Nicola Meighan

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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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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…

Interview: artist and musician Julia Holter on new album Loud City Song

15 Nov 2013

The Gigi-inspired album features a 'vague and dream-like' cover of Barbara Lewis’ ‘Hello Stranger’

Julia Holter is orbiting a foreign city, discussing a ghostly experience, and this scenario seems strangely apt: the LA alt-pop alchemist has long fused urban voyages with haunting arias, as heard on her wonderful third album, Loud City Song. She’s…

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The Space Lady - The Space Lady’s Greatest Hits

14 Nov 20134 stars

Anthology from 70s / 80s US outsider-pop diviner is curious, rare and full of wonder

‘My musician parents lived in Roswell, New Mexico, around the time of the famous flying saucer crash in 1947, and I was born the following January.’ So begins the fascinating, other-worldly biog of Susan Dietrich, a 70s / 80s outsider-pop diviner who…

Blood Relatives - Deerheart

14 Nov 20133 stars

Impressively executed debut of anthemic folk-pop and barbed chamber-indie

They may have ditched their zoological moniker, but the Glasgow folk-pop gaggle formerly known as Kitty the Lion are still preoccupied with animal – and animalistic – matter, if their debut album Deerheart is anything to go by. Now trading as Blood…

Exposure: filmic vintage synth-duo Ubre Blanca

7 Nov 2013

The pair's lineage spans Remember Remember, DIVORCE and Shit Disco

A filmic vintage synth-duo whose lineage spans Remember Remember, DIVORCE and Shitdisco, Ubre Blanca invoke Ballard, Kubrick, Vangelis and Blue Mustard, as only a group named after an ideological bovine could. ‘Who doesn’t love a socialist super-cow?…

Monoganon - Family

11 Oct 20134 stars

Second album of introspective and complex psych-folk psalms and alt-pop mantras

‘What’s going on in here?’ asks Monoganon frontman John B McKenna in the opening line of his second album, F A M I L Y, as well he might. This introspective, complex collection of psych-folk psalms and alt-pop mantras dedicated to love, and loss and…

Exposure: Miracle Strip make ambitious electronic lo-fi indie-pop

11 Oct 2013

Singer Fergus Christie Jack on Girl Gangs, influences and bass solos

Eurythmics, Boy George, Simple Minds – they all sang of miracles. Combine the three, chuck in Postcard Records and Jens Lekman, remove your clothes, et voila: Miracle Strip. Formed in an Edinburgh kitchen by singer / instrumentalist Fergus Christie Jack…

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Singles and downloads - October 2013

11 Oct 2013

Single of the month is Honeyblood's Bud with other tracks from Roman Nose and John Knox Sex Club

They’ve long made us swoon with their vintage scuzz-rock, but Glasgow grrrl-pop duo Honeyblood ramp up their charms on harmonic alt-chorale ‘Bud’, their first release for Fat Cat. Reminiscent of Stevie Nicks, The Go-Gos and Best Coast, and possessing a…

Hector Bizerk - Nobody Seen Nothing

11 Oct 20134 stars

Second album from fleshed-out hip hop duo is rish in humour, existentialism and self-deprecation

There was much to love about Hector Bizerk’s thrilling 2012 debut, Drums. Rap. Yes. There was that brilliant title for starters: a manifesto, call-to-arms, and razor-sharp description of the Glasgow hip hop duo’s experimental art. And there was their…

Glasgow's Independent Label Market to feature stalls from Chemikal Underground, Soma and more

25 Sep 2013

LuckyMe, Optimo, Song by Toad, Rock Action, Electric Honey and Numbers are also involved

For those of us who ogled Mute Records’ mini-synths and cupcake records from afar, who cursed the distance from Scotland to London as XL flogged a record label on a market stall in Spitalfields, and who mourned the fact they’d missed being lavished with…

The Julie Ruin - Run Fast

18 Sep 20134 stars

From disco-dirge to scuzz-punk from riot grrrl, Bikini Kill and Le Tigre icon Kathleen Hanna

Riot grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna first introduced us to her semi-autobiographical alter ego, Julie Ruin, back in 1997. Her swaggering, legendary femme-punk posse Bikini Kill were on hiatus at the time (having spearheaded the riot grrrl movement and…

Chvrches - The Bones of What You Believe

17 Sep 20135 stars

Debut album blindsides with hyper-melodic electro-verve and shimmering, celestial pop

Oh, you could talk at length about how the artwork of Chvrches’ debut album resembles both a star (an accurate prediction of what’s to come for the synth-pop trio) and a feminist, sci-fi take on Vitruvian man – in which Da Vinci’s depiction of human…

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Various Artists - Music Language 2013

27 Aug 20135 stars

An introduction to some of the finest under-radar, outsider music Scotland has to offer

In 2011, DIY promoters Cry Parrot and Tracer Trails joined up to launch Music Is The Music Language, a Glasgow festival designed to celebrate Scotland’s underground music in all its fascinating forms – from folk to noise, electro to hip hop. Now named…

Julia Holter - Loud City Song

25 Aug 20134 stars

High concept ideas and mesmeric, beautifully-arranged classical pop

LA chamber-pop diviner Julia Holter has long reflected urban landscape, society and architecture in her music, so Loud City Song is a particularly resonant, fitting title for her third LP (and first on Domino). Loud City Song sees Californian sound…

Adam Stafford - Imaginary Walls Collapse

11 Jul 20134 stars

Second solo album from Falkirk polymath veers towards electronics and human harmony

There’s only one Adam Stafford. He has myriad guises, of course – Scottish BAFTA-winning filmmaker (The Shutdown with Alan Bissett); DIY label boss (Wise Blood Industries); music video director (The Twilight Sad’s ‘Seven Years of Letters’); frontman of…

Sparrow and the Workshop - Murderopolis

15 May 20134 stars

Third album from Glasgow rock-noir trio has psych-rock heart

(Song, By Toad) This album starts with the words ‘when love was the greatest thing’ - and it is all you need to unravel the third long-player from a Glasgow rock-noir trio who variously conjure The Bad Seeds, The Shangri-Las, Johnny Cash and Melanie…

Singles and downloads - April 2013

25 Apr 2013

Releases from Book Group, Digital Jones, Panda Su and Roman Nose reviewed

Book Group - Homeward Sound EP (bookgroup.bandcamp.com) ●●●● Opening with the beatific alt-rock sucker-punch of ‘Year of the Cat’, this excellent feedback-strewn debut from Edinburgh’s Book Group (ex-Come on Gang / Kays Lavelle) is packed with…