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Monday, September 26, 2016Faith Eliott – Insects out now

Faith Eliott’s rather glorious EP Insects is officially released today. It’s bloody brilliant too. Jurassic carapaces don’t just come up in any old pop song, after all.

There are some relatively lively pop songs on this, but some slow, grumbling rambles too, and it’s a really minimal piece of work, with loads of empty space. I like this too. Empty space is something very few musicians really have the courage to embrace.

Anyhow, we have a launch night planned in The Happiness Hotel down in Leith on Friday. It’s going to be fucking awesome, and the brilliant Rocky Lorelei is coming through from Glasgow to support as well, which is excellent news.

Get a copy of the EP here, and tickets for the launch here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016Faith Eliott – Insects EP release

Faith Eliott will be releasing their debut EP Insects with Song, by Toad Records at the end of this month. It’s a gorgeous, sometimes tense, sometimes reflective and sometimes dreamy piece of work, seven songs long and was written while they were living in rural Nebraska.

If you like the sound of the first song from the EP (above) you can pop over to Bandcamp and buy a copy if you fancy, and if you want to come along to the release show at The Happiness Hotel in Leith, with support from the excellent Rocky Lorelei, then this is the link to follow.

I’ve been aware of Faith for a very long time, and in fact they sang on one of the first songs we ever released on this label: Lady of the Calico by Jack Richold. Technically we never released Jack Richold himself, rather his band Nightjar, but Jack himself did a version of the song on which Faith sings and it is absolutely gorgeous.

Since then we sort of lost contact beyond bumping into one another here and there, until they joined the Far Yella collective and also started singing with Neil on the Supermoon stuff. An artistic collaboration with the criminally underrated Now Wakes the Sea followed and that eventually led to the recording and imminent release of Insects. Alan from NWtS recorded the EP, and some of his trademark grumbling and feedback gives a gorgeous edge to Faith’s more organic sounds, and I think the combination is absolutely fantastic.

It will be out on cassette and digital on the 26th September.

The majority of the songs on this release were written over the course of three months in rural Nebraska, and much of the dense and often-surreal lyrical content reflects this landscape, which is pancake-flat and dotted with collapsing barns, rotting farm machinery and teeming with insects.

The EP consists of a diverse set of songs. The opening track Pyrite Ammonite is poppy and dynamic, whilst the closer, Possum, is a five minute spoken word track, awash with drones and the sound of screeching cicadas. The baritone guitars, mellotrons and vocal harmonies hint at something grandiose, but the songs retain a lo-fi quality.

At its most raw, the EP includes the song So Do I, which was recorded in a barn using a dictaphone, with howling wind audible in the background. The remaining tracks were recorded by Alan McCormack (of Now Wakes the Sea), who also plays on the record, and whose experimental approach to recording and composition brings unexpected layers and textures to Faith’s acoustic/folk sensibilities.

Faith grew up in Minnesota and moved to Edinburgh just over 10 years ago. Though they have taken part in numerous creative collaborations over the years (The Sea Is Salt, Withered Hand, Supermoon, etc.), this is the first time they have put together a release exclusively of their own songs. This has in part been down to the process of exploring outwards from visual art and poetry before fixating on songwriting three or four years ago.

These days, Faith continues to make visual art and exhibits regularly around the city. They are also part of Edinburgh’s Far Yella Collective, a loosely collaborative collection of visual artists, musicians and writers

Monday, September 12, 2016Modern Studies – Swell to Great out now


Pictures by Andy Catlin – see the full set here.

Well as album release parties go, that was pretty fucking special. We’ve had some corkers in the Happiness Hotel since we got it all tidied up, and each one seems to be a wee step forward from the last. I was even really considerate about noise, until it got the small hours and drunkenness rather undermined good intentions.

Jonnie Common played an awesome solo set to start things off, Bart from eagleowl did some projections, the band were absolutely phenomenal and the whole night was basically fucking brilliant.

You can buy the album here, and the positive reviews have continued to appear:

“the strength and beauty comes from the harmonies and subtly sophisticated arrangements.” Whisperin’ and Hollerin’
“a treasure trove of songs that embrace, and transcend, place and time.” The List
“It welcomes you to sit a while and take it in, which is an invitation well worth taking up” Complete Music Update
“The piano spells out a future and then the handclaps make it present” Said the Gramophone (no, I’m not sure either, but I am pretty sure it’s good)

For those of you who missed the launch, our pal Andy Catlin has a fantastic set of pictures. How he got them to turn out so nicely in such low light I have no idea, but he did, and they look bloody great.

And finally, if you want to see these glorious bastards live, they are touring with King Creosote early next year, so have a wee look at the list below – hopefully you can make one of the shows.

Late 2016 shows:
Sept 16th, Good Life Festival, Caught by the River Stage, Flintshire, Wales
Oct 7th, Eastern Promise, Platform, Glasgow (Tickets)

2017 tour supporting King Creosote):
Jan 20th, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool (Tickets)
Jan 21st, Town Hall, Birmingham (Tickets)
Jan 22nd, The Barbican, London (Tickets)
Jan 23rd, Colston Hall, Bristol (Tickets)
Jan 24th, Tramshed, Cardiff (Tickets)
Jan 25th, Sage, Gateshead (Tickets)