Having successfully returned to an old favourite in the Son(s) a few weeks back, Olive Grove Records have shown they’re not content to rest on their laurels and have picked up the State Broadcasters.
Who they? Well, you could be forgiven for asking, with barely a peep from the band since their 2009 debut album The Ship and The Iceberg, which itself followed some impressive support slots and no little critical acclaim.
The band will return with an expanded line-up and new album in September, but to whet our appetite, first single Trespassers is available now for free download with a launch gig at Glasgow’s Captain’s Rest on Thursday (June 14).
It’s part of the West End Festival which we understand is some kind of cultural celebration of being Glaswegian. Support comes from Jo Mango and Randolph’s Leap, so if you’re from that neck of the woods you’d be nuts to miss it, not least because Trespassers picks up where the last album left off – moody, downbeat indie folk sounds that go down very well indeed at Tidal Wave Towers.
We spoke to the band’s Graeme Black about what’s in store.
So who the hell are you?
We are State Broadcasters, formed in Glasgow in 2004 by two people and now, eventually, we are seven people. First album released in 2009, second album due September 2012 on the wonderful Olive Grove Records. It’s called Ghosts We Must Carry and it’s rather good.
Describe your sound in ten words or less!
That graffiti on that toilet wall says it all.
You’ve had an awfully low profile of late – what gives?
Well………uhm…. I can’t really explain that, haven’t we always had a low profile? I think it’s important sometimes to take a bit of time to think about stuff, it shows we care doesn’t it? I’ve never really liked this idea of just churning out everything you record just because the technology now allows you to do that, I find that a bit insulting to fans. So, I hope people will understand that we’ve taken our time in an effort to make music that has been thought about and that we worked hard on.
Tell us a bit about the new single!
Trespassers, it is called. It’s really about two people born in the cold, dark miserable winter of Scotland who are madly in love with each other. They can’t possible imagine ever being apart and this is the one simple message. A simple love song really. The best kind.
How did you get involved with Olive Grove?
They heard our new album. They liked it. We liked them and then they liked us and then we all cried and then we dried each others tears on each others handkerchiefs then gave each other high fives (well the rest of them did I’d never indulge in such churlish behaviour) and the union was sealed.
How’s the album looking?
We’re really pleased with it. I think we’ve managed to distill the sounds we liked from the first album to make something more cohesive. Better playing, better singing and better songs. I’m very proud of it. There is a clear sense of melancholy throughout the album but I hope the listener can hear the warmth and hope hidden away in the corners of the songs.
What can we expect to see at your launch gig?
Well it’s been a while since we’ve played so we’re really excited. We’ll be playing live with a drummer for the first time ever, which is something we’ve thought about a lot over the years but never been brave enough to do. We think it works well and gives us a new dynamic without damaging the more fragile elements of our sound. It’s also a great bill with Randolph’s Leap and Jo Mango playing sets too. Being honest we should be opening up for both of these acts and not the other way round!
BBC aside, who’s your favourite state broadcaster?
I’ve heard North Korean television is very good.
Bzzzzt. Wrong! The correct answer was in fact Russian news agency TASS.
You can download Trespassers for free now and listen below.