“a song about finding your feet and washing your socks”, it couldn’t have been put any better. Marble Gods are a band that exude joy, and ‘Washing Machine’ is the perfect example of that with its delightful lo-fi indie pop jangle, sugar coated C86 vocal displays and whimsical lyrics.
‘Aloe’ is about someone being turned into a giant metal bird, need we say more. It’s also a dark, sinister yet dreamy piece of pop that stood out as the best work of an exciting band to emerge in 2017. L-space released a couple of promising EPs this year but it was this single released towards the end the calendar that caught our attention the most as it built from atmospheric beginnings to a ominous climax and left us wanting more.
‘Suzie Wong’ was just one example of the creative and unpredictable charm of Dama Scout in 2017, and the track centred around a recording of a child’s guitar the band found while on holiday in Portugal is a delightful effort. Another modern pop number that takes in warm and classic indie influences while maintaining a truly fascinating sound, while sugar-coated, dreamlike vocals and and buzzing off-kilter melodies make it one that we’ll keep coming back to.
Walt Disco emerged this year with a shimmering, flamboyant talent and their debut single ‘Jackets’ gave us a taster of what to expect in the near future. The young five-piece here have meshed a charismatic lead falsetto with dynamic guitars and synths to great a sound no doubt indebted to a time before these guys were born, while feeling refreshingly current and exciting.
Instantaneously the massive, dirty electronics kick ‘Shake It’ into life, with the boy/girl trade-off between vocalists Marie Collins and Gianluca Bernacchi. Around two and a half minutes in, ‘Shake It’ essentially stops before becoming a different beast altogether. An instrumental seemingly custom-made for big dancefloors reverberates before the chanting finale of “SHAKE! SHAKE IT! SHAKE IT OUT!” Despite still being in their relative infancy, The Vegan Leather already now have an absolute banger, which sets them in good stead for fulfilling their definite potential.
Free Pass To The Future was such an intense and genre spanning album that selecting a song wasn’t easy, we’ve gone for ‘Second Earth Song’ though, It’s a bit discordant but you can see the lineage to Glasgow bands of the early ’80s though naturally some of the vocals are then fed through a vocoder and things get rather raucous. It may be nuts, it may be yelling, “Fuck you”, all over the place but it has a joyousness about it, a celebration of itself.
Meeting through the Parsonage Choir, Glasgow’s Sister John make beautiful lo-fi pop with a touch of Americana to their lush, warm harmonies. It’s startling just how assured the songwriting feels right off the bat on ‘Sweetest Moment’, from the conversational opening bars to the beautifully simple refrain “I’ll take it, break it and just before it cracks, it’s the sweetest moment,” it’s one of the most charming and effortlessly melodic tracks of the year. Keening fiddle adds a touch of Gillian Welch, while the gentle backing vocals lend a Laurel Canyon lushness to a track that floats past like a hazy evening breeze.
‘At Least We Got a Song Out of It’ is rhythmically hypnotic and oozes professionalism and poise as well as laid-back resignation; it’s vocally endearing and musically explorative, well engineered and beautifully recorded. The wash of the cymbals is well placed and overlays the other instruments with a sense of distance. CHUMP do a good job of embracing and balancing the sound of its global and local acoustic elements.
We’ve been used to dark, misery drenched sometimes beautiful, sometimes frantic lo-fi punk come alt-rock from Stirling resident Craig Ferrie, aka December ’91. With ‘Starin’ At The Freaks’ is noticeably less lo-fi, with a lively optimistic sounding constantly driving backdrop that comes with an addictive vocal line that recalls the likes of Kurt Vile’s drawl delivery. A bright bit of alternative pop that brings in all the sunshine of the boat journey captured in the track’s video and brings a welcome upbeat addition to the ever growing December ’91 catalogue.
Emme Woods is an act that has been rather underlooked by us over the past year, so much so that this single completely bypassed us when it came out, ‘I’ve Been Running’ is a dark contemplative track that perfectly shows Woods’ unique and impressive vocal stylings along with her unquestionable songwriting ability.