Scottish Pop Song of the Day #32

Sons & Daughters – Silver Spell (2011)


I have this recollection of what I think was Sons & Daughters‘ first-ever gig. (Please correct me if I’m wrong). They were playing with Arab Strap at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy in Glasgow, it must have been late 2002. I remember various vegetables being utilised by way of percussion – leeks and bananas featured, I believe – and the ramshackle band were brilliant.

Vocalist Adele Bethel was no stranger to Arab Strap fans, of course, having long sashayed as a bolshy vocal (and verbal) foil to Aidan Moffat – especially across the glorious post-carnal flush of 1998’s ‘Philophobia’ – but Sons & Daughters’ nascent amalgam of glam-folk and art-pop was a revelation all the same.

One mini-album and two long-players since, Bethel and co have just swaggered back into view with this new track, Silver Spell, and what a primal-rock joy it is to behold. It sounds a bit like a late-seventies / early-eighties Mute release and perhaps this is no accident: this single and forthcoming album, ‘Mirror Mirror’ (Domino), have been produced by Optimo’s JD Twitch, with mixing provided by Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode / Wire).

Much was made of Sons & Daughters’ gilded alliance with Bernard Butler on their second album, 2008’s ‘This Gift’, but on the evidence herein, Sons and Daughters Mk III will be way more thrilling. Conversely, their new material also sounds much more like the stripped-back, vegetable-wielding pop insurgents I remember from Nice ‘n’ Sleazy all those years ago.

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