Sons & Daughters -‘Mirror Mirror’ (Domino)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…
I first saw Sons & Daughters book in 2003, when they were first on a bill at York Fibbers, which also featured Dogs Die In Hot Cars and was headlined by Franz Ferdinand, who had just released their debut single ‘Darts Of Pleasure.’ It was an awesome night, and I continued to recount it with glee to anyone who’d listen over the next year, asthe profile of all three acts rose considerably. Sons & Daighters were good that night, but impressed me progressively more and more over the coming few years. I saw them as a support acts numerous times (Franz again, Fiery furnaces, Fire Engines, Idlewild, and Morrissey), eventually seeing them headline in 2008, with a then unsigned Broken Records as support. They became more and more bewitching on stage, with the interplay between Adele Bethel and Scott Paterson on stage becoming positively like sorcery.
The first record to come out was the Love The Cup mini-album, with its fiery feel, and hardly a foot out of place in twenty-five monutes. They followed this up with The Repulsion Box full-length (they claimed that they’d released two debuts), and when The Delgados split in 2005, Sons & Daughters became my favourite Scottish act. This Gift had some good moments, but it wasn’t as bewitching as their earlier material. Mirror Mirror has been talked up as return to the sound of those earlier releases and being darker. It has been produced by JD twitch, one of the team behind Glasgow’s famous Optimo club.
Within a few moments of opener ‘Silver Spell’ making its presence felt, what we have heard is true: they have got darker again. Throughout the album, the glam meets American Gothic that characterised their early work is once more to the fore, and it seems that the decision to work with JD Twitch was a good one, adding more texture to the sound. There’s still surprises to be had -‘Axed Actor’ seems to hint at Bananarama’s hit ‘Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye).’ Unquestionably the album is the most atmospheric of their career.
It amazes me, and frankly, frustrates m in all seriousness, that sons & daughters have not had the commercial breakthorugh that I believe they deserve and have earned. This is a damning slight on the part of the record buying public.
Do not make the same mistake…
Mirror Mirror is out now on Domino.