Septet Be A Familiar finally deliver their debut album. And, all we can say is that To The Lighthouse has definitely been worth the wait. Definitely the most air-punchingly exhilarating albums for quite some time. The whole thing is driven with an energy and rush from start to finish.
Make no mistake, this is probably the least hip record that will be released all year. Which, surely, must make it one the coolest? It’s distinctly Scottish without kicking he bejesus out of the body of traditional music. It’s complicated and brilliantly arranged without needing the fiddlers rally backing it up. There’s inventive structures and flights without a single stroked chin or poed-face. You will love this in spite of yourself.
Opener Had Your Fill sets the tone. It’s big and brassy (as in section) and you will be unable to tap a toe to it. And, it all required to be played REALLY LOUDLY. We were going to suggest All Kinds Of Nervous came close to challenging Robyn for pop tune of the year. But, that could be Splinters. Yes, there’s two tracks on here that poptastic. Of course as titles such as Daggers When We Kiss and You’d Make A Great Ghost, the up-ness of some of the music gives lie to the darker lyrical bent of the band.
I’ve been trying not to liken these guys to Deacon Blue again, but can’t avoid it. If there’s one band they evoke memory of, it’s unfortunately Ross & Co. But, from another parallel universe where Raintown was a good as people (all silent these days) claimed it to be. The difference is that there seems to be an honesty. Not chest-thumping earnestness.
There’s an ugly rumour this may be the swansong, too. That would be a great shame.