Into Music Reviews: New Music December 2022
We are almost at the excruciating point of back to back Christmas tuneage on the radio and TV in the run up to the big day but fear not pop pickers! Into Creative will help you navigate through that bullshit by heading you in the direction of some great new songs that have come to our attention, so do read on…
Artist: Gerry Son & The Smokin’ Gun
Single: Slainte Mhath
Hot from their fantastic show at the recent Vibrations Festival, Stirling band Gerry Son & The Smokin’ Gun are back with the truly wonderful single, Slainte Mhath. It’s a bit of a departure for the band and leans more to folk punk, with a nod to songwriters like MacGowan and Moore. The track demands to be listened to with a glass in hand and friends at your side reminiscing about times long gone and family and pals no more, yet still looking forward to life and all it bring.s Whether good, bad or indifferent.
However, and here is the thing, it’s also a charity single in aid of Strathcarron Hospice, a place that most reading this will know. I have had both family and friends experience end of life palliative care in the hospice and I can’t speak highly enough of it. The hospice has to raise, through public donations, £115,000 per day, just to keep the show on the road. It’s run by angels in my opinion. So please, if you do one good thing this Christmas, buy the single and enjoy the song knowing you’ve made a small but vital contribution to help support Strathcarron Hospice.
Artist: Hamish Hawk
Single: Angel Numbers
Label: Post Electric
There is no doubt that Hamish Hawk is on a fast track to bigger and better things and little wonder. Sometimes that’s as a result of an artist making commercial compromises with their art but there is no way that accusation would stick here.
Last album Heavy Elevator landed significant critical acclaim for the Edinburgh artist and the early singles from the hotly anticipated new album Angel Numbers (released 3 February 2023) have already blown any doubts into touch. The album’s self-titled new single is another example, Hawk’s angular, awkward approach, a style all of his own, his vocals defiant, yet triumphant, while the band are tight as f##k behind him.
Hawk is an artist impossible to pigeonhole. Different, unique and a thoroughly welcome alternative to much of what we see in the music biz. With an appearance lined up for the magical Rockaway Beach festival in early January and a headline U.K. tour from February, now is the time to jump aboard the Hamish Hawk bandwagon. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Check out the Hamish Hawk website here to keep up to date with the new album and upcoming tour dates.
Artist: Orbital (feat. Mediaeval Baebes)
Single: Ringa Ringa (The Old Pandemic Folk Song)
Label: Orbital Recordings Ltd/London Records
Never thought I would see the day that Orbital would release a folk song but here it is! Or is it? Well, it’s not a folk song in the strictest sense as there are plenty of breaks and beats that Phil and Paul Hartnoll are known for, but behind those dub acid lines, there is a dreamy vocal based on the Ring a Ring o’ Roses nursery rhyme/folk song which harbours a darker secret.
It’s cleverly done and is a forerunner of the new album (their 10th) Optical Delusion which is scheduled for release on 17 February 2023 and will feature a number of exciting collaborators.
Of course, nothing, as always, is as it seems. Dig under the surface and you’ll recall that particular nursery rhyme was about the Black Death and the reinterpretation here centres on the pandemic. Paul Hartnoll had this to say about the track “It was a track made in the pandemic and I felt a real pull to use the vocal from Ring a Ring o’ Roses, the original pandemic song from the Middle Ages. It made me feel a connection with all those who suffered before without the help of our modern technology. The music reflects the modern world while The Mediaeval Baebes vocals take us to the times it has happened before, an old song becomes relevant again“.
For more details on the album, head over to the Orbital website here.
Artist: Swim School
Single: Kill You
Label: LAB Records Ltd
The Edinburgh trio only released their debut EP just over a year ago in August 2021 but since then they’ve came a long way in a short time. It helps of course that they have tunes in abundance. Hitting on euphoric, bold, yet at times, brittle tracks, singer Alice Johnson’s vocals on new number Kill You help the song ride the waves against a backdrop of sweeping guitars and atmospheric drums.
The band have been in the studio with Iain Berryman (Wolf Alice, Florence & the Machine) and the result is a superb track, polished, yet still retaining enough rough edges to provide that authentic sound so many bands crave.
Johnson said of the track, “Kill You is about being in love and wanting to spend the rest of your life with someone. It’s about the confidence you feel when you are in a good relationship and you feel comfortable enough to show your true self. I didn’t want it to be your stereotypical love song, which is why I chose the title Kill You, it’s funny feeling vulnerable whilst writing a song about vulnerability.”
Without doubt, one of the brightest prospects on the Scottish new music scene, Swim School are one to keep an eye on for 2023.
Artist: Primal Scream & Dexys
Single: Enough Is Enough
We live in a time where the current bastard Tory government are hellbent on fucking over the workers and don’t give a damn for a regular wage, fair pay, fair terms and conditions, equality, where we see the reduction of human rights, the blind obsession on “delivering” Brexit, normalizing food banks and the continual punishment of those who dare to claim benefits is seen as a stain on their society, their (im)morals, driven by greed, capitalism and a continual and unerring drive to a right wing agenda supported by a right wing media.
But, we see University/teachers, hospital staff, airport workers, highway workers, Royal Mail and perhaps at the forefront, our railway workers striking (back) for what they rightly deserve.
To support this, Primal Scream and Dexys have released the single Enough Is Enough (with video produced by ex Jesus & Mary Chain’s Douglas Hart) and it hits the mark and then some. It’s lyrics sends a clear and unequivocal message to the government that this is not good enough, we won’t go away and we are all in it together. As more industries and workers become disgruntled at the lack of support during a cost of living crisis and beyond, the unity this endears will help the wider cause.
All proceeds from the track will go towards supporting the RMT Union dispute fund. Of the track, Dexys Kevin Rowland said “It is clear to millions that something is very wrong when millionaires get ever richer while workers are told to accept poverty. As we say in the song, the media sets out to confuse people with lies and divide us with side issues like Brexit and culture wars while all we are really getting is endless austerity and cuts. We are saying enough is enough“.
You can buy the single and support the RMT workers via the Bandcamp page here.