Spectorbullets is the latest project from ex Fire Engines/WIN multi-instrumentalist, Russell Burn, and NYC-based Swedish singer/songwriter, Gustaf Heden.
Featuring contributions from fellow leftfield pop aficionados, Davy Henderson (Fire Engines/WIN/The Nectarine No.9/The Sexual Objects), Malcolm Ross (Josef K/Orange Juice/Aztec Camera) and the last vocal performance from musician, writer and visionary poet Paul Reekie, who sadly took his own life in June this year, this debut album is bristling with off-kilter pop nuggets with no obvious precedent - it is a magnificent combination of the old and the new, the familiar and the unfamiliar.
A tumultuous collaboration between erstwhile Fire Engine and Win member Russell Burn, and singer-songwriter Gustaf Heden, this debut album has to be heard.
More info at http://www.myspace.com/gustafhedennoises
Wake The President
Glasgow art-pop melodists Wake the President are a striking proposition.
There's the visual element of course - groups helmed by identical twins are a rarity - but there's also the vintage union of literate-pop (Felt, The Monochrome Set, Orange Juice) and exploratory alt-rock (The Wedding Present, Yo La Tengo). There's the alliance of vocalist / songwriter Erik Sandberg's erudite wordplay and expressive vocals with his twin brother Bjorn's incandescent guitar hooks and melodies. There's the unification of DIY credo and radio-friendly indie-pop.
Wake the President introduced themselves as learned peddlers of independent Scottish pop with their debut album, You Can't Change That Boy, in 2009. It reaped plaudits and support from NME, Radio 1, Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and XFM (who named it as one of their Top 50 albums in 2009). It also sold out of its limited run on Glasgow's Electric Honey Records - the legendary Stow College student-run imprint whose alumni includes Belle & Sebastian, Biffy Clyro and Snow Patrol.
Now WTP are set to return with a remarkable second album, Zumutung!, in September. Recorded at Glasgow's celebrated Chem 19 studios and produced by Paul Savage (Franz Ferdinand, King Creosote, The Phantom Band), Zumutung! is darker, more experimental and more anthemic than its predecessor but, as ever with WTP, the brooding poetic undertow is countered by ebullient tunes.
The Sandberg twins remain based in Glasgow, but travel and displacement had a bearing on the Zumutung! aesthetic. 'When I wrote the album I was splitting my time between Glasgow and London,' muses Erik of its genesis. 'The Mega-Bus provided plenty of time for catching up on the Zola or Camus novels that I'd amassed, and I actually wrote [lambent post-punk aria] 'In Youth, There is Pleasure' and [alt-rock romantic exodus] 'This is New' in a poxy bed-sit in Hackney.'
While Zumutung! is entrenched in literature, counter-culture and philosophy - and while its themes of love, loss, obsession and hope are as universal as its melodies - Zumutung! is musically and lyrically signposted by WTP's home city. 'I cycle through Glasgow's Clyde Tunnel every day' says Erik, a tireless seeker of new ideas and inspiration. 'It's a great place for stealing lyrics from the graffiti…'
This appreciation for counter-culture is at the heart of Wake the President's charms. It's in their association with Glasgow DIY uprising We Can Still Picnic, their love of Postcard, heavy vinyl, pamphleteering and graffiti. It's in their visionary, vintage indie-pop that's fighting fit for our dancing feet, and our curious minds, and our fragile hearts.
More info at http://www.myspace.com/wakethepresidentband
Advance tickets £6 stbf from Ripping Records, Tickets Scotland. Buy online here. Over 18 only.