Singles & Downloads - Local Special
Locally-sourced produce is all the rage these days, so let’s have a cheeky wee Scottish round-up this issue, eh? Quality meat to kick off in the form of Frightened Rabbit, whose ‘I Feel Better’/’The Twist’ (Fat Cat) •••• is excellently jittery, skittery folk-flecked indie, with all the yelping energy of vintage REM. Glasgow’s Popup try similar fare with ‘Love Triangle’ (Art Goes Pop) ••• Although their subdued jangle takes ages to get going, it does eventually reach a tipping point of fine, angsty bluster.
We See Lights show more diverse flavours on their ‘We See Lights EP’ (self-release) ••• veering from Arcade Fire anthems to Elliott Smith songsmithery, all well executed but lacking a little conviction. ‘We’re Not French EP’ (self-release) ••• by The French Quarter is promising too, their post-rocking ambient atmospherics have enough grit to suggest they could ripen into a decent prospect.
Very different but equally tasty are Pearl and the Puppets. The Glasgow-based outfit deliver relaxed but confident acoustic pop on ‘Pearl and the Puppets EP’ (self-release) ••• like Amy Macdonald on a weird tip or Laura Marling gorging on juicy pop fruits.
By contrast Odeon Beat Club sound tired on ‘The New Kate Moss’ (Yo Yo) •• lacking momentum and bite, and trundling along before limping to a sorry end.
Much more intriguing is the latest eclectic offering in the Kopparberg Singles Club. Swedish cider and Scottish music isn’t an obvious taste combination, but it works on ‘Jake of Monterey’/‘Qoral Reef’ (Kopparberg) ••• by Injuns and Dbass respectively. The former is a creepy, moody new wave stew, the latter is a platter of off-kilter, late-night soul with a jazzy garnish on top.
All of which just serve as appetisers for the fillet steak main course of Eagleowl’s Single of the Fortnight. The Edinburgh-based trio’s ‘For The Thoughts You Never Had EP’ (Fife Kills: Records) •••• is a wonderfully atmospheric piece of slowcore post-folk, reminiscent at times of Low, with a dash of Scottish sea shanty thrown in here, a soupcon of Adem’s organic melancholy there, all of it positively oozing home-grown, home-cooked goodness. Bon appétit.