Emerging from the ever fertile music stomping ground that is Glasgow’s underground rock scene, Scottish four-piece Sons and Daughters have steadily developed from a sleazy minimalist blues-soaked rock act to an altogether more enthralling musical proposition, as comfortable exercising their Motown and Pop chops as they are spitting out unpolished garage rock.
With three albums under their belt, it is their most recent, ‘This Gift’, that most impresses. While 2004s ‘Love the Cup’ served as a screechy introduction and ‘2005s ‘The Repulsion Box’ delivered more unpolished rock complete with murder ballad lyrics; their latest kicks down a series of musical doors, combing influences as disparate as Lee Hazelwood to Nina Simone through to The Velvet Underground.
Comprised of two boys (singer/songwriter Scott Paterson; drummer Dave Gow) and two girls (co-singer/songwriter Adele Bethel; bassist Ailidh Lennon), Sons and Daughters first came together in 2003 with Bethal and Lennon the initial members. Recruiting the two boys, the group sought and won money from the Scottish Arts Council to record their seven-track debut ‘Love the Cup’.
Picked up by Ben Goldberg of New York label Ba Da Bing, the album received a limited release as the band plugged away with a US tour culminating in an appearance at the prestigious South by Southwest festival in Texas in March 2004.
There they came to the attention of Domino Records founder Laurence Bell, who was then enjoying the rewards of another of his Scottish signings – Franz Ferdinand.
Signing to Domino, ‘Love the Cup’ received a wider release with the single ‘Johnny Cash’ perking indie ears.
‘The Repulsion Box’ followed in June 2005, heralding two minor underground hits in ‘Dance Me In’ and ‘Taste the Last Girl’. Filled with twisted lyrics, it pointed to a particularly dark-sounding outfit obsessed with bleak themes such as repulsion and death.
The Bernard Butler (Suede)-produced ‘This Gift’ lets some light in without compromising the group’s intense, ferocious, sharp-shock sound. ‘The Nest’ shows shades of Motown blended with their trademark minimalist guitar, while indie pop-fused single ‘Darling’ echoes The Libertines. Live, the group have always impressed and the year ahead should see them do the rounds at this year’s festivals. Ones to watch for 2008.