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Album review Scottish albums

The Moth and the Mirror

This is a fantastic album. Like an approaching thunder storm over the Kilpatrick Hills, every song holds an intensity, a sense of immediacy and drama, but it doesn’t come across as anything too overbearing – there’s a balance between light and dark throughout. The layering of instrumentation (glockenspiels a particularly fine feature) adds a dimension which is reminiscent of Aracde Fire; the brutish drums at times almost Mogwai-esque, as are the dynamics, the aesthetic.

Opener ‘Everyone I Know’ showcases Stacey Seivewright’s beautifully lamenting voice, a sad tale of crumbling relationships, lightning breaking: “I just don’t want to see you/ your blue eyes turned black” she sighs. There’s something old-time about the music – not too Scottish, even quite Throwing Muses in places. But it’s not all bleak Scottish weather, there are breaks in the clouds: third track ‘Fire’, where main vocal duties are taken over by guitarist Gordon Skene (Frightened Rabbit), is upbeat and commanding.

They are oft compared to The Delgados, and whilst there is certainly space for this comparison, there’s something a little more sinister at times at work on this album: ‘Beautiful Creature’ is cellar bar, hazy trumpets, a film noir escape from Glasgow’s rain-soaked pavements, and the title track has a lilting heaviness of pace, a languishing examination of what we can abide.

It’s been a long time coming, a brooding rumbling under distant clouds, but what finally breaks is, as ever, a relief – standing in the pouring rain is always well worth the wait.

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