On the radar: Be A Familiar
With clusters of electro-bending art school ensembles roaming Scotland's musical pastures, it's increasingly difficult to find a worthy representative of the country's best known aural delicacy: jangling indie pop.
Induced by the early 80s sound of Orange Juice and Alan Horne's Postcard Records, Scotland's standing in the music world has been built on a foundation of contagious guitar hooks and bookish lyrics. But few contenders have lately stepped up to take the mantle from early-noughties forebears Franz Ferdinand and Belle & Sebastian.
Finally, one has arrived: Glasgow's Be A Familiar are here to revive the genre's wilting flame.
Play: Be A Familiar - Splinters on the green button
Composed by a soire of tender instrumentation, the septet's melodies may not jingle quite like a pocket full of New Pop but there's an underlying feyness that renders them unmistakeably Scottish.
Founding member Calum Morrison (drums) tells UtR about Be A Familiar's reason for being: "Bands with a great sense of melody had a significant influence on us, and primarily bands that know when and where to keep things simple. There were a lot of bands over-complicating things for a while... (Forming Be A Familiar] was a chance for us to create something bold and colourful which we felt was lacking at the time and we were really excited about writing new music. "
This excitement quickly transformed into reality, with the band last year playing T in the Park after just seven shows before embarking on a tour of both Germany and Ireland.
"I guess the fact that there are seven of us on stage sparks immediate attention," explains Calum when discussing their expedited success. "For us it's about the strength of melody, the boy/girl harmonies and the rich wall of sound made up of many different elements that provide depth and feeling. We play every show like it's our last and hit out a lot of energy."
Despite hot footing a few steps on the escalator to the top, Be a Familiar are realistic enough to realise there's a lot of graft ahead, particularly if it means seducing your other half:
"It would be wrong to suggest that we could become the biggest band in the world or anything daft like that, but we do believe that we write songs that will make people think 'Fuck that's good, I'll check them out a bit further'," says Calum. "In honesty, this band has confidence enough to believe we can become one of your favourite bands - or at least your girlfriend's favourite!"
Intrigued? Discover Be A Familiar for yourself at the following shows:
24 Apr @ Harleys, Bathgate
25 Apr @ Mad Hatters, Inverness
26 Apr @ Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh
27 Apr @ King Tut's, Glasgow
1 May @ Pivo Pivo (Hinterland Festival), Glasgow
• For more blogs on the best unsigned bands in Scotland, visit Under the Radar
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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