Nicola Meighan

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Counterflows 2015: interview with featured artist Noura Mint Seymali

19 Mar 2015

The mauritanian desert-rock singer talks influences, griot traditions and her latest album Tzenni

Glasgow's annual music bacchanal, the global / alternative weekend festival Counterflows, has been zig-zagging geographic boundaries, remapping cultural ones, and revelling in subterranean sonic fun since 2012.

Download: new Singles and EPs out now and incoming – April

26 Mar 2015

Featuring Happy Meals, Rose McDowall, Froth, Vashti Bunyan & Animal Collective and Sacred Paws

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…

Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat – The Most Important Place In The World

4 Mar 20154 stars

A glorious album from the artists, which navigates life, love and sex

There's a lot to be said for the joys of winking. But it can also result in one veering off the rails – or road, of course – as the winking beat of the car indicator that opens this glorious album reminds us. The second long-player from Bill Wells…

Sacred Paws chat Sleater-Kinney and the legacy of 90s feminist-punk

20 Feb 2015

After a decade-long wait, devotees are being inspired all over again

Yes, of course it was thrilling when David Bowie dropped an album out of nowhere. And granted, Aphex Twin delighted with his blimps and his cryptic new LP campaign. But Sleater-Kinney knocked these dudes for six when they hid a brand new single – their…

Alasdair Gray: A Life in Progress

6 Feb 20154 stars

Warm and affectionate soundtrack to a documentary about the Glasgow writer and artist

Larbert, Falkirk is home to De-Fence, the electronic offshoot of King Creosote's Fence Records empire, as helmed by sticksman OnTheFly (aka Gavin Brown), and amplified by a stellar back catalogue which counts rare vinyl releases from Malcolm Middleton…

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RM Hubbert – Ampersand Extras

8 Oct 20144 stars

Extras they might be, but make no mistake: there is nothing extraneous on this album. As with RM Hubbert's exquisite guitar instrumentals; as with his devastating songs and warm collaborations – as with the three albums that preceded, and engendered…

The Phantom Band - Strange Friend

19 May 20144 stars

A sterling Scottische-pop LP from the genre-exploring sextet

The stellar third long-player from The Phantom Band, our six strange (invisible) friends from Scotland-via-Saturn's rings, maps out, explores and downright rules across a motley realm of far-flung deserts ('Atacama') and archipelagos ('Galapagos'), with…

Exposure: dream-pop trio Magic Eye

27 Mar 2014

The band, who have links with Errors and NAKED, have signed with LA DIY label Not Not Fun

This haze-addled Edinburgh dream-pop trio are easy to love, and to (lose) focus on. Formed a couple of years ago, and currently under the jurisdiction of Los Angeles DIY paradise Not Not Fun, Magic Eye channel a day-glo fug of exotica, as attested by…

Preview: Half Man Half Biscuit

13 Jan 2015

HMHB bring latest album Urge for Offal to Edinburgh's Liquid Room

We could fill this preview with wry titles from post-punk’s Half Man Half Biscuit alone. From the Birkenhead quartet's 1985 debut album, Back In The DHSS, through some of their best-loved LP designates (1998's Four Lads Who Shook The Wirral; 2005's…

Ubre Blanca Terminal Island EP

19 Nov 20144 stars

An brilliantly unsettling adventure both escapist and inescapable from electronic synth duo

Oh Don Johnson, so much to answer for. Somewhere in the past two decades, the mulleted heart-throb’s 80s cop frolic Miami Vice has become shorthand for fast cars, Martini Girls, neon cocktails, rolled-up jacket sleeves, Reagan’s America, bronzed…

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Exclusive: Machines in Heaven – Hindu Milk EP

13 Nov 20144 stars

Listen to the band's new EP via our exclusive preview

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to give praise for those machines which art in heaven – when they’re not assuming the earthly guise of three blokes abiding in Glasgow, that is. Let us join in offering thanks for their retro-futurist digital…

Synaesthete – Array

6 Nov 20144 stars

Colourful new album from Sarah Tanat-Jones is rich array of sound and vision

Tropical electro-pop livewire Sarah Tanat-Jones, aka Synaesthete, first came to our attention as the glittering, drum-battering vocalist of Edinburgh alt-rock combo Come On Gang. Said troupe split up before they issued their debut – and needless to say…

Album Roundup – October 2014

15 Oct 2014

Including new releases from Flying Lotus, Adrian Crowley, Graveyard Tapes and Deerhoof

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! (Warp) ●●●●● The album you’re surely least likely to expect to find the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg guesting on this year, Flying Lotus’ fifth, You’re Dead!, is that rare monster, a record which is entirely…

Album round up - August 2014

28 Aug 2014

Including new releases from James Yorkston, Moon Duo, Earth and Franz Ferdinand

James Yorkston – The Cellardyke Recording & Wassailing Society (Domino) ●●●●● It would be tempting to declare this customarily brilliant piece of work from Fife’s other contemporary folk troubadour a fond farewell to the Fence Collective as-was, with…

MC Almond Milk - Teen Age Wasteland

19 Aug 20144 stars

Bonkers rap solo project from James Scott of Conquering Animal Sound and friends

According to the journalists' culinary almanac (or 'Wikipedia' as it is otherwise known), Almond Milk 'comes in plain or vanilla flavours, and is beige in colour'. Radioactive Govan rapper MC Almond Milk is nothing like that. With rhymes as effervescent…

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Song, by Toad - Split 12-inch V3

19 Aug 20144 stars

Featuring David Thomas Broughton, Jonnie Common, Siobhan Wilson and Sparrow and the Workshop

It's hard to imagine Edinburgh's (or Scotland's) grassroots pop landscape without Song, By Toad. Over the past decade, it has evolved from a music blog to a podcast, community hub and local promoter (see August's ace Pale Imitation festival) – not to…

Dan Lyth and the Euphrates - Benthic Lines

8 Jul 20144 stars

An album of minimalist and intoxicating chamber-pop and electronica, recorded entirely outdoors

‘I think some part of me took perverse pleasure in the thought of having to undergo some real physical exertion to make this record,’ says Dunfermline singer/songwriter and sonic topographer Dan Lyth of his debut album Benthic Lines, and he puts his…

R&B queen Kelis brings her Food-themed delights to UK

27 Jun 2014

In addition to milkshakes, the singer now serves up 'Jerk Ribs', 'Hooch' and 'Biscuits 'n' Gravy'

To paraphrase Blondie, Kelis Kelis, I've got a crush on you. And when you talk, it seems like paradise. Especially when Kelis speaks (or rather, sings) of culinary groove-pop treats like 'Jerk Ribs', 'Hooch' and 'Biscuits 'n' Gravy', then laces them…

T in the Park 2014: Calvin Harris vs Paolo Nutini

23 Jun 2014

We see how Scotland's two local boys done good measure up side by side

Calvin Harris Real Name: Adam Richard Wiles Born: 1984, Dumfries Job description: DJ, singer, songwriter, producer. Alternative job prospects: Harris claims if he'd had curly hair, he'd have been a footballer. His straight follicles…

Exposure: singer-songwriter Angel Olsen

22 May 2014

Olsen's recent output salutes the work of Mazzy Star, The Everly Brothers and Leonard Cohen

No one on earth could feel like this. I’m thrown and overblown with – well, to be honest, bliss doesn’t cover it, but let me tell you, Angel Olsen must be playing with my heart. The American singer-songwriter and guitarist – think Loretta Lynn…

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Singles and EPs - May 2014

19 May 2014

New releases from Robyn and Röyksopp, Stanley Odd and So Many Animal Calls reviewed

Robyn and Röyksopp – 'Do It Again' (Dog Triumph / Wall of Sound) ●●●●● This is what’s technically known as ‘a banger’. An all-out euphoric electro-shock from two of Scandi-pop’s greatest protagonists – high priestess Robyn and overlords Röyksopp…

Aidan Moffat, Paul Fegan and more collaborate on Where You're Meant To Be film and tour project

13 May 2014

James Graham, Jenny Reeve and Stevie Jones will also contribute to the project, part of Culture 2014

One Monday night a few weeks back, a boat set sail down the River Clyde. Free whisky and bawdy auld songs ensued, courtesy of Aidan Moffat and his band of bards – James Graham (the Twilight Sad), Jenny Reeve (Bdy_Prts) and Stevie Jones (Alasdair…

Albums round-up - April 2014

24 Apr 2014

New releases from Brody Dalle, The Last Battle, Woods, Fat Goth, Night Noise Team and more reviewed

Brody Dalle – Diploid Love (Caroline) ●●● Brody Dalle, erstwhile frontwoman of The Distillers and Spinnerette, has the cool rocker chick thing down pat. But she’s no trailblazer on this solo debut, instead following leads established by Courtney Love…

Albums and EPs round-up - March 2014

14 Mar 2014

New releases from Chain & the Gang, Shonen Knife, Shit Robot and The War on Drugs reviewed

Chain & the Gang – Minimum Rock N Roll (Fortuna POP!) ●●●● The latest missive from Ian Svenonius, the Gore Vidal of garage, and his ‘crime rock’ reprobates Chain & The Gang is guaranteed free of ‘unnecessary sounds, extraneous words, too many…

Chad VanGaalen - Shrink Dust

14 Mar 20143 stars

Self-proclaimed country album from Calgary's astral-rock artisan

Picture this. Two small, prying hands growing out of your shoulders, ripping your eyelids wide apart, provoking untold confusion and pain, and all to a groovy psych-pop beat. Welcome to the surreal province of Chad VanGaalen, where such events unfold on…