I’ve been thinking about my favourite albums and singles of the year since I was asked to submit my list to Peenko for the annual Scottish Bloggers and Music Sites Awards they do. In case you don’t know, Peenko asks all the active bloggers and music writers they know to submit a list of three albums and that’s compiled through averages and whatnot until they get a consensus from all the bloggers. I was going to hold this post back a few days, but since everyone else has fired the starting gun on their end-of-year lists, it can’t hurt to saturate some more.
I got sent a CD in the post by Edinburgh trio Magic Eye, and so far I’m enjoying it a hell of a lot. Aside from the emails I’ve had from them, I can’t seem to find out much about them; the lead guitarist from Edinburgh School For The Deaf said that they, along with The Machine Room “really repay any degree of investigation”, which is a sentiment I can certainly agree with.
Back to this EP then. It’s called Stay Up Forever No Parents Jams (I think, but this is unconfirmed. It was written on a note in the CD so they may have just been telling me to have a great summer. Cryptically.) and there’s five tracks. Five tracks of what is easily one of the best EPs I’ve heard all year; dreamy jellyfish guitar melodies loll about with hallucinogenic vocals, strung on a chilled atmosphere like wind chimes gently jangling in the breeze. Oh, and there’s a cool cover of Wicked Game.
It lies somewhere in the middle of a misty isosceles involving Beach House, Cocteau Twins and The xx – the guitar on Holy Male and Cool World in particular remind me of Romy Madley Croft’s haunting phantasm melodies.
It’s really great, so listen and keep your eyes peeled for anything else that emerges from their direction.
I know it’s the sound du jour, and I know that there are plenty of lo-fi shoegaze (if I was really alternative, I’d call it schügaze. But I’d never be as alternative as this band, who drank mini bottles of rosé on stage.) acts around, but I am young and naive and enthusiastic and can’t get enough.
Anyway, if you read my post about the Grassmarket Festival, you’ll have seen the photos of Edinburgh School for the Deaf, who coincidentally have just released a new single, Orpheus Descending/Orpheus Ascending (their page on Bubblegum Records site is here). The band is made up of ex-members from Saint Jude’s Infirmary and Miles Mayhem guitarist Kieran Naughton – and, more excitingly, there’s an album out 13th of June. You heard it here first.
The single is great. Orpheus Descending is a thunderstorm surge of noise; minimal melodies are whipped to cacophonous focused frenzy by the limbo-drum beats and, all the while the twin vox channel the rising tide into lovely rock energy. Orpheus Ascending then, is a beauty of a companion track; a quiet remorseful reprise exhibiting Ashley’s sweet voice – this single should be listened to as one song, as a gapless treat.
Sure, if the entire album sounded like this then it would be completely self-indulgent. But I’d be okay with that, because I want more.