Glasgow’s Sacred Paws don’t want to wallow in the doom and gloom of a world full of relentless misery. Instead, they fill their guitar pop songs with a bright and infectious optimism that makes their second album ‘Run Around The Sun’ a glorious experience.
The duo of guitarist Rachel and drummer Eilidh already set hearts fluttering with their acclaimed 2015 debut ‘Strike A Match’ which even went on to win the Scottish Album Of The Year Award. Now though, they’ve returned emboldened with a new record full of brightness and optimism.
“We write the music that we feel we need to write to cheer ourselves up,” starts Rachel. “We have to have fun with it otherwise we’d get bored.”
You can hear them having fun as they rush through a collection of ear-worm like guitar lines flecked with brass and all manner of other musical adornments which give their sound it’s distinctive quality. “We’re an indie pop band, but we have a punk heart,” proclaims Rachel. “We listen to a lot of mainstream pop music but also a lot of roots music from throughout the world, a lot of South African guitar playing and drumming.”
Their first album was the product of years of gigging and collaborating within the Glasgow indie scene and beyond. With Rachel originally based in London, the duo had to find a way to create. Now though, Rachel has moved up to join Eilidh, and the pair have been able to work more closely together.
“The first album was just kind of stuff we had worked on over six years. We cobbled it together,” remembers Eilidh. Now that they could more often be in the same room the process felt a bit more natural. “We were able to get together and write songs a bit more casually,” adds Rachel. "I really don’t know how we did it before, so I’m glad we don’t have to do that anymore.”
With the assurance gained from the first album’s success, the duo went into the process this time determined to push the boat out a bit more. “There are songs with chorus’ which we didn’t really do before,” laughs Eilidh. “With ‘Run Around The Sun’ we’ve become a bit more confident in the way we approached it.”
“When we recorded the first album it was slightly organic how we decided to just put a load of instruments on the record,” she goes on to explain. “This time around we had certain things in mind that we imagined because we knew it was possible. We knew our label Rock Action were up for letting us do that kind of stuff. We were more open to doing things.”
Songs like ‘The Conversation’ and the brass filled joy of ‘Almost Here’ highlight how Sacred Paws have developed their sound but lost none of their exuberance while the album also contains real moments of wistful beauty. Lyrically, they examine the themes central to all their work.
“We were talking about time, growing up and looking back with nostalgia,” says Rachel.
Ultimately though, their songs are organic moments of alchemy, a relationship between two vocalists and writers. There’s no grand plan or statement, just a desire to express themselves in a naturally tender way.
“We never discuss between the two of us what our lyrics are about,” says Rachel. “We can be singing about two different things in one song sometimes. It has that quality of like a conversation.”
Taken from the June issue of Dork. Sacred Paws' album 'Run Around The Sun' is out now.
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