A wee gem arrived through the letterbox the other day in the shape of the Grand Gestures LP.
Scotland seems to be rather good at musical collaborations at the moment and ‘The Grand Gestures’, put together by Spare Snare’s Jan Burnett with the aid of half a dozen collaborators (including serial Scottish music contributors Emma Pollock and Jill O’Sullivan), continues that fine tradition.
Despite the fact that the songs cover various moods both musically and lyrically, reflecting the diversity of his collaborators,Burnett has managed to create a thread running through the record linking the sublime and the ridiculous with his evocative, lo-fi backing.
Kohli contributes the LP’s two most whimsical tracks invoking the spirit of Ivor Cutler on the hilarious ‘I Wonder What Chris De Burgh Is Doing Right Now’ and the epic, nearly 15 minute, black comedy of ‘The Ballad of SW19’.
Opening track, ‘Deer In A Cross Hair’ sound perfectly suited to O’Sullivan’s regular outlet Sparrow and the Workshop but she’s almost unrecognisable on her other track, the sparse electronica of ‘No Place Like Home’.
Pollock is at her iciest on ‘A Certain Compulsion’ with its almost filmic backing whilst ‘Baiting’ featuring Calamateur is a melancholy rave come down tune.
Calamity Horse’s ‘Song for a Salvation Army Band’ isn’t a million miles from the sort of thing that Adam Stafford has been doing lately whilst Celie Byrne’s ‘Living By The Seaside’ perfectly captures the feeling of sitting on a bench on a wintry seafront.
Ultimately ‘The Grand Gestures’ is a rewarding experience ably demonstrating the sort of creativity prevalent in Scotland today.
The album is officially released on Monday (28th) – order the CD and downloads here.
There’s a unique one-off performance of the record on Friday (1st June) at King Tut’s in Glasgow. Support comes from Behold! The Old Bear, Craig Souter and David Murdoch. Tickets here.
A short film, ‘The Silver Shoes’, soundtracked by ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ from the LP: