There’s something out of time about Spinning Coin’s latest single, ‘Raining On Hope Street’, a sense of being suspended in a fleeting, wistful dream.
While DIY movements are usually associated with punk, Glasgow has a rich history of indie making its political statement through nuanced narratives of everyday life told through song; less about tearing up the establishment than cut and pasting an array of influences and discourses to provide alternative mediums through which to see the world.
On ‘Raining On Hope Street’, you can hear the influence of The Pastels’ knack for a luscious melody and soft lilting vocal; the emotional twang, nostalgic guitar riff and subtle wit of a Teenage Fanclub classic.
The track opens with jangles of sweet guitar which sound a bit like rain, the kind of rain (especially as a Glaswegian) you always find yourself walking home in, feeling a little despondent but enjoying the sense of the atmosphere echoing your melancholy.
It’s a song that doesn’t build to a particular climax, retaining its languid, day-dreamy insouciance, closing sweetly on the lines “if I had a love heart / I’d give it to you / be mine”.
As the clean drawl of chords comes to an end, you can just imagine standing sometime in the mid-nineties, being handed a sweet from a packet of Love Hearts by a boy in a woolly hat with a guitar on his back.
But nostalgia is always bittersweet.
There’s that evocative sense of longing for the innocence of lost (smartphone-free) afternoons, friendships and passions that remain pure as the loves formed first in the teenage dreams of endless summer; the song’s video crystallises this sense with Super-8 style footage of the band messing around in flats and Glasgow parks, with autumn leaves and gilded, sunset light among wilted flowers signalling the inevitable mists of a coming winter.
This paean to the simple joys of friendship, collaboration and time spent just hanging out in the country and city tugs the heartstrings in all the right places, reminding us that solidarity in any form should be cherished especially in today’s volatile, isolating times.
The single’s companion release, ‘Tin’, is a more raucous, pastel-hazed garage number, complete with sparky riffs and lively drums.
Tackling the millennial sense of political alienation on a personal level, the lyrics comprise an urgent cry of the frustrated and naïve: “I need someone to remind me / how to participate / away from this hell / oh well”.
It’s a quick and casual track that undoubtedly pulls its pace live, reminding us that despite all their contemplative nostalgia, their dwelling in dreams of the past, Spinning Coin are very much a band inhabiting the present, turning apathy into energy with sharp riffs and frustrated, punkier vocals.
No doubt they’ve got good things coming in the future, and god knows, whatever’s happening in the world, let’s hope there’ll always be pop as good as this.
Words: Maria Sledmere