Monday, March 27, 2017

The State Broadcasters - A Different Past

We don't do one-word features here.  Not that we aren't tempted, but even for us slackers at WYMA headquarters it seems just too obviously lazy to type "good", or "loud", or some other semi-descriptive terms and press 'post'.  But if we were to post just one word for A Different Past, the new album from Glasgow's The State Broadcasters, it would be "sunshine".  And that word wouldn't be chosen because all of the themes embodied in the songs of this album are sunny, but because pop this sparkling suggests sunshine regardless of lyrical content.  A Different Past is sophisticated without being slick, sweet without being cloying, and immediate while being carefully crafted.  Their third album may have been four years in the making, but the results demonstrate time well spent.

The band has a wide sweet spot, with indie rock tracks such as "Feelin' Alive" living harmoniously with Americana gems such as "Cycle Home Drunk" piano-driven indie pop such as opener "Break My Fall" and the lovely "Folding", ballads such as "Braced Against The Cold" and "Let The Wolves Roam", and delicate folk such as closer "Ribbons".  In addition to thoughtful and incisive songwriting, The State Broadcasters benefit from multiple vocalists and an instrumental palate that encompasses brass, accordion, double bass and strings, as well as more traditional pop/rock tools of the trade.  The result is vibrant music with every track sounding fresh and distinct.  Yes, indeed, there is pretty strong wattage to this sunshine.

A Different Past is out on March 24 on vinyl, CD and Digital formats via Glasgow label Olive Grove Records.  See the Bandcamp link for details.  The State Broadcasters are Pete MacDonald (piano/trombone/vocals), Gillian Fleetwood (harp/accordion/vocals), Cameron Maxwell (double bass/trombone/electric bass/vocals), David McGinty (guitar/vocals), and Susan Appelbe (cello/vocals).

Bandcamp for A Different Past
Olive Grove Records

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