Loch Awe: the third largest freshwater loch in Scotland and also the longest, stretching to 41km over Argyll with an average width of a kilometre (0.62 miles).
Wikipedia-derived Geography lesson over, it’s also a damn beautiful spot in a part of the country, underrated for its scenery. And, it’s leant its name to a bunch of Edinburgh folk types called, uhhhh, Loch Awe.
The band emerged last year and quickly gained critical acclaim for their debut album Artificial Life from a Digital Sea, available to download for absolutely nothing on their Bandcamp page.
Now notionally up to a five piece from key trio Matthew, Jack and Joy, they haven’t played a vast amount of shows as yet, but on record they’ve an instantly familiar air about them, a great addition to the capital’s burgeoning indie folk scene.
Let’s meet them.
So who the hell are you?
We’re Matthew, Joy, Jack, Oliver and Brian. More specifically, I am Matthew. Who the hell are you?
Jerermy Paxman on Xanax. Describe your sound in ten words or less!
A good soundtrack to a local scene c##### j### (censored after deleting the 184th offensive spam comment on this post. Please see ’*’ below for info).
Why Loch Awe? Why not Loch Tay, Loch Ness, or the Lock Inn in Restalrig?
That’s a good question. I don’t have a good answer, so here’s a lie instead: I was abandoned on the shores of Loch Awe when I was a baby. A fisherman found me and, along with his kind wife, raised me as his own. I learned to fish, and soon was building musical instruments from the bones of the fish I caught. It was these instruments with which I wrote the first songs for the band, and so it was only right I name it after the loch where I was found…
You are the Moses of indie folk! How did you guys come together as a band?
Jack and I had been wanting to play together since we met in 2009. When we finally started recording songs we decided we could use another vocalist, so we invited Joy along. Then we stole Oliver from another band to play trumpet and drums. More recently we’ve got Brian on a timeshare with The Last Battle and Trapped Mice [surely making him the hardest working man in Edinburgh's music scene - Ed].
Have you played many gigs so far? Can we expect to see you playing more shows soon?
We’ve only played three shows. Partly because we’re all students and partly because I’m not the most proactive gig-seeker. We love playing shows, I just suck at finding shows for us to play. If we get asked to play more, then you’ll see us.
Any key influences you’d like to flag up?
I can’t speak for any of the others, and I don’t know how much these bands influenced our sound, but I’m inspired by: King Creosote (that voice!), Withered Hand (those words!), Mount Eerie, Why?, Youthmovies, Meursault, Y’all Is Fantasy Island, and loads more.
A whole album available for free – a bold step but not unwelcome. Why did you do it?
Two reasons, really. Firstly it didn’t cost us anything to record it, so why would we charge for it? Secondly it was a business decision, I figure giving this record away for free means we can charge several thousand pounds for the next one. Then again, I never was a great businessman…
What’s next for Loch Awe?
We’re hoping to record some more songs this summer. We wrote and recorded the last album in two weeks, so we’re going to see if we can do this one in a matter of days. That, and more shows. Lots more shows. Probably. And maybe a line of action figures and a comic to accompany LOCH AWE: THE MOVIE, which is something I just made up, but I think definitely needs to happen.
Have a blast of their album’s opening track The Ocean in Me below and go download it for nowt.