monoganon F A M I L Y (LP + CD, £12.95)label: Lost Map Records
Monoganon are a Glasgow-formed four-piece, led with strength of artistry, willpower and broadband connection from Malmö, Sweden by inestimable singer, guitarist and songwriter, Scottish ex-pat John B. McKenna, with dexterous and intuitive support from drummer Colin Kearney, guitarist Andrew Cowan and bassist Susan Bear. F A M I L Y, the band's second album, and their first with Lost Map, is a time signature shifting head-spin of a record full of thrillingly unpredictable forays into dreamy acoustic wonderment, Pavement-worthy off-kilter riffs, and fuzzed-out post-rock catharsis. The album is a moving mediation on the torment of loss, the peculiar sort of enlightenment it can bring, and the power of new momentum and direction to soothe troubled souls - it’s set to charm, entrance and introduce to a much wider audience an idiosyncratically inventive and compelling new voice and force in Scottish independent music. Written between Scotland and Sweden, and recorded by Winning Sperm Party's Duncan Young in five intensive days at Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), F A M I L Y at its heart carries the tragic loss of one of the most important figures in McKenna’s life. While this sadness left John “constantly digesting a hairball of pain every morning upon waking,” as he puts it, far from dwelling on his despair, John instead used it as a songwriting prism through which to view the ties that bind and the spaces between the formative figures in our lives; what it means when they’re here and once they’re gone, and how the true essence of individuality and character can only begin to be fathomed once we’ve confronted our relationships with our closest kith and kin.
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