The world of music isn’t spared the Scottish independence debate. While David Bowie confessed his support of the Union in his BRIT Awards statement, Mogwai profess their vehement desire for a ‘Yes’ vote. The latest record from King Creosote, then, while not a direct support or rejection in itself, feels quite appropriately timed. ‘From Scotland With Love’ is awash with Alba pride, from glorious patriotic soundscapes to Kenny Anderson’s distinct croon.
But what’s most striking here is the album’s variety. “I’m clinging on to my homeland and my fingers clawing earth, peat and sand”, he sings on ‘Leaf Piece’, a track which perfectly captures the emotional relationship one can have with their home, his lullaby-soft vocals clouding the line between heart-warming and melancholic to profound effect. Then, on the opposite end of the spectrum is the charming ‘Bluebell, Cockleshell, 123’. Upbeat but by no means expansive, it’s a clapping playground rhyme, lent authenticity by the appearance of a chorus of schoolgirls. Their presence, combined with lyrics of white angels and the like sees Anderson reflect on childhood innocence with rose-tinted glasses but little accompanying sadness.
‘Largs’ wins the prize for most danceable moment here, channelling a Villagers-esque spring in Anderson’s step, all manner of instrumentation providing everything necessary for some sort of erratic Ceilidh. It’s a classic lesson in the slow build, with more and more layers of instrumentation and vocals added until a peak of national anthem proportions. It helps round off a record which triumphs whether you’re a Scot or not, casting a very golden glow on the culture and traditions of such a vibrant country.