Album of the Week: The State Broadcasters – Ghosts We Must Carry
There’s something instantly familiar and comforting about the second album by the State Broadcasters. Much of their merch states that they’ve been ‘singing sad songs since 2004′ and to hear mournful opener The Only Way Home, you could quite believe it.
Straight from the off it will have you reaching for the whisky and the tissues. It’s time to sit down and have a good sniffle, even if you’re life has been full of joy of late
First single Trespassers is a beautiful Waltz, reminiscent of Hate-era Delgados. Graeme Black’s vocals are also a little reminiscent of Stuart Murdoch, intertwined splendidly with harp and accordion player Gillian Fleetwood’s and some delicate piano, this is indeed a heady mix.
“This is a painful way for you to say your goodbyes” sighs Kittiwake, recounting an excruciating hill walk, a song that skips gracefully around the spectre of modern Scottish folk, before Fleetwood takes the lead on the rather morose The Only One.
Takeshi could summon a montage in an indie romance flick. You know, when the slightly repressed guy in the band realisese the kooky gal with blue hair he’s given the brush off to really could be the love of his life – only for him to realise she’s shacked up with some other douchebag.
We could keep listing each song and its sad factor individually or we could wrap up before the reaally whisky takes hold and we’re wiping tears off our iPad. This is a heartbreaking record, indebted as much to downbeat Americana as it is Scottish indie.
Judging by their tour dates below (in particular the venues), the State Broadcasters seem to be billing themselves as a local band for local people, but we hope the band are able to push beyond such boundaries, if only to ensure they make the rest of the country as miserable as we are. Sniff.
Has it been a long road to getting the album out?
It has taken a while to get to the release date but the album was actually finished a wee while ago now so the road was a little twisty and bumpy but not too long! We do like to take our time and make sure the songs sounds as good as we can and we had no budget so it probably takes us a bit longer than Jimmy Major Label to get our songs recorded.
What’s been the influences behind it?
I wanted the album to have a really cohesive feel both lyrically and musically, there’s no concept as such but I hope the listener will be able make sense of why one song follows the other. During the writing of the songs, two of my favourite songwriters (Vic Chesnutt and Mark Linkous) died. They have always influenced my songs but when they died it made me realise how much I loved their music so I think they are all over most of these songs. I also wanted it to sound kind of pastoral which, I think, we managed to do. Yip, it definitely sounds like shepherds herding livestock around open areas of land according to seasons and the changing availability of water and pasturage, which, funnily enough, is the total opposite of any Sparklehorse record!
Can we expect to see you playing shows soon?
We have a few dates pencilled in so far with plans afoot for more soon.
Indeed they do, although by the looks of it you need to be in Glasgow or, ummm, Sheffield. Ghosts We Must Carry is out on Monday, dates as follows:
Sept 13, Glasgow Stereo
Oct 21 Glasgow Woodlands Hall @ WellingChurch (album launch party)
Oct 26 Glasgow Woodend Tennis Club (supporting The Mastersons)
Dec 14 Glasgow Glad Café (Olive Grove Xmas Party)
Dec 16 Sheffield Greystones