They don't need a vocalist, they don't even need to tell you what their name means. The Gothenburg Address make music that bleeds with so much honest to goodness grandeur that they claim PJ Harvey and Ian Rankin as fans - quite a quick feat for the Edinburgh foursome. With two of the four citing Arab Strap as former musical ventures, what they do now is like updated shoegaze that's neither tiresome nor terribly urgent, just wide open, glorious noise that can do as it pleases. On the heels of the release of a new single, TGA's Luke Joyce spoke to The List about how they got here and the journey ahead.
How did you guys meet and come up with your name?
I first met Rob through an ad I put out. He was already in a band with Jeansy but they both obviously saw something in my songs that made them want to get involved. Chris joined a couple of weeks later. He and Jeansy were already friends due to their time together in Arab strap and The Zephyrs. As for the name, it's something that I came up with long before the band formed. It has meaning, but it's not something I'm ready to expand upon just yet.
You obviously don't need to, but do any of you sing?
I have been the main vocalist in the majority of my previous bands, and Chris did a lot of the vocal parts on the recent Sans Trauma album. I think not having a vocalist gives the music a freedom; we can go where we like with it.
And what about the single A Lesser Coming Home?
Getting the single recorded has opened up many doors for the band. I think there was a real anticipation for it. We had a large amount of pre-orders, and the CD sold out within a couple of weeks. With folk such as PJ Harvey and Ian Rankin asking for copies, we're hoping that our music will start to get more exposure outwith our local fanbase. As for the single itself, it contains what I think at the time were the bands two favourite songs. We have an extensive playlist now, so much so that cutting it down for the album is proving troublesome.
Best musical moment of the past year?
I think playing George Square just before Chrismas was a high point for everyone. Playing on such a large stage to so many people was suprisingly comfortable for us. A few weeks ago we had our first sold out show which was another moment that reassured us that we are on the right track. Having people respond to what you do on stage is an amazing feeling, and always gives us a boost to become as good as we can.
What's to look forward to this summer?
This summer will be busy for us. We have the album to record, whilst playing shows when we can. We have been invited to play The Wickerman Festival in July, which will be our first festival experience. We will also be taking our first trip to London and into Europe. There is also a soundtrack or two in the pipeline.
Who else do you recommend on the Scottish scene?
I think the Scottish scene is stronger than ever right now. There's a lot of bands I still want to see, but we're just so busy. I did catch a solo show by the lady from Sparrow In The Workshop. That blew me away. Such a great voice. Glasgow band The Brother Louis Collective are about to do amazing things. Their single 'These Barren Years' is a must-buy. I have great respect for the musical talent in that band, and Louis' songwriting is beyond his years. Also, west coast band What The Blood Revealed are doing great things just now. We're very much looking forward to playing the 13th Note with them in a few weeks time.
Gothenburg Address play Bongo Club, Edinburgh with St Deluxe, May 28; Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh with UNGOMSKULLEN, June 21; 13th Note, Glasgow, June 24.