Tagged: Blood Relatives

I Made You A Mixtape…Eleven

We continue our collaborative mixtape making this week with number eleven in the series. It has been a fortnight of fewer gig trips, though not of lesser bands. We have a stack of tickets for approaching shows so some down time was definitely required. To achieve this, we have been putting our feet up and indulging in some lazy Sunday listening sessions, aided by some fantastic record re-issues. One of us jumped aboard the great unstoppable music bandwagon thanks to some great artistry and direction for a live music video. We both have unashamedly been overexposing ourselves to this fortnight’s tracks and we’re already stacking songs for the next mix.

The two of Elba that bring you Eleven have been bullying the other into listening to whatever each is excited about for more years than we’d care to count now. Well, I bully. Phil is patient and understanding when three weeks after he told me about a band I appear sporting a band tee or tote, demanding we go to see them on whatever dreary, rain-sodden Glasgow weeknight they might be playing. These mixtapes are turning into an endless and beautiful discussion for Elba and have us appreciating music both near and far. Hopefully they will fall on open ears.

Just Handshakes – London Bound 

Phil: I have a really bad habit of storing up music, be it things that were sent to me, or stuff that I buy. Months will go past before I remember I have it. That happened with this track, well, the whole single. I acquired it on I forget who’s recommendation but it’s bloody good and to be quite honest would have been ideal in the warm summer months. It’s sweet indie pop at it’s very best. And being that it’s November, the band are giving away their track of the same name free, for the rest of the month.

La Sera – Please Be My Third Eye 

Kim: Elba’s love of Kickball Katy Goodman should be no mystery.  La Sera have stolen and broken our hearts on a previous mixtape. We’ve been charmed by her tour photos and updates over the course of their current US tour.  I’d advise following Katy on whatever online stalking means that you prefer to accompany a listen of her sophomore pop-punk singalong. I’ve returned to Sees The Light and have been bopping about my flat (in the fashion of dance trendsetter Greta Gerwig) with a gigantic grin on my face.

Poor Things – Morgan 

Kim: Phil would probably be better to put across his thoughts on Morgan as his reaction to it has just been lovely. Poor Things are a Glasgow indie jangly pop-rock trio that invoke the spirit of Steven Malkmus and Teenage Fanclub. The upbeat guitars and melodic vocals have won us completely. Those chorus ‘ooohs’ and that guitar break just tip this track into the ‘on constantly’ (aka mixtape) pile.  Poor Things play 13th Note on 20th November. 

Monoganon – Best Pals 

Phil: It struck me the other week that we’re all going to start trying to pick our albums of the year again soon. This year has flown by, it feels like it wasn’t that long since I did last year’s and now that merry-go-round is imminent again. It’s often quite easy, on early listens to a really good album, to proclaim it as probably one of the albums of the year, but I really think with Family, Monoganon have nailed it. It’s certainly going to be right up there on many peoples lists. And with tracks like this, why the hell not?

Blood Relatives – A Murder Of Crows 

Phil: I have been waiting impatiently for this album to be released for a very long time and I’m pleased to report that when it arrived it had all the indie-folk-pop hooks that I could have wanted. Pretty much every song is memorable and this one reminds me a bit of Sons and Daughters. I think it’s the ‘oh oh ohhhhhhhhhhs…’. Blood Relatives play RBS Museum Lates in Edinburgh tonight.

Siobhan Wilson – Laugh Or Die 

Phil: There are some tracks I find hard to write about. There’s not much I can say about this one other than I was completely and utterly smitten the first time I heard it and I still love it more each time I hear it. In fact, I think me and this track will just get a room.

Mogwai – Remurdered 

Kim: I’ve already dedicated a post to this track. It was my musical highlight of last week. Mogwai continue their ingenious trail through music with first offering off of next year’s The Rave Tapes. That three minute mark is joyous. I will leave it at that before I turn into a squealing fan-girl. 

David Bowie – Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA) 

Kim: The David Bowie Love Is Lost remix is finally available for ownership.  I have abused the Soundcloud of this track since it was revealed in October. This is not a track that should require any further exposure but I would be amiss not to include it on this mixtape.  DFA hero and centre of the shining  LCD Soundsystem (we miss you!) disco ball James Murphy honours the great Steve Reich via handclap in his remix of David Bowie song Love Is Lost.  It sounds like something that could never top its description. Guess what? Yup. So, if I manage to play a part in bringing this mix to just one more person in the world, I’ll be happy. Despacio, the custom built soundsystem made and helmed by Mr Murphy and 2manydjs, is setting up in London late December. Oh!  How I wish I were going.

I Made You A Mixtape…Eleven by Elbasessions on Mixcloud

Field Music (the venue, not the band)

Please note that I love Field Music (the band) but today I choose to talk about the sport of enjoying music out on a vast grassy space. Here there would be a lovely photo of some grass but apparently uploading images is threatening to overheat my crank-powered macbook. Hi ho.

The summer months prompt sensory nostalgia for me. There is a late evening sun, which at the right point has a glow that will ever remind me of a day running about amidst a war with water. I was quite the trooper at seven years of age. Armed with my fifty pence squirt gun, I took out an array of enemies from Aunt, to Nana, to Sister in the rose-edged quadrangle of battlefield to be conquered. Alas, my hopes plunged from vast heights that day, like the full pot of cold water that my cousin dunked over my head with her foot of advantage. I felt such a sun-induced headiness of heroism, which was quickly replaced with the sobering chill of being soaked to the bone; a fitting parallel to the fading haze of a cooling summer night.

Over the last week the temperature has fluctuated and the threatening clouds linger to punctuate the ‘Scottish summer’ . This transports me elsewhere, into not a single memory but an amassed and inseparable collection of experience. There is a smell from drying disturbed grass that appears in, yet feels so displaced within, the city. It is that of fresh and still air that I associate with the first draw of breath in the waking hours of a festival. That cleansing inhalation provides resuscitation after the Antipodean experience of an overheated or frozen night in a tent (there is rarely ground between these opposing extremes), whilst your body retaliates against your mild poisoning of it with copious amounts of… whatever. This is the scent and taste of being ready to start anew.

Scotland’s festivals are providing grounds that could be the potential for either of the above summers. If, like the man at the helm of Elba, you have a child or, like myself, you are still mentally a child there are festivals such as The Kelburn Garden Party that promise fine music, food, drink and adventures that cater to a generous age range. Their musical agenda is to the left but they have opted for fun and friendly. The line up shouts summer party – you know that back garden barbecue kind – with Mr Scruff and Trojan Soundsystem headlining their Viewpoint stage. They have a roster of funk, reggae, electro and plonky guitars that would have me basking delightfully with a craft ale of local origin in hand. As for the family friendly element, Kelburn boasts adventure assault courses, a falconry and secret woodland trails. The premiering event is set within the reachable location of Kelburn Castle, near Largs on the 6th and 7th of July.

The Insider returns to Inshriach House in Aviemore this weekend, kicking off on the 21st of June with a line up that I want to cuddle. I do. I just want to grab ahold of it and snuggle right in. Excuse the list-mania that’s about to follow but it’s the most simple way to announce my joy and not spend hours proclaiming the talent and value of the artists involved. With a deep breath and great honour, I would like to rattle off the following: Washington Irving, Sparrow and the Workshop, Matthew Herbert, Miaoux Miaoux, Randolph’s Leap, Karine Polwart, Paws, Super Adventure Club, Stealing Sheep, Blood Relatives. That’s barely the bulk! It’s a line up that is evocative of an alternative and folk craft and will call to a sub-sect of listener. There’s a good balance of softness and punch across the weekend. Then there’s the food. Oh, the food. More listing(!): The Painting School, Harajuku Kitchen, Wild Rover Food, Artisan Roast, SMOAK, Woodburns Pizza, Inshriach Cake Shop and The Travelling Tearoom. Go and peruse the site for more details on the artists and food and no doubt you’ll be booking a last minute ticket.

Doune The Rabbit Hole has absolutely no filler. In my eyes, it is the leanest festival there is. It is the Venison of festivals. Clinic and The Pastels, whose new album Slow Summits is tickling the inner ears of we at Elba, sell this weekend at Cardross Estate alone. With a billing that boasts, for instance, Alasdair Roberts, Meursault and Rozi Plain on top of this, I find myself willing to follow any rabbit ‘Doune’ any hole for such listening privilege providing its timekeeping is adequate. If you can’t make it along to that on the 22nd to 25th August there is a nifty little tour a(rabbits)foot. Doune presents The Music Tapes featuring Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel on four stops with some varied support slots. It commences on the 22nd at Nice ‘N’ Sleazy with Eagleowl’s lo-fi providing warm up.

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We are spoiled in Scotland. The above, I would hope, will go some ways to helping you to remember that we are surrounded by nature, by our preserved historical grounds, by our ceaseless and unrelenting talent and by excellent product that is all within arm’s reach. I find myself reflecting on it every time it stops raining.

 

*In your face laptop: I can still link to photos!