Tag Archives: Sun Rose

Last Night From Glasgow 2nd Birthday Party with BiS, L-Space, Sun Rose, Stephen Solo at Stereo, 31/3/18

A sign of success of the not for profit record label Last Night from Glasgow is the packed-out attendance (and feel good vibe) at this second birthday party.

Kicking things off and compering through the night, as he is prone to do, is Stephen Solo, performing ‘solo’ as he does on this occasion he is armed with an electric guitar as opposed to a ukulele or iPhone as on previous occasions.

Interspersed with jokes and anecdotes Solo is the ultimate entertainer who as well as producing excellent music gives us a real and fun look at daily life through his songs.

Be it our reliance on the World Wide Web for everything in ‘Internet Song’ or a look at the ‘normal’ things we have to do that the Icon that was David Bowie would never have to do in ‘David Bowie Never Had To’.

Humorous, thought provoking, down to earth and producing great music with only a guitar and iPad this is what we (as label members) have come to expect.

A stripped back Sun Rose, in fact only two members Albert Kawmi and Gus Wemyss take to the stage next (the rest of the band are Manchester based).

With the support of some samples, Wemyss on synth and Kawmi on guitar they are able to recreate the full band sound impeccably.

Sun Rose has a strong funky, clubby feel to their music and we are treated to the first two singles ‘Smirk’ and ‘Minima’ as well as tunes from the debut album, The Essential Luxury.

One of the album songs, ‘Aishti’ is sung in Arabic and Kawmi asks “any Arabic speakers – I really hope not” anyway however it translates like the rest of the set it certainly sounds good.

L-Spaceis a dreamy pop band who embrace technology, which is no surprise given they seem to be from the future.

Floating, dreamy vocals with strong pop melodies and science fiction soaked lyrics L-Space are one of the more recent LNFG recruits.

They take to the stage with some props including a neon pink flamingo and Lily’s electronic headwear and they treat us to their latest single ‘Suneaters’ some recognisable tunes from recent gigs as well as a new song ‘Back Up Baby’ about cloned babies.

Expect these to form the basis of their debut album on LNFG due to be launched in September this year.

Closing the show are the excellent BIS, veterans in this company, it was a surprise albeit a pleasant one when intimation of their signing to LNFG came through.

BIS are a bubblegum power pop band who operate in excess of 100mph.

Following the gentle, dreamy pop of L-Space this is like building a crescendo of tsunami proportions to take us to the end of the night.

Introduced by Stephen Solo with a typical amusing anecdote about how the band were named (think taxis and love children!).

Where L-Space took us in to the future BIS take us back to the 90s as are treated to all the classics from their back catalogue.

Energy levels were through the roof with Manda Rin showing no signs of post-natal lethargy.

With all these recognisable hits and the fact that the music gets in to your soul the dancers in the crowd are out in force.

A couple of new songs are introduced with typical BIS gusto and probably as expected ‘Kandy Pop’ was held for the finale; what an end to an intoxicating night.

All that is left to do was pick up our members’ goodies including the next LNFG release the Zoë Bestel, Transciencealbum.

Oh what fun and more to come as a £50 member of Last Night from Glasgow.

Words/Photos: Derek McCutcheon

Tracks of 2017 (50-41)

50. Stillhound – ‘X, Y & Dread’

‘X, Y & Dread’ is a very stylish song, which is very sparing with its sound, never over-doing anything, with electronic sounds range from punchy and in your face – perhaps even discordant – to subtle, nuanced and quiet. Stillhound have a distinct style, which this release suggests is developing into maturity.

49. The Great Albatross – ‘An Evening’ [LP]

‘An Evening’ saw light of day before The Great Albatross’ superb full length, Asleep In The Kaatskills, and gave us a taster of what to expect through a warm, tender beauty of a track that draws influences from songwriter Wesley Chung’s American indie rock past and his new home of Glasgow, while the addition of backing vocals from Jo Mango are a delight in themself.

48. Meursault – ‘Klopfgeist’ [Song, by Toad]

Much like a few tracks on this list picking picking a track from an album proved difficult, in this case Meursault’s sublime I Will Kill Again. ‘Klopfgeist’ is a hypnotic track that builds from a ghostly opening to a warm piano line and Neil Pennycook’s impressive vocals. It’s a shiver inducing track when heard by itself, but do yourself a favour and listen to it as part of the bigger picture.

47. Reverieme (Louise Connell) – ‘Ten Feet Tall’

As soon as the opening drum fill kicks the track into life, ‘Ten Feet Tall’ sounds as massive as it’s title would suggest. It wouldn’t sound out of place on Ryan Adams’ earlier work, with thunderous guitars crashing over a piercing organ wail as Reverieme’s, aka Louise Connell, gorgeous vocal flutters between tender beauty, and soaring grandiosity.

46. K Anderson – ‘Cluttered’

In a track that focuses on the cloudy section of relationship where you can’t quite tell if it’s something substantial or just a fling K Anderson has taken a step away from his regular material with a track that oozes pop sensibilities , while maintaining his wry witticisms. It’s an undeniably catchy affair with bassy squelch and plucky guitars that digs right in and has you tapping your feet without even knowing it.

45. Best Girl Athlete – ‘Cigarette Dreams’ [Fitlike]

It was difficult to pick a standout from Best Girl Athlete’s self titled second album, but in the end we’ve plumbed for the cinematic 90s acoustic dreamy pur your heart out along stunner  ‘Cigarette Dreams’. Katie Buchan’s soulful voice is hear accompanied by sweeping strings to give as good a taste as any of this fantastic release.

44. Bystandereffect – ‘Old Cramps T Shirt’

Bystandereffect is, if nothing else, unique, and ‘Old Cramps T Shirt’ is a haunting, bizarre, dream-like experimental single. Filled with unusual production techniques and effects, this single is rhythmic, versatile and enjoyable, whetting the appetite for any releases suggesting the “electronic sludge” outfit – as they refer to themselves as – has a lot of ammunition. Not showy or contrived but loose and airy, as creepy vocal work cascades over the unusual electronic elements nicely, generating something seldom heard.

43. Pictish Trail – ‘Strange Sun’ [Lost Map]

‘Strange Sun’ is almost objectively original; in terms of lyrics, atmosphere, theme and the use of instruments, this is a mature and out of the ordinary effort. A dreamy, creeping and sprawling piece, this is a bold single that wanders lovingly through decades of influence; packaging together something simultaneously light and dark, jovial and serious. This is the basis for art and – love it or hate it or something in-between it – should be respected in the music industry.

42. Sun Rose – ‘Smirk’ [Last Night From Glasgow]

Sun Rose emerged out of the ashes of Nevada Base this year with debut single ‘Smirk’, a rejuvenation of 80s synth with a nice Glaswegian twist. The track is so characteristic of 80s electronic synth its like a flashback, a friendly nostalgia that brings on inadvertent toe tapping and head nodding; it’s difficult to stay still when you hear this one play. At first ‘Smirk’ appears deceivingly simple, but in fact offers a much more interesting and complex weave of musicality; a spectacle to behold.

41. Jonnie Common – ‘Restless’ [Song, by Toad]

Questioning, dissatisfaction with the milieu and poking at working life are all themes of this single from Jonnie Common. A master of word play and poetic prowess, Common meanders through ideas about the world and dreams of what could be; it’s a light-hearted soundtrack formed around some deep ideas. The track starts like a laidback stroll on a Sunday afternoon, the soft drum brushes paint a calmness that juxtaposes the ‘Restless’ sentiment of the tune itself. Arpeggiated chords frame sweet melodies that feature electronic blips, this neat addition makes everything that little bit more playful.

Albums of 2017 (30-21)

Albums 30-21 – 20-11 – 10-1 EPs 30-2120-1110-1

30. ULTRAS – ULTRAS [Hello Thor]

The brain child of Over The Wall’s Wav Prentice ULTRAS’ debut record caught our ears through its wide ranging influences, colourful tones and Prentice’s ever enthusiastic impassioned delivery.

29. Sun Rose – The Essential Luxury [Last Night From Glasgow]

The band formerly known as Nevada Base finally got round to putting out an album in 2018 and it’s one that was worth waiting for, it’s an emphatic display electronic pop music that shines with a vital energy that we have now come to expect from LNFG releases.

28. December ‘91 – Starin’ At The Freaks

We’ve come to accept December ’91 as a warm and traditionally folky artist, with a dark and subtle back hand that creeps around a lot of the songs, and some embarrassingly if not upsettingly frank lyrics. Starin’ At The Freaks is much lighter in tone than his previous releases and has a little less crude lyricism, delivering the artist’s best work to date This album seems like a step in a more commercially viable direction for the artist, but this comes without a sacrifice of quality and integrity. There are meaningful twangs of Americana, a well balanced mixture of classical and contemporary elements and a lack of seriousness – with some swearing, morbidity and crassness thrown in for good measure.

27. State Broadcasters – A Different Past [Olive Grove]

Glasgow’s State Broadcasters third record, A Different Past is a record that tries on everyone’s clothes from Teenage Fanclub’s buttoned down power-pop shirt to King Creosote’s rain-lashed greatcoat to the glossy sheen of Dear Catastrophe Waitress era Belle and Sebastian. There’s the sense that each track is part of a wider project, serving to highlight a different facet of the whole, that despite their disparate styles and influences there’s a sense of a common project here and it lends the record a thoughtful feel despite its more outré stylings. A Different Past comes with a manifesto: “embrace the world we live in today rather than revisiting and revising memories of our youth and trying to convince ourselves it really was all great fun,” with State Broadcasters, at least you’ll know there is always something fresh and new around the corner.

26. Washington Irving – August 1914

Folk rockers Washington Irving returned with another album of emotional highs and lows, this time delving into the bloody battles of WWI as inspiration for a set of songs that seek to catalogue love, misery and dread. Having played with Glasgow’s kings of anthemic melancholy Frightened Rabbit as well as the likes of Titus Andronicus and Wintersleep, the gang know how to match their miserabilism to rollocking tunes and August 1914 is certainly their heaviest and least folk-inflected set to date. Appropriately given the newly beefed up sound, August 1914 may well also be the group’s darkest set of material so far, from shout along first single ‘We Are All Going to Die’ to the stormy ‘Petrograd’, and when the tracks spark to life there’s a fiery intensity that few current Scottish bands can match, most notably on the brilliant and righteously angry ‘Faslane Forever’. To make August 1914, Washington Irving travelled to New York seeking new horizons; we’re lucky to have them back.

25. Siobhan Wilson – There Are No Saints [Song, by Toad]

Siobhan Wilson’s There Are No Saints starts off with its titular track, a saintly track that sets the scene beautifully and topically for a particularly nuanced, bold, intelligent and endearing album. What it does extremely well is meld contemporary and classical elements with respect, restraint and understanding; delivering one of the best debut albums we’ve heard recently. For such a highly artistic album, it is not alienating or difficult to engage with; there is no sense of snobbery here. There is nothing about this album that occurs in a particularly linear, predictable or boring way, it is exceptionally progressive and evolving.

24. Campfires In Winter – Ischaemia [Olive Grove]

Campfires In Winter debut album took some time in coming, as such it came at a time when the Croy four-piece are familiar faces on the Glasgow indie rock scene. Ischaemia, the follow up to a multitude of singles and EPs over the past few years, is an interesting synthesis of the sounds they have tried on over the last half a decade. Campfires have built a reputation for emotional live performances that blur the line between windswept folk rock and soaring shoegaze, on Ischaemia they brush up against these constraints with a record that pushes their sound in some more experimental directions, in a record that thrives on brains and a dark humoured outlook on the world.

23. Blue Rose Code – The Water of Leith [Navigator]

We were late to the game for Ross Wilson, aka Blue Rose Code’s acclaimed new album, and as a result maybe it wasn’t given a fair roll of the dice. Still, on the short time we had to spin in was an enchanting experience as Wilson sheds his past and looks to the future in true beautiful terms.

22. Fuzzystar – Telegraphing [Satelite Sounds]

Fuzzystar is the moniker of Andy Thomson and friends, an Edinburgh based gang trafficking in buzzy indie pop; Telegraphing is their debut record and it’s a ten track, tune packed blast that delivers reverb stricken off-kilter  indie pop at it’s best. At points the guitar is big and crunchy at others it’s sleek, while Thomson’s weary vocals lead the way, Telegraphing is a layered, fuzz  packed beauty that will have your heart captured in no time.

21. Best Girl Athlete – Best Girl Athlete [Fitlike]

Katie Buchan, aka Best Girl Athlete, followed up 2015’s Carve Every Word with her new self-titled album, which includes an eclectic mix of tracks displaying her strength in producing a strong and diverse range of music displaying real growth both musically, and lyrically. The album is stronger and sounds a great deal more confident as Buchan plays around with an interesting mix of genres and styles. Best Girl Athlete has moved into a more mature and complete space, through her alluring vocals and striking lyrics that shape each track and with this exceptionally well shaped album shows Buchan’s growing strength as an independent artist, promising impressive things to come in the future. 

Albums 30-21 – 20-11 – 10-1

Sun Rose – ‘Smirk’ [Last Night From Glasgow]

‘Smirk’, the debut single from Sun Rose is a rejuvenation of 80s synth with a nice Glaswegian twist.

The band originally put together their first album in the winter of 2013-2014 but the project was put on hold until 2015 and after much work and refining, the final version was completed in 2016 – the full album is set to release on November 17 of this year.

The track is so characteristic of 80s electronic synth its like a flashback, a friendly nostalgia that brings on inadvertent toe tapping and head nodding; it’s difficult to stay still when you hear this one play.

A typical hi-hat feature played in syncopation paves the way for a guitar feature that resembles something more akin to indie.

At the interchange of two well-defined genres is where you will find ‘Smirk’, the track is ominous at first, before becoming playful with the ‘tick tock’ of a cowbell.

There are many more surprises like this to behold; at first it appears deceivingly simple, but in fact offers a much more interesting and complex weave of musicality.

The four-piece aspire to extend their performances to play at more festivals and in a recent interview declared that they wouldn’t mind having a cult following. ‘Smirk’ is a spectacle to behold, don’t miss out.

Words: Rachel Cunningham