Its that time of year again when I try not to loathe music as its worst mediocrities are pushed on us via X-factor and Christmas album releases, however as the devil called Cowell bombards our ears with soulless crap we can be saved by looking for the hidden gems being released in the Glasgow scene.
The self recorded, released and titled Nieves EP is our saviour this year ladies and gents.
This beautifully simple record is complexly layered yet relies almost completely on only a piano, acoustic guitar and vocal.
The band has only been together for a matter of months but their songwriting is mature, honest and fresh and without doubt will quickly gain them a solid fan base and it will be no surprise to see them achieve commercial success.
Singer Brendan Dafters has a rare talent, one of those voices that effortlessly portray angst and grit as he sells us his lyrics in a warm Scottish accent.
‘Winter’ is a charmer, a tale of a dying relationship, it’s a lovely introduction to the EP and is probably the most commercial track on it.
‘Sirens’ is about an avalanche and is driven slowly by a hypnotic piano riff backed by guitar until it reaches a crescendo and is joined by an unobtrusive drumbeat.
The standout track on the record is ‘Straight Line’, a tale of a child experiencing death, it is a masterpiece of narrative lyrics, and the angst-ridden vocals with a soaring piano providing both the melody and subtle bassline.
It is a compelling song that draws you into its story and holds you with the emotion of its compelling words, just lovely.
Closer ‘Symmetry’ is about a teenage pregnancy in Glasgow and although the vocal and music initially seem to spell out poverty and despair the song is subtly uplifting.
A young couple bound by love and the strength of the human spirit, again just lovely mature song writing backed by flawless music.
Nieves are playing their first headline gig at King Tut’s on January 31, see you there if you have any sense.
Words: Peter Dorrington