Presenting…King Eider


Having not been born in Edinburgh but having gravitated here at the turn of the last decade, I don’t really have the same sort of Edinburgh vs. Glasgow rivalry that many of those born in either city seem to have. I do rankle, though, when people treat the Edinburgh music scene as second-rate to Glasgow. It’s not just unfair, it’s untrue.

Edinburgh folk-blues band King Eider are shortly to release their debut album The Deeper The Water, from which the rather fabulous ‘Whisky’ is taken:

They list their influences as including Arcade Fire, Peter Green, alt-j, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Their album launch gig will take place in Edinburgh at The Caves on April 18.

This is their debut single ‘Drink Me Dry’ available via iTunes

Presenting…Amazing Snakeheads

Amazing Snakeheads

Described recently by The Guardian as ‘a band so exciting I couldn’t sleep’ Glasgow 3 piece the Amazing Snakeheads are Jordon (Drums), William (Bass) and Dale (vocals and guitars). Now when a band starts getting bigged up this much there’s always the risk that the hype can spoil it BUT the word is that The Amazing Snakeheads might actually be worth the hype.

They’re shortly to release their debut album Amphetamine Ballads on Domino (hope to other 17 Seconds faves like Stephen Malkmus, Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys) and you know things are moving in the right direction when you’ve heard the band several times on day time radio. That song is ‘Here It Comes Again’ which fizzes along with an impressive amount of urgency, and makes you stop what you’re doping to jump around. Even more impressive when you’re the wrong side of 35.

Check out these two tracks, both on the forthcoming Amphetamine Ballads:

The tracklisting for the album is as follows:

1. I’m A Vampire
2. Nighttime
3. Swamp Song
4. Here It Comes Again
5. Flatlining
6. Where Is My Knife?
7. Every Guy Wants To Be Her Baby
8. Memories
9. Heading For Heartbreak
10. Tiger By The Tail

Amphetamine Ballads is released by Domino on April 14.

The return of Gruff Rhys

Gruff Rhys

Super Furry Animals have now been on hiatus for five years, but in that time they have been working on various projects. Not least singer Gruff Rhys who has recorded under both his own name and as half as Neon Neon. He’s just about to release his fourth solo album, American Interior.

According to the press release ‘American Interior is a unique project… blurring the boundaries and possibilities of songwriting, music, literature, film and technology to create a multisensory experience telling the incredible true story of John Evans, a twenty-two-year-old farmhand from Snowdonia, Wales, who travelled to America in search of a Welsh-speaking Native American tribe – The Madogwys – still walking the Great Plains.

Reportedly Gruff Rhys is a distant relative of Evans. In the summer of 2012, over two hundred years later, he retraced the explorer’s route through the heart of the continent by means of an “Investigative Concert Tour” – a series of solo gigs that saw him accompanied by little more than acoustic guitar, PowerPoint presentation and ‘a three-foot high felt avatar of John Evans designed by artist and long-time collaborator Pete Fowler.’

The album tracklisting is as follows:

1. American Exterior
2. American Interior
3. 100 Unread Messages
4. The Whether (Or Not)
5. The Last Conquistador
6. Lost Tribes
7. Liberty (Is Where We’ll Be)
8. Allweddellau Allweddol
9. The Swamp
10. Iolo
11. Walk Into The Wilderness
12. Year Of The Dog
13. Tiger’s Tale

The video for the title track and forthcoming single can be seen below:

Presenting…Lenzie Moss

Lenzie Moss

Lenzie Moss is Finlay MacDonald, a former member of both Teenage Fanclub and BMX Bandits.

Reportedly he sees his music as more Gregory’s Girl than Trainspotting, which might be a very good way of describing his forthcoming single ‘Let’s Take The Day Off’ (****) which is -and this is definitely meant as a compliment – very much in the vein of both of the aforementioned bands.

Having released his debut album Introducing Lenzie Moss in 2012, his sophomore album will be released this September.

For now, turn this up – we’re starting to see signs of Spring here in Scotland, and as ever, it all needs a soundtrack. Why not Lenzie Moss?

‘Let’s Take The Day Off’ is released via bandcamp on March 31.

Finally…a new Pixies album!


A mere 23 years since their last and fifth album Trompe Le Monde, The Pixies are going to release their sixth studio album on April 28. It’s entitled Indie Cindy.

Of course, how much of a studio album this is might depend on your own personal viewpoint. The album consists of the three Eps that the band have released over the last year, entitled EP1, EP2 and erm, EP3. It is, of course, worth bearing in mind that The Beta Band’s The 3 EPs was exactly that, and Japanese Whispers by The Cure was three singles and their attendant b-sides. The EPs have either been available as downloads or very limited copies from the band’s website, so this is the first time that they’ve been properly available.

The tracklisting is as follows:

1.What Goes Boom

2.Greens and Blues

3.Indie Cindy


5.Magdalena 318

6.Silver Snail

7.Blue Eyed Hexe

8.Ring the Bell

9.Another Toe in the Ocean

10.Andro Queen


12.Jaime Bravo

There’s a whole variety of formats (and I fear that many of these will end up being flogged online for vastly inflated prices so act quickly!)

* available at, a special deluxe, limited edition (3,000) two-disc set (available as a CD and as a deluxe gatefold album pressed on 180-gram vinyl) that includes the 13-track live disc. This deluxe package also includes a 40-page, hard-back book that features the new artwork produced exclusively for Indie Cindy. The CD limited edition is packaged in a special gold-foil hard slipcase.

* as a two-disc, deluxe gatefold album, pressed on 180-gram vinyl

* as a standard 12-track single-CD digipak with booklet

* as a standard 12-track digital download via iTunes, Amazon, and other online retail sellers

* as an expanded digital download exclusively through iTunes that includes a bonus live-in-concert 13-track set recorded during the band’s recently-completed North American tour

On April 19, a week before the official release date and exclusively for Record Store Day – Pixies will make Indie Cindy available as a special RSD limited edition, two-disc, deluxe gatefold, 180-gram vinyl set, only from independent record stores participating in RSD around the world. When these are gone, they’re gone.

There’s a handful of videos that have already been made:

The return of Stanley Odd


It’s great to see that Stanley Odd’s profile continues to rise. They will release a new 4 track EP at the end of April entitled Chase Yirsel. That’s Scots, not a spelling mistake, by the way.

Ahead of that, to celebrate Record Store Day, they have announced the release of a special limited edition 12″ single featuring brand new tracks ‘Chase Yirsel’ and ‘Let Ma Brain Breathe’, with artwork illustrated by Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit fame. 500 copies of the single will be made available through participating indie record stores on Saturday 19th April.

The band will also be performing instore at Love Music in Glasgow and VoxBox in Edinburgh on the day as well as signing copies of the release.

Check out ‘Let Ma Brain Breathe’ below.

Read my interview with them from 2012 here

New Kirsty MacColl compilation


In the words of Morrissey, Kirsty MacColl was ‘a supreme original, although not, as far as I know, an original Supreme.’

The singer-songwriter died tragically in 2000, but her twenty year music career was absolutely brilliant. And whilst she’s best known for ‘Fairytale of New York’ and her cover of The Kinks’ ‘Days’ and Billy Bragg’s ‘A New England’ there’s much more to discover.

A new compilation called All I Ever Wanted: The Anthology is out on April 7 (tracklisting here), which gives me an opportunity to post some videos of her.

This was her first hit, ‘There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis.’ A novelty hit? Maybe, but what fun, and a gem in her hands.

I remember hearing the 12″ version of ‘Terry’ when I worked in HMV in 2002 on a various artists compilation, I honestly think this is superior to the original version and I’m glad it’s on the album.

The last album she released before she died, 2000’s Tropical Brainstorm is an excellent record which I bought on it release and showed her love affair with South American msuic. It also showed her way with a witty and acerbic lyric. ‘England 2 Columbia 0’ is the outstanding track on the album.

Finally, she worked with The Smiths (hear her on ‘Ask’, which came out around the same time as Billy Bragg’s ‘Greetings To The New Brunette’ which also featured her on backing vocals) and also with both Morrissey and Johnny Marr once The Smiths had split. ‘Walking Down Madison’ was a chart hit in the UK, featuring Johnny Marr on guitar in early 1991, and she was back in the charts a couple of months later singing backing vocals on Billy Bragg’s hit ‘Sexuality.’

All I Ever Wanted: The Anthology is released by Salvo on April 7.

For a great fansite see here

The return of the Horrors


I still blush to recall that I wrote The Horrors off when I first heard them. Still, eight years on they are still here, and about to release their long-awaited fourth album, Luminous.

Due to hit the shops at the beginning of May, it was said that the latest Horrors album would have more of an electronic feel than previous releases. On the basis of the two tracks that they’ve made available to stream (see below) that’s quite true, but by the same token, they certainly still sound like the Horrors, and there’s lots of the gloriously noisy psychedelia on display that made people fall for them in the first place.

Really enjoying both of these tracks and hoping that it keeps the magic up over the course of the entire album…

The full tracklisting for Luminous is as follows:

Chasing Shadows
First Day Of Spring
So Now You Know
In and Out Of Sight
Jealous Sun
Falling Star
I See You
Change Your Mind
Mine and Yours


Benbrick_Forever Holding On

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, due to the sheer amount of submissions in my inbox, it can be a matter of luck whether or not I’ll hear stuff that lands in my inbox.

And actually, a bit of mystique rather than hyperbole is far more likely to encourage me to write about stuff. The email stated simply ‘self produced ‘Forever Holding On’ is the first single taken from my debut EP Closer | Closure. It’s mixed by the guy behind Faithless, and mastered by the guy behind James Blake. For fans of The Postal Service, James Blake, and The Weeknd.’ No more information is given.

Actually I think James Blake is overrated (but then, I think the same about the XX, so what do I know?). It is rather gorgeous, watch the video, and why not help the cause by parting with a mere 79p to buy the track? Go on…

The return of Seafieldroad


I got an email today from Andrew Eaton-Lewis, who performs as Seafieldroad and also as one half of Swimmer One. Ironically, for someone who until recently was a journalist for the Scotsman, he was the very first person I interviewed for this blog.

Having released a rather fine album as Seafieldroad back in 2010 (read the review here), he’s due to release his next album The Winter of 88 this October. Between now and then there’s quite a few things happening in Scotland which will see people’s eyes on this fair country, not least the Commonwealth Games and the Scottish Independence referendum.

In his email, he spoke of how his stance on how he was going to vote in the referendum has changed, and his surprise that not many people were writing songs about it.

So Andrew did! It’s taken from his forthcoming album and it’s entitled ‘This Road Won’t Build Itself.’

You can read the lyrics below, it’s the last two verses that particularly resonate with this writer:

My wife and I are way off the map
We’re building a country completely from scratch
We won’t get to live there, we’re sad about that
But it will be better than anything we had
when we were kids

And everyone round here is building it too
They’ve got tools to work with, they know what to do
They just need the courage to see it through
And not be ground down by the lies and abuse
when we were kids

This road won’t build itself
Pick up your spade, pick up your axe
There’s hope on the horizon
But only if we walk there

This road won’t build itself
Pick up your spade, pick up your axe
Put houses up along the way
A place to keep our children safe

They’ll tell you you don’t need to
This road’s already built
Your houses are right here
Put down your spade, put down your axe

But look at the fear on their faces
The grey hairs and the bruises
Their houses are collapsing
And they’re still painting over the cracks