On the radar: The Occasional Flickers
Play: A word of your friend »
In this day and age, sounding like Simon and Garfunkel is not the accolade it once was. And when your band originated in Greece and released its first record on a Peruvian label, such languid pigeonholing seems completely superfluous.
It's safe to say The Occasional Flickers are no run-of-the-mill folk pop outfit. An all-star collection of Edinburgh's talent, the band's inner-core has been working on other projects for years.
Drummer Ryan Marinello is generally associated with My Tiny Robots; vocalist Ola Rek has her own audio/visual project Long Long Walk Home; trumpet and double bass maestro Ailig Thomas Hunter is a contemporary classical musician; and electric guitarist Bart Owl has been part of some of Edinburgh's finest bands, most notably Under the Radar favourites Eagleowl.
Coming together with vocalist/guitarist and band vanguard Giorgos Bouras, this exceptional casting purveys a laid back sound of understated wonderment as The Occasional Flickers.
After starting the band in Athens, Greece way back in 2002, Bouras has, in Auld Reekie, found a fresh creative hub: "I moved to Edinburgh and last year we formed the current band," says Bouras, "and, although so far it's me who writes the songs, everyone contributes their own parts."
As Bouras sees it, each member being involved in another project can only be positive for The Occasional Flickers. He explains: "What I really like about the Edinburgh scene is that everyone seems to help each other by playing in each other's bands, going to each other's gigs, organising events together. The atmosphere is very encouraging."
The side-project nature of the band has created a queer sonic freedom; a sound not specific to any one scene. The band refer to their music as "timeless" and it's an appellation that certainly trickles through tracks like 'A Word of your Friend', where a folk influenced homeliness lies central to its appeal.
Due to the disparate nature of the band's make-up, prolific gigging is off the agenda for the immediate future. The priority is the production of their second album, which Bouras hopes to complete by September:
"Somehow, the fact that we are recording a second album is an achievement itself," he says. "When I started I didn't expect that anyone but my close friends would get to hear my music. So knowing that there are a few people who like our music is enough to keep us going"
Signing off with a J.D. Salinger quote, Bouras quips: "The worst that being an artist could do to you would be that it would make you slightly unhappy constantly."
With album number two almost in the can and gigs lined up for September, there's little chance fans of The Occasional Flickers will be left even slightly unhappy.
The Occasional Flickers play Capitol in Glasgow on the 25th of September and Edinburgh's Sneaky Pete's the following night. Their new album is due for release soon.
Under the Radar: showcasing the best new music in Scotland
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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