Introducing the State Broadcasters
We have only recently learned about State Broadcasters, but they are already on our "favourites" list. This Glasgow-based folk band was created by Graeme Black (guitar, vocals) and Pete MacDonald (piano, trombone, vocals) who established their catchy name. They were soon joined by a number of talented musicians: Fergus MacDonald (guitar, banjo, uke, accordion, vocals), Gillian Fleetwood (harp, accordion, vocals), Cameron Maxwell (double bass, electric bass, trombone, vocals), Susan Appelbe (cello, vocals) and Andrew Samson (percussion), to form a very quirky, unique band.
Ever since their debut record "The Ship and the Iceberg" came out in 2009, the State Broadcasters have gone from strenght to strenght. With critically acclaimed songs that were featured in Scottish independent films, press and radio coverage (BBC6 Music's Gideon Coe, BBC Radio Scotland and others), the band is now set to release a full length album "Ghost We Must Carry" 24 September 2012.
Despite being extremely busy with writing and producing the new record, this Glaswegian band found the time to treat their fans to a masterfully crafted short EP "Table". The album is available online on Bandcamp and can be downloaded for free.
The first song featured on the "Table" EP is "This Old Table". Very easy arrangement - simple piano chords with soft vocals, accentuated with sporadic delays - works perfectly well in this track. As the narrator opens the song, we learn the title table constitutes a symbol of loss, of ending, past memories and no future. This may be a metaphor to an end to a relationship, a "broken home" where family life ceases to exist, or even loss of life. "This Old Table" forces listeners to ponder about value of day-to-day affairs and people who are often taken for granted.
Through an artistic onomatopoeia, first notes of the piano mimic delicate raindrops falling onto the glass window, or beads of tears shed by someone who lost all hope. The sorrowful singing only emphasises the impact of the accompaniment of this sublimed instrument. Listen to "This Old Table":
"Eyepennies" is a very broad, slow tempo track, introducing the cool, metallic sound of the brass section interwoven with the subtle piano and husky male vocals. "Grass Stains" on the other hand is a four minute, quirky number layered with beautiful harmonies. The vocal melody is accompanied by the piano and keys in the beginning, and then gradually more folksy instruments are introduced, like glockenspiel, shakers and others. Listen to "Grass Stains":
The very last song is "Let's Make T-Shirts" which is an alternative, stripped back single re-release. To stay in the convention of the whole record, the track's core instrument is piano, which offers "blank canvas" for the singer. The male vocals are both expressive and emotive, adding an indulging richness to very unusual lyrics.
The terrific combination of carefully crafted arrangements and lyrics jam packed with layers of symbols and metaphors, makes the "Table" EP a very special piece of art. We can hardly wait to listen to the State Broadcaster's newest album "Ghosts We Must Carry", which was just made available online on the band's Bandcamp site!
If you also got hooked on the refreshing sound of this Glaswegian band, make sure you visit their Bandcamp site or Soundcloud where you will discover more of their magnificent music. To prove your support, follow them on Twitter and like on Facebook. Make sure you also visit their official website for latest news, evens and tour dates!