Wednesday, 14 September 2011

We're Only Here For The Banter - Collar Up

'Short term memories fade to black, it's funny how a three chord song can bring them all back', sings Collar Up's chief protagonist Stephen McLaren on the Edinburgh-based trio's new single 'Short Term Memories'. The song, an uptempo reflection on 21st century relationships, is a potent slice of melodic pop, informed by the dreamy, well-crafted tangents of Beach House, Mercury Rev, The Divine Comedy and Kate Bush.

Collar Up has been playing together in this incarnation since 2010. McLaren's vertiginous vocal and arresting piano motifs are supported by Stephen Dennis' warm guitar atmospherics and the graceful, percussive pulse of drummer Nora Noonan to create a sound unique on the current Scottish musical landscape.

According to frontman and writer McLaren, ''Short term Memories' is about society's expectations and contradictions concerning the ideal of lasting romantic love...It's a sad song, but tinged with naive hope'.

When I recieved a promotional e-mail from Night Noise Team's Sean Ormsby asking me to have a listen to their label PermWhale's latest release, I'll be honest in saying I wasn't expecting much. However, I am happy to admit that I was both wrong and humbled. Their maiden release 'Short Term Memories' is a stormer of a track. And the band have been kind enough to answer some questions for the blog. Check it out below:

Hello, how are you?

We're very well.

Tell us a little bit about your music and influences.

We'd probably class ourselves as dream-pop, ranging from melancholy hypnotic piano to more up-beat dancy numbers.  We've lots of different influences, but, to name a few, Mercury Rev, Cocteau Twins, and The Divine Comedy rate highly.

Scotland has a thriving music scene. How do you find being a part of that?

It's great to be a part of a thriving music scene, though the sheer volume of music sometimes make it difficult to be heard.  We'd like to think that we're worth listening to though... 

Which Scottish artists would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

Hmm.  You've put us on the spot!  There are a few: we'd recommend giving Night Noise Team a listen, as well as Fiction Faction, Bwani Junction, Wrongnote, and, maybe more well-known, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Found, Meursault, and The Twilight Sad.  Dancing With Mice as well, just because they're the most unique band I've seen live and they have amazing song titles.

What is your songwriting process like?

We are not prolific.  We'll only come out with a song if the chord progression, first of all, interests us, and then we're satisfied with the lyrical content.  Short Term Memories is more a song about love and modern life, but some of our songs are fairly political, so the lyrics often reflect this.

What could we expect to see/hear from your live shows?

A male lead singer wearing lipstick.  We'd like to think that you would see/hear a band that stuck out as being a band, from the many, as worth going to see again.  We have a very loyal fanbase in that, if people are "into" us, they tend to be "really" into us.  We're confident that enough people will like us that it'll be worth gigging, maybe until we all die.

What does the rest of 2011 hold for you?

We'll be promoting the single.  We've plans for a Christmas party....but, first of all, we're playing Hair of the Dog Sundays at Red Dog Music on Sunday 25th September - which is the eve of the launch date.

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

What d'you call a spider with no legs?  A raisin.  Old school.

Thanks very much for taking the time to talk to us.

You can (and should) download their debut release 'Short Term Memories' on the band's Soundcloud. Also check out their Facebook page. Have a listen to 'Short Term Memories' below.

Short Term Memories by collarup

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