Tag Archives: Folk

KILLER WHALE: ‘Everyone You Know Someday.’

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.

SERA: ‘Rabbit Hole.’

SERA is a singer-songwriter from Caernarfon in North Wales. She writes and performs in both Welsh and English and has been garnering great feedback and support from the likes of BBC Radio Wales/ Radio Cymru, S4C and Focus Wales.

However, it’s not just Welsh radio and the local Festival scene that have picked up on SERA‘s music. National airplay has followed from Radio 6 Music and Radio 2 (Chris Hawkins and Claire Balding) both of whom appreciate a good ‘crossover’ artist when they hear one.

‘Rabbit Hole’ is a journey through an addictive relationship, leading through naivety and self destruction to escape. It stays true to SERA‘s Americana / folk style but takes on some bold new ideas.The chorus explodes into ‘Come with me to incredible things, where the oysters march from the sea,’ inviting the listener into a world of the fantastic.

SERA‘s new songs will continue to follow in this theme of the mythic-surreal rooted in very real experiences.

Bands like First Aid Kit, are bringing this type of music to a wider audience, and I have to say, that with my admittedly restricted knowledge, I can hear similar type harmonies within this track. I like, too how it builds into a bit of a rocky frenzy towards the end.

As regular readers of LOUD HORIZON will know, I’m certainly no expert when it comes to Americana / Folk. In fact, I often joke (?!) that I don’t ‘do’ Folk music.

But it’s artists like SERA who are slowly but surely convincing me to get over myself!