The Emotive Sounds of New Scotia.
I recently sent out a Tweet asking for local bands to get in touch with music to review; and the only response came from a Glaswegian band with a singer who hailed from a town 4 miles from my doorstep.
Out of a sense of decency I said to send their latest disc; their third since 2002 and first in 10 long years which arrived the following morning.
God definitely works in mysterious ways.
I was immediately intrigued and impressed with the opening track Hymn, a Gospel flavoured acapella song lasting less than a minute; then a full on powerhouse Celtic Folk-Rocker followed; raising my eyebrows to a cartoonish level.
WOW! The epic Kaon Blues (pt1) lasts over 7 minutes and the swirling guitars, luscious harmonies, militaristic drumming and brass section combine to create a sound akin to the best of Simple Minds, Runrig and Big Country filtered through Deacon Blue. It’s a universal sound that couldn’t sound any more Scottish if it came in a shortbread tin.
While nothing else, thankfully reaches those heady heights……my senses couldn’t take it; the pitch is set perfectly for delightful folky compositions like The River and the atmospheric Ballad of the Lighthouse Keeper to seep into your consciousness like the aroma of heather after a rainstorm.
For younger listeners, on a couple of tracks The People will sound like they take their lead from bands like the Lumineers and Mumford & Sons; but ‘that Power-Folk sound’ on Into The Wilds and Henry ‘O has been around since the sixties Folk Boom and these guys do it with aplomb, passion and show you young ‘uns how it should be done.
While I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the whole album; which is just as good played on a car journey as it is in the conservatory while reading the Sunday papers one song really stands out.
The Devil Inside is one of those songs that will go on to define a band. The Devil Inside encapsulates everything that is good, not just about this album but music itself. The singer’s voice aches as a guitar weeps and wails while the bass, fiddle and drums fill every gap imaginable; and when the harmonies fill the air you feel like the world is a better place to live in.
The playing, writing and story telling throughout is quite exceptional; especially from a band I’ve never heard of and who appear to be part-time but utterly professional and play for ‘fun’…….remember that, eh?
Released April 27th 2017