Modern Studies release their second album, ‘Welcome Strangers’, on Fire Records.
It follows up their debut ‘Swell To Great’, which appeared last year on the Song, By Toad label and which inspired the Fire label to put out its successor.
The chamber pop quartet – Glasgow songwriter Emily Scott, plus Pete Harvey (King Creosote, The Leg), Joe Smillie (also boss of Glasgow’s The Glad Cafe) and Rob St. John – recorded the new long-player at Pete’s Pumpkinfield studio in rural Perthshire through 2017.
Using a Creative Scotland grant to hire a chamber orchestra and a remote village hall to record in, they also enlisted contributors including sisters, wives, toddlers, freeform saxophonists, and The Pumpkinseeds, an ensemble featuring violins, violas, cellos, trombones and vocals, brought together to play Pete and Emily’s collaborative string, brass and vocal arrangements.
As well as further ﬂeshing out the sound with analogue synths, tube organs, drum machines and mellotrons, some inventive techniques were deployed – a decayed tape loop of Emily’s vocals used to create the stuttering rhythm in sigle ‘Mud and Flame’, or prepared guitars recurring as percussion and drones.
“It’s an ever changing thing – an organism,” says principal songwriter Emily of Modern Studies’ collaborative creative process, “there is space for each of the band to experiment.”
1. Get Back Down
3. Mud and Flame
4. Let Idle Hands
5. It’s Winter
6. Young Sun
7. Horns and Trumpets
8. Fast As Flows
9. The House
10. Phosphene Dream
More at modernstudiestheband.com