite his fondness for Rush, contacted me about Cumbernauld duo P60, brothers Peter and Philip Walker, and their latest album, Models, which is out now on the Second Language label. Sounding as if they take inspiration from those other electronica obsessed brothers, Brian and Roger Eno, as well Harold Budd, Terry Riley and Philip Glass, they use their equipment to create a soundscape which evokes the alienation they felt growing up in their home town, and others like it. Imagine Susumu Yokoto had been born and raised in a Scottish New Town and you have some idea as to what to expect. Models is released as a 300 limited edition… Actually 299, now I’ve ordered mine, so get in there quick. From the album, this is ‘I Got You In, Now Get Me Out’:

I said at the top of the page that this roundup would include old friends and new, and two of our oldest friends, in terms of reviewing them on the pages of Scots Whay Hae!, have been A Band Called Quinn and Night Noise Team. Both of them never let us down. A Band Called Quinn’s ‘Drive With Your Your Eyes Closed’ has been remixed by Miaoux Miaoux, who (spoiler alert) is more than likely to feature on these pages on his own next month. If you’ve seen or heard their live show, Biding Time, then you’ll be familiar with the track, but not like this. As the best remixes should do, this enhances the original song while making you appreciate the individual aesthetic of the person who has weaved their magic:

If Scots Whay Hae! stopped tomorrow (which it won’t), then if nothing more came of it than discovering the Night Noise Team, I could remain a happy man. They have made some of my favourite music of the last few years, and it looks like they aren’t going to stop anytime soon. The best phrase I can come up with for Night Noise Team’s sound is “world weary dance music”, something which suits me right here, right now. Another remix, or reboot as they would have it; their latest single ‘High Line’ is taken from the recent album Rever Electrique:

That’s it for March, and I didn’t even mention new albums from Young Fathers or Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells, mainly because I’m guessing you’ve already heard about them. Believe it or not, April’s roundup is already filling up fast, but don’t let that put you off getting in touch with suggestions for music that should feature. Without you, we are nought.


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