If you don’t follow Rosie Bans yet via her social media outlets then you have been missing out. Follow her on twitter and you are treated to a mixture of informative and sometimes random wee gems, often accompanied by some of the wittiest use of swear words you will ever read.
Her numerous Facebook live gigs quickly become addictive viewing. Ban’s stream of consciousness introductions often last longer than the songs themselves yet they are never less than endearing, frequently very funny, but above all honest.
And it’s her absolute honesty that makes her debut album ‘Identify Yourself’ stand out from the crowd. Delivered over a superior sophisti-pop background her lyrics are sharp, witty and totally uncompromising.
Rosie Bans demonstrates perfectly that music doesn’t have to be aggressive to be packed full of attitude. Listen to ‘No Apologies’ and be glad you are not the target of her ire. On ‘I Won’t Fade into the Shade’ she is at her most pugnacious during the quieter passages making her message even more powerful.
What can’t be underestimated as you listen to the eleven tracks here is the power of her voice. She seems to use her punchy keyboard playing to drive herself to sometimes unexpected areas without anything ever feeling forced or over wrought.
There are several twists and turns as you move through the tracks. The sitar laden ‘Bloodlines’ is one of several highlights, the beauty of Ban’s vocals shining brightly. Album closer ‘Doing it for the Love’ sees Rosie Bans deliver her personal musical manifesto and there really can be no doubting that she is motivated by the love of her craft. It all comes back to that word, honesty.
‘Identify Yourself’ is a wonderful collection of songs, you should check it out as soon as you can.
For more info visit rosiebans.com
And you really should follow her on Twitter.
And don’t forget Facebook.
Motion released their self-titled EP back in August. With so much great music of all genres coming out of Scotland just now you may well have missed it. No matter, now is as good a time as ever to catch up with the Edinburgh three piece.
Motion are Paul Band on vocals and guitar, Lee Shand on bass and Robbie Thomson on drums. Their tripped out indie rock is heavily influenced by the classic sounds of Manchester. When following in the footsteps of giants such as New Order and The Stone Roses it can be hard for a band to get their own distinct musical message across. Thankfully Motion manage to chuck enough of their own personality in to the mix to make things interesting.
Out of the four tracks ‘Myths’ is probably the highlight, justifying the decision to open with it. However there’s more than enough going on in the other three tracks to hold your attention. ‘Into the Lense’ sees Paul Band delivering some wonderfully cynical lyrics.
‘Who’ slows things down slightly , the repetitive opening riff giving way to a psyched out groove and an echo laden vocal which carries the listener along easily. ‘Everything’ feels slightly heavier than the preceding three tracks as it brings things to a close. It’s going to be interesting to see if this band can deliver on their ample potential
Next up for Motion is a gig supporting Noah Noah at Edinburgh’s Mash House on the 24th of November, a date well worth adding to your diary.
For more details visit www.facebook.com/motionmusicHQ
Motion are also on Twitter.
Findlay Napier moved from his childhood home of Grantown-on Spey to the city of his birth, twenty years ago. His latest release, Glasgow, pays tribute to the place which has become home. With its mix of finely crafted originals and astutely chosen cover songs Napier has managed to capture the timeless essence of one of the world’s great Cities.
The opening track, ‘Young Goths in the Necropolis’ is the perfect introduction to Napier’s slightly skewed storytelling style. Opening with an affectionate nod towards the ‘weirdo’s’ who hang about Glasgow’s own city of the dead, the vivid imagery will stay with you long after the song has ended.
It’s a strong start and what follows does not disappoint. Whether it is tales of the homeless (Wire Burners) or poignant stories of days gone by at the dancing (The Locarno, Sauchiehall Street 1928), Glasgow repeatedly hits the mark. On ‘There’s More to Building Ships’ Napier reminds us of the human cost behind the romantic images of long gone ships being launched on to the Clyde. The singers carefully controlled anger makes it all the more powerful.
No album about Glasgow would be complete without a healthy dose of humour and Napier’s cover of Michael Marra’s ‘King Kong’s Visit to Glasgow’ provides plenty. The final track, ‘Blue Lagoon’ is a love song set in the city centre chippy of that name. If you are going to fall in love in Glasgow I really couldn’t think of a more perfect place.
Glasgow is available to buy here and at all the usual outlets.
For more info visit www.findlaynapier.com
Midnight Milk, the third album from Adam Holmes and the Embers, sees the Edinburgh based musician draw on ingredients from around the globe to deliver some wonderfully blended soul infused tunes. There’s no shortage of sunshine throughout this album, whether it comes via the calypso styled ‘No Man is an Island’ or the ska inflected rhythms of ‘Big Blue Sun.’
Opening track ‘When Will I be Free’ starts things of in an unexpected manner with hip hop style scratches and a spoken word vocal. The choir sung chorus provides the necessary balance, setting the scene for what follows.
On ‘Don’t Worry’ an Afro beat backing proves the perfect accompaniment to the comforting lyrics. As Adam Holmes sings ‘everything will be OK’ you know it will be as his mellow voice flows from the speakers and wraps you in the warmest of embraces.
There is a constant theme of reassurance throughout Midnight Milk, a welcome reminder that there is plenty to be grateful for in this world. The instrumental ‘5 Years’ provides a moment of quiet contemplation as its piano based melody unfolds, slowing things down nicely before the final two tracks.
‘Whatever You Do’ is doused with melancholy yet still offers solace in the face of life’s challenges. The final track ‘Can You Feel the Fire Inside’ is one of the highlights, its spiritual feel providing the natural conclusion to what has come before.
Midnight Milk is a long lazy river of an album. The warm undercurrents pull you along gently, inducing what can only be described as a strong sense of contentment and hope. It’s a beautiful collection of songs that deserves all the accolades that will surely come its way.
For more info visit adamholmesandtheembers.com
Adam Holmes is on Facebook and Twitter.