Track Review: Motion – Of The Night

By Kieran Cannon (@kiercannon)

Scotland has something of a pedigree when it comes to post-punk. Two prominent indie labels, Fast Product in the capital and Glasgow’s Postcard Records, formed during the peak years of the movement spanning the late 70’s/early 80’s, not to mention a wealth of acts including Simple Minds and Cocteau Twins. It comes as no surprise, then, that some of the most compelling artists to emerge from the country in recent years happen to fall under that very same banner.

Enter Motion. The Edinburgh-based psych rock outfit proudly wear their influences on their sleeves, bonding over a shared love of The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Stone Roses. Make no mistake though, they’re out to forge their own legacy. Last year’s Motion EP relied rather heavily on the shoegaze template but it demonstrated plenty of promise and featured some solid tracks, particularly Everything – a marriage between Kitchens of Distinction’s wall of sound and the ominous basslines of Peter Hook.

Their latest single Of The Night isn’t a radical departure from the EP; instead, it’s a subtle evolution, one which begins to take them in a new direction. They’ve cleaned up the production, scaled down the reverb and in the process managed to set themselves down the path towards establishing their own sound. The vocal delivery is reserved, perhaps borderline deadpan, yet the guitar is summery and infectiously upbeat, meshing together to create a satisfying contrast of textures.

All three musicians are adept at laying down the foundations of a track, this much has been apparent since last year’s material – engaging melodies and tight drumming. Of The Night signals their first conspicuous effort to go further and introduce more diversity, more developments in between choruses. It always helps to have a killer riff to bounce off, though, and Band’s is truly an earworm; it’s safe to say it will hang around in your memory for a good while. One point worth mentioning is that, although not necessarily a negative, the lyrics are relatively straightforward. With time, though, their songwriting will surely continue to develop and greater expression will follow suit.

Album Review: Turnover – Good Nature

By Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr)

The promise of change in music can be a double edged sword. There’s the obvious benefit of keeping your audience interested and further expanding it with each venture into a new sound but there’s also the con of shooting yourself in the foot by taking baby steps towards progression. 

So when dream pop colossus Turnover made the claim that they’d “definitely keep changing things up” in an interview with DIY, it was the natural reaction to take their words with a pinch of salt – hell, some of the bands who, in their own words, “keep putting out the same kind of record every few years” were the very ones they supported on tour which would make anyone a bit apprehensive.

On Good Nature, though, a breath of fresh air can be taken as brushing shoulders with these acts hasn’t had any detrimental effect on the band’s work. Turnover’s modus operandi has always been change – just take a look at the stark contrast between their debut record Magnolia and follow up Peripheral Vision, the former swimming in the emo/pop-punk water while the latter was submerged in surreal, lush sounds though still carrying a few elements of their old style. Even the subtle touches on their third LP seem to stem from things being different: over the course of the past year or so, front-man Austin Getz has turned vegan as well as moved in with his partner into unknown territory.

The new location seems to have definitely taken its tole on the album as from the get go, the sun drenched Californian intoxication one can imagine radiates from every song’s sanded down, smooth surface. Much like its accompanying music video, Super Natural feels like a blurry natural romp, surrounded by radiant guitars and lightly washed out vocals. The lyrical content also feels positively more upbeat: in Turnover of old, even the song titles felt pessimistic (e.g Cutting My Fingers Off) but even the hook on here contradicts the old melancholy laced lines, “I found my religion/ when nothing was ahead of us/ that week in California” touching on inner peace and a feeling of tranquillity backed up by the instrumentals.

These moments of blissfulness aren’t limited to the tracks they appear on. There’s a running theme throughout Good Nature of connecting with ones self and those around them, no doubt having an impact on the album’s title – “I could just take a little bit less/
I could just take it slow and be here now for a moment” utters Gets on Living Small, a seemingly self aware reference to the psychedelia both this album and their sophomore record have delivered in bucket-loads.

A simpler way of living and loving, no doubt originating from Getz’s new lifestyle, is reiterated on both Living Small as well as All That It Ever Was which precedes it. Starting off with an acoustic intro before evolving into another fluttery, bright instrumental, the start starts to dig into a wider social commentary about success and hard work. It points to an act moving on from being solely introspective to deliver a message and while blissful guitars may distract you, listen a bit more and you’ll find something that’ll resonate.

That’s not to say that Getz and co. have totally shaken off any sorrow that intrigued us on previous records. Breeze, one of the standout tracks Good Nature has to offer, is a not too subtle song about heartbreak though one that seems to touch upon the reality TV spectacles that many social media platforms seem to display: “they all want to see a show, everyone’s talking about it but they don’t know” all but confirms this, implying a situation that many will be all too familiar with.

Good Nature is an utterly gorgeous records that thankfully makes good on the promise of change by Turnover. While some songs may be a bit indistinguishable from the other sound-wise, each track is worth listening to just for the band’s ramblings about everyday-life and their new optimistic mind-set. Knowing this band, the dream-like work won’t last forever so  just allow yourself to float amongst the shoe-gazy tidings while they’re around.

8/10

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Track Review: Winter – Jaded

By Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr

While we may not be able to empathise with musicians when it comes to playing to a crowd full of hundreds of your fans or the riches that comes along with it, there’s at least one thing that makes these icons a bit more human: boredom. Just like anyone with a 9-5 job or who is stuck in the repetitive loop that is education, the lack of enthusiasm that doing something repeatedly brings is something that can bring us all together. 

This is where Samira Winter‘s project Winter rolls on in with their aptly named new single Jaded, a track soaked in an undeniable 90’s aesthetic that even after the track is finished, you’ll still feel drenched in its influences. The fuzzy guitars and use of distortion-lite gives the feeling of what Weezer experimented with briefly for two records before singing about pork and beans and the production itself feels inherently based in that decade, probably due to the fact it’s headed by Lewis Pesacov who is known for helping FIDLAR achieve that nostalgic surf rock sound.

There’s also a surprising force in the works in the form of the Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger starring cult classic 10 Things I Hate About You which isn’t all that surprising considering the critical tone that can be felt from Winter’s beautiful vocals: “you woke up late, it’s not your fault, time isn’t real for you” starts Jaded off and immediately gets you into this state of mind of not only being void of caring but not even being able to acknowledge that you’re doing so. Winter‘s singing blends effortlessly into the fuzzy, dream pop guitars and results in a gorgeous blend of shoegazey bubblegum pop that you’ll find yourself addicted to after your first taste.

8/10

WINTER TOUR DATES
06/23 Exit/In – Nashville, TN *with Surfer Blood
06/24 Saturn Birmingham – Birmingham, AL *with Surfer Blood
06/25 Park Tavern in Piedmont Park – Atlanta, GA *with Surfer Blood
06/26 The Patio – Orlando, FL *w Boogarins
06/27 New World Brewery – Tampa, FL *w Boogarins
06/29 Rudyards – Houston, TX
06/30 Limelight – San Antonio, TX
07/01 Bistro 501 – El Paso, TX


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Track Review: Motion – I Can Hear You Coming Closer

By Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr

Chucking indie rock , dream pop and shoegaze into their filthy little cauldron, the Edinburgh based act Motion have finally came out their chambers to deliver their latest single I Can Hear You Coming, a track that is set to appear on their yet to be titled debut EP.

The band have been relatively quiet info, whether or not this is intentional or not is yet to be seen, with the only thing known about them is that they’re comprised of former Kitch members Paul Band and Robbie Thompson as well as Lee Shand. While they may be scare on details, their music does a fine job of speaking for Motion with I Can Hear… kicking off with an unmistakable Dandy Warhols meets DIIV vibe radiating off this glitzy, submerged intro.

https://soundcloud.com/motionmusichq/i-can-hear-you-coming-closer-1

As the track proceeds, the aforementioned shoegaze influence becomes more and more prevalent with the vocals just about being distinguishable from the tide of synths and effects that are going on alongside. Instrumentally, everything does the job just fine and carries the track over its 3 minutes and 33 seconds (pretty specific, I know) running time nicely though not much progression is made with things starting off just as they started – not so much a complaint, rather an observation that some might point out.

Overall, Motion make a more than decent attempt at putting their foot in the door and joining the shoegaze/dream pop hybrid that is slowly becoming more apparent in the Scottish music scene. Here’s hoping that as the band start to find their groove and settle in, further experimentation can be implemented to truly give their sound some oomph. 

6/10


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