Into Music Reviews: More New Music Sept/Oct 2023
Into Creative have the proverbial spring in our step at the moment, thanks in no small part to another bunch of poptastic tunes that have fair tickled our ears this past couple of weeks. But what are they? Well reader, do read on, see what we say then go dig out the tracks. Guaranteed you won’t be disappointed and if you are, then you are clearly dead from the neck up!!
Single: Unequal Division
Label: Last Night From Glasgow
We don’t do a Single of the Week over here at IC towers but if we did, Unequal Division by Quad90 would take the honours hands down. BBC Scotland’s Afternoon Show bestowed this as their Single of the Week and it’s easy to see why. This is the follow up to the wonderfully funky Le Blank and sees the band deliver another assured, confident track that exudes gorgeous melodies, harmonies and a slightly harder edged sound than on their debut release.
The star of the show here is the seamless inter-connectivity between the vocals and the music, complementing each other, not overbearing and with a solid production that allows the track its own space (and pace) on what is, put simply, an absolute earworm.
Quad90 are Amelia Lironi and Naomi Mackay and formed after meeting at music college. They are currently working on their debut album, recording at Green Door Studios in Glasgow. On the basis of the two tracks released to date, there is much to look forward to here. Definitely a band to watch out for.
EPs: John Peel Sessions 14.10.95 & 16.06.96
Label: Precious Recordings of London
Now, cards on the table time. Bis were a band I just could not get into when they were at their pomp in the mid to late 1990s. Personal choice I guess and as with some other bands and artists over the years, I’ve revisited and changed my mind a few times (though not always). Bis fall into the former category, in no small part due to Music For Animations release on Last Night Form Glasgow a couple of years ago. Taking stock, I discovered a band who can switch seamlessly from pop punk to indie to electro disco.
Precious Records of London have managed to source two excellent sessions the band did for John Peel and these recordings speak to the listener, encapsulating the band and capturing the zeitgeist on 10″ of vinyl here. The October 1995 session sees an early recording of Kandy Pop which simply explodes with Manda Rin’s urgency whereas Teen-C Power has a more straightforward indie rocker feel and with joint vocal sparring between Sci-Fi Steven and John Disco, which works well.
It’s worth pointing out that the band were all teenagers when recording these sessions and although there is only eight months between them, there is a definite difference between the two. The latter sees the band more adept, confident and expanding their sound though still retaining those pop sensibilities that come through on the October 1995 recording. Rebel Soul has cool planetary keyboard beeps that delve into The B-52s sound and why not, right? The closing We Love John Peel is great, ninety seconds, or so, of homage to the king of indie radio.
Artist: The Radio Field
LP: Don’ts and Dos
Label: Subjangle Records
Stick on the first track Clover and if you don’t instantly like it, have a word with yourself, and play it again. This is straight up jangle pop, guitar motifs a-go-go, harmonies and melodies and gentle vocals that soothe the soul. After you’ve played Clover twice (it’s that good), the chances are you’ll do the same with the rockier Valhalla which has an annoyingly brilliant riff to it.
There has to be a dip though, surely? Nope, next up is Other One which features the textured vocals of Phantom Handshakes and it’s achingly tremulous. The Radio Field are a Dusseldorf based outfit, the brainchild of Lars Schmidt (ex of Subterfuge).
Disorder is a grander, bolder, skyscraping tower of a song that hints at slacker, shoegaze and indie warmth. The type of track many of those bands in the 90’s tried to pull off and, why they might have had the look behind their raybans and floppy hair, not many had a tune of this calibre.
Quite frankly I could extol the virtues of every song on his album. There is variety at every turn. Each track surprises (pleasantly) and at thirty-two minutes for ten tracks, it’s lean, rich and perfectly formed. The Radio Field have delivered a flawless album here and it is one that deserves to be heard far and wide. So what you waiting for?
Head over to The Radio Field Bandcamp page here for more on the album and the band.