A column by Jonathan Rimmer focusing on emerging Scottish music.
Let’s not get confused, a column beginning with “Introducing Casual Sex” for National Collective is not an endorsement of one night stands as a positive cultural practice to encourage after the referendum… Nah, I’m talking about a band, a rather good band from Glasgow to be specific. The group’s understated style immediately identifies them as natural successors to Franz Ferdinand, with sleazy vocals, funky guitars and smooth bass grooves forming the basis of their sound.
That’s not to label them as just another ‘angular’ post-punk band in the NME mould; their social and political observations subtly recall the likes of New Model Army in their prime. Casual Sex are an artful quartet that approach music meticulously yet still convey the right amount of rock’n’roll appeal to justify their name.
Having just released their latest EP, The Bastard Beat, 2014 looks set to be an exciting year for a band that are another example of the talent lurking within Scottish indie rock.
For fans of Franz Ferdinand, Orange Juice, Gang of Four
All the best music needs ambitious and inventive inspiration, and this philosophy informs the entire concept behind Aberdeenshire artist David Officer’s solo project Daemons and his new minimalist synth affair Fram.
The EP presents a cold and carefully designed musical landscape that envisions Antarctica through the eyes of the heroic explorers who have travelled there. It’s an unsettling but rewarding experience that showcases the experimentation within Scottish music, and one that literally grips the listener into its expansive narrative.
Do not mistake Daemons as another Boards of Canada clone; Fram is a unique and oblique musical journey that requires close attention.
For fans of Brian Eno, Autechre
Though they’ve spent the last few years hibernating in Berlin, PoP Campaign’s take on synth-based music is littered with allusions to UK politics and fighting against the “self-important” nature of today’s music industry. On the surface, one could easily mistake this Glasgow-born duo as just another retro electro act intent on presenting an escapist perspective through their revivalism of eighties sounds.
Conversely, PoP Campaign reject pretension in favour of performing comprehensive live shows that require audience participation. So yes, they make fun, accessible pop music, but label them derivative at your peril.
Read PoP Campaign’s guest article for National Collective published yesterday.
For fans of The Human League, Bronski Beat, (older) Orbital