Your New Favourite Scottish Band: Zoey Van Goey
- Anna Docherty
- 1 December 2008
We live in a world that likes labels. As a result, Zoey Van Goey have often found their sound folded up and slotted into tiny boxes. ‘Sometimes people say they pick up a Canadian indie influence and some have mentioned a Celtic or traditional Irish vibe,’ says guitarist Michael John McCarthy.
The thing about Zoey Van Goey that perplexes the labelling police is their multicultural background. They hail from Ireland (McCarthy guitar), Canada (Matt Brennan, drums) and Scotland (Kim Moore, vocals). On top of this, their sound has a mosaic of smaller influences, such as Moore’s classical training and McCarthy’s raging REM obsession. Indeed, drummer Brennan believes it is much more likely to be their own ‘personal peculiarities’ that influence the band’s sound.
And a beautiful sound it is too. Melodies of spider-web fragility wrap around verses that come on like sad little lullabies, woken up with twanging guitar and pitter-patter drums. New single ‘Sweethearts in Disguise’ is a delicate lesson in dealing with reality, with its pleading chant of ‘Tell me lies, because I just can’t take it’. They are dark little fairy tales sung in a sunny pop voice, with the ‘peculiarities’ of three different individuals felt in the jangling imperfection of their songs.
Zoey Van Goey’s music is more a product of the here and now. ‘Music is less about where you come from and more about what you’re going through at that moment,’ says McCarthy.
If any one thing is to be pinpointed as a main influence, it is Glasgow. The three members met there and found it to be a binding force for musicians. ‘Glasgow’s music scene is vibrant, exciting and inspiring and its approach to the arts is nurturing,’ says Moore.
Perhaps we could just give up with the labels and accept that their tender, wonky folk-pop is simply the product of their own unique Zoey Van Goey-ness.
for gigs and releases.