Nicola Meighan

354 articles

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RM Hubbert – Ampersand Extras

8 Oct 20144 stars

Extras they might be, but make no mistake: there is nothing extraneous on this album. As with RM Hubbert's exquisite guitar instrumentals; as with his devastating songs and warm collaborations – as with the three albums that preceded, and engendered…

Album round up - August 2014

28 Aug 2014

Including new releases from James Yorkston, Moon Duo, Earth and Franz Ferdinand

James Yorkston – The Cellardyke Recording & Wassailing Society (Domino) ●●●●● It would be tempting to declare this customarily brilliant piece of work from Fife’s other contemporary folk troubadour a fond farewell to the Fence Collective as-was, with…

Album round up – October 2014

15 Oct 2014

Including new releases from Flying Lotus, Adrian Crowley, Graveyard Tapes and Deerhoof

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! (Warp) ●●●●● The album you’re surely least likely to expect to find the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg guesting on this year, Flying Lotus’ fifth, You’re Dead!, is that rare monster, a record which is entirely…

Exposure: singer-songwriter Angel Olsen

22 May 2014

Olsen's recent output salutes the work of Mazzy Star, The Everly Brothers and Leonard Cohen

No one on earth could feel like this. I’m thrown and overblown with – well, to be honest, bliss doesn’t cover it, but let me tell you, Angel Olsen must be playing with my heart. The American singer-songwriter and guitarist – think Loretta Lynn…

The Phantom Band - Strange Friend

19 May 20144 stars

A sterling Scottische-pop LP from the genre-exploring sextet

The stellar third long-player from The Phantom Band, our six strange (invisible) friends from Scotland-via-Saturn's rings, maps out, explores and downright rules across a motley realm of far-flung deserts ('Atacama') and archipelagos ('Galapagos'), with…

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MC Almond Milk - Teen Age Wasteland

19 Aug 20144 stars

Bonkers rap solo project from James Scott of Conquering Animal Sound and friends

According to the journalists' culinary almanac (or 'Wikipedia' as it is otherwise known), Almond Milk 'comes in plain or vanilla flavours, and is beige in colour'. Radioactive Govan rapper MC Almond Milk is nothing like that. With rhymes as effervescent…

Song, by Toad - Split 12-inch V3

19 Aug 20144 stars

Featuring David Thomas Broughton, Jonnie Common, Siobhan Wilson and Sparrow and the Workshop

It's hard to imagine Edinburgh's (or Scotland's) grassroots pop landscape without Song, By Toad. Over the past decade, it has evolved from a music blog to a podcast, community hub and local promoter (see August's ace Pale Imitation festival) – not to…

Dan Lyth and the Euphrates - Benthic Lines

8 Jul 20144 stars

An album of minimalist and intoxicating chamber-pop and electronica, recorded entirely outdoors

‘I think some part of me took perverse pleasure in the thought of having to undergo some real physical exertion to make this record,’ says Dunfermline singer/songwriter and sonic topographer Dan Lyth of his debut album Benthic Lines, and he puts his…

R&B queen Kelis brings her Food-themed delights to UK

27 Jun 2014

In addition to milkshakes, the singer now serves up 'Jerk Ribs', 'Hooch' and 'Biscuits 'n' Gravy'

To paraphrase Blondie, Kelis Kelis, I've got a crush on you. And when you talk, it seems like paradise. Especially when Kelis speaks (or rather, sings) of culinary groove-pop treats like 'Jerk Ribs', 'Hooch' and 'Biscuits 'n' Gravy', then laces them…

T in the Park 2014: Calvin Harris vs Paolo Nutini

23 Jun 2014

We see how Scotland's two local boys done good measure up side by side

Calvin Harris Real Name: Adam Richard Wiles Born: 1984, Dumfries Job description: DJ, singer, songwriter, producer. Alternative job prospects: Harris claims if he'd had curly hair, he'd have been a footballer. His straight follicles…

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Singles and EPs - May 2014

19 May 2014

New releases from Robyn and Röyksopp, Stanley Odd and So Many Animal Calls reviewed

Robyn and Röyksopp – 'Do It Again' (Dog Triumph / Wall of Sound) ●●●●● This is what’s technically known as ‘a banger’. An all-out euphoric electro-shock from two of Scandi-pop’s greatest protagonists – high priestess Robyn and overlords Röyksopp…

Aidan Moffat, Paul Fegan and more collaborate on Where You're Meant To Be film and tour project

13 May 2014

James Graham, Jenny Reeve and Stevie Jones will also contribute to the project, part of Culture 2014

One Monday night a few weeks back, a boat set sail down the River Clyde. Free whisky and bawdy auld songs ensued, courtesy of Aidan Moffat and his band of bards – James Graham (the Twilight Sad), Jenny Reeve (Bdy_Prts) and Stevie Jones (Alasdair…

Albums round-up - April 2014

24 Apr 2014

New releases from Brody Dalle, The Last Battle, Woods, Fat Goth, Night Noise Team and more reviewed

Brody Dalle – Diploid Love (Caroline) ●●● Brody Dalle, erstwhile frontwoman of The Distillers and Spinnerette, has the cool rocker chick thing down pat. But she’s no trailblazer on this solo debut, instead following leads established by Courtney Love…

Exposure: dream-pop trio Magic Eye

27 Mar 2014

The band, who have links with Errors and NAKED, have signed with LA DIY label Not Not Fun

This haze-addled Edinburgh dream-pop trio are easy to love, and to (lose) focus on. Formed a couple of years ago, and currently under the jurisdiction of Los Angeles DIY paradise Not Not Fun, Magic Eye channel a day-glo fug of exotica, as attested by…

Albums and EPs round-up - March 2014

14 Mar 2014

New releases from Chain & the Gang, Shonen Knife, Shit Robot and The War on Drugs reviewed

Chain & the Gang – Minimum Rock N Roll (Fortuna POP!) ●●●● The latest missive from Ian Svenonius, the Gore Vidal of garage, and his ‘crime rock’ reprobates Chain & The Gang is guaranteed free of ‘unnecessary sounds, extraneous words, too many…

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Two Wings - A Wake

14 Mar 20144 stars

Second album from Glasgow five-piece is full of lavish instrumentation and arrangements

Let us play a game in which we attempt to swerve the adjective 'soaring' when discussing the uplifting folk-rock wonder of Glasgow five-piece Two Wings. It is a nigh-impossible task, such is the quintet's knack for airborne verse and self-propelling…

Chad VanGaalen - Shrink Dust

14 Mar 20143 stars

Self-proclaimed country album from Calgary's astral-rock artisan

Picture this. Two small, prying hands growing out of your shoulders, ripping your eyelids wide apart, provoking untold confusion and pain, and all to a groovy psych-pop beat. Welcome to the surreal province of Chad VanGaalen, where such events unfold on…

World Tour of Crail - Various venues, Crail, Thu 20 & Fri 21 Feb 2014

24 Feb 20145 stars

King Creosote and co host some community gigs, with Withered Hand, Lomond Campbell and Jo Foster

There's a sign above Julia's cafe in Crail that reads, 'Come in for a cuppa'. What it does not say is that your scones will be sound-tracked by homeboy King Creosote, singing his heart out to 20 people. It does not mention that country-gospel…

Neneh Cherry - Blank Project

21 Feb 20144 stars

The singer's latest channels beat poetry, avant-electronica and free jazz via melodic pop

What's she like anyway? She's like no one else, is Neneh Cherry. She has sung and danced and stamped and rapped across post-punk, hip hop, pop and electronica since the early 80s. And although this minimalist, throbbing tour-de-force marks her first…

Ela Orleans - Tumult In Clouds

21 Feb 20145 stars

A sublime, disorientating LP that navigates chanson-pop grooves, eldritch psych-rock & electro

This sublime, disorientating LP is a rarity in every sense. It is uncommon, in this day and age, to make a double vinyl album, for starters – although it feels futile to measure this abstract opus against such a humdrum framework as time. For said…

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Exposure: Bdy_Prts

21 Feb 2014

Jill O'Sullivan (Sparrow and the Workshop) discusses her new alt.pop project

Glasgow alt-pop dead-ringers Bdy_Prts formed in a Little Chef, over an apple pie. The glorious machine-rock duo stars Sparrow and the Workshop's Jill O'Sullivan and Strike the Colours' Jenny Reeve, and they release their superlative debut single, 'IDLU…

Singles and downloads - January 2014

20 Jan 2014

New music from Law, The Twins, Finitribe and Kid Canaveral

‘Show Love People Now Kiss,’ commands the press release for the new EP from Edinburgh soul-dissident / Young Fathers associate LAW – and you don’t have to ask us twice, especially this close to Valentine’s Day.

Top 10 albums of 2013

20 Dec 2013

Featuring Boards of Canada, My Bloody Valentine and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Boards of Canada – Tomorrow's Harvest (Warp) Eight years on from The Campfire Headphase, the Edinburgh brothers engaged in a remarkable pre-release album campaign that had fans listening to album streams in the Mojave Desert and watching video…

Christmas gigs and parties in Glasgow and Edinburgh 2013

9 Dec 2013

Chvrches, Withered Hand and Dam Mantle among December 2013 gig highlights

He who has Christmas not in his heart will never find it under a tree. But he can get jiggy with the Yuletide spirit at a number of joyous pop bacchanals across our festive, fit-to-bursting central belt. Edinburgh shall be decked with jingle balls of…

Singles and downloads - November 2013

18 Nov 2013

New releases from TeenCanteen, Book Group, Holy Mountain and Rob St John and Tommy Perman reviewed

TeenCanteen – 'Honey' (Neu! Reekie! Records) ●●●● Sir, madam, for the format fetishist in your life, may we present to you this scented and coloured cassette replete with miniature flowering garden and – hey! – some vintage indie femme-pop, in the…