Records – Singles | MUSIC
ROBYN AND RÖYKSOPP Do It Again (Dog Triumph/Wall of Sound) ●●●●● STANLEY ODD Chase Yirsel (A Modern Way) ●●●●●
This is what’s technically known as ‘a banger’. An all-out euphoric electro-shock from two of Scandi- pop’s greatest protagonists – high priestess Robyn and overlords Röyksopp – ‘Do It Again’ is precisely as gleaming, well-honed and effusive as such a union suggests. They’ve collaborated in the past, but this is a high-point: the brilliant, literal, self-referential lyrics; the fact that it echoes Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’; the exploding synthesisers; the pummelling, relentless beat. ‘It hurts so good,’ hollers Robyn. It does. Or, to give the song its Sunday name, ‘. . . And You Can Chase Yirsel For That Bed Tax’ – which gives a little more insight as to MC Dave ‘Solareye’ Hook’s increasingly sharp socio-political rhymes on this, the Edinburgh hip hop ensemble’s first new material since 2012’s SAY Award-nominated Reject. The collective’s impeccable, beat- heavy hip hop is more spacious, experimental and fired-up than ever – and you’ll be hard pushed to hear a better use of ‘glaikit’ anywhere in the rap canon.
SO MANY ANIMAL CALLS My Blood’s Not Mine (Bloc+ Music) ●●●●● Sitting comfortably in that melodic, Scots-inflected, alt-rock realm that has yielded voluminous fruit for the likes of Biffy Clyro, Twin Atlantic and We Were Promised Jetpacks, ‘My Blood’s Not Mine’ is an Atlantic- straddling offering from Glasgow quartet So Many Animal Calls. It’s the lead track from their forthcoming EP Burden (pictured, above) – the follow-up to 2011’s Eulogy – and heralds a more technically proficient, adventurous dynamic, with EP tracks ‘From The Sick Bed’ and ‘Stories’ following suit.
THE JELLYMAN’S DAUGHTER Honey (Self-release) ●●●●● It is fair to say that if a band cites Christina Aguilera, the Beatles and bluegrass as influences, they’re likely to be somewhat unique. This Edinburgh duo do just that, and then tool themselves up with cello, acoustic guitar and dreamy vocal harmonies. If such a concoction proves mesmeric live, then it’s often just as intriguing on record, as proved by their new single, ‘Honey’ – part melancholic, unplugged post-rock, part bright folk lullaby. It’s lovely. (Singles reviewed by Nicola Meighan)
ANGEL OLSEN No one on earth could feel like this. I’m thrown and overblown with – well, to be honest, bliss doesn’t cover it, but let me tell you, Angel Olsen must be playing with my heart. The American singer-songwriter and guitarist – think Loretta Lynn ransacking the grunge canon – has just released her ace second album, Burn Your Fire For No Wit- ness, and a Glasgow visit fast approacheth. Olsen, you say? Is Angel the lesser-known sibling of twin delinquents Mary-Kate and Ashley? Au contraire. This particular Olsen – Missouri-born and signed to imperial indie Jagjaguwar – has more of a kinship with gothic-folk chanteuse Marissa Nadler, with whom she has collaborated twice to striking, minimal effect; or indeed with Will Oldham aka Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy: she appeared on Wolfroy Goes to Town and toured with him as part of The Cairo Gang. An immaculate pedigree. Has Olsen released any music under her own steam? And then some. Olsen’s solo debut EP, the reverb- guzzling Cacti (2010), and her first album, Half Way Home (2012), are gorgeous affairs: home-grown, poetic, intensely private and pronouncedly sparse. Her new LP, in contrast, is embellished by a backing band – drummer Josh Jaeger and bass player Stewart Bronaugh – and packs more of a sonic punch, vari- ously saluting Mazzy Star, The Everly Brothers, Astrud Gilberto and Leonard Cohen. Despite the fact that the new record is more of a collective effort, the album’s title – Burn Your Fire For No Witness – suggests that a sense of isolation still enkindles Olsen’s work. Indeed, and lines like ‘I feel so lonesome I could cry’ (from scuzzy country-lament ‘Hi-Five’) uphold this declaration. There’s an impression of solitude through- out the album, alongside themes of loneliness, loss, finding your place and (not) belonging. Being lost never sounded so fine. (Nicola Meighan) ■ Mono, Glasgow, Mon 9 Jun; Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar) is out now. 15 May–12 Jun 2014 THE LIST 85