As a fortnightly mixtape, we’ve found ourselves getting rather giddy days before we actually publish this post, and it’s because we’re so eager to share it. Isn’t that the point of a mixtape after all? Over the past few weeks we’ve been once again immersing ourselves in the latest sounds to come our way as we prepare for the weekend of gigging which is actually, already underway. Miaoux Miaoux last night, Pixies tonight and Shellac tomorrow, but for now, here’s our latest mix.
Book Group – Victory Lap
Phil: Gerry Loves Records have been quite a launchpad for artists over the last few years and I’d expect their latest release, a double A side from Edinburgh based Book Group, to lead on to bigger things for the band. The release comprises of two catchy as you like indie pop tunes which truth being told, I struggled to choose between for this mixtape. I’ve plumped with opener, and live favourite, Victory Lap, a rousing slacker-ish rock track which has had me humming the chorus in my head since I set my ears on it. The AA side is released on Nov 25th and they play a couple of launch shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh next week, details here.
Frightened Rabbit – The Modern Leper 
Phil: I mentioned the gigs which we are headed to this weekend. Last weekend however, there were a plethora of ‘epic rawk n roll’ shows going on in Glasgow, very few of which had tickled our fancy. However, I couldn’t help but have pangs of jealousy as I saw the tweets come in about the Frightened Rabbit gig at the Academy. I would have dearly loved to have been there and seen them open with Holy, before moving on to this one, The Modern Leper, from 2008’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’.
The Nightingales – The Book of Right On [DOWNLOAD]
Kim: Last week something marvellous happened. The Nightingales, who I like to think of as the band who just keep coming back for more, made a song available for free download. The track they decided to gift to all was a cover of Joanna Newsom’s The Book of Right-On. What has been delivered is, I think, a really interesting study into how songs are perceived. I’m a huge fan of Newsom and I’ve had many conversations over whether her music is accessible and with how difficult people find her song-structure. In this rendition, there is so little melodic deviation from the original track and yet it feels like a song that’s too straightforward for The Nightingales. The lower register of the harp is used as a rooting bass line for this playful incarnation and the verses are so charming with the little percussive flares. Grab this one here and give the two a play, side by side.
Woven Tents – Kids In The Park 
Phil: Woven Tents are a band I know very little about but they provide one of the many excellent tracks which make up Dirty Beard Monthly’s first compilation. ‘Kids In The Park’ is a fuzzy psychadelic trip through jazz and rock and is the ideal buffer for the tracks which follow on the compilation, which you can download, for free! This track is taken from the recently released ‘Leave Your Monsters At Home‘ EP.
Water of Life – Liquid City/The Shellycoat 
Phil: Water of Life is a collaboration between musician Rob St.John and artist Tommy Perman (ex-FOUND) and is probably one of the most fascinating projects I’ve seen. The tracks were inspired and made by exploring the natural and unnatural water flows throughout Edinburgh. I can’t quite do the project justice here, but really, go, look, enjoy, wonder and immerse yourself in the website they’ve put together. There’s field recordings, some fantastic photography and words about their expeditions and I’ve already lost a fair few evenings getting lost in it all. Oh, and there’s a sound map. I.am.in.heaven.
‘Water of Life’ is released on December 9th as a Ltd Ed 7″ folio, including a 7″, essays and prints as well as a digital download of the tracks.
Miaoux Miaoux – Stop The Clocks 
Kim: This month the ListLive event in Stereo, which Elba are this very day recovering from, provided their platform to Chemikal Underground dance darling Miaoux Miaoux. Julian Corrie’s dreamy indie-electro music arrived last year on debut album Light of the North, which very deservedly made its way onto the Scottish Album of the Year longlist. Stop The Clocks is a song that pulls back from his playful electro-pop into something more emotional. As set closer it really cemented itself as a pivotal number. It opens on ringing fingerpicked electric guitar and a muted beat. Julian’s voice is soft and pure here but his little percussive breaths break in and let you know that this song is not what you thought it was going to be. When the synth appears it causes a great swell of breath to the lungs. This track is not overcomplicated in scoring. It does what it needs to. When the instrumental breaks it is time to dance, all the way to the crescendo and then through it, into the light.
Jo Mango – When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree 
Kim: Female artists telling grand stories are a great weakness of mine. Jo Mango’s upcoming EP When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree is a delicate weave of tales; threading myth, the mystical and the grim(m). After an early morning listen, I marked it as this year’s whimsical winter music. There will be nothing better than navigating icy paths to these sparkling tracks. The scoring on this title track is sparse to begin with and her voice is so fragile that you are left feeling vulnerable. The chorus is a pain-stricken mourning of the loss of a home and hideaway. By the time the sound fleshes out, you may very well be reduced to tears. When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree is being released by the lovely people over at Olive Grove Records on the 2nd December and Jo Mango plays The Glad Cafe on 14th December. She will also be appearing on the delectable Olive Grove label showcase in the Oran Mor on the 26th January as part of Celtic Connections.
Casual Sex – Soft School
Kim: Up and coming Casual Sex are back on home soil after a long and hard spell on the road supporting Franz Ferdinand. The Bastard Beat EP launch is tonight in Nice N Sleazy with support from noise monsters Halfrican and dirty synth duo Ubre Blanca. I’m a little bit obsessed with the Ubre track Taxed. It would be the perfect score to Snake Plissken’s Escape From Glasgow. I don’t think Kurt Russell would make it out alive. Picking a track of the headliner for this mix was a fucking good job to do. Casual Sex have amassed a tight little package of heavy surf-rock. There’s no wistfulness here, just jaggy 80s rock fitting for the titular act. Soft School was the b-side on the Stroh 80 single released earlier this year. Did I miss any innuendo?
Shellac – Canada
Kim: This weekend, Phil and myself have both opted for all out nostalgia with our gig choices. Where Phil will be listening to the sounds of Black Francis and his merry men (literally as, alas, there will be no Kim Deal – a deal breaker, personally), I will be off to SWG3 to be ear bashed by Shellac [of North America]. Shellac seem to illicit mad cackles from me. Their minimalist rock is unrelenting and it instills a craziness in my mood. Canada fits into what has become the place on the song list for my indulgent track. This is the track that will make no sense anywhere else on the mix so it gets jammed on at the end BECAUSE I LOVE IT and it just MUST be on the mix! I can think of only one other artist who might surpass the closing artists on these last three mixtapes for all out gushing. I wonder if I will find some tenuous reason to work them into a future mixtape. Watch this space.