For the Record
BBC DJ Vic Galloway tells us what he’s grooving to.
Diverse Part 2 by Joseph Malik
He’s been making soul music for the best part of 30 years, but he’s been out of the spotlight for a while. This album is absolutely astonishing, it’s soul, blues, gospel with elements of hip hop and jazz. It’s got a classic ‘70s soul feel, bringing to mind artists such as Curtis Mayfield and Al Green. He’s fought some demons in his personal life, so there’s an over-arching sense of trauma. It’s not just for show, it’s not someone grandstanding with an acrobatic voice, it’s a pained individual singing from the heart.
3 Chevrons by Beak
People’s entry point into Beak is probably the fact that it’s an offshoot group from Geoff Barrow from Portishead. It’s very influenced by ‘70s German kosmische music, it has all the hallmarks of Can, Neu! and Faust. It’s experimental but also enjoys that motorik rhythmic side: the drums stay solid while the guitars, bass and analogue synths doodle around on top. The melodies and song construction are really interesting. It’s an album I keep returning to, I get something new from it each time.
From When I Wake the Want Is by Kathryn Joseph
This is out on Mogwai’s Rock Action label. She’s a woman in her forties who’s a mother, and when she released her first album, which went on to win the Scottish Album of the Year Award, she probably didn’t bank on having any kind of career as a musician. The album, which was basically a straight piano/voice album, really connected with people. This album is a natural step on, it’s full of the same kind of Philip Glass meets Radiohead melodic piano flourishes. She sings in this kind of witchy, almost fairy tale-like way, but it doesn’t sound affected, it’s very intimate and personal. The tunes are really strong and the production takes steps beyond the first album, so it’s not just piano and voice. You’ll like it if you’re a fan of any kind of artistic exploration by a singer-songwriter, something that doesn’t adhere to clichés. It’s an extraordinary album.
Listen to Vic on BBC Radio Scotland, is comprehensive book, Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop, is available now. This feature was published in Mill issue 3 January/February 2019.