Album review Scottish albums

Sister John

Sister John’s second album is a further indication of this group’s depth of talent. Their heady but laid-back melding of pop, soul, blues and country styles recalls at times the latter phases of The Velvet Underground (bit of a lazy comparison on BM’s part but included for the uninitiated as a jumping off point comparison).

The four members (Amanda, Heather, Johnathan and Sophie) are all multi-instrumentalists so it is unclear who playes what on what, but the eleven songs here have a timeless quality, i.e. they could have been written and recorded anytime between about 1965 and now.

Opener ‘Eight Years’ has some great guitar riffs and soloing, and a fearless self-assured vocal, ripping into a partner who just isn’t up to it. ‘Airport’ is slower and less angry, while ‘Nothing Else’ is again more upbeat with country-blues tinges plus further hints of Dylan.

‘Waiting for the Sun’ is languid with beautiful harmonies, while ‘Lost and Won’, at six minutes the longest song on the record, is slow, acoustic and confessional.

“The other side of love” is tentantive and full of sea analogies, great a fiddle and a punchy riff. ‘Love Me Or Not’ is again down to the one guitar and female vocal

BM has already reviewed the album’s lead track ‘I Am The One’ and it fits right in here, hugely enjoyable. ‘Where She Came From’ is wispier and psychedelic in its evocation of colours, and is followed by a welcome instrumental reprise of ‘Love Me Or Not’, all piano and fiddle.

Last track ‘Silver Whistle’ is downbeat and appears to mourn the end of something – and has more seafaring metaphors. The acoustic strumming gives way to a Neil Young-esque guitar solo and the chant of “into the sea” ends the record.

Another triumph for one of Glasgow’s most promising combos.