CAMPAIGN – TOUR PUBLICITY
DOWNLOAD – SONS & DAUGHTERS (HIGH-RES) PHOTOS HERE!
PHOTO 2 | PHOTO 3 | PHOTO 4
Popfrenzy Presents are excited to announce the return of SONS & DAUGHTERS to Australian shores, this January 2012. Formed in Glasgow over a shared love of Johnny Cash records and absolutely nothing to do with long-running Australian soap-operas, Sons & Daughters' sound is of blackest Americana mixed with broadest Scots, spinning dark tales of broken bones and tough love.
For the last eight years Sons & Daughters have worked towards fashioning a distinctive sound, image and story. Inspired by the melancholy storytelling of Lee Hazlewood, the lyricism of Bill Callaghan and Leonard Cohen, and the raw power of country, blues and folk, the Glasgow-based four-piece have been busy creating their own world and making it an interesting place to live.
Records that instantly deliver greatness can often leave you wanting more, while others slowly but surely sink in its haunting hooks and refuse to let go – like Mirror, Mirror. Sons & Daughters’ third and latest album is a slow burning sensation, a wiry, raw, sensual and spacious injection of primal monochrome rock with a potent undertow of post-punk dance that’s not only thrillingly contemporary but unique by 2011 standards.
Their tense sparse dynamic reaches back to their own past, namely 2006’s The Repulsion Box and the band’s 2004 mini-album debut Love The Cup, but also the 80s post-punk revolution in sound, from The Cure and This Heat to Gang Of Four, and then spun into something modern and timeless.
Records that instantly deliver greatness can often leave you wanting more, while others slowly but surely sink in its haunting hooks and refuse to let go – like Mirror, Mirror. Sons & Daughters’ third album is a slow burning sensation, a wiry, raw, sensual and spacious injection of primal monochrome rock with a potent undertow of post-punk dance that’s not only thrillingly contemporary but unique by 2011 standards.
But just as the album takes time to get under the skin, so it took its time to materialise.
Bunkered down in their rehearsal space inside an old town hall in Glasgow’s south-west district of Govan, Adele Bethel (vocals, guitar, piano), Scott Paterson (vocals, guitar), Ailidh Lennon (bass, mandolin, piano) and David Gow (drums, percussion) had the task of following up the denser, busier guitar-rock of 2008’s Bernard Butler-produced This Gift.
Scott: “We sound better when we’re more minimal. We wanted everything on the new album to be necessary, no added fluff, and only recording on 16-track.”
Adele: “We wanted something quite haunting and feminine. With an air of malevolence”.
Scott: “All we knew is we didn’t want to repeat ourselves. But for a year, we weren’t happy with what we’d written. But then “Rose Red” and a few other songs that followed finally gave us the direction we were looking for. But we weren’t prepared to record anything unless it was exciting, and fun. Once we did start recording, it only took a month.”
This time, the band enlisted the help of trusted mates, working at engineer Sam Smith’s Green Door studio, recording on analogue tape for that classic aural warmth and with Keith McIvor, aka JD Twitch of local legends Optimo Music, producing his first full-length album. “We knew someone like Keith could be really honest with us,” says Scott. “He’s been a big supporter, and he has great taste in music, and we also knew we wanted to start using electronics, and he’s really into his dance music. He’d play us tracks, like This Heat or Fingerprintz, to suggest a mood, or suggest something based on how he approaches remixing.”
For starters, Scott – who incidentally is singing more again after taking a back seat on This Gift, restoring Sons & Daughters’ original boy/girl dynamic – admits that several tracks changed shape on the day of recording. “Silver Spell” and “Ink Free” both had, “full on punk rock guitar” before the synths (vintage, of course) took over and they took on a different mood. “We’d think, ‘what’s the most prominent part of the song? Delete it,’” says Scott. “We wanted to put ourselves on the spot and create something new on the day. “Bee Song” was just a sketch on my computer, an ancient riff from before I joined the band. The beat was me tapping on a mike, through a Fender Twin amp with the bass all the way up, like a heartbeat.”
The tense sparse dynamic reaches back to their own past, namely 2006’s The Repulsion Box and the band’s 2004 mini-album debut Love The Cup, but also the 80s post-punk revolution in sound, from The Cure and This Heat to Gang Of Four, and then spun into something modern and timeless. Similarly, Adele talks of inspiration from Stevie Nicks (whose album Back Side Of The Mirror, Adele discovered after she’d named this one, was originally titled Mirror, Mirror…), Siouxsie, Kate Bush and PJ Harvey. Scott also mentions Fever Ray, and “Ink Free” has a similarly ominous undertow to that first lady of Swedish goth-folk-tronica.
It’s also in these dark, veiled spaces that Adele stirs in themes of fairytales, serial killers and witchcraft, as well as tapping her own inner demons. The album title – turned into a forceful mantra on the opening “Silver Spell” over claustrophobic electronics and a clomping beat – comes from reflecting on all that darkness. Adele’s stunning performance on “Bee Song” stems from the idea of ‘head bees’, meaning depression and the idea of entrapment. “It’s strange talking about depression,” she says,” but many people suffer from it, and for years we’ve done benefits for mental health.”
“Ink Free” and “Orion” come from a similarly troubled place. “Ink Free” recalls the writer’s block that afflicted Adele and Scott after This Gift; “Orion” may be rhythmically uplifting but it concerns, “feeling deflated and insecure after This Gift, and losing your inner glow.”
Even deeper and darker, “The Model” is based on a newspaper story about a model who threw herself from a balcony window. “The Beach” was initially written for the soundtrack to the film short Native Son, about the discovery of a dead girl in the woods while “Axed Actor” is another filmic reference, to ‘50s Hollywood and actress Elisabeth Short, known as the Black Dahlia, who was found dismembered in a field and her killer never found (bonus points for guessing the ‘80s cover – and ‘60s origins – of the song quoted in the middle…)
Have Sons & Daughters ever been this dark? “Maybe not,” says Adele. “But with so much time off, I became interested in different things and new ideas. On This Gift, it was ‘60s cinema; this time it’s Italian Giallo cinema [crime, mystery and evil) If any film represents this record, it would be like Dario Argento’s Suspiria.” But Scotland’s psycho-geographic nature also stains Mirror, Mirror. “I was raised on stories of famous Scots serial killers – my dad was interested in them – some of which operated in Lanarkshire, where we’re from,” says Adele. “Rose Red” was inspired by the so-called ‘Bible John’ in the late ‘60s, who found his victims at Glasgow’s Barrowlands ballroom. “When you live somewhere where something so dark and heavy has happened, you want to find out about it.”
Mirror, Mirror has the same capacity – it keeps revealing more and more as time goes on. “I love the feel of this album and it’s the most balanced thing we’ve done,” Scott reflects. “There are great rocking moments, for want of a better word, but it’s also reflective and dreamy. Someone who wasn’t a Sons & Daughters fan before said it sounds really spooky and weird but not like we’ve been forcing that. It sounds odd in a natural way.”
In other words, the pain was worth the gain. See you on the other side (of the mirror)…
General On Sale – Wednesday 9 November 2011
For more information, please contact:
Brian McDonald – RiSH Publicity
P: +61-418-604-844 www.rishpublicity.com