Posts Tagged ‘Glasgow’

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Even if we weren’t living through extraordinarily troubling times, there is nothing quite like a Teenage Fanclub album to assuage the mind, body and soul, and to reaffirm that all is not lost in this world. Endless Arcade follows the band’s ninth album Here, released in 2016. It’s quintessential TFC: melodies are equal parts heart warming and heart aching; guitars chime and distort; keyboard lines mesh and spiral; harmony-coated choruses burst out like sun on a stormy day.

“Even if we weren’t living through extraordinarily troubling times, there is nothing quite like a Teenage Fanclub album to assuage the mind, body and soul, and to reaffirm that all is not lost in this world. The new record is quintessential TFC: melodies are equal parts heart warming and heart-aching; guitars chime and distort; keyboard lines mesh and spiral; harmony-coated choruses burst out like sun on a stormy day. Such is life. But the title track suggests: Don’t be afraid of this endless arcade that is life. “I think of an endless arcade as a city that you can wander through, with a sense of mystery, an imaginary one that goes on forever,” says Raymond McGinley, one half of the band’s songwriters for this album alongside Norman Blake. “When it came to choosing an album title, it seemed to have something for this collection of songs.”

Teenage Fanclub will release their anticipated new album “Endless Arcade” on April 30th and they’ve just shared a fourth song from it. Penned and sung by Norman Blake, “The Sun Won’t Shine On Me” is one of the Fannies’ most gentle songs ever, a pretty waltz-time folk ballad. “With a troubled mind, I am in decline,” Norman laments as the band’s signature harmonies cascade overtop. 

Endless Arcade is Teenage Fanclub’s first album since Gerard Love left the group and it will be their 11th album overall. The band will play a few late summer festivals this year but save touring for the album for next year, with spring 2022 UK dates announced. 

From the forthcoming album Endless Arcade released Apr 30th 2021 on PeMa and Merge Records .

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Releases April 30th, 2021

April 10th, 2022 Nottingham, UK – Rock City

Based out of Glasgow, Lizzie Reid is a hot-off-the-presses songwriter, who despite only starting releasing her music earlier this year is already making quite the impression. Back in March, working with producer Oli Barton-Wood, Lizzie finished recording her debut EP, “Cubicle”, just days before the UK-wide lockdown arrived. With the record due out in January, this week Lizzie has shared the latest single from it, “Always Lovely”.

A song about insecurity, Lizzie has suggested Always Lovely is about, “obsessing with the idea of perfection and worth – whether that be about your physical appearance, your personality or social identity”. It’s a deeply personal track, the song’s lyrical content mirrored perfectly in the intimate musical setting, Lizzie’s swooping vocal delivery drawing you close to the speaker, as if she’s whispering her words directly into your ear. Equally impressive as the jaw-dropping vocal, think the poise of Laura Marling and the emotional depth of Black Belt Eagle Scout, is the brilliant guitar-playing, it has a visceral, physical quality, chords hewn straight from her body direct to the tape. If intimacy can often be characterised as a softness, in Lizzie Reid’s music it becomes a strength, an exploration of her experiences and emotions shaped into a personal monument of hope for the world at large, and one that’s very exciting indeed.

She made a marvellous case for her then-forthcoming EP Cubicle earlier this year with the scintillating ‘Been Thinking About You’, and today the full twenty-minute proposal is here. Lizzie Reid explores folk reminiscent of Waxahatchee and Courtney Marie Andrews on her debut seven-track confessional, out now on Seven Four Seven Six Records.

Below, you’ll find each of the songs on this gorgeous EP explained in Lizzie Reid’s own words.

‘Tribute’

I recorded this in one take on my iPhone the day that I wrote it. It was a last-minute decision to make it the first track of the EP and I’m very glad it happened. ‘Tribute’ is a song about letting go of a past relationship. It’s about seeking something new in other people and it not working out. I realised that I had to let go of feeling in control, having expectations and to be okay with the idea of change. The lyric “I don’t regret a word that I said, when I was in your bed” consistently transports me back to those moments of being completely vulnerable with someone. It’s a reminder that although we’ve had to say goodbye, I hold those moments close to me and don’t take for granted the time spent. 

‘Seamless’

‘Seamless’ was written a couple of months after my break-up with my first girlfriend. It was one of the first times I had written lyrics that were particularly on the nose. The process left me feeling a tad uneasy and I wasn’t sure I liked the result. But then I listened to the demo on the train from London to Glasgow. I had tears streaming down my face. That was when I realised we had written something deeply personal to me. Having recorded it in the house and the fact that my cat makes an appearance at the end makes the song feel that little bit more exposed, to me. 

‘Always Lovely’

This song is about insecurity. Feeling like you’re not quite up to it. It’s about obsessing with the idea of perfection and worth – whether that be about your physical appearance, your personality or social identity. This is the oldest song on the EP so I was quite young and very unsure of myself when I wrote it. I’ve come a long way since then but there is always room for more self-discovery and reflecting – especially when you have had nearly a year of lockdown to live through!!!

‘Been Thinking About You’

This was written around the same time as ‘Company Car’ in the summer of 2019. I had a lot of affection for a very good friend of mine and I needed to vent that in some way. He was such a support for me at a time I wasn’t feeling my best. But ultimately I was going through quite a confusing time and felt guilty that I couldn’t support him in the same way he supported me. There is a definite relief in this song compared to the other tracks. That represents a very much needed release for me, at the time of writing it. 

‘Company Car’

2019 was a year of self-discovery for me. I did a lot of thinking and growing. ‘Company Car’ was a way of expressing my frustration about my sexuality. I realised that I wasn’t fully accepting of it. It feels weird speaking about it now as I have come to accept and feel pride in my queerness. I can’t speak for the whole LGBT+ community but I think it’s something a lot of us have had to go through and are still working on. It’s a difficult process to accept something that you’ve grown up to believe isn’t ‘normal’. The lyric “my feet don’t work and it feels they never will – there’s a company car on the way” is about me feeling that I am not capable of functioning as myself or by myself, and not dealing with my/society’s expectations. 

‘Cubicle’ 

I wrote this song in tears the morning after a very emotionally-demanding night out. I wasn’t sure if I was the happiest I had ever been, or if I was completely heartbroken. I don’t know how it’s even possible to confuse the two. I locked myself in a toilet cubicle of an underground jazz bar in Glasgow. I was having a bit of a panic attack and knew I needed to calm down before facing the rest of night. This evening marked the end of something, and the beginning of something else.

“Cubicle” EP is out January 22nd via 7476 Records.

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Lost Map Records Sulka is the lo-fi melodic scuzz-rock song writing and recording project of Glasgow-based Lukas Clasen. His debut single for Lost Map, ‘Fear It’, was released in October,  2020 on digital services and as part of Lost Maps subscription service The PostMap Club.

“Take Care” which will be released in January 2021. The Album “‘Fear It’ channels a lot bands I listened to in my late teens,” says Lukas, “Cloud Nothings, The Cribs, Dinosaur Jr, Elliott Smith for example. So it has a kind of nostalgic but timeless feel to it for me. Lyrically there’s a lot of angst and turbulence in there which I think sets up some of the themes of the album quite well. I’m especially grateful to my friend Niamh from Moonsoup for adding some last-minute backing vocals which makes it a million times more listenable to me.”

Sulka has been putting out a steady stream of albums and EPs since 2017 via various local cassette labels including Gold Mold, Death Collective, Common and Negative Hope. Luka’s songwriting draws its main inspiration from figures of the late 90s and early 00s alternative scenes; Elliott Smith-esque acoustic compositions, scuzzy upbeat indie-rock tracks reminiscent of The Cribs and experiments in sound collage in the vein of Badly Drawn Boy. 

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The dynamic and stylistic range of the tracks are kept coherent through a DIY home recording aesthetic and a consistent lyrical tone. Throughout the tracks, raw personal subject matter such as relationships and mental health are often explored with a mixture of sincerity and tongue-in-cheek word play. Sulka has regularly performed live (both solo and as a full band), with highlights including opening slots for like-minded acts PAWS, Sorry, Current Joys and Jeffrey Lewis & the Voltage. 

This release was available exclusively via our membership series, PostMap Club, during the month of January 2021. To keep up with all our future releases, sign up from just £3/month: lostmap.com/club

Released December 28th, 2020

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Glasgow four-piece Lemon Drink are preparing to release their latest track, following on from the success of last year’s EP. The band released Better Run in 2020, complete with singles in the shape of Manic, Gomez and A Song for You. Lemon Drink are a 4-piece indie outfit exploring the sometimes challenging and often humorous aspects of modern life as a 20-something woman.

And they will be kicking off 2021 with the new song Demon Child, which will be released through Last Night From Glasgow.

“Demon Child” was recorded at La Chunky Studio and mixed by the very lovely Andy Monaghan (Frightened Rabbit). Big love to Last Night From Glasgow for unleashing “Demon Child” into the world, as well as pressing it on a beauty of a  7” vinyl,

Lemon Drink are Kirstie Cunningham, Vocals Lauren Peters Bass Guitar: Drums: Harry Smith Guitar: Sophie Bartholomew Guitar:

The single will be available from Friday, February 12th,

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Glasgow indie band Nightshift (featuring members of Spinning Coin, 2 Ply and Robert Sotelo) are shrewd in their sonic choices. On their new LP, “Zöe”, avant-garde and no wave tendencies mingle with classic indie-pop influences, resulting in an alluring push and pull. For an album that thrives on their rhythmic interplay and colourful chemistry, it’s surprising that these songs were recorded remotely during lockdown, but they’re still able to lock into grooves with ease. The extended breakdown on the blissful “Power Cut,” for example, finds them riffing over each other like it’s a rapturous jam session—synths, bells, and guitars flutter and glow, until a screeching flute solo invades and takes the track into wonderfully freakish territory. Other tracks like “Make Kin” and “Infinity Winner” thrive on their spacious, hair-raising qualities, with a palpable gloom brought on by jazzy post-punk. Whether it’s an offbeat drum passage or charming shared pop vocals, Nightshift have plenty of curveballs and plenty of heart

Initially formed by guitarist David Campbell and bassist Andrew Doig as a “No Wave/No New York/ early Sonic Youth/This Heat-esque” group, the addition of Eothen Stern (keyboards/vocals) and Chris White (drums) instantaneously transformed their approach (guitarist / vocalist/clarinetist Georgia Harris joined as the band was writing “Zöe”). The band self-released a full-length tape on CUSP Recordings in early 2020, laying the foundation of their sound; hypnotic, melodic, understated indie post-punk with hooks that stick around long after you’ve heard them. “Zöe” is the band’s newest effort, and first for Trouble In Mind. Unlike the band’s previous album, the songs on “Zöe” weren’t conceived live in the band’s practice space, but rather pieced together and recorded remotely during quarantine lockdown, with each member composing or improvising their parts in homes/home studios, layering ideas over loops someone made and passing it on. The isolation actually allowed for an openness and creativity to flow and many of the songs took on radically different forms from when they were originally envisioned.

From the album “Zöe”, released on February 26th, 2021 via Trouble In Mind Records

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A leading light of the short-lived C-86/anorak movement of the mid-’80s, the BMX Bandits stood at the epicenter of the Scottish pop music scene for over a decade; however, despite helping launch the careers of talents ranging from Teenage Fanclub and Eugenius to the Soup Dragons and Superstar, they never grew beyond the confines of a fervent cult following, though they never gave up making sweet, idiosyncratic pop music. The band was essentially the vehicle of singer/guitarist Duglas T. Stewart, a Bellshill native and onetime member of the Pretty Flowers; he formed the band in 1985, sarcastically selecting the name “BMX Bandits” out of his belief that they would fall apart after only one gig.

Instead, the group became a popular local attraction, and soon signed to Stephen Pastel’s 53rd and 3rd label. Recorded with a line up of Stewart, bassist Sean Dickson, guitarist Jim McCulloch, drummer Willie McArdle, and backing vocalist Billy Wood, the BMX Bandits‘ charming 1986 debut single, “E102,” launched them to the forefront of the C-86 uprising, despite being denied a spot on the NME magazine compilation cassette of naïve jangle pop that gave the movement its name. By the follow-up, “What a Wonderful World,” both McArdle and Dickson had exited, and were replaced by ex-Boy Hairdressers bassist Joe McAlinden and drummer Francis MacDonald; Dickson soon founded his own band, the Soup Dragons, the first of many BMX Bandits spinoffs to eclipse the original group’s success.

Janice Long session 23​.​06​.​86

The first BMX Bandits session for long time supporter Janice Long. never before released on vinyl and featuring crazy version of early live favourite “Strawberry Sunday”. Includes free download of original BBC files plus sleeve notes by Duglas – and a set of three postcards.

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Songsheet:
Strawberry Sunday
The Day Before Tomorrow
Groovy Good Luck Friend
Girl In The Pink T-Shirt

Janice Long session 09​.​04​.​87

BMX Bandits’ second BBC session for Janice Long – featuring Jowe Head, Norman Blake and an unreleased cover version of jazz classic “Take 5” with lyrics. Comes with free download of original BBC files and sleeve notes from Duglas – plus a set of three postcards.

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Songsheet:
Flipper
Rosemary Ledingham
Figure 4
Take 5

Get both double singles in one go in this package featuring the two BMX Bandits session releases, namely Janice Long 23.06.86 and 09.04.87 – plus all the postcards. It’s the same records just a bit cheaper than buying them separately and save on postage!, Classic BBC radio sessions (and maybe other rare stuff) by artists we like in lovingly curated vinyl packages with exclusive sleeve notes and pics. Coming up: the Jasmine Minks, BMX Bandits, Blueboy, Heavenly, Marine Research and more … and yes, let’s make this precious
“How can someone not like BMX Bandits???” Tim Burgess

Releases March 1st, 2021

Star Wars (30th Anniversary edition)

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of BMX Bandits seminal sophomore LP Star Wars, Past Night From Glasgow will release the remastered album on Vinyl on May 4th (Star Wars Day)

Featuring the classic BMX Bandits line up: Stuart, McAlinden, Blake, Kelly, Keen and MacDonald the album is jam packed full of chiming guitars and catchy choruses not to mention the odd spectacular ballad. The sleeve has been updated (new wallpaper no less) and now features a die cut photo frame with an inner printed horse, how’s that for classy updates?, Rock & roll is not a game for those with innocent hearts. Fortunately, there have been a few people with innocent hearts who have slipped through the cracks and brought a real sense of joy to the music scene. One of them is Jonathan Richman and the other is Duglas Stewart and his BMX Bandits cohorts (including Francis MacDonald, Norman Blake, and Joe McAlinden, amongst others).

Perhaps these artists are not literally innocent, but the music they bring to the table is passive, pure, and carefree, not aggressive or mean spirited in nature. The Bandits, of course, are one of Scotland’s great unsung bands, sharing members with Teenage Fanclub, the Soup Dragons, Superstar, and others, yet steering a clear path of their own with captain Stewart and co-pilot MacDonald at the helm. Stewart’s voice is a strange mix of Mike Love, Lou Reed, and Richman, but works perfectly within the context of the Bandits’ music. With the sweet-voiced McAlinden (later of Superstar) handling lead vocals on a few tracks (and backing vocals throughout), there is a nice balance that saves the album from certain monotony.

Loaded with pop songs galore and beautifully produced by Duncan Cameron and the band, Star Wars is the first in a line of great Bandits albums. From the joyful “Come Clean,” “Students of Life,” “Life Goes On,” and “Do You Really Love Me?” to the heart-tugging “Extraordinary,” there is hardly a wasted moment within earshot. If you can imagine the sheer pop genius of Teenage Fanclub with Mike Love singing lead, then you may have an idea of what you’re in for. And if you could put wide-eyed innocent pop back onto the charts, then BMX Bandits would be superstars. 

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Even if you hate every note that Glasgow’s Orange Juice recorded in their early 1980s heyday, it would be almost impossible not to admire their guts. Scotland had caught on to punk late. When it did, audiences steadfastly clung to the troglodytic cartoon peddled by Sham 69 and Sid Vicious. Gigs were big on spitting and violence. There may have been more dangerous places to perform the songs collected on “The Glasgow School” – alternately sarcastic and romantic, invariably limp-wristed, and equipped with fruity lyrics about frolicking in the dew and doting on awfully pretty girls – but you couldn’t have reached them without joining the SAS.

Orange Juice fused new wave vibrancy with sun-dappled mid-1960s pop and disco. Under punk’s scorched-earth policy, the former was strictly verboten, but the latter constituted a flagrant incitement to public disorder. Orange Juice’s three albums, along with compilations of various shapes and sizes, have floated in and out of print throughout the years.

The four singles and unreleased debut album Orange Juice recorded for indie label Postcard in 1980 and 1981 still seem faintly miraculous. That is partly because of their remarkable musical content: there has never really been anything like it since, although not for want of trying. It is partly down to the subversive tang that clings to their greatest songs. The gleeful chant of “no more rock’n’roll for you!” on 1981’s Poor Old Soul sounds like a manifesto.

Instead, Orange Juice became, first, Britain’s hippest band, then bona fide pop stars – their big hit was 1983’s “Rip It Up” – and finally, an influence on everyone from the Smiths to Belle and Sebastian and Franz Ferdinand. The Glasgow School explains why. They were the first band to notice that the Velvet Underground’s agitated, trebly strumming bore a surprising correspondence to both the scratchy funk guitar of Chic’s peerless disco anthems and Northern Soul’s staccato chords. Both songs on their 1980 single “Blue Boy/Love Sick” sound breathlessly thrilled at this discovery: stomping Wigan Casino drums, funk basslines, piercing solos and jangling guitars all fighting for space. Even today, the excitement is infectious.

Orange Juice just couldn’t stop themselves writing gorgeous melodies. The starry-eyed swoon of Dying Day and the dizzy ebullience of Wan Light or Tender Object were strong enough to withstand the cheap studios and the band’s endearingly ramshackle musicianship. The unlikely mainstream success of Edwyn Collins’ “A Girl Like You,” the history of post-punk, or the birth of indie pop. “The Glasgow School”, released in 2005 by Domino Recordings, contains the band’s four singles for Postcard, the bulk of Ostrich Churchyard (a disc released in 1992, containing early versions of what would become 1982’s You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever), a Stars on 45-style version of “Simply Thrilled Honey,” and a crude cover of the Ramones’ “I Don’t Care.”

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For a lot of people, the material here (dating no later than 1981) is where Orange Juice begins and ends. The band signed to Polydor soon after the latest song on this disc was recorded, and they promptly gave their sound a coat of shiny wax — so they helped invent indie pop, only to abandon it before their first album. Though the notion extends throughout Orange Juice’s discography, they were nothing if not fearless. What other way is there to describe lyrics like “I wore my fringe like Roger McGuinn’s/I was hoping to impress/So frightfully camp — you laughed,” or their wholly convincing (if occasionally gawky) way of bouncing the jangly folk-rock of the Byrds off the fat-bottomed disco drive of Chic, all the while creating an identity all their own? Both the singles and the Ostrich Churchyard takes are as crafty as they are crude, and if you can’t get past the amateurishness, there’s plenty of winsome attitude to win you over. This disc serves as proof that, along with Josef K, Associates, Altered Images, Simple Minds, Cocteau Twins, and the Scars, Orange Juice helped make Scotland a very productive resource during the post-punk/new wave era.

Weaker tunes would certainly have buckled beneath Edwyn Collins’ unique approach to vocals. A couple of months ago, the website where Grace Collins has courageously documented her husband’s recovery from a cerebral haemorrhage reported that he had been singing again, adding that “his tuning needs working on”. “Grace,” one fan gently replied, “his tuning always did need work.” In fact, you could spend all day throwing adjectives at Collins’ voice on The Glasgow School and still not come up with a satisfactory description. Occasionally, he sounded like a Caledonian Bryan Ferry attempting to croon while balancing marbles on his tongue and stifling a fit of the giggles. Usually he sounded more peculiar than that.

What should have been irritatingly affected is charming. This may have something to do with the words Collins sang. Displaying his famed capacity for candour and even-handedness, Morrissey has never conceded his debt, but he was definitely taking notes. Collins‘ lyrics are rich with the same jaded sarcasm, arcane language and rarefied romantic longing. Striking lines whizz past with startling regularity: “The fun begins as soon as you stop your whining”; “To put it in a nutshell, you’re a heartless mercenary”; “Sorry to moan but it’s what I do best”.

Inevitably, perception of The Glasgow School has been changed by Collins’ illness. For a brief and horrible moment, it looked as if an album intended to reaffirm Orange Juice’s place among the pantheon of truly great British bands might become a memorial for their former leader. Now, with Collins apparently improving, it feels like a particularly potent get well soon message. Pop music needs unique and innovative talent. As The Glasgow School proves, they come no more unique and innovative than this.

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An emerging new talent on the Glasgow music-scene, Lizzie Reid has previously caught the ear of the likes of 6Music, The Line Of Best Fit and The Great Escape festival. Signed to Seven Four Seven Six, home to the likes of Matt Maltese and Matilda Mann, Lizzie has recently announced the release of her debut EP, “Cubicle”, which will arrive next month.

Ahead of the EP’s release, Lizzie has already shared a number of tracks from “Cubicle” from the pensive introspection of “Always Lovely” to the beautiful break-up anthem, “Seamless”, with its gorgeous string-led crescendos. Last week Lizzie shared the latest offering, “Been Thinking About You”, adding a certain jazzy-flourish to her acoustic led compositions as she sings a tale of admiration for a friend who, “was such a support for me at a time I wasn’t feeling my best”.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about Lizzie Reid’s music is the progress it is already showing; with every new song, she seems to take us, as listeners, to somewhere different, the sign of an artist in charge of her own vision, and increasingly sounding like someone for whom acclaim is an inevitability.

Lizzie Reid under exclusive license to Seven Four Seven Six

Released on: 13th January 2021 Author: Elizabeth Reid-Boulter

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I’ve followed and loved Lucia & The Best Boys for a while now, I’ve always loved her raw vocals, which are always paired scrumptiously with the chuggy guitar riff and killer melodies. Lucia & The Best Boys walk the fine line between retro 80s synth-pop and modern alternative rock, mixing elements of both fearlessly. Their most recent effort, Eternity EP can be listened to in under 15 minutes, each listen unveiling a new sound or poetic lyric to fixate over.  The band travelled across the pond to work with Carlos de la Garza, a name that may be familiar to fans of Paramore and Wolf Alice. His influence on the EP can be heard in the melted guitar rhythms which effortlessly blend with the synth to create dynamic and repeat-worthy material. There is a lot of experimentation on this EP, with echoed and layered vocals giving dramatic depth to each track. 

Overall, the band have matured from their earlier singles and completely honed their sound to become distinctively Lucia & The Best Boys. Lyrically, the songs feel much more poetic and dreamlike, rather than the realist approach to their earlier tracks Summertime and When I Think Of You‘Lucia & The Best Boys just seem to keep going from strength-to-strength this year. However the Eternity EP has been on a constant repeat for me over the long lockdown month’s. ‘My God’ in particular has been a stand out for me this year; it’s 80’s, it’s dark and it’s everything I love about a song!’

The opening track City of Angels sounds unsuspecting as it begins, but leads to an explosive performance by frontwoman Lucia Fairfull. The lyrics narrate what it feels like to deal with imposter syndrome and social anxiety, a wholly personable track that invites you into an experience. The pace of the chorus keeps the listener on their toes, as if the music might trip over itself, but – of course – never does. This device embodies what anxiety feels like for most, assimilating the lyrical and musical content. You feel this song as much as you listen to it, easily making it the best on the record.

Allowing the band to fully embrace the glam-rock parts of this project, Good Girls Do Bad Thingis the insanely catchy feminist anthem bleeding with riot grrrl energy. The track has vague remnants of A Flock of Seagulls with a Blondie-esque edge heard in the raw and confident vocals. Lucia & The Best Boys do well to make these vintage elements contemporary with their lyrical content and assertive presence on the EP.  Flames gives way to a blazing finale which ties the EP up with a neatly fashioned ribbon, despite the fact that nothing about this music is tame or neat. It spills out of the lines and all conventions of genre and taste, fusing incredible guitar melodies and blending the vocals, meaning that neither are more pronounced than the other. This slightly faded and blunted effect on the instruments and vocals helps to create an artificially antique sound, completely complementing their vintage aesthetic. 

Overall, this Glasgow band has stepped up their game with their Eternity EP by honing and embracing the elements of synth-pop and alternative rock which make them. Track by track, nothing sounds the same but is uniquely Lucia & The Best Boys.

“My God” · Lucia & The Best Boys from the EP “Eternity” on Sweet Jane Recordings  Released on: 31st January 2020