Posts Tagged ‘scotland’

This week’s Tunesday is a double play because I just could not decide on which song to feature. To tell you the truth I could probably feature a new song every day and not get bored, but I think a lot of you would stop reading!

I suppose when I started this feature I only wanted to let you all know what I was listening to and perhaps encourage you to listen to it as well. I hope this has worked, especially for the two bands I am featuring today who are both Scottish and definitely bands I think you should wholly support.

The (first) Song: Things

The (first) Band: Frightened Rabbit

(pardon the non-video video, but I REALLY want you to hear this song!)

S is the one who introduced me to Frightened Rabbit, I think after reading a review in some newspaper or another. “Things” is the opening track of their third album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, which I can confidently say will blow your mind. Every track on this album is equally amazing; I could have chosen “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”, the first single from the album, which is a shockingly fierce and emotional song. I could have chosen “Nothing Like You” which is threatening to be my favourite song of July, if not of the year.

Instead, I chose the opening track, “Things”, and once you listen to the song, and listen to the album, I think you will see why; because it is simply fantastic, because it is the first song of theirs I ever heard, and the one I keep coming back to over and over and over.

Anyone can tell you that I am a complete sucker for an audible accent in a rock song, especially a Scottish one, and lead singer Scott Hutchison’s voice completely floors me. He could say anything to me, from “hello” to “rubbish weather” and have me gibbering and nodding my head like an idiot. “Things” is deliciously upbeat, an anthem for sloughing off old skin and deserting useless reminders of the past.

Listen to it. Love it. Let me know what you think, and, of course, buy the album.

Things by Frightened Rabbit

Here is the evidence of human existence;
A splitting bin bag next to two damp boxes,
And I cannot find a name for them,
They hardly show that I have lived,
And the dust it settles on these things,
Displays my age again.
Like a new skin made from old skin
That had barely been lived in

I didn’t need these things; I didn’t need them,
Pointless artefacts of a mediocre past.
So I shed my clothes, I shed my flesh
Down to the bone and burned the rest

I didn’t need these things; I didn’t need them,
I took them all to bits, turned them outside-in
And I left them on the floor
And ran for dear life through the door.

Useless objects, a gathered storm of shit
A dim and silent shed filled of your life’s supplies
When all you need’s a coffin and your Sunday best
To smarten up in the end.
At the front gate what a reward awaits,
One bite of loaf from a Holy Ghost;
An eternity of suffering in the company of
All those Christian men.

I didn’t need these things; I didn’t need them,
Pointless artefacts of a mediocre past.
So I shed my clothes, I shed my flesh
Down to the bone and burned the rest

I didn’t need these things; I didn’t need them,
I took them all to bits, turned them outside-in
And I left them on the floor
And ran for dear life through the door.

I’ll never need these things; I’ll never need them,
It’s just you I need; you’re my human heat.
And the things are only things
And nothing brings me like you bring me.

I’ll never need these things; I’ll never need them,
Never going back, so we can drop the past
And we’ll leave it on the floor
And run for dear life through the door.

Once again, these lyrics are my own approximation and I apologize sincerely (mostly to the artist) if I have gotten something wrong.

On to the second tune!

The (second) Song: Home

The (second) Band: The Boy Who Trapped the Sun

The Boy Who Trapped the Sun is actually just Colin Macleod, one crazy talented Scot from the Isle of Lewis. When you listen to the album there is no way you will believe that this is just one guy intent on playing all the parts himself (except strings and female vocals). And yet here you have a debut album resplendent with gorgeous melodies and insightful lyrics which is refreshing and inviting and wonderful. He is beautiful, his voice is indescribable and this album is breathtaking.

I liked Fireplace from the get-go and wish I had a few days set aside to listen to nothing but this. The album places you smack dab in the middle of the isolated northern islands; the ocean, waves, loneliness and longing.

The opening track, “Golden” is melancholy and achingly beautiful, and is followed by the upbeat single “Katy” which is humorous and fun. I can’t decide on a favourite track between “Dreaming Like a Fool” which has an up-tempo waltz beat that echoes Elliott Smith, or the emotionally draining “Copper Down” which sounds painfully autobiographical. In fact, I can’t decide on my favourite track out of the whole album – it’s that good.

I have chosen “Home” as my song for Tunesday because, while I may not have gotten the lyrics down 100% (sorry, Colin!)[update – I have confirmation that these lyrics are, in fact, “spot on”], there is a video to go along with it and I wanted you all to see this remarkable talent in action.

Home by The Boy Who Trapped the Sun

Home is where you lay your head
My head lies between the cracks
Breadlines lead to wasted days
Maybe I’m better put to longer days

Oh, this city’s not a home
But it’s somewhere to get lost

Maybe I’m lying to myself
I’m not a grafter; I’m not a man of earth
I have a habit; it’s a full time occupation
‘Cause the grass is always greener
When you can see the garden

Oh, this city’s not a home
But it’s somewhere to get lost

I’ve spent my life
Watching other people
Have a life

I can guarantee you that there are many bigger and better things to come from this talented individual, and I can hardly wait to see what he comes up with next. In the meantime, listen to this album and love it like I do.


p.s. Have I mentioned before how lucky I feel to be living in Scotland? I may complain about the weather sometimes, but I really to love it here.

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What a wonderful day we’ve had!  We woke up to gray skies and decided to take a drive further south to where the sun promised to be. I’ve always wanted to visit the Gem & Rock Museum in Creetown so away we went down to Dumfries and Galloway to see it.

We took the forest road down which didn’t take too long.  It rained on and off for a while, but there was nothing too heavy. Creetown was lovely, a typical main-street village with tons of little shops and such.  We did not spend any time there at all, just went to the museum and the left again after that. I’d like to go back, though because it was beautiful!

As a precursor let me say that I am a sucker to gems and rocks and minerals and anything that comes from the Earth.  In another life I am pretty sure I was a geologist.  I love crystals and all of that, so the museum was right up my alley.  S on the other hand, well, he only went to please me!  Which is lovely, don’t you think?

Anyway, we spent the most of our time in the gift shop where I bought some tumbled stones and lusted after some jewelry. It was a nice place if you like rocks, pretty boring if you don’t.

We took the coast road back home through Stranraer and Girvan and stopped at Turnberry Hotel for afternoon tea.  I have always loved Turnberry Hotel.  I got a certificate for a free night’s stay there in January of 2008 which was lovely. The certificate was for dinner, bed and breakfast and we still managed to spend £160 in just over 24 hours.  How did we do that, you ask, well… The certificate only entitled us to £50 each for dinner which covered only food, so any beverages were on top of that.  And we took tea the day we arrived, and had a coffee I think the next day.  Anyway, it all adds up pretty quick in a place like that.

Last summer we went down to The British Open at Turnberry and it was amazing.  The hotel is just iconic, sitting on a rise above the water all windows and white wash – it truly is a sight to see.  I love it.

So on the drive home today we stopped in to have afternoon tea.  For £24 per person.  No joke.  Why would we agree to pay £24 each for a few finger sandwiches and a couple of cups of tea?  Well, this may give you a small idea of how very worth it it was:

Also, just as a note, there has never been a better time to go to Turnberry – they had an all over renovation last year for The British Open and it is absolutely gorgeous inside. Honestly, it is a sight to see. Especially on a day like today with the sun seeping through the clouds and sparkling off the water and the hulking mass of Ailsa Craig in the distance. Swoon.

So, all in all, it was a fantastic day.


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