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(SXSW 2014 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #286: Honeyblood

By on Thursday, 23rd January 2014 at 12:00 pm

Scottish duo Honeyblood finished recording their debut album in November of last year at Tarquin Studios, the Connecticut home studio of American producer Peter Katis. Katis is probably best known for his long-standing relationship with The National, but he has also co-produced and engineered several other Scottish bands, including Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad, and We Were Promised Jetpacks. This puts Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale (vocals, guitar) and Shona McViccar (drums) in good company as relative newcomers, and the release of their first album will be hotly anticipated heading into their SXSW 2014 appearance.

Honeyblood’s first single ‘Bud’ was produced by London producer Rory Attwell (Palma Violets, Veronica Falls) and released in October 2013 on FatCat Records. Despite the jaunty rhythms and uptempo beat, the band says on their Tumblr, “It’s a song about when everything goes to shit, fuck it.” Its lyrics are a bit dark, but the darkness is mitigated by the delicate natural imagery, as in the first verse: “My problems seem to stem / From the little seeds I plant / … When I finally say I’m never going back / They begin to flower.” The accompanying video (watch it below) was shot at Great Brampton House outside Hereford, where the pretty, natural setting seems to fit perfectly with the duo’s candy-coated vocal harmonies and organic, lo-fi instrumental sound.

The single’s B-side ‘Kissing on You’ is more aggressively punk, with harsher vocals and a pounding four-to-the-floor chorus. There is no subtlety in the lyrics here, no florid metaphor, just a direct statement of desire straight through to the end of the song, which insistently and somewhat awkwardly repeats, “I can’t think of anything better to do / Than spend my day kissing on you”, almost like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum.

Honeyblood’s twee grunge pop has drawn fully warranted comparisons to California groups Best Coast and Haim, not only for the female lead vocals, but for the laid-back vibe, fuzzy garage band tone and mildly rebellious lyrics. Honeyblood spent most of 2013 spreading their sunny pop sound through the Glasgow music scene, but Tweeddale and McViccar aren’t new to playing big shows and festivals, having played in the support slot for Palma Violets, Sleigh Bells and Deap Vally. Last summer, they played at Tramlines and The Great Escape as well as T in the Park in their native Scotland. After their appearance at SXSW, the duo are anticipating a UK tour in support of their expected album release this spring.



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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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