Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Sounds of Scotland: Bwani Junction, Astral Planes, Wake the President

For its size, Scotland has a very large music scene. The focal point is Glasgow, which has produced Orange Juice, Primal Scream, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Texas and, more recently, Snow Patrol, Franz Ferdinand, Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Twilight Sad, Glasvegas and others. But Edinburgh has a vibrant music scene as well.

The focus here is on bands unlikely to have had any airplay in the states, and may not even be signed to a label.

The first band is Bwani Junction, from Edinburgh. Yes, they are named after the old Hollywood movie of the same name. I'm not sure whether bands enjoy having bloggers comment on possible influences, or at least bands with similarities, but it inescapably comes with the territory. One potential touchstone is Vampire Weekend, but I submit that the boys could have just as well listened to West African 70s psych bands on their own. At times they also sound like a good Seattle band called Minus the Bear.

Website: Bwani Junction Myspace
Facebook: Bwani Junction Facebook

"Two Bridges" is my favorite of the Bwani Junction songs to which I've listened, but I like the others as well. Try out "Goodnight Grievo" and "Bianco" on the Myspace page. Their Facebook page has some videos.

At this point Bwani Junction isn't fully cooked, but it is a band with a lot of potential. I may try to kick someone at Sub Pop to give them a look.

The next band is a Glasgow band with a harder edge. They are now called the Astral Planes but when they recorded "Doris Day" (a single) for Say Dirty Records they were known as Paper Planes. Without researching in detail, I think it likely to be the only Glasgow rock band fronted by a woman from New Jersey.

Website: Astral Planes Myspace

The last band for this post is Wake The President. The lead singer/songwriter and lead guitarist are twin brothers, and they also founded and run a small label named Say Dirty Records in Glasgow. Their 2009 album, "You Can't Change That Boy", from which the first song below is taken, was one of my favorites of the year, and I still play it a couple of times a week.

Website: Wake the President Myspace

1 comment:

John Hyland said...

Thanks, Rock and welcome aboard! Fantastic first submission. These Scots are extremely adept at two of the four Ps: Punk and Pop... in fact, I think they've made it an art form to combine the two in different measures.