The Scotsman Sessions #314: racecar

Welcome to the Scotsman Sessions. With the performing arts sector still impacted by the pandemic, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on, with introductions from our critics. Here, East Lothian trio racecar perform their song Chapter and Verse

The suitably streamlined racecar arrived seemingly fully formed and in sleek, elegant style at the turn of this year with a haunting debut single Flood, which blended choral, electronic and soulful elements and was swiftly recognised as a BBC Introducing in Scotland Track of the Week.

This East Lothian trio have pooled diverse influences, from Bruce Springsteen to Charli XCX to Laura Mvula, to create a seamless sound which encompasses indie, electro pop, folk and jazz elements, spawned from a secret bunker-like practise room somewhere on the East Coast.

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The members have played separately and together over the past decade. Singer and keyboard player Izzy Flower hails from Dunbar but has studied Gaelic in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Skye, producing her own Celtic electronica material. Also from Dunbar, guitarist Robin Brill played with and produced ace female hip-hop trio The Honey Farm in the guise of DJ Honeybadger, and bassist Calum Mason from Haddington has recently released his debut solo album, the folk rock-inflected Panopticon.

There is a natural jamming freedom to what they have produced so far as racecar, including second single Chapter and Verse, which they have rendered live in their rehearsal space for the Scotsman Sessions because, they say, “it’s a lot of fun to play and we all get to sing!”

Racecar have been revved up and ready to go for some time, originally coming together in 2017/18. “We started to work on these songs as a chance for us all to have a play around with some ideas we’d had and then, just as the ball got rolling, the pandemic hit,” they say. “Lockdown put a complete stop to proceedings just as we were beginning to get a live set together but that eventually led to us choosing to record an album, which might not have happened otherwise. We’ve all had a fair amount of life changes throughout lockdown, and moved back from various parts of Scotland to all be back home on the East coast, which means we’re able to play together. Now we’re coming out of that time with an album ready to release and a live set good to go – happy days!”

The trio recently made their live debut in Edinburgh’s atmospheric Voodoo Rooms, supporting fellow Dunbar indie outfit Logan’s Close, and will return to the venue for their own headline appearance to launch their album, Orange Car, in June.

“It’s going to be an ambitious show,” they say. “We’re going to have a few friends up to play with us and we’re also putting together an excellent line-up of support that we’ll be announcing soon.”

Before then, they will tantalise with a third taster single, called Better Than You Know, which they say is “a big, dancey pop song about love and independence. It’s an ideal summer soundtrack!”

Better Than You Know is released on 20 May, followed by debut album Orange Car on 10 June. Racecar play Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh on 7 June