It’s been a great year for Scottish music when out of nowhere comes an album which could top them all.
Out Lines who could loosely be termed a Scottish super group, with Twilight Sad’s James Graham, SAY Album of the Year (2015) award winner Kathryn Joseph and producer Marcus MacKay, who were all drawn together on the back of a project from Platform, a multi-arts and community space in Easterhouse.
The product is Conflats an album of bleak and stark music, totally mesmerising with a gritty reality which draws you in.
Who knew to bring the unique voices of James Graham and Kathryn Joseph together would combine so wonderfully? Well the answer is out there.
When Alun Woodward, formerly of The Delgado’s and now community engagement programmer for music at the Platform centre, commissioned James Graham for the project James himself suggested Kathryn Joseph.
It all becomes all the more interesting when you realise the songs were created following interviews with members of the community which inspired the lyrics.
There is a darkness through the tracks however hope, strength and defiance are evident in the reality of the interviews.
The album has a strong Scottish/Celtic thread running through it, be that from the unique vocals style, traditional folk elements, Marcus’s percussion, the harmonium or the stripped back nature of the music.
There is nothing else out there like it and could it have been created by others: who knows?
What is true is that it is a very powerful album and the live show at the album launch at Oran Mor has received rave reviews.
Where do Out Lines go from here? Well there are several gigs lined up as well as support dates with Mogwai.
With an Abba cover at the album launch at Oran Mor and James and Kathryn having previously collaborated on a cover of ‘Don’t Give Up’ by Kate Bush/Peter Gabriel it seems there is a lot to look forward to.
No doubt the artists will go back to their ‘day jobs’ but let’s celebrate what they have created and make the most of the live opportunities.
Words: Derek McCutcheon