Released: 21st February 2020
|LP + Signed Print||£23.99||Out of Stock|
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|Deluxe LP + Signed Print||£25.99||Buy Now||In Stock. Dispatched today.|
Monorail Exclusive Edition - with limited, numbered, risoprint of alternate album artwork, signed by artist Rob Churm. With orders of the LP while stocks last! Deluxe LP is on limited yellow vinyl.
SPINNING COIN, Hyacinth
Hyacinth, the second album for this most singular Glasgow/Berlin quartet, is a bold step forward. A breathless rush of glorious guitar pop, it’s an album full of poetry and light, with real warmth of heart.
Recorded over only two days, but with several years of new experiences and wisdom at its core, Hyacinth is confident and poised, holding nothing back.
They’ve achieved a lot since the release of their debut album, 2017’s Permo. With that album, and its two preceding singles (“Albany” and the magisterial “Raining On Hope Street”), they became a beacon for people looking for great pop that balanced realism with escapism. Permo was full of songs equal parts personal and political, and the sound was both a development of Glasgow’s independent music continuum, and very much its own thing, the confluence of four inspired individuals, playing out proudly.
Hyacinth registers a number of changes for Spinning Coin: personnel changes, geographical changes, a new context, an ever-changing world outside. “We’ve had loads of experiences since releasing Permo,” bass player and vocalist Rachel Taylor says. “We’ve toured a great deal, grown older, grown closer to each other, two of us experienced moving to a new country, all of us turned 30. It’s reflected in the music because we’ve put a lot of heart into the music. A lot of time and a lot of energy.”
Hyacinth was recorded by Peter Deimel at Black Box Studios in France on a stop-over while the group were on a summertime tour. Booking the studio to record an EP over two days, the quartet’s ambitions quickly shone through: “Because we always want to keep moving forward, we decided to record a whole album in that time,” guitarist and vocalist Sean Armstrong recalls. “It was around the end of a long tour and we were in a kind of tired, wired state when we arrived.”
Black Box was an idyll, a restorative respite. “All free time was spent outside,” guitarist and vocalist Jack Mellin smiles, “there was a dart board in the garden and a sweet dog running around. It’s such an amazing studio in the countryside, western France, roughly between Nantes and Rennes.” It’s tempting to think Hyacinth’s easy confidence was a result of such a genial context, but the album also captures the group’s near-telepathic communication; they approached the sessions like a live set, getting all the songs down over that two-day window.
It’s doubly impressive given the changes Spinning Coin have been through over the past year. They’ve both lost and gained a member, with Cal Donnelly exiting the group, and Rachel joining. Rachel and Sean have relocated, leaving Glasgow for Berlin – Rachel, from Canada, had no choice but to leave the UK, and Sean followed her. “I think if anything the change has brought us closer as a band,” Rachel reflects, “and made it clear to us that we wanted to continue making music together".
More practically, with the two core songwriters in different countries, the writing process has changed: “we’ve been recording at home on an old Tascam four-track that Chris (White, drums) gave to us,” Sean says. “Between us and Jack we will write songs and send the ideas to each other, and then rehearse them together before we go on tour.” But it’s telling that Spinning Coin’s new songs feel just as connected and vital as those on their first album - “somehow in the spirit of these songs and recordings is inscribed the closeness of us as friends,” Rachel continues, “and as a band.”
And what songs they are. There’s joy in here, in spades, but also melancholy, and a checked fury, threading the group’s political vision through their reflections on the personal and the interpersonal. Talking about the album’s overarching tone, Sean reflects, “We thought it was going to be a lot darker than the first album in song writing terms. Nihilistic in a human sense but trying to see the bigger picture in terms of nature, space, and of course music.”
That nihilism – perhaps, more appropriately, a political realism – is still there, in some of the observations of the dynamics between people, and between humanity and political structures, that are dotted through these songs. But ultimately, things feel more personal and intimate here: as Jack mentions, the songs “are about the need for love in an often very unloving world. Trying to find a balance of some kind between feelings of apathy, negativity, detachment and action, positivity and oneness.”
1 - Avenues Of Spring
2 - Feel You More Than World Right Now
3 - Get High
4 - The Long Heights
5 - Despotic Sway
6 - Ghosting
7 - Laughing Ways
8 - Black Cat
9 - Soul Trader
10 - Never Enough
11 - Slips Away
12 - It's Alright
13 - Thing Of The Past