It's probably no surprise to hear that Frightened Rabbit are one of my favourite bands, and when we heard last year that front man Scott Hutchison was off to live an LA and release a solo album, I wasn't quite sure what to think. However, under the pseudonym Owl John, he release the self titled debut last week and it is safe to say that it is some of his very best work. Many of the songs are about moving State-side and starting life again, while others are about music itself - both his own and others. I caught Owl John in Edinburgh a few weeks back where he played a mix of his solo and FR songs; I think Red Hand could be a contender for his best song, even though the video is disturbing!
Flood of Red
The second full length release from Airdrie band Flood of Red has definitely built on their impressive debut 'Leave Everything Behind'. If the artwork itself isn't enough for you to want to listen, songs like 'Lashes', 'Whispers and Choirs' and 'Cutting Limes' stand out of the 9 tracks. The band have put their post-hardcore days well behind them, their music has evolved and matured and they are now one of the most impressive and original Scottish bands at this time.
The progress of Slow Club from their 2009 debut 'Yeah, So' is actually quite amazing. 'Paradise' saw a change in the music from happy indie pop to an upbeat, atmospheric and slightly more serious record, and 'Complete Surrender' has gone even further to, dare I say, soul music!? Whatever it is, I like it a lot. The production level is huge in the new songs and they've really made an effort with videos as well. Definitely a band who get better with every record.
Elsewhere, PAWS released their second album Youth Culture Forever to massive support from big names like Blink 182 and, of course, Simon Pegg... Strengthening live performances will see the band go back to America for a second time. The band even brought friends We are Scientists to Glasgow for a very sweaty, very mental secret show in the tiny venue of Bloc. A night to remember!
Lastly, a joint project of King Creosote and film-maker Virginia Heath, 'From Scotland With Love' was set to mark the opening of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, providing the antidote from shortbread, whisky and Nessie. It is a heartfelt documentary of Scotland's past, from Glasgow shipyards to days out to the beach, and King Creosote produced the music which he also used to release a new album of the same name. It is a very sentimental documentary, showing Scotland at its best with no spoken word, just the music to back the old footage. It might be hard to imagine, but you can see from the below video exactly why you need to buy 'From Scotland with Love'.