Tag Archive for 'Scotland'

AlmostAGhost’s Top Albums Of 2012: #4. Trembling Bells & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – The Marble Downs

ferrari in a demolition derby

intractable and bad for your health

This, I believe, is essentially a Trembling Bells record–they wrote and performed almost everything, but the addition of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy as a singer on the songs is quite cool. Trembling Bells’ singer is like the opposite of Billy–soaring British female vocals mix with Billy’s earthy Americana voice. And together, they bring an edge to their swirling mad folk sound to these songs about beauty and destruction and destructive beauty and beautiful destruction.

Trembling Bells & Bonnie Prince Billy – Every Time I Close My Eyes (We’re Back There)

Trembling Bells & Bonnie Prince Billy “I Can Tell You’re Leaving”

- almostaghost

AlmostAGhost’s Best Albums Of 2010 – #24. Frightened Rabbit – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks

Frightened Rabbit - The Winter Of Mixed Drinks

am I a man or a bag of sand?

#24. Frightened Rabbit – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks

The Winter Of Mixed Drinks
is a sharp album, by the severely underrated Frightened Rabbit. Frightened Rabbit is a band from Scotland, who have turned out a few consistently great albums already. Their music sounds a bit like shoegaze, but if it were more upbeat and happy. Is there such a thing as happy shoegaze music? That’s probably an oxymoron. But Frightened Rabbit uses the waves of guitar and keyboards from shoegaze, and adds dramatic swells, upbeat momentum, clever harmony vocals. It’s a great sound. At first listen, they can sound like a typical indie garage band, but there really is much more going on which rewards repeated listens.

Similarly, Scott Hutchison (Frightened Rabbit’s lyricist) explores the usual shoegaze areas, but in a more optimistic way. He can explore the dark corners of loneliness and depression as well as anyone, but never does it in a hopeless or bleak way. Most of the tracks on Mixed Drinks seem to encompass a longing to move on, trying to recreate yourself. There is a lot of existential figuring-things-out (“am I dancing? Or simply spinning in my own grave?” and “are you a man or a bag of sand?” for example). At the same time, the ideas of escape and rebirth show up throughout the album, which adds slivers of hope to the sadness. Near the end of the album (“Living In Colour”), he seems to even find his way out, even if momentarily: “but as the night started swallowing / you pulled the blood to my blue lip / forced the life through still veins / filled my heart with red again.”

Here’s a couple of tracks:

Frightened Rabbit – “Nothing Like You”

Frightened Rabbit “Not Miserable”

- almostaghost