So a while ago – ages ago, in fact – I had a wee look at Edinburgh’s Stormy Seas. Back then I thought they were a well-kept secret, a hidden anti-folk unit with a streak of traditional Celtic acoustic spirit.
Well, time has passed and they are releasing their debut album Of Rust And Loss on their own label The Shipping Forecast. You’ve got to admire them just for keeping the brand identity intact. Not for them the frivolous naming of ventures – those naive Beatles with their Apple! Sheer folly.
Away from my wild tangents (that would be my record label’s name), and onto the two tracks they’ve released prior to the album launch (14 November, with a launch event at Wee Red Bar on the 12th). Tall Ships is the ‘subtle and reflective one’, a gorgeous pared-back track with echoes of the West London folk scene. Maybe in years to come we’ll be reading about the Midlothian folk scene in NME and Guardian Music like the reporters have been involved with it for years and we were all quite ignorant to not know it was there. And then the inorexable slide into decline, cocaine and bad Enya-style pop…
Again with the tangents. Morbid Desires, is the ‘shouty one’ – and probably my favourite, if I had to choose. A big rolling drum intro paves the way for the rest of the band to sail in; it doesn’t half sound like REM by way of The Smiths. This little release is an excellent show of the band’s range and depth – they’ve judged which songs to throw to the baying mob perfectly. And I can’t wait for the album.
*Footnote* although I’m not entirely sure whether this counts as a single/EP or not, I’m treating it as such, which is why there’s a rating graphic below.