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New Scottish music review with Becky Sikasa, Dead Pony, Humour and Parliamo

Our new music review goes Scottish and super size as Julia Mason brings us reviews of four new singles from Dead Pony, Humour, Parliamo and Becky Sikasa

Logo for Blowtorch Records blog series Cool Sounds From The Underground

Artist: Becky Sikasa

Track: hard to love

Edinburgh based musician Becky Sikasa
Credit Becky Sikasa

Edinburgh based musician, singer, producer, instrumentalist and lyricist Becky Sikasa was shortlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year award with Twelve Wooden Boxes. Becky has now released her new single hard to love and perhaps I have to proclaim a "Spoiler Alert" at this point.

hard to love is so staggeringly beautiful and emotive I dare the listener not to be moved. It’s also incredibly addictive. This reviewer had it on repeat such is the passion and depth of feeling it evokes. Led by glorious vocals, the instrumentation is sparse, quite right to give the crystal-clear lyric delivery the space it requires. That three note combination that is shared over and over is the earworm here. The theme may be one of personal uncertainty but somehow hard to love creates utter joy for the listener.

* * *

Artist: Dead Pony

Track: About Love

Scottish Indie rockers Dead Pony
Credit Dead Pony

Indie rockers Dead Pony have had one heck of a 2023. Performing at the SAY Award ceremony to mark ten years of PRS Foundation’s PPL Momentum Music Fund; a support run with CHVRCHES; appearances at festivals including 2000trees, Truck, Y Not plus a September headline tour and a support slot with Funeral For A Friend.

Somehow they have found time for new music and release their next single About Love. It begins quietly enough with a spoken message, but don’t be fooled, this is Dead Pony after all. Granted it is a little more measured than some of their out and out bangers, but that only shows their versatility. I suspect 2024 will be even busier for the 4-piece.

Singer Anna Shields expands on the track: “About Love is a ballad of lost love. It’s a story of admiring someone and coming to the realisation that they aren’t the person who you thought they were. It’s frantically trying to piece together broken fragments of yourself and of them, to try and mend what is now lost. Sometimes trust can be fixed but other times it is broken for good. About Love tells the tale of growing up in love and the complications that arise when one of you changes.”

* * *

Artist: Humour

Track: Take A Look At My Tongue

Glasgow 4 piece band Humour

The music created by Glasgow based 4-piece Humour doesn’t sit in any box, and the inspiration for their songs are eclectic to say the least. On new single Take a Look at My Tongue one minute the soundscape is all angst and chaos, the next the chorus is more melodic.

A band that is far from predictable. The lyrics are taken from a French soldier’s point of view, nicknamed the ‘Gunner with the Silver Mask’, after the tragic loss of half his face during the 1832 Belgian Revolution.

Vocalist Andreas Christodoulidis expands further: “I was teaching at an art college in Edinburgh and every year we would take the students out to draw at Surgeons Hall, the anatomy museum. One of the displays is a plaster cast of this soldier’s ruined face, with jaw missing and tongue hanging down uselessly, and beside it a silver mask that was designed to make him look and feel more human again.”

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Artist: Parliamo

Track: Happen To Me

Perth Scotland band Parliamo
Credit Parliamo

Perth-based Parliamo have surprised with their new release Happens to Me. Much smoother than their previous tracks, the guitars are nonetheless ever present and are let loose towards the end of the song. More contemplative and calmer, Happens to Me shows Parliamo are not afraid to slow things down slightly, and indeed experiment with their sound. The vocals are so strong and that key change is perfectly executed. Fun fact: Their name comes from the 70’s comedy show ‘Parliamo Glasgow’ starring Stanley Baxter which vocalist Jack Dailly is a big fan of.


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