My Latest Novel is, first and foremost, a brilliant name for a band. They are a band from Glasgow, a town that seemingly has a vibrant music scene these days. I first heard of them via a Bella Union Records freebie sampler, and based on the strength of the free track i heard there, i purchased this 7".
The product itself is rather lovely. The vinyl is caramel colored, and the
artwork is subtle and fitting. However, and i cannot complain about this enough,
nowhere on the release is the speed at which i am expected to play this record.
Fortunately, My Latest Novel are a vocalled band, so i can tell rather quickly
that this is a 45 RPM single. Please, people, just stamp the damned number
somewhere on the release! I hate having to guess, especially since i almost
always get it wrong on the first try.
Okay, pet peeve handled, so let's move on to discuss the music here. The A-side is Sister Sneaker Sister Soul, which is a simply beautiful pop tune. Guitars strum along, and strings swell up to dominate in the middle. The vocalist (one of the 4 band members credited with vocals on the 7"!) has a truly great voice. It's rich and clear, and he has the odd pronunciation that Scots have, which sounds so exotic to us Southerners. The overall effect is very classy. Couple that with a hummable melody and a song that explodes with arpeggioed strings, and you have one good tune. Very impressive.
The B-side is called The Not So Reverend, which is a clever title. (The band, it seems, are good at coming up with these sorts of things. Good for them.) This is a slower and much more melancholy tune. It is dominated by a wavering violin riff, and let's face it, fewer things are more sadness-provoking than a violin when that is the artist's intention and they know what they are doing. Here, violinist Laura McFarlane does a great job, and she adds light harmony vocals on the chorus. A nice pretty song.
Overall, this is a fine purchase, and a great introduction to the band. I expect good things to come from this act.