With an immediate charm borne of erudite spikiness and sadness-tinged self-deprecation, Kid Carnaveral launched their third album with a fair amount of swagger too.
Kid Canaveral | Rating: **** | Summerhall, Edinburgh
Singers Kate Lazda and David MacGregor in particular were trading quips, insults and apologies with the audience, while the growth of the Edinburgh-based indie-pop, alt-rock outfit into a quintet with Michael Craig’s arrival on synths has afforded them a more electronic and expansive edge, broadening their melodic palette.
Opening, the plaintive Gun Fhaireachdain, with its hammering drums, glitchy quirks and “I don’t see the fireworks that you’re seeing” refrain established the tone of bittersweet yearning splashed across the pulsating, power plays of the machine aspects of their sound.
Tipping hats to Leonard Cohen, first single First We Take Dumbarton is an appositely wry, cynically witty number wrapped in a singalong burst of radio friendliness, while Tragic Satellites is equally catchy, Craig’s keys affording depth to MacGregor’s melancholic vocal and assured guitar lines.
Joyously bouncy established track Who Would Want To Be Loved? was a sweet package for dark sentiments, while Lazda’s pure, anxious vocal on Callous Parting Gift, conversational in its admonishment, was a welcome counterpoint to MacGregor’s lead. He nailed a falsetto on the ominous From Your Bright Room, powered by Scott McMaster’s hard-driving drums, while Pale White Flower was a gleamingly crisp study of mental health struggles.