It’s Sunday, it’s whatever the time is on your watch/clock, it must be time for Pick of the Pops (vol 2).
This weeks interesting music tracks have a sort of Scottish and/or folk theme. Now please don’t go thinking that it’s folk as in hairy jumpered traditional. They aren’t. Give them a try for yourself.
Lau – The Burrian
Super groups were a feature of the 70’s. Lau are a modern day super group with a very string folk heritage. The three members of the band (Kris Drever, Aidan O’Rourke & Martin Green) are all multiple award winners and very successful musicians in their own right. Coming together as Lau was an inspired decision. The musicianship and the power in the music is fabulous and even more so at a gig, seeing them live is a serious must.
The Burns Unit – Trouble
Again this is a band made up of well known Scottish traditional artists with a couple of Canadians thrown in. The mix of music styles, obvious talent and singing voices produces great sounds although they haven’t recorded a great deal of what they’ve written and performed. You m ay be familiar with Karine Polwart and Kim Edgar who sang at the opening of the Scottish Parliament recently and of King Creosote who was nominated for a Mercury Prize this year.
The Fleet Foxes – Montezuma
From America, the Fleet Foxes create wonderfully layered and harmonious music. They’ve released two albums and been critically acclaimed. They have also appeared on Later with Jools. In the main they are strangers to razors and scissors preferring the more hirsute look but of course this has no effect on the sound they produce which is pretty splendid.
The Unthanks – Here’s the tender coming
The Unthanks are a band fronted by Rachel and Rebecca Unthanks. Again they’ve been on Jools on more than one occasion. They sing traditional folk interwoven with their own brand of music, which demonstrates high production values. They are constantly featured in awards ceremonies and have recently completed a range of gigs with a brass band. Well worth a listen.
The Webb Sisters – Words that mobilise
The Webb Sisters, Charlie and Hattie are best known for providing two thirds of Leonard Cohens backing vocals during his last world tour. They have a great sound on their own and they continue to develop and tour. Seeing them live is interesting and their between songs banter has a dimension all of it’s own.
The Poozies – Canada
The Poozies are well established and well known in Scottish folk circles and are the most traditional band here. Again the band have a members which gig on their own and are well know for their musical talents.
The Cocteau Twins – Theft and wandering around lost
This is the wild card entry. A band from Grangemouth (how often do you see those words in the same sentence?) Whilst they are no longer together they were responsible for a number of wonderfully musical and melodic albums. Liz Fraser the vocalist has featured on a large number of well-known hits by other bands. At times the band has used “their own language” for some lyrics. Normally that would be odd and off putting, however the sound they create and the overall end result is well worth any eccentricities.