Saturday night at The Howff with Starry Skies, Jamie Sutherland and Becci Wallace
howff /haʊf/. A favourite meeting place or haunt, especially a pub.
Welcome back to Saturday Night at The Howff. This week we have three new albums, from Starry Skies, Jamie Sutherland and Becci Wallace.
Renowned for his work as the leader of acclaimed Scottish band Broken Records (4AD, J# Records), Jamie Sutherland has broken out on his own to produce his debut solo album, Bruise. Recorded at Songbytoad’s HQ the “Happiness Hotel” through the Spring and Summer of 2017 with Meursault frontman Neil Pennycook (Meursault) producing, and featuring a band made up of members of Broken Records, Meursault, The Leg, Eagleowl, Stanley Odd and Siobhan Wilson, Bruise is an exploration of fatherhood, relationships and the changes in life that happen when you aren’t looking.
Sparse folk stylings and delicate pianos mingle with full band presentations of songs dressed in the trappings of classic, cinematic 60’s and 70’s folk song writing. While the title track Bruise and When I’m Alone break down faltering relationships and the disappointments of lives becoming disentangled, Be Careful Don’t Break My Heart explores childhood loves and Send Me The Darkness touches on the relationship with parents as they start to age. With elegant production from Neil Pennycook, who was brought in to help fill the absence of working with Broken Record for the first time in 13 years, the record is a deliberate attempt to place modern worries within the context of a soundtrack that is both timeless and comfortingly well worn.
You can hear more from Jamie Sutherland and support his work at his bandcamp here.
Starry Skies are Starry Skies are Warren McIntyre (Vocals/Guitar), Heather Phillips (Violin/Vocals), Jen Lunan – (Vocals/ Cello),Adam Scott (Bass), Johnny Rooney (Guitar) and Sophie Pragnell (Viola/Vocals/Percussion) and are definitely one of those bands whose reputation far outreaches the awareness of them in their own country. Their tracks are played across the world’s radio stations, the melodic folk-pop appealing to a wide range. The new album Do it With Love is out today on Foxstar records. The Howff features the opening track from the album I Want You to Know at this link where you can listen to the album in full.
Becci Wallace returns to the fray following the birth of her two children with the stunning Present Tense
Present Tense is written through the lens of someone who has learned just how important lived experience is. “Women need to be allowed to contribute more to the culture than romantic coming-of-age stories. The struggle is part of the story. Without the struggle, you will never find those beautiful moments of light that give you clarity.”
The single Coloured In, featuring Bryan McFarland (the only male voice on the album) begins a nuanced exploration of the female voice and experience. The daily rituals and precious moments that flow from nurturing a family find form in her nuanced exploaration of human frailties and hidden strengths.
This is the sound of an artist still growing, evolving, and finding her own unique voice as she hits a creative high-point. The results are moving and exhilarating – effortlessly contemporary, but tapping into a deep vein of classic songcraft. An active campaigner on behalf of women in the music industry, Becci is also the creator of That’s What She Said – a series of podcasts featuring panels and performances from women in music.
You can see more from Becci Wallace and support her work at her bandcamp here.