The Scottish Enlightenment - Little Sleep [EP]
Release date: 27/09/10
Link: Official Website
If nothing else, when The Scottish Enlightenment look back on 2010, they'll be able to say that it was an industrious year for them. A sold out EP in May, their debut full-length album released this November and between the two, with a smattering of gigs, Little Sleep. Thankfully, the band haven't sacrificed quality for quantity.
The first and titular track is taken from their upcoming record, St. Thomas. The warlike drumbeat and howling guitar of 'Little Sleep' provide the perfect backdrop to David Moyes' lyrics, which liken a struggling relationship to defending a barricade. With shades of Explosions in the Sky and fellow Scots Mogwai, this is sure to swell the breast of any bedroom hero.
The Scottish Enlightenment really sparkle, however, when keeping their music simple. Like 'Riverbed' from their last EP,Pascal, 'Drip Feed' is a short but pretty piano piece mingled with sombre lyrics. Though the repetition of this trick somewhat diminishes the track's appeal, it's still hard not to be charmed by it's gentle simplicity. Just as it's impossible not to be taken in by the irresistible pop hook of 'Get My Limousine'. The latter is easily my favourite of the five songs, taking a wry look at X-Factor style celebrity - âIf Louis taught me one thing, it's that talent's not the main thingâ - whilst kicking out an infectious tune.
Unfortunately, the EP does have its weaker moments as well. 'When You Hate Me' continues the band's penchant for slow, dreamy melodies, but is ruined by a grating chorus that sounds a bit like someone practising scales. Meanwhile, the soporific 'San Germain', the final track, revisits elements of previous songs at a point when you've had enough echoing guitar and drowsy tempos. In fact, by the sound of David Moyes' vocals you'd be forgiven for thinking he felt the same way.
Like Pascal, Little Sleep has it's rough edges. Overall, however, it's well worth a listen and provides a tantalising glimpse of St. Thomas. The Scottish Enlightenment are all set to remember November 2010 as their greatest triumph.