Everything about Withered Hand seems to take ages for me. Despite the (rightful) rave reviews of his debut LP ‘Good News’ and the fact that I’d enjoyed Dan’s perform at Homegame, it took me months to catch up with the record.

Even for a latecomer such as myself, the wait for new Withered Hand material seems to have been a long one (stretching past 2 years), particularly since the last time I saw Dan play with his band at Haarfest in August 2010 he was playing new tunes at that time.

That wait was ended however when Fence released the new ‘Heart, Heart’ E.P. as part of the Chart Ruse series, well quite a few months ago now, actually. So once I’m again I’m playing catch up. Anyhow, I’m there now and ‘Heart, Heart’ is too good a release to ignore simply because of my tardiness.

The title track may start off in familiar plaintive territory but the intro’s just a tease as it quickly turns into the most infectious breakneck speed, pop tune Dan has written to date.

‘My Struggle’ continues the E.P. in similar vein, a raucous, revved up Scottish blues featuring both Michael Jackson and Morrisey whilst closing track ‘Gethsemane’ is one of these heartbreaking tunes that just seem to be second nature to Dan.

Despite the wait between records, it does seem as if the Withered Hand profile has been raised over the last couple of years. Which is entirely fitting  as Dan Willson is one of Scotland’s  genuine talents. If you haven’t caught up with him yet, then do so as a matter of urgency.

‘Heart Heart’ is still available from all good record shops and online from Fence itself.

I’ve used this before but no apologies for using it again:

Dan plays a solo set at the West End Festival at the Oran Mor in Glasgow on Sunday 24th June whilst Withered Hand play a band show at the Queen’s Hall on 4th August with support from Darren Hayman and Gordon McIntyre [Tickets]

Withered Hand are also playing Doune The Rabbit Hole on Saturday 25th August.

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