Nicola Meighan

354 articles

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Interview: artist and musician Julia Holter on new album Loud City Song

15 Nov 2013

The Gigi-inspired album features a 'vague and dream-like' cover of Barbara Lewis’ ‘Hello Stranger’

Julia Holter is orbiting a foreign city, discussing a ghostly experience, and this scenario seems strangely apt: the LA alt-pop alchemist has long fused urban voyages with haunting arias, as heard on her wonderful third album, Loud City Song. She’s…

Blood Relatives - Deerheart

14 Nov 20133 stars

Impressively executed debut of anthemic folk-pop and barbed chamber-indie

They may have ditched their zoological moniker, but the Glasgow folk-pop gaggle formerly known as Kitty the Lion are still preoccupied with animal – and animalistic – matter, if their debut album Deerheart is anything to go by. Now trading as Blood…

The Space Lady - The Space Lady’s Greatest Hits

14 Nov 20134 stars

Anthology from 70s / 80s US outsider-pop diviner is curious, rare and full of wonder

‘My musician parents lived in Roswell, New Mexico, around the time of the famous flying saucer crash in 1947, and I was born the following January.’ So begins the fascinating, other-worldly biog of Susan Dietrich, a 70s / 80s outsider-pop diviner who…

Exposure: filmic vintage synth-duo Ubre Blanca

7 Nov 2013

The pair's lineage spans Remember Remember, DIVORCE and Shit Disco

A filmic vintage synth-duo whose lineage spans Remember Remember, DIVORCE and Shitdisco, Ubre Blanca invoke Ballard, Kubrick, Vangelis and Blue Mustard, as only a group named after an ideological bovine could. ‘Who doesn’t love a socialist super-cow?…

Monoganon - Family

11 Oct 20134 stars

Second album of introspective and complex psych-folk psalms and alt-pop mantras

‘What’s going on in here?’ asks Monoganon frontman John B McKenna in the opening line of his second album, F A M I L Y, as well he might. This introspective, complex collection of psych-folk psalms and alt-pop mantras dedicated to love, and loss and…

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Singles and downloads - October 2013

11 Oct 2013

Single of the month is Honeyblood's Bud with other tracks from Roman Nose and John Knox Sex Club

They’ve long made us swoon with their vintage scuzz-rock, but Glasgow grrrl-pop duo Honeyblood ramp up their charms on harmonic alt-chorale ‘Bud’, their first release for Fat Cat. Reminiscent of Stevie Nicks, The Go-Gos and Best Coast, and possessing a…

Hector Bizerk - Nobody Seen Nothing

11 Oct 20134 stars

Second album from fleshed-out hip hop duo is rish in humour, existentialism and self-deprecation

There was much to love about Hector Bizerk’s thrilling 2012 debut, Drums. Rap. Yes. There was that brilliant title for starters: a manifesto, call-to-arms, and razor-sharp description of the Glasgow hip hop duo’s experimental art. And there was their…

Exposure: Miracle Strip make ambitious electronic lo-fi indie-pop

11 Oct 2013

Singer Fergus Christie Jack on Girl Gangs, influences and bass solos

Eurythmics, Boy George, Simple Minds – they all sang of miracles. Combine the three, chuck in Postcard Records and Jens Lekman, remove your clothes, et voila: Miracle Strip. Formed in an Edinburgh kitchen by singer / instrumentalist Fergus Christie Jack…

Glasgow's Independent Label Market to feature stalls from Chemikal Underground, Soma and more

25 Sep 2013

LuckyMe, Optimo, Song by Toad, Rock Action, Electric Honey and Numbers are also involved

For those of us who ogled Mute Records’ mini-synths and cupcake records from afar, who cursed the distance from Scotland to London as XL flogged a record label on a market stall in Spitalfields, and who mourned the fact they’d missed being lavished with…

The Julie Ruin - Run Fast

18 Sep 20134 stars

From disco-dirge to scuzz-punk from riot grrrl, Bikini Kill and Le Tigre icon Kathleen Hanna

Riot grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna first introduced us to her semi-autobiographical alter ego, Julie Ruin, back in 1997. Her swaggering, legendary femme-punk posse Bikini Kill were on hiatus at the time (having spearheaded the riot grrrl movement and…

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Chvrches - The Bones of What You Believe

17 Sep 20135 stars

Debut album blindsides with hyper-melodic electro-verve and shimmering, celestial pop

Oh, you could talk at length about how the artwork of Chvrches’ debut album resembles both a star (an accurate prediction of what’s to come for the synth-pop trio) and a feminist, sci-fi take on Vitruvian man – in which Da Vinci’s depiction of human…

Various Artists - Music Language 2013

27 Aug 20135 stars

An introduction to some of the finest under-radar, outsider music Scotland has to offer

In 2011, DIY promoters Cry Parrot and Tracer Trails joined up to launch Music Is The Music Language, a Glasgow festival designed to celebrate Scotland’s underground music in all its fascinating forms – from folk to noise, electro to hip hop. Now named…

Julia Holter - Loud City Song

25 Aug 20134 stars

High concept ideas and mesmeric, beautifully-arranged classical pop

LA chamber-pop diviner Julia Holter has long reflected urban landscape, society and architecture in her music, so Loud City Song is a particularly resonant, fitting title for her third LP (and first on Domino). Loud City Song sees Californian sound…

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…

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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…

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…

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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…

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…