Monday, January 31, 2011

New Sounds of Scotland -- Part 3: Butcher Boy, Lenzie Moss, and Popup

Butcher Boy doesn't fit the template for most emerging indie bands. One obvious difference is the members of the group are a bit older, perhaps less edgy in appearance, than many bands clawing to stay alive in today's music world. But I'd like to think that most of us are accepting of such differences, as it is the music that counts. Still, the music of Butcher Boy differs from that of most young bands as well. There is a maturity in the lyrics and performances that underscores the abilities of the band and, more importantly, the contributions of frontman and songwriter, John Blain Hunt. Hunt is a former dance club DJ and published poet, who decided to try his hand as a songwriter and performer. The result has been two albums -- Profit in Your Poetry in 2007and React or Die in 2009. A new album is scheduled for release in 2011. Make no mistake, this is sensitive stuff; while the instrumentation may be full, and even lush at times, the lyrics are the focal point. While other bands, such as Belle & Sebastian inhabit this territory, Butcher Boy more closely resembles The Tindersticks or the Smiths than their Glasgow counterparts, B&S.

From React or Die, "A Better Ghost":

From Profit In Your Poetry, "Girls Make Me Sick":

Butcher Boy Myspace Page

Another new group is Lenzie Moss. The band is the project of Finlay Macdonald, who spent stints with Music and Movement, BMX Bandits, Teenage Fanclub and Speedboat. Macdonald also is an instructor in the music industry program of a Glasgow area college. The relatively few songs available for me to review at this point don't permit much useful analysis, so I'll just observe that the songs I've heard are good songs for late night sipping on a favorite beverage. The Lenzie Moss song embedded below appears to tell a story of a time in Glasgow when the writer was younger and out on the town.

Free Download of Song at Bandcamp

Lenzie Moss Myspace Page

And now we'll pick up the pace a bit. The third band is Popup, also from Glasgow. An indication of the difficulty of emerging as a band is that the song "Lucy What Are You Trying to Say", which is featured in the fun video below, was a single release (and critically well received) in 2006. They played SxSW in 2008 and are going back this year.

Popup Myspace Page

Popup Website

No comments: