Exposure: Sister John
- Kirstyn Smith
- 6 September 2017
Singer-songwriter / guitarist Amanda McKeown discusses Glasgow's music community and upcoming album Returned From Sea
They were once described as 'what the Velvet Underground would have sounded like if Lou Reed had been writing for Vashti Bunyan rather than Nico.' Sister John, Glasgow's folk, country four-piece, are also influenced by Neil Young and by the effects integrating strings into their work can have. We caught up with singer-songwriter / guitarist Amanda McKeown to chat about pals, community and upcoming releases.
On their origins
Sister John came together as a vehicle for songs I wrote. The first gig we ever had was when I was asked to play at a local night at the Tron Theatre. Rather than go and do that myself, I put the band together. We stuck with it because the sound really clicked. The songs are very much from my head; I bring them to the group and we arrange them together.
On Glasgow's music communities
Glasgow's a really exciting place to be. It's difficult to identify one particular scene, as there's so much going on. Being involved with [record label] Last Night From Glasgow has been special, because they're something quite unique. The networks and opportunities for people to play and collaborate are never-ending, and every day I discover someone I've not heard of.
On their peers
Stephen Solo has been making music for years, but in his current guise he's releasing a record which he's recorded on his iPhone. He's really experimental and interesting with a pop touch, as well as being lyrically interesting. I find him quite inspiring.
On their upcoming album
Returned from Sea has a lot of themes – water, rain, rivers, seas and tides – that I hadn't thought of while I was writing it. Side one of the record is quite a disruptive sound. I see it as a journey through the album. Side two has a slightly different feel; it's a bit more reflective. There are strong themes in there, like loss and redemption and how you see yourself and people you meet along the way.
Returned from Sea is out Fri 15 Sep via Last Night From Glasgow. Sister John play the Hug & Pint, Glasgow, on Thu 14 & Fri 15 Sep.