Nicola Meighan

341 articles

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Adam Stafford - Imaginary Walls Collapse

11 Jul 20134 stars

Second solo album from Falkirk polymath veers towards electronics and human harmony

There’s only one Adam Stafford. He has myriad guises, of course – Scottish BAFTA-winning filmmaker (The Shutdown with Alan Bissett); DIY label boss (Wise Blood Industries); music video director (The Twilight Sad’s ‘Seven Years of Letters’); frontman of…

Sparrow and the Workshop - Murderopolis

15 May 20134 stars

Third album from Glasgow rock-noir trio has psych-rock heart

(Song, By Toad) This album starts with the words ‘when love was the greatest thing’ - and it is all you need to unravel the third long-player from a Glasgow rock-noir trio who variously conjure The Bad Seeds, The Shangri-Las, Johnny Cash and Melanie…

Singles and downloads - April 2013

25 Apr 2013

Releases from Book Group, Digital Jones, Panda Su and Roman Nose reviewed

Book Group - Homeward Sound EP ( ●●●● Opening with the beatific alt-rock sucker-punch of ‘Year of the Cat’, this excellent feedback-strewn debut from Edinburgh’s Book Group (ex-Come on Gang / Kays Lavelle) is packed with…

William Tyler - Impossible Truth

19 Apr 20134 stars

A shimmering, uplifting psych-folk album influenced by 70s singer-songwriters

(Merge) With gilded stints as backing guitarist to Bonnie Prince Billy, Silver Jews, Candi Staton and Lambchop under his low-slung belt, you might be inclined to wonder if prodigious fingerpicker William Tyler had the motivation, energy or indeed time…

Thirty Pounds of Bone - I Cannot Sing You Here, But for Songs of Where

19 Apr 20133 stars

Album exploring location and identity via travelling odes and upbeat celtic folk knees-ups

(Armellodie) As you might suspect of an itinerant folk hoarder who takes his grisly nom de plume from the average weight of a dead man’s bones, Johnny Lamb appreciates the gravity of his songs. His third album, I Cannot Sing You Here... frames his…

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Eagleowl - This Silent Year

19 Apr 20134 stars

Languorous chamber-pop full of silence, distortion and exquisite humour

(Fence) Here are a few clues that this is a rare and unhurried debut album: it starts with a beat, and then the beat slows down; the instruments come in one by one; the opening words are ‘some other time’. The album’s centrepiece is in fact its…

Edinburgh label Song, by Toad unveils grand plans for Record Store Day 2013

16 Apr 2013

The DIY label is involved in some live performances plus a Beer vs Music experiment...

As beloved music emporia like Monorail, VoxBox, LOVEmusic and Avalanche hatch plans for Record Store Day 2013, Matthew Young of homegrown Edinburgh indie label Song, by Toad is flogging beer for a song. ‘On Record Store Day, we’ll be releasing our Beer…

Glasgow-based LuckyMe protégée S-Type set for live shows

15 Mar 2013

Remix schedule includes work for Aluna George, Jamie Lidell and Lianne La Havas

LuckyMe protégée S-Type, aka Bobby Perman, has been necking a combo of sick hip hop stimulants. ‘I’ve just had a bowl of porridge and a cup of tea,’ admits the ingenious electronic producer, warming up in his Glasgow studio. ‘I’ve only recently started…

LadyFest Glasgow 2013 highlights female under-representation in music scene

15 Feb 2013

Highlights include Muscles of Joy, Hector Bizerk, Sacred Paws and Fiona Soe Paing

Electronic alchemist Fiona Soe Paing is singing the praises of LadyFest. The global DIY femme-pop hoopla was launched in Olympia, in 2000, supported by Sleater Kinney, The Gossip and 90s riot-grrrl trailblazers Bratmobile, and it returns to Glasgow this…

Kid Canaveral - Now That You Are a Dancer

13 Feb 20134 stars

Second album from promising indie-rock act on Fence Records

(Fence) Legend has it that Kid Canaveral almost expired in an amp inferno during the making of their excellent second LP, Now That You Are a Dancer. Said loudspeaker burst into flames as the Scottish alt-rock quartet recorded album closer, ‘A…

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Tracey Thorn - Bedsit Disco Queen

22 Jan 20135 stars

A wise and humorous pop memoir from the Everything but the Girl singer

This opus from Everything But the Girl’s Tracey Thorn masquerades as a brilliant pop biography, but it’s also a fascinating tale of love, growing up, letting go and finding your way. And it beautifully illustrates how we make sense (and order) of our…

Rick Redbeard - No Selfish Heart

21 Jan 20134 stars

Outstanding debut solo album from erstwhile Phantom Band man Rick Anthony

(Chemikal Underground) And the man called Rick Anthony, hitherto deified for conducting The Phantom Band like a stars-and-brimstone preacher, retreated to rural Aberdeenshire; cultivated an elegiac Redbeard; amalgamated an earthly Scots tongue with…

Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse

17 Jan 20134 stars

Missing circuitous narratives and flipside thrills but sounding bigger and heavier than ever

(Atlantic) Long before they became an international major label concern; before they provoked a rampant wireless love-in from Radio 1’s Zane Lowe with new single ‘The Woodpile’; before they wrote our alternative national anthem in 2008’s ‘Keep Yourself…

Fat Goth - Stud

17 Jan 20134 stars

Excellent album of thunderstruck-hardcore, hollering-pop and countrified-rock‘n’roll

(Hefty Dafty) They may have a line in sardonic song titles, and their band’s name may sound like a dubious punch line, but Dundee rockers Fat Goth are a serious underground rock concern. Formed in 2007 and with a debut LP (2010’s Mindless Crap) under…

Gaggle's ‘The Power of Money’ is single of the month

18 Dec 2012

Singles and downloads December 2012

Nothing says ‘Christmas night out’ quite like Pissed Jeans’ ‘Bathroom Laughter’ (Sub Pop, ●●●●), wherein the noise insurgents spew forth amyl-wired scuzz that annihilates flashbacks to Mariah Carey’s wafting ballad ‘Christmas Time Is In the Air Again…

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Julia Holter - Ekstasis

18 Dec 20124 stars

Anthology of visionary pop vignettes using ritualism and baroque instrumentation

(Domino) While Californian underground pop luminary Julia Holter used her debut, Tragedy, to translate a classic ancient Greek text (Euripides’ Hippolytus) into a grassroots suite of electronic pop, its incandescent follow-up, Ekstasis proves that…

L Pierre - The Island Come True

18 Dec 20124 stars

Eerie, bleak and gorgeous electonics from Aidan Moffat's ongoing solo project

(Melodic) Given Aidan Moffat’s consummate way with words – in Arab Strap, with Bill Wells, in his short stories – you might suspect that his expressive endowments were more inclined towards lyrics than music. His uncanny instrumental alter-ego L…

Gav Prentice - The Invisible Hand

15 Nov 20124 stars

Familiar and well-observed folk-pop songs from the Over the Wall vocalist

This solo debut from Over The Wall vocalist Gav Prentice may be lacking in the fanfares that define his euphoric electro-brass duo, but this album’s small-town Scottish tales of getting old and family and work are characteristically familiar and…

Mogwai - A Wrenched Virile Lore

15 Nov 20124 stars

The post-rockers' remix album is as ingenious as it is eclectic

Fourteen years since Kicking A Dead Pig – Mogwai’s formidable remix corpus, culled from their landmark debut, Young Team – comes this equally impressive anthology which utilises last year’s ace LP, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will as its…

New folk music: James Yorkston, Hanna Tuulikki and Alex Neilson on their musical influences

31 Oct 2012

Some recommendations from three strong voices in contemporary folk music

Scotland’s contemporary folk music is vital, dynamic and genre-defying. It re-animates mythic realms via acid-washed folk-rock (Trembling Bells); applies Gaelic customs to avant-garde art forms (Hanna Tuulikki, Muscles of Joy); celebrates punk and DIY…

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Various artists - Whatever Gets You Through The Night

9 Oct 20124 stars

Impressive collection of songs released as part of wide-ranging multi-media project

‘The night’s getting colder’, sings Withered Hand on opening brass-folk serenade ‘A New Case’, and his words reflect the moon-lit backdrop of this terrific pop anthology. Its exclusive songs explore contemporary Scotland at 4am, as part of Cora Bissett…

Finn LeMarinel - Violence

9 Oct 20124 stars

LeMarinel's solo debut is a glorious calling card of acoustic folk musicianship

Within twenty seconds of listening to Violence, the following have crossed my mind: RM Hubbert, The Flaming Lips, Supertramp, Joanna Newsom, Yes and a sense of wonder. Can the rest of Glasgow singer-songwriter Finn LeMarinel’s debut album live up to…

Wounded Knee - Secret Museum of Kind Man

8 Oct 20124 stars

A playful slice of 'spiritual folk-jazz' with a touch of disco

‘More lo-fi spiritual folk-jazz from Leith’s finest exponent of lo-fi spiritual folk-jazz,’ promises Krapp’s fourth tape, Secret Museum of Kind Man – a play on Pat Conte’s Secret Museum of Mankind Ethnic Classic anthologies (Wounded Knee, aka Drew…

Stanley Odd - Reject

8 Oct 20124 stars

Cerebral, socio-political hip hop from the six-strong Scottish ensemble

Edinburgh six-strong hip hop ensemble Stanley Odd are the first to acknowledge that their debut album, Oddio (2010), was not hugely forward-looking in its sound, and it’s this sonic volte-face, teamed with MC Dave ‘Solareye’ Hook’s electrifying…

Josephine Foster - Blood Rushing

20 Sep 20124 stars

The psych-folk singer's strongest and most convincing work to date

It feels remiss to call an LP a career-high when an artist such as as Josephine Foster’s genre-defying output spans 19th century German lieder (2006’s Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing), reworkings of Emily Dickinson’s poetry (2010’s Graphic As A Star) and…