Download: new Singles and EPs out now and incoming – April
Featuring Happy Meals, Rose McDowall, Froth, Vashti Bunyan & Animal Collective and Sacred Paws
Happy Meals – Altered Images (out now)
(Night School Records) ●●●●
Sunday, Monday: Happy Meals. Tuesday, Wednesday: Happy Meals. Thursday, Friday: Happy Meals. There isn't a day in the week that cannot be hugely improved by a blast of astral disco-chanson from Glasgow duo Happy Meals. ‘Altered Images’ is the latest offering from their ace debut album, Apero, and sees Suzanne Rodden and Lewis Cook (The Cosmic Dead, Mother Ganga) variously invoke Gallic techno, acid house and Orange Juice-fuelled Scottish post-punk.
Rose McDowall – Don't Fear The Reaper (18 Apr)
(Night School Records) ●●●●
The essence of Orange Juice is also stirred on the new Record Store Day 12” from Rose McDowall, previously of 80s Glasgow technicolour indie-pop duo Strawberry Switchblade, who appropriated their name from an abandoned OJ fanzine of the same name. McDowall's solo haunt-pop take on Blue Oyster Cult's 'Don't Fear The Reaper' vaguely evokes the post-punk duo's goth-disco cover of Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' (1985), and you might also clock the wyrd-folk apparitions of Current 93, Spell and Coil, with whom McDowall has also recorded. Look out for a very welcome Strawberry Switchblade / McDowall retrospective as the year unfolds.
Vashti Bunyan & Animal Collective – Prospect Hummer (18 Apr)
(Fat Cat) ●●●●
Record Store Day also sees the reissue of an EP starring another once-lost Scottish pop voice of yore. Ten years ago, the ever-wondrous Vashti Bunyan collaborated with long-term fans Animal Collective, and the result was the ‘Prospect Hummer’ EP – a gentle, celestial psych-folk gem which is being made available on vinyl for the first time.
Froth – Eterniturtle (out now)
(Number 4 Door) ●●●●
If cassettes are more your bag, then seek out the terrific debut missive from Glasgow indie-pop rabble Froth (who appear to be in the process of changing their name to Strop even as you read these very words). Their ‘Eterniturtle’ EP is clamorous and ecstatic, particularly hi-octane noise-pop tantrum 'London Girl', glam-punk aria 'Salt and Pepper' and tropical post-punk singalong 'The Rat'.
Sacred Paws – Six Songs (out now)
(Rock Action) ●●●●●
But this month belongs to the long-overdue debut EP from Glasgow-London duo Sacred Paws courtesy of ‘Six Songs’. Drummer / vocalist Eilidh Rodgers (Golden Grrrls) and guitarist / vocalist Rachel Aggs (Golden Grrrls, Trash Kit) make thrilling, spontaneous, sun-warped noise-pop that variously conjures high-octane Highlife, the Raincoats, the Chills and Sleater-Kinney. Their vocal interplay is joyous, and their post-punk clatter, vintage indie-pop, kaleidoscopic guitar lines and kamikaze beats all make for happy days indeed.