Friday 25 May 2012

Older Motion Pictures - Letters' Kommentary

What is it with Edinburgh bands releasing outstanding EPs this year?!  We're not even finished with May and already I could name at least four.  Five if you include the debut from 'dark cello pop noiseniks' Letters which was finally released on Monday.  I've spent a bit of time already on here banging on about how special this bunch are, so any attempts at reviewing Older Motion Pictures would just end up with me Googling for synonyms of 'spectacular'.  So, with that in mind, I asked Mikey Ferguson to run through each of the four tracks on this stu-pen-dous [stoo-pen-duhs] EP.  Here's what he had to say... along with my tuppenceworth.

This has been kicking around for a while. We recorded it during our Aviemore sessions at the same time as Flash! Lights and The Halfway House. I think it might technically be the third song we ever wrote together but we've harnessed and polished it. We usually open our set with it and didn't want it to go to waste. It works well with the other songs and thought it would be a good EP opener. We used to joke about the first ever version sounding like explosions in the sky, (which of course it doesn't now) and so the working title kinda stuck. I think its apt given the dynamics between 'light and shade' and then it suddenly exploding into life.
Kowalskiy verdict:  After their debut double A-side Grand National/Pipe Dreams last year, this was one of the next tracks of theirs that I heard.  At the time I wasn't sure whether it'd remain as an instrumental or not.  I'm glad they kept it this way.  It's the most atmospheric piece on the EP, a dark 4-minute pop symphony if you will.  

Older Motion Pictures
More miserable post uni stuff. I say post uni but the misery seemed to drag on for a couple years after. The opening line is 'I left my home to watch the unions go to bed'. Summed up the time I guess, probably still does. Hardly anything prophetic. More pathetically polemic. Here...I should use that as a lyric! Basically...OK...People's lives more often than not don't turn out they way they envisaged. The idea to the central lyric ...'I'll watch the platform rain and the electric light flicker like a picture, older motion picture' revolves around too much time spent on trains, dreaming of things to be/that could have been and playing it out in your head like a film. Everyone plays their own cinematic experience out in their head. HOW MANY FUCKING WAYS DO I EXPLAIN...OK? Musically...Me and Ed spent one night listening to Annie Lennox and Sinead O'Connor. I FUCKING love Annie Lennox. This is the product.
Kowalskiy verdict:  Mind you, this isn't short on atmosphere either!  The title track is possibly their finest song to date.  Mikey's echoing vocals alone gave me goosebumps when I watched the EP recording session videos they had up a while back.  Now the gorgeous, yet almost mournful, cello has been added, and all the other components have come together, it's difficult to find the words to describe how brilliant this song is.

SO...Daddy wasn't there. Wee Mikey's a Daddy now. Daddy's gonnae be there. He promises. OK?
Kowalskiy verdict:  This appeared on their SoundCloud at the same time as Older Motion Pictures.  Mood-wise, it's a more sprightly affair in comparison, more in keeping with their previous singles Flash! Lights and The Halfway House... and every bit as amazing. 

From Time to Time
You know those lyrics in the Waterboys song 'Whole of the Moon' where he writes about his relationship from the perspective of his wife? About his delusions of grandeur? 'I saw the rain dirty valley you saw Brigadoon, I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon.' One of the most perfectly formed songs lyrically that I think I'll ever hear. I think we should get round to covering that. Anyway...this is our version...albeit with a completely self indulgent post rock ending. Perfect way to end our set. Perfect way to end our EP.

Kowalskiy verdict:  Perfect just about cuts it!  This was the last song from the EP which surfaced online, so my expectations were pretty high.  I remember listening to it first time 'round thinking "Yeah, this is good... I liked that... still good... good... oh f**k!!  That's brilliant!".  Or something along those lines.  As the song builds up and with every one of Mikey's umpteen repeated chant of "from time to time" the anticipation of something special builds also.  Just have a listen.  It never fails to disappoint.  Then cue the aforementioned self-indulgence... to be honest though, when you've just made an EP of this calibre, who can blame them!

Older Motion Pictures is out now via God Is In The TV Records.  You can download it over on their Bandcamp or you can get your hands on a CD here.  Letters will be playing a few gigs in support of the EP.  Details below:

26th May - Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh
31st May - Bar Bloc, Glasgow

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