Having featured one band going on hiatus at the weekend in the shape of Deathcats I wasn’t expecting to feature another so quickly. But Andy’s 2014 piece with Rowan of Blood Indians turned out to be with Rowan on a break from Blood Indians. Read on for more details in a really nice, thoughtful piece.
Our Own Music
This year has been really interesting for me in terms of the music I have been making and performing. I was lucky enough to play in a band with some of my best pals, we recorded and released our first EP and later in the year another single. We worked with some amazing people and played in some amazing places with some fantastic bands and I have learned a lot from that.
As some of you might know, I have decided to take a bit of a break from Blood Indians, I just realised right now wasn’t the time for me to be serious about music, but instead to focus on Uni.
I am always going to make music and think I am definitely going to get back into it in the New Year, but probably in a more laid back way just playing with friends or doing some solo stuff and seeing where it goes!
Favourite performance of the year?
It’s really tough to pick just one performance; I loved them all for all sorts of reasons.
Our single launch in Dundee was amazing it was really nice to come home and play to our friends and we were so happy with the single so it was good to let people hear it and see us playing more confidently with the full band. We were lucky enough to play with some bands that I really love this year like Randolph’s Leap, Poor Things and The Van T’s and so I loved those gigs as well.
What you gonna be doing next year?
I am really excited about next year, like I said earlier I am looking forward to just playing and writing more casually without any pressure or expectations, nothing too committed. I want to try and play with as many folk as possible, I have only ever played in one band and so I think it would be interesting to see how other people work and be inspired by that. I really fancy doing something with a synth, maybe like Conquering Animal Sounds, and I would also like to get back to the really folky stuff I started out with cause it is something I have always loved doing.
I moved through to Glasgow just over a year ago and the local music scene here is totally thriving and I have found some amazing bands just through going to as many gigs as I can. A few of my favourites are Herbert Powell, Catholic Action, The Yawns, Pinact and Poor Things who, as I said earlier, we were lucky enough to play with!
In terms of bands from elsewhere I think this year has been amazing, and living here has meant I have had more of a chance to see these bands live as well!
Three LPs you’ve listened to the most in 2014?
1) Sharon Van Etten – Are We There – It is probably the album listened to the most this year, it is so gorgeous and regardless of what mood I am in it always seems to complement it perfectly. She’s one of my favourite artists and this album just added to the reasons why.
2) Francois & The Atlas Mountains – Piano Ombre – I think what makes a great album is when every single track on it is your favourite at one point or another and this is one of those albums for me. It is really intricate and ranges from super upbeat songs like the first single they released ‘La Vérité’ to more melancholy numbers such as ‘La Fille Aux Cheveux de Soie’ which has a really beautiful string section and happens to be my favourite track for the time being.
3) PAWS – Youth Culture Forever – These guys might be my favourite Scottish band at the moment, and I have been looking forward to this release ever since I knew it was coming. I have seen them live quite a few times and they have so much energy and I think it is always quite difficult to capture that in a recording, but this album does an amazing job at doing just that.
Best gig attended?
I have been to so many gigs this year, but I can, without a shadow of a doubt, say that my favourite gig was Ought at Broadcast. I only heard of the band in the summer when I saw them at Green Man and I instantly fell in love. They are by far one of the best live bands I have ever seen and although the crowd wasn’t huge or anything the atmosphere was great. Definitely catch them if you ever get the chance.
Best discovery in 2014?
Ought would definitely be one of them, but there are hundreds of others as well, Girlpool, Alvvays, Alice Boman and Lust For Youth are just a few.
Who should we be looking out for in 2015?
Third question that I am going to use Ought as an answer, I am sorry they are that good. There is this guy called Shamir that is going to be massive in the next year I think, he has a song called ‘On The Regular’ which is just really funky. I also think that Benjamin Booker and Femme are probably going to do quite well in the New Year.
Event of 2014
Green Man Festival was easily my favourite event this year, half of the artists I have spoken about already in this article were playing at it and I just had such a lovely time. Some of my friends were there and my dad as well and the atmosphere was incredible. I have already decided I am going to go back again next time!
There was also Stag and Dagger earlier in the year in various venues across Glasgow and I got to see Lizzo and Fat White Family and Courtney Barnett and a whole bunch of great music for less than £20, more cities should put on stuff like that.
Anything and Everything
Hero of 2014
Alasdair Gray, he is just such an amazing man. There have been a lot of exhibitions and stuff going on across Glasgow about his work and it was only over the last year that I have really discovered his writing and he has just inspired me generally in all things arty!
Lowpoint of 2014
This year hasn’t been the best for me there have been a few shitty things that have just got me down in the dumps, but the ‘No’ vote was probably the biggest disappointment and I can still see the negative influence it is having on not just me but the whole country so that would probably be the lowest point.
Favourite book of 2014
I am a bit ashamed to admit (especially as someone studying literature) that I don’t think I have actually read any new releases this year. My course has kept me pretty busy so haven’t really had much of a chance to do reading outside of that. But, in terms of my favourite book I have discovered this year it would be Lanark by Alasdair Gray.
Favourite film of 2014
Another tough one since I don’t get to the cinema all that often, but would probably say The Grand Budapest Hotel cause I love everything that Wes Anderson does. The best film that I watched that wasn’t released in 2014 would be a Danish film called The Hunt. I don’t think a film has ever made me so emotional, it is really clever and just made me think a lot, I would highly recommend watching it.
As more of a TV sort of person my favourite on-screen action this year was the second season of The Bridge, it was incredible but now I have to wait till autumn next year to find out what is going on which is frustrating!
Best piece of advice you were given in 2014
The best advice I was given this year was that you can’t do something that doesn’t make you happy, life is too short for that. I am really concerned with making sure the people I love, my friends and family, are happy and I think I started to forget that I need to be happy before I can do that, so I had a bit of a reality check and made some changes which really helped get me back to being happy.
Something to look forward to in 2015
There is so much I have to look forward to next year; so far in January alone I am going to see Die Antwoord, King Creosote, Francois & The Atlas Mountains and Alvvays and hopefully a whole lot more too.
Outside of music there is a new season of Parks and Recreation coming which will be fab and I would like to get a bit of travelling done some on my own, some with my pals, go back to Findhorn for a bit (my favourite place in the world) and maybe go stay with friends in Hamburg over the Summer or something like that.
It’s maybe a bit lame but more than anything I am just looking forward to spending a whole lot of time with all my friends, nothing makes me smile more!