“When I was a teenager I lied about my age and got a gig supporting Frightened Rabbit (then largely unknown) in a dingy basement bar in Glasgow. Scott Hutchison’s genius that night changed my life. His music was a revelation – you can be from Glasgow and be in a band that doesn’t sound like Oasis! Unfortunately, he quipped that my own ramshackle group reminded him of High School talent shows. Inspired nevertheless, I took my free copy of their home-recorded album, ‘Sing the Greys,’ and I listened to it on repeat all night.
So says Dougie, aka KILLER WHALE, and formerly St. Cool, the masked, shamanic frontman of cult Glasgow’s mentalist, metal-funk band, The Mikey 9s.
From being inspired by a formative Frightened Rabbit to prancing around the stages of the UK gig circuit with Mickey 9s, is quite a transformation.
But as Harry Chapin sang back in ’72, ‘All my life’s a circle …’ and perhaps there is no more appropriate song to describe musical journey (God, I hate that term!) with the release of his debut album as KILLER WHALE.
The eleven tracks on ‘Everyone You Know Someday,’ are thoughtful, and introspective. As Dougie explains, they were written in the comedown of the six-month Scottish darkness that is euphemistically termed ‘winter.’ Yet, creativity often sprouts from bleakness;
” … out of the darkness, light; in the light, shadows; like the patterns on a killer whale.”
Most of the tracks are mid-tempo, melodic and I have to say exhibit a style that I can only term as typically ‘Glasgow’ – an eclectic mix of folk and ‘indie.’ Others more familiar with this brand of music have suggested:
‘The poetry of Leonard Cohen and Neil Young mixed with the lush musicality of Wilco and Death Cab for Cutie; the sentimental melodies of The Blue Nile and Hot Chip with the experimentality of Brian Eno and The Velvet Underground; the fragile vocals of Arthur Russell and Bon Iver with the sincerity of Joni Mitchell and Frightened Rabbit.’
For me, the outstanding track is the second one in, ‘Something Like That,’ which initially evokes an image of a bleak Scottish landscape before gently bouncing along on a catchy bass line.
If any of that’s your bag, then you’ll be right into this album.