TeenCanteen

Say It All With a Kiss

Last Night From Glasgow

Nov 09, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Wow. These ladies sure know their way around a pop song. If you love pop music, I urge you to listen to this record. Immediately. Full of a golden youthfulness, harnessing the whole teenage spectrumfrom lost-in-love daydreaming to the enormous energy of its expression, with huge hooks and harmonies ushering along everything in betweenstreamlining all within into pop gems.

"Sister," the first song proper, begins with thunderous drums echoing the skyline emotion Carla Easton (lead vocals/keyboards) is singing about in the lyrics. Although it's obvious the band can sing, here Carla's more singing a controlled shout (the kind heard on much late '80s pop) and doing so to wonderful effect, "snapping every single note" as she herself intones in the second verse. The way the vocals reflect the lyrics is an enchantingly subtle nuance. And all sung with that lovely Scottish lilt. The excellently titled "Kung Fu Heartbeat" follows, slithering into a big, seductive chorus. TeenCanteen really know how to go for it. "Roses (My Love)" is strong from the get-go, a fierceness to its jubilance, made all the more enticing by The Cairn String Quartet. This is an ode to staying in bed with your lover and "tangling up together in the sheets." There's a great vocal run of "when you kiss me every time it would be so right." The pure joy of this song culminates in the outro chant of "A-L-W-A-Y-S, always for you."

There are four instrumental interludes that serve to hold this together as an album so that it's not just hit after hit after hit. And so we get a little break with "Symphony For the Kids" before coming to "Friends." Which is FUCKING FANTASTIC, certainly one of the best songs of the year. Beginning with a big classic synth basslinea foundation for these high realmssoon soft, fragile New Order-esque guitars enter over it. Beautifully melodic and oh so sad, all this present in the timbre of her voice, detailing "the beginning of the end" of a relationship. The backing harmonies add a real sense of depth and the middle eight through the outro, with its gorgeous "go a little slower," is pop perfection, one of the highlights of the record (in which there are quite a few). "Honey" follows and its unashamed ode to first love is a distinct change of tone, though without letting up on any of the pop sensibilities. More standout points follow in the flow and intensity of the lovely pre-choruses before bursting out in the chorus with Talulah Gosh-style twee punk rock joy.

"Dancing (Hey You)" is very sultry indeed. Full of attitude and audaciousness"hey boy why don't you come over for a pillow fight"the sparse music nevertheless huge and confident. And there's a tinge of sadness in the "for the last time" line, unexpected and only momentary, making it more poignant. Floating chimes announce "Motorbikes," another number of pure loveliness and poetry"the sound of motorbikes reminds me of when we first met." It's pop-lensed love, a huge joyous embrace containing all the inevitable sadness involved too. A dirty bass comes in and this just grows huge, opening up beautifully. "Sirens" follows with its killer driving pop and "ah ah oh oh" vocal riff. Wonderful melodic stuff slips in underneath the second verse but the song is already striding along so well you don't even notice until you're galloping along through the strong second chorus. "Candyfloss" is a most fitting closing numbermedium-tempo, the sugary theme of young love. With its lines of summer and thunder, the song ties together the themes of the album very nicely. And sonically too, building to a nice bigand big harmoniedfinish. I'll say it again. Listen to this record. Immediately. (www.teencanteen.co.uk)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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