13th June 2024
the martial arts

Fans of classic ’60s pop may enjoy this week’s video choice, and not just for the sparkling melodies of The Martial Arts. The educated eye will also spot the homage to a Scott Walker TV performance of ‘Jackie’, masterminded by Gregor Barclay (of GM Barclay Media), who also provides backing vocals on ‘Not Coming Down’, alongside Nicola West and Guys Weymss.

That aside, and drummer Been Robb, the single, out now is entirely the work of Paul Kelly, back recording under his MA pseudonym after an extended hiatus (during which he’s been regularly spotted working with such names as Carla J Easton, BMX Bandits, Raveloe, and Barclay’s How To Swim collective). Indeed, the new track, mixed by Sam Smith, stems from 2013 when Kelly wrote it on “a borrowed Omnichord which has since stopped working”. However, with several singles training an August album ‘In There Like Swimwear‘ on the Wiaiwya label, it seems that The Martial Arts are back to stay.

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26th May 2024

North-east act IndianRedLopez have returned after a lengthy hiatus with a new single ‘Obstacles’. It’s an early taster for the band’s first new long-player in over a decade, the quintet having put out sophomore release ‘Commit’ in 2013 – that having arrived in a rather more productive period being three years after their debut ‘Empty Your Lungs and Breathe’.

While the various band members have occasionally performed live with the likes of CS Buchan, Rival Saints and Rescue Party, it’s only now that the five have reconvened to record ‘Results Of My Dreaming’, due out later in the year via Gentlemen Recordings / BIND Music.

For now, enjoy ‘Obstacles’ – and video director Kevin Smith’s excellent work with the band’s frontman Michael Chang.

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3rd March 2024

Perennial multi-faceted Glasgow combo How To Swim release a new single, or specifically, the lead track for their new album ‘Bars ‘n’ Loners‘.

‘Hustlin’ comes from what is a compilation of the band’s three Barcelona-recorded EPs, ‘Dill Pickle’, ‘Midnight Steak’ and ‘Unseasoned Dirt on Loose Skull’.

Following something of a hiatus the now-quintet have another two albums planned for later in 2024 and some shows in the summer, the first at the Glad Cafe on June 7th along with The Slackhead Incident.

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14th December 2022

Snows of Yesteryear release their debut single, ‘Wait By The Shore’.

The trio – Japan-born violinist Yuuka Yamada-Garner on violin, and songwriters Kathryn Orr vocals and piano, and guitarist David Mitchell – recorded the track at Edinburgh’s Castlesounds Studios with former Burns Unit man Mattie Foulds

The video was filmed by Humble Film Production at – in! – Loch Ard, in the Trossachs,

The track recalls fishing tragedies such as 1881’s Eyemouth disaster, which took the lives of 189 men. “As we were writing ‘Wait by the Shore’ we got into quite a dark place,” says Orr. “We imagined this potential fishing disaster, a young man lost at sea, or having been lured into the rocks by a siren, or maybe he’s met someone else. It’s the whole mind-bending uncertainty of it, with all the older fishwives saying: ‘Dearie, waiting is just what you have to do. Just don’t you question things!'”

“We think of the strings as the magic ingredient of our songs,” says Orr. “Yuuka’s playing is very emotive, she connects with the sadness and dark nature of the tracks.”

Though emotionally electrifying, acoustic instruments are central to ‘Wait by the Shore’, says Mitchell.

“Because of the story we’d created for the song, we felt we should build the track using traditional and acoustic instruments which would have been available in the fictional fishing port where our song was set,” he says, noting: “though in the end we decided to add a touch of electric guitar as its shimmery reverb helped imitate the sound of the sea.”

“We love being in the loch so really enjoyed shooting it,” says Orr of the video by Humble Film Production. “Getting into the water is calming but simultaneously invigorating. Our music is all about the elements, so it felt like the right thing to do, to try and find a visual that matched the themes of the song.”

The band plan a debut album for spring 2023.

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25th November 2022

Bunkhouse release a new single, ‘Saramago’.

The song, a self-styled “industrial tinged Hi-NRG pop banger”, takes its name from the cafe bar situated at Glasgow’s CCA, and is the band’s first new material since ‘RIP​.​ie’, form July this year, and which followed the trio’s self-titled debut album, from early 2021.

The trio is composed of Glasgow-based musicians who have previous in acts such as The Just Joans / The Hector Collectors, Gallus, and The Wife Guys of Reddit, as well as Dublin act Fonda.

‘Saramago’ is available on all major streaming platforms as well as via Bandcamp.

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18th September 2022

Culann release a new single, ‘Rovers’.

It’s the first new music in three years from the Irvine quintet following the release of their 2019 album ‘The Great Ecumene’.

The track, which will be on sale for download and on streaming services next week, clocks in at well over six minutes, and comes with a suitably epic video.

Shot and edited by Stuart Alexander, and with drone footage by Etive Productions, it stars Rab Affleck and Brian Blakeley, both of whom featured in David Mackenzie’s 2018 Outlaw King.

Mixed & mastered by Greg Irish, the track was recorded at Watercolour in Ardgour near Fort William, a studio favoured by acts as diverse as Damaged Goodz and Findlay Napier, and run by songwriter Nick Turner and his wife, musician/broadcaster Mary Ann Kennedy.

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28th July 2022

Willie Campbell releases a single, ‘The Film Begins’, on Friday 29th July – the day after he plays a solo set on Belladrum Tartan Heart’s Off Axis stage.

And we’re honoured to have the exclusive premiere of his DIY, hand-shot film for the track.

Campbell is accompanied on the track by Jenny Keldie on backing vocals, Jane MacMillan on fiddle, Lloyd Reid on pedal steel and James Clifford on bass.

The Astrid co-founder described the track as being “about the grieving process, the longing to have a conversation with someone that’s passed away and my memories of Hebridean funerals. How vivid and alive the memories of people can be once they’ve gone.

“It’s about the day-to-day moments with the people that we love that we inevitably take for granted,” he continues, “cups of coffee and tea and conversations about nothing in particular and the little details in a room that can send your mind spinning into remembering.

“We crave those things once we can’t have them.”

Astrid recently reformed following Campbell’s return from Nashville, releasing ‘Fall Stand Dance’, produced by Edwyn Collins and released on the former Orange Juice frontman’s AED label.

Previously alongside Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody Campbell was a founding member of indie collective The Reindeer Section which also included various members of Teenage Fanclub, Arab Strap, Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian and many others.

More recently Willie has been releasing records as The Open Day Rotation and has three critically-acclaimed albums: 2008 debut ‘Down by the Head’, followed by ‘Toxic Good Toxic Bad’, and in 2018 ‘New Clouds in Motion’, the latter produced by Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian).

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30th June 2022

Constant Follower have become the first band to record a live session on top of The Wallace Monument.

Overlooking their hometown of Stirling, the live session on top of the National Monument features tracks from their debut album ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’, released last year on the Shimmy Disc / Joyful Noise label.

The band most recently performed at South By Southwest Festival in Texas, including a set described as an “atmospheric tapestry” by the Austin Chronicle.

Film of the latest live session, this time on home turf (so to speak) was directed by Martin J. Pickering, shot thanks to support from PRS Foundation, and features the tracks ‘I Can’t Wake You’, ‘Weave of the World’ and ‘The Merry Dancers On TV’

Constant Follower frontman McAll said: “I don’t remember my childhood, but my mum took lots of photographs. I look so happy in the pictures of us at the Wallace Monument. I see how magical it is for my own children – the building, the mythology, the huge sword – and can only think it must have been the same for me.

“I see it every day when I open my curtains and wondered what it would be like to play up in the crown overlooking the city, and why no one had done it already. So it was a great surprise and an honour when Stirling Council made it happen. To be able to play while stretching our eyes over this beautiful landscape… sometimes it was hard to sing for the lump in my throat.”

Filmmaker Martin J. Pickering said: “Filming my oldest best friend’s live set at the top of The Wallace Monument was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. On a good day, Stirling has the most beautiful light too.

“It’s shimmery, golden and silver and just amazing for photography and film. It was a physical and brutal shoot because it was freezing and extremely windy but that all lent itself to an amazing end result on camera. I cried when I watched my edit back.”

As well as a handful of July dates, the band are currently gearing up for a string of ‘Scotland on Tour’ dates, starting on 20th October in Tighnabruaich and ending on 30th October at Lochinver:

Live Dates:
20/07/2022 – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
21/07/2022 – Broadcast, Glasgow
22/07/2022 – Secret Location, Stirling
20/10/2022 – The Hollies, Tighnabruaich
21/10/2022 – An Tobar, Mull
25/10/2022 – River Garden, Ayr
26/10/2022 – The Glad Cafe, Glasgow
27/10/2022 – Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling
28/10/2022 – The Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh
29/10/2022 – Inverness Cathedral, Inverness
30/10/2022 – Village Hall, Lochinver
17/03/2023 – Town Hall, Jedburgh
18/03/2023 – Regal Connect Theatre, Bathgate

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12th June 2022

The Little Kicks return with their first recordings, live dates, and video in more than three years.

The Aberdeen quartet’s follow-up to album ‘Shake Off Your Troubles’ is the new single ‘Ruminations’, recorded at Chem19 by Paul Savage, and available now, via Bandcamp and the usual online sources.

Also on the cards are three live shows:
– Saturday 18th June at The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
– Friday 24th June at The Hug & Pint, Glasgow
– Saturday 25th June at The Tunnels, Aberdeen

The video for ‘Ruminations’, directed by James Galbraith of SNAP Studio, was filmed in Aberdeen’s iconic art-deco Bon Accord Baths.

The single features Cairn String Quartet as well as brass from Craig McMahon and Alex Sharples, with Diarmaid O’Gallagher working with the band on arrangements.

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14th February 2022

One in a series of videos for tracks from Constant Follower‘s debut album for Shimmy Discs, ‘Spirits in the Roof Tree’ comes with a video shot by Michael Prince.

He is just one of a collective of artists and filmmakers from the Stirling area whose work, alongside that of the band, is celebrated in an exhibition, Constant Follower & Friends, which runs at the town’s Tolbooth until February 26th.

Shortly afterwards, the band will hopefully be Texas-bound, for the annual South by Southwest festival. However, their attendance is uncertain due to the inevitable financial constraints, so the band have launched a crowdfunder campaign to raise the necessary cash to take them to what could be a vital stage in their career. Fans can purchase a variety of merchandise, as well as book them in for an exclusive private live show, with all monies raised going towards their SXSW journey.

The album, ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’, was mixed and mastered by Shimmy Discs mainman Kramer and is available now, while there are two live imminent live shows: on February 24th at the Tolbooth, followed by a co-headline gig with Mt Doubt at Glasgows Stereo on March 2nd.

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