Savages – Adore Life
Two years after breathing life back into post-punk with their visceral mission statement, Silence Yourself, Savages are set to return. Their debut was commanding on every level, from the slick, muscular grooves that fuelled their songs, to the (even slicker) eyebrows that graced the cover. Jehnny Beth’s strident lyricism acted as the album’s driving force, while the austere atmosphere and seething energy the band operate in turn their music into a ritualistic experience.
Adore Life will see the band heading for heavier territory, which should make for a beast of an album if the first single ‘The Answer’ is anything to go by. The track hurdles endlessly upwards, with chaotic drum fills and a snarling guitar riff, while the frantic vocals of Jehnny Beth act as the conductor of the madness from above, urging the listener to dive into it.
Adore Life is available from the 22nd of Janurary via Matador Records.
Roisin Murphy – 24th November 2015
Roisin Murphy’s return to music is bewildering in all the right ways. The often underappreciated songstress has been combining an elegant blend of house and disco with art pop and undefinable eccentricities for over a decade as a solo artist. Her latest effort, Hairless Toys, is her sharpest yet, and finds her working at the most creative control she’ ever been given, resulting in a deeply personal artistic statement that manages to keep the listener distant and puzzled through its underlying anxiousness. Instead of luring listeners to the dance floor, Murphy seduces them with an evocative atmosphere and immaculate presentation that reveals itself after deep listening. It’s cold, clinical and bordering on disturbing at times – but Murphy’s sleek soundplay keeps things playful through the darkness, which should go down a treat when she takes these layered dance cuts to the stage in November.
Courtney Barnett – 2nd December, O2 ABC Glasgow
“Don’t ask me what I really mean / I am just a reflection/ Of what you really wanna see/ So take what you want from me.” sings Courtney Barnett on ‘Kim’s Caravan’. She aptly predicts the swath of listeners who’ve frantically examined her lyrics over the past few months as she’s become a serious critical darling – but part of Barnett’s success is this refusal to take herself seriously. Sometimes her music can be poignant and gripping, sometimes it gloriously embraces its own ridiculousness. Sometimes she sits and thinks. Sometimes, she just sits.
Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by …
album · 2015 Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit Courtney Barnett
No matter how she’s positioned, Courtney Barnett is doing it impressively. Her sharp wit and droll vocal set her apart from many of her contemporaries, while her knack for writing a sharp melody prove that she’s more than just an artist with a quirky sense of humour. With a potential album of the year under her name already, Barnett is not one to miss when she plays Glasgow this December.
Classically trained multi-instrumentalist Chris Duncan makes music so blissful, detailed and refined that it’s hard to believe it was created in the bedroom of his Glasgow flat.
By layering individual instruments on top of each other, Chris creates fleshed out songs that feel organic without the need for band mates.
He even records wire brushes tapping against his desk as drum effects.
His bedroom studio wizardry resulted in an impressive Mercury nominated debut album, aptly named Architect.
It brings together breezy dreampop and quaint folk melodies in a way that’s immediate in its satisfaction and timeless in its presentation.
Catch C Duncan on tour to see how his music translates out of the bedroom and onto the stage.
Chris will play Edinburgh Pleasance Theatre on December 4 and Glasgow School of Art on December 5.
Julia Holter has been flooring listeners for four albums straight with a mastery of choral instrumentation and intricate, expressive songwriting and pulls from Greek mythology and MGM musicals for inspiration.
If it wasn’t clear enough, Holter isn’t your usual pop songwriter.
Her lofty ambitions and avante-garde song subjects feel literary in their presentation, meaning that it’s slightly more challenging ground than some of her contemporaries.
Her latest album Have You in My Wilderness found her stripping back her eccentricities and delivering a record more grounded in scope whilst still retaining all of the beauty and complexity of her past work.
The instrumentation is as lush as ever, but the album finds Holter tapping into her intimate side by drawing the spotlight on her captivating vocal.
Fans of art-pop should make sure they catch Julia Holter on November 17 at the Hug and Pint in Glasgow.
Massive Attack / Young Fathers
Despite forming twenty-five years ago, Massive Attack haven’t lost their ambition.
In their formative years, the Bristol collective’s blend of hip-hop, dub and electronic music went on to essentially create the Trip-Hip genre all on its own, along with two perfect albums in Mezzanine and Blue Lines, and one of the greatest singles ever written in Unfinished Sympathy.
The band aren’t just a history lesson though – they’re a live force to be reckoned with. They come armed with striking visuals, a sinister atmosphere, stunning arrangements, and a wealth of vocal guests that live up to word Massive.
Overwhelming demand from hungry fans has led to the band to add an extra date onto their Glasgow stint after the first night sold out within the first few hours.
Massive Attack will be joined by Young Fathers at the O2 Academy in Glasgow on Jan 2 and 3.