Monday, July 19, 2010

newmusicmonday #52 :: The Burns Unit

image :: "the unit in wee boxes", from MySpaceMusic
Emma, Mattie, Karine, Michael, KC, Kim, FP, MC Soom T {L-R, top to bottom}

This week's newmusicmonday marks the one year milestone featuring Scottish-Canadian "supergroup" The Burns Unit {MySpace}. Their bio on their site explains how they came together::
“'We may be the world’s first accidental big band,' says Johnston. The Burns Unit formed out of a one‐week songwriting retreat ‐ called 'Burnsong' ‐ held in rural Scotland in December 2006 (that also included Squeeze’s Chris Difford). Each musician arrived with virtually no connections to or knowledge of one another. 'Together, we’re such a mishmash of personalities and styles', says Johnston, 'we had no right to have gotten along as well as we did, let alone form a band and make an album. We often joke that we’re the band nobody asked to be a member of.'”
This video also explains the genesis of the band::

The band's début album, 'Side Show', is due to be released on 2 August in the UK {10 August in Canada & the US} and samples of their songs are available here on their site. The song "Trouble" {see previous link for sample} was Janice Forsythe's {BBC Scotland} song of the month. Also, there are a handful of upcoming performances in the UK. I stumbled across the band via Songkick and searches stemming from wondering whatever happened to The Delgados.

I've been listening to the samples and various videos of live performances and started getting into their eclectic sound, although the term “indie pop meets carnival rock” doesn't seem to do them justice. It might be my mood today, but I'm gravitating towards the more uptempo songs. For example, I really like the arrangement in this live video excerpt of the "What Is Life" from last summer::

I'm also a fan of this clip of "Helpless to Turn" from a Glasgow show at ABS in February of 2009::

Finally, here's an excerpt of the folksier "All of This in Writing" from Homegame 2009 {BBC Scotland}, which I've warmed up to after several listens::

Twitterversion:: [blog+video] 52nd. installment of #newmusicmonday on #rhizomicon feat. Scottish-Canadian The Burns Unit {@burnsunitband}.  @Prof_K

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