After all the fun and games of my ‘Ones To Watch’ posts, normal Scots Way-Hay will now be resumed with indie-folk four piece, Dear Mountaineer. Having recently played at the Chem 19 showcase gig in Glasgow a few weeks back, the band first came to my attention through Halina with whom I run Olive Grove Records, also known as the brains behind the awesome Glasgow Podcart.
I think she was trying to mock me for my love of of twee-pop, but boy did she get it right. When I first listened to them on Bandcamp I could have sworn there was a lot more on there than just the 23 second clip you can stream below (NB any bands out there reading this, please don’t do this, it’s frustrating and as limited as most folks attention spans are, they do expect something more). Anyway, they write catchy wee pop numbers and they make me happy, I predict that they might do the same for a lot of you too.
Would you care to introduce yourself?
We’re an indie pop band from Glasgow called Dear Mountaineer!
How would you describe the music you make?
It’s a bit whimsical and possibly childish at times. There’s a real focus on vocal harmonies between us all – a lot of it quite repetitive.
How did you come together as a band?
We’ve been friends for a number of years. Stories about band formations are typically boring so we won’t pretend it was anything magical. Most bands are born from the womb of a pub, aren’t they? (I like to think so, aye – Peenko)
How did you start out making music?
As a group? We were playing in separate little projects of ours and kept having chance encounters . I guess it just made sense to set up something together.
What process goes into the way you write songs?
We have our own small rehearsal space where, as individuals, we can spend time bouncing ideas down onto software. We can then share clips, ideas and scraps of melodies. Once we have the skeleton of a song, we’ll get together, rip it apart and rebuild it again.
Who are your big musical influences?
It’s probably quite apparent that we’re heavily influenced by contemporary Scottish music. Rather than make an incredibly long list, the one thing we share in common is the appreciation of a well written song with character. If it makes us laugh, cry or has some sort of affect on us then we’ll soak it right up.
What kind of influence do you feel that where you come from has had on the music you create?
We’re proud of the music that Glasgow and Scotland has and is producing. It’s an area absorbed in supporting independent music. It would seem impossible not to be influenced by that. I hope it shows in our music.
What can people expect to see/hear from your live shows?
You can probably expect a lot of imperfect, folk-ish rhythms and harmonies. As our confidence grows, we really hope we can develop good interaction with our audience. We really want people to wander where the time has gone as we reach our last song.
Has there been a particular gig that has stood out for you so far (good or bad)?
Well, we haven’t played many! In October we played a couple of gigs in bars which were really just to get a feel for playing live again. On Saturday we played our first “proper” show at a sold out Captains Rest. It was a wonderful atmosphere and very encouraging.
You were recently recording in Chem19, how did that come about? and do you feel that you got a lot out of the experience?
“The Hare Versus The Bear” and “Noah” were recorded at Chem19 thanks to help from Creative Scotland. Jamie Savage recorded us over three days. We geeked-out at microphones for a while. It was christmas time and we listened to the Phil Spector’s “A Christmas Gift for You” and Billy Connelly on a wee vinyl player in the kitchen. It felt like a holiday!
What are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond? Do you have any new releases planned for any time soon?
Once The Hare Versus The Bear has been released, we’ll get to work on our next recordings. As far as plans are concerned, we’re mainly interested in improving as a group and rounding up as much interest in the music as we can along the way. One step at a time!
Dear Mountaineers new single ‘Hare Versus The Bear’ is available to download from their Bandcamp page, plus they’ve also promised to announce some gigs very very soon.
Photo Credit: Some random mountaineers