The Scotsman Sessions #59: Solareye

Welcome to The Scotsman Sessions. With the performing arts world shutting down for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, Dave Hook – aka Solareye, rapper and lyricist with the Scottish hip hop group Stanley Odd – performs new single Where They Lie.

“It feels like a whole other world ago now,” says Dave Hook – aka Solareye, rapper and lyricist with the Scottish hip hop group Stanley Odd – of the release back in January of the group’s comeback single “Where They Lie.”

“So much has happened that it’s hard to even remember what we were up to then.”

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Stanley Odd had a procession of touring gigs lined up around the country throughout the spring. Thanks to coronavirus, however, aside from an a capella version of the new song at Paisley Book Festival and a fuller take at Burns & Beyond, this Scotsman Sessions version is its first substantial “live” performance.

Dave Hook, aka Solareye

“It’s basically a rant about the fake news, post-truth world that we find ourselves in,” says Hook of the song. “It expresses the frustration about this weird place we’re in, where it’s okay for the people that represent us to openly, constantly not be telling the truth – being caught in a lie doesn’t negatively affect them in any way.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think this is something that’s going away any time soon; the disregard in which the people who represent us tend to hold our opinions or responses,” he continues. “So ‘Where They Lie’ is basically a worked-up rant about the death of truth.”

The intention was originally to release the new album – the first since 2014’s A Thing Brand New – in September, but it’s now been pushed back to early 2021.

“We had to pivot and change our entire plan for it,” says Hook. “I’m really excited about it; now we’re going to put out a new single every six weeks until February, so we’ll get the opportunity to talk about them in more depth individually than we would have done otherwise. The album is about the magic of everyday things; I guess it’s sometimes assumed that we only write about politics, and there is social commentary in there, but it’s also about relationships and the different forms they take. It’s called Stay Odd, and it’s about championing the oddness and outsiderdom that everyone feels. Universal oddness.”

Stanley Odd’s single “Where They Lie” is available now through streaming channels, and the follow-up “FUWSH” will be released on 3 July. See www.stanleyodd.com and their Twitter and Facebook pages for details of more singles, and the planned release of the new album Stay Odd in early 2021.