A strong debut record from the Edinburgh newcomers.
Edinburgh based newcomers Usual Affairs impressed us with their debut single way back in February. The fourpiece have since made their live debut when they graced the stage at Sneaky Pete’s last month, and they have solidified themselves as one of the city’s most exciting emerging bands.
In December the lads unleashed a demo EP titled ‘Characters’. The four-track record is an enjoyable listen from start to finish; it showcases both their talent as a band and their ever-evolving song writing skill.
Opening track ‘Royal Court’ is a sweet offering; sonically the mid-tempo jangly guitar and uplifting melodies remind me a lot of The Lathums or even The La’s, and the lyrics are honest and nostalgic. “Cast your words on waves, fabricating my creation” is particularly memorable.
‘Beg Steal Or Borrow’ starts out with some softly strummed acoustic guitar before frontman Scotty’s emotionally charged vocals kick in. This track is the most tender and delicate moment of the EP and honestly it kind of steals the show. It gives off serious ‘Noir’ vibes so if you’re a Retro Video Club fan this one will be right up your street.
The title track ‘Characters’ is another stripped back acoustic moment which builds nicely as drums are introduced around the one-minute mark. This track’s lyrics tackle themes of injustice and poverty as Scotty sings about food banks and the twisted system. The track is on the longer side coming in at 7 and a half minutes, it’s a real emotional journey with vivid storytelling which adds more depth to the record overall.
The closing track is the massive sounding ‘Sheena’ which follows suit and demands your attention; another track written about a night out and a girl playing hard to get, this one is packed with energy and ends the EP on a strong note.
The EP showcases heaps of promise; their rough-and-ready sound has a lot of appeal and their aptitude for captivating storytelling draws you in and keeps you interested. There is a brilliant blend of tracks that pack a punch as well as the more gentle acoustic moments. It is a lot of what you’d expect from your average young male indie band, however the socially conscious storytelling of ‘Characters’ really does set them apart from the rest and showcases their ability to write about bigger things than nights out and pulling girls. More of that please!
If you haven’t already, we’d strongly suggest checking out Usual Affairs. We will be keeping an eye on them in 2022; this is only the beginning and we’re predicting big things to come!