Five years after their acclaimed debut Pale Fire return with Husbands: a collection of chamber pop songs that reflects the diversity and wealth of talent present in the current Scottish music and literary scene. Scottish alternative indie sextet Pale Fire were formed in Airdrie and Coatbridge (North Lanarkshire) in 2011 by a group of bedroom musicians who had attended school together: Kris O’Rourke (guitars), James McCann (vocals), Adrian Walker (lead guitar, backing vocals), Matthew Nevans (guitars), Stephen Forrest (bass guitar) and Barry Boulton (drums). The band spoke with The Fountain about all things Husbands as well as their favourite venue to get back to.
TF: You have a new album out, what has the reception been like to Husbands?
Your friends and family will tell you what you do is amazing, even if it isn’t, so for us the marker of success is the people who we have never met who have commented or tweeted about Husbands. Alan Morrison from Creative Scotland tweeted that it is ‘superb’; this assertion has been echoed by Ali Braidwood from the Scots Wae Hey! blog and podcast. The Mercury Music Prize judge Mike Walsh said it gave him goosebumps, US Blogger Glenn Griffith (A Pessimist is Never Disappointed Blog) said that it is up there with ‘the best of Wilco’. Charlie Ashcroft from Amazing Radio said that it is ‘full of anthems’. Heard not Herd podcast called it ‘One of the best LPs out this year’. BBC Radio RAPAL called it ‘stunning’. Singer songwriter Peter Kelly AKA Beerjacket praised its ‘lush’ cound. Ian Smith from The Weekender Magazine called it ‘polished, dynamic and epic’, and said that the album showcases ‘the sheer talent the band has to offer’. Then from music lovers on Twitter we’ve had adjectives like ‘stunning’, and even ‘a modern classic’ and ‘a masterpiece’. At the time of writing the album has only been out for over a week. The creation of any work of art is a process fraught with second guessing and self doubt; to say that this feedback is a lovely surprise is an understatement.
TF: How would you sum up the LP in one sentence?
String soaked euphoric melancholy that anticipates the aches and pains of middle age.
TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year, after this LP release?
We are currently working out arrangements for album number three, and working hard to reproduce the epic production of Husbands in a live setting; like many musicians we are desperate to get back to playing live, however we are acutely aware of the precariousness of the COVID situation. We cannot wait to come out and play for people again, but only when it is absolutely safe to do so. We are all in the privileged position of not having to rely on gigging as our main source of income; we really feel for those who are suffering at the moment.
TF: Where is your favourite venue for playing live, where is the next place you look most forward to gigging?
Of the places that we have played: King Tut’s and Stereo really are special venues. It would be lovely to see more of Scotland as a band; we love Inverness and the Outer Hebrides. In terms of ambitions, the dream would be to play Barrowland. Perhaps a support slot could make this dream a reality for us in the coming years.
Husbands it out now, more information available here