Press: Scribble Mural Comic Journal

pitchfork (radiohead remix review)
BEN SUNNY DAY IN GLASGOW: “THERE’S NOTHING TO DO ON SATURDAY”
I like the unpredictability of this one, the dynamics and occasional surges in volume as moved from being a purely atmospheric piece to something more in-your-face and then back again. It feels composed.

pitchfork (news item)

cookie scene (japan)

jazzthetik

Und wenn wir gerade beim Meckern sind: A Sunny Day in Glasgow ist ein saudoofer Nam. Zum einen erinnert er an die vielleicht gerade mal drittklassige Gitarrenpop-Band Another Sunny Day, zum anderen ist die Nennung der schottischen Stadt in diesem Kontext selbstverstandlich auch eine musikalische Referenz. Und das ist ziemlich blond, zumal dann, wenn man wie A Sunny Day In Glasgow (sic!) aus Philadelphia kommt. Und die Musik der drei Geschwister orientiert sich auch durchaus an diesem Rahmen, klingt dafur aber erstaunlich gut. Denn A Sunny Day in Glasgow belassen es nicht einfach bei nettem Gitarrenpop mit Sixties-Anleihen, sondern mischen noch eine Prise Cocteau Twins und My Bloody Valentine (bevor sie richtig laut wurden) hinein und verwenden neben Gitarre, Bass und Schlazeug eben auch Samplers und Computer. Und damit schichten sie Textur um Textur, manchmal bis es nervtt, aber meistens genau richtig. Und das Songwriting ist dazu noch manchmal sehr seltsam (also gut).

trust

A Sunny Day In Glasgow – ‘Scribble Mural Comic Journal’ – Schoner, verhangener Shoegazer-Pop, der im Gesang gelegentlich auch an Kate Bush erinnert. Schlagt auBerst elegant den Bogen von den Cocteau Twins zu Jesus & The Mary Chain einerseits, avancierter elektronischer Musik andererseits.

ox fanzine

A Sunny Day In Glasgow begann als Kollaboration zwischen den Freunden Ever Nalens und Ben Daniels, der spater sein Zwillingsschwestern Robin and Lauren mit an Bord nahm. Band ubersiedelte erst kurzlich wieder zuruck nach Philadelphia, nachdem Nalens einige Jhre in Glasgow reidierte, woraus sich auch der Bandname ableitet. Alles in allem ein uberschaubar spektakulrer Sound, der sich im Psych-Rock des Bermudadreiecks aus SPACEMEN 3, SOUTH YOUTH and MY BLODDY VALENTINE verliert. Alan Mc Gee hatte die Band sicherlich gerne und bereitwillig zu Zeiten, als der C86-Hype auf seinem Zenit war, bei Create Records unter Vertrag geommen: say hello to shoegazer pop. So mutet denn auch das Album wie eine Zeitreise in die spaten achtziget Jahre an und verspruht durchaus temporar nachronistischn Charme, der allerdings nicht uber die ganze Strechke des Albums tragt, sondern in der zweiten Halfte ohne nennenswerte Erinnerungseffekt verhallt. Die Reminiszenz-Gemengelage der singenden Schwestern Robin und Lauren, mitunter durch Bruder Ben erganzt, reicht denn auch von fruher Kate Bush bis hin zu – wenn man es sehr gut meint – Liz Fraser von den COCTEAUTWINS. Sehr wohlwolend war die Formulierung eines Fans bei Myspace zu den Songs des Albums:”Ambient pop songs that the band seems to have swimming in Christian Fennesz’s washing machine.” – und ihr Songs “Ghost in the graveyard” scheint eine ganz intime Hommage an THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN zu sein. (6)
- Markus Kolodziej

pop news

Qu’est-ce qui arrive lorsque deux Américains non préparés de Philadelphia s’exilent, qui dans les brumes londoniennes à la suite de sa girlfriend (Ben Daniels), qui dans les jours sans soleil de Glasgow pour des études d’art (Ever Nalens) ? C’est simple. Ils se laissent peu à peu happer par la mélancolie poisseuse des lieux, leur cerveau suit les courbes sinueuses de mélodies psychédéliques qui s’impriment en eux à leur insu, leur jeu de guitare se perd dans des effets de reverb et de pédales, et, fait plus grave, les soeurs de Ben, Robin et Lauren pourtant à distance, commencent à se prendre pour des sirènes et à chanter comme Elisabeth Frazer. Bref, par imprégnation, propagation ou contamination, ils deviennent shoegazers, et c’est une maladie sans rémission. Qui, plus est, près de vingt ans après la première épidémie, cela ressemble à un vieux mal résurgent, comme la tuberculose ou le paludisme, qu’un bon vaccin aurait dû leur épargner. Mais, à l’écoute de leur premier album en guise de beau symptôme, on se dit que cela a dû terriblement leur plaire : petits pervers. Comme par ailleurs ces jeunes gens sont malins, et qu’ils ne courent pas après la suite de “Loveless”, ils ont cherché à tremper les germes dans un bain électronique dansant du plus bel effet : voir “No. 6 von Karman Street”, entrelaçant rythmes, syncopes vocales et échos en tout genre. Ailleurs, le groupe ne lésine pas non plus sur les mélanges d’instruments (mandoline, banjo, piano) et de samples copiés/collés pour décanter sa mixture. Entre mur du son (“A Mundane Phonecall to Jack Parsons”) et bizarreries psychés greffant Stereolab sur les Cocteau Twins (“Lists, Plans”), leurs morceaux s’avèrent aussi bizarres que séduisants. Et l’on sait gré, malheureusement à titre posthume, au label Notenuf d’avoir su si bien cultiver les prochaines infections du conduit auditif (voir la sortie du premier album de The Battle of Land And Sea).

– David Larre

rifraf

Knipen en plakken in en slaapkamer in Philadelphia, bondiger kan je het hele opzet achter A Sunny Day in Glasgow niet omschrijven. Met hulp van zijn zussen Robein en Lauren gaat Ben Daniels zich te buiten op een hele trits instrumenten, microfoons, samplers en laptop. Het resultaat is een dikke handvol dromerige popsongs die nog het dichtst bij Cocteau Twins aanleunen, en wie tekent daar niet voor? Scribble Mural Comic Journal is een fijn gemaakte bricolage van melodieen en wegwaaiende zanglijnen, die door de kamer golft in een gezellig amateuristische sfeer. Spijtig alleen dat er te veel white noise als goedkope truc wordt gebruikt om de soms wat inspiratieloze nummers toch maar te kunnen rekken. Desondanks, best gezellig.

– TS

Les Inrockuptibles

Vu de loin, de Philadelphie, le Royaume-Uni faisait rêver, à l’aide de disques, les jeunes Américains Ben Daniels et Ever Nalens. Ben à Londres, Ever à Glasgow : immersion dans une nation fantasmée à partir de noms de labels, de pochettes de disques, de groupes cultes. Avec le meilleur des guides : vingt ans de charts indépendants. Et une envie, Ecosse oblige, de traquer le rock le plus fantomatique : de My Bloody Valentine à Lush, des Cocteau Twins à Slowdive, c’est un tourbillon de guitares et de voix spectrales, de beats épars et de mélodies anesthésiées que réactive cet album. Cela aurait pu virer au cocasse exercice de style si Ben, désormais seul avec ses sœurs Robin et Lauren, ne maîtrisait avec grâce ces chansons en cotons et vapeurs, auxquelles il insuffle des prouesses de production inconnues à l’époque.

de:bug

Das Geschwisterterzett Robin, Lauren und Ben Daniels aus Philadelphia sind die The Corrs des hemisphärischen Über- Pops und sind dabei nicht nur smarter und diskreter, son- dern zeigen vor allem wahr- haftige Größe. Die Anmutung dieser Band lässt einen dazu verleiten zu glauben, wenn auch 15 Jahre zu spät, endlich die liebenswertenKonfirmationsbetreuer gefunden zu haben, die in der eigenen Jugend leider Mangelware gewesen sind. So freundlich, aufgeklärt und reflektiert wirken sie (by the way ha- ben sie das beste Pressefoto seit langem). Der Referenzhimmel der Tracks ist so bunt und hell erleuchtet, dass die Songs, die nicht nur im heimischen Elternhaus in Abington (sic!), sondern auch auf den Straßen Londons aufgenommen wurden, beim ers- ten Eindruck unscheinbar und undurchdringlich sind. Wie Polar- lichter bilden die dezent galaktisch-reverben, polyphonen Stim- menarrangements einen interpretationsfreudigen Faden, der nicht nur Stringenz, sondern auch Zusammenhalt mit dem Hö- rer schafft. Es hat von Wolfgang Voigtschen Wagner-Ambien- texkursen, stoischen Joy-Division-Drums, störrischen Gitarren, IDM-Sample-Cut-Ups, Chamber-Pop, Keller-Beat bis hin zu den besten Morr- und CCO-Momenten jeder Bezug einen Platz auf einer eigenen kleinen Wolke. Kumulation wird hier mit Noncha- lance dekliniert. Diese Musik will nicht mit dir reden, sie will dir auch nichts sagen. Sie schenkt dir einen riesigen Strauß voller weißer Orchideen und lässt vor Verlegenheit einen mit erröteten
Wangen in den Himmel schauen.

- Ji-Hun

losing today

Abbiamo già avuto Architecture in Helsinki, Of Montreal, I Am From Barcelona…, solo alcuni gruppi che già nel nome rivelano la loro voglia trasportare altrove la loro geografia; così troviamo svedesi in Spagna, australiani in Finlandia, americani in Canada. Da ultimo in ordine cronologico, A Sunny Day In Glasgow, direttamente da Philadelphia, che per depistarci si spostano in Scozia, nella città dei Mogwai ed Arab Strap.

Se proprio lo si vuole cercare, il tratto comune in tutte questi i progetti citati sta proprio nel loro confondere le tracce, decontestualizzare l’obiettivo della loro arte.

A Sunny Day In Galsgow è il progetto voluto da Ben Daniels con le sue sorelle Robin e Lauren; i tre cercano di tirar fuori uno shoe-gaze style di My Bloody Valentine in maniera minima. In quest’occasione ci troviamo esattamente a metà strada tra i tentativi in passato già tentati (e talvolta riusciti) da nomi come M83 o Radio Dept.

Mentre Ben intesse le strutture sonore, giravolte e labirinti chitarrosi, strato sopra strato, le sorelle avvolgono il tutto con le voci dal profondo che si confondono e sovrappongono.
Inevitabile allo scopo è l’utilizzo del mezzo elettronico, da innestare al resto, lavoro eseguito forse con troppa semplicità.

Glasgow non è certamente nota per i suoi giorni di sole, che quando accadono devono apparire come una sorta di miracolo pagano. E immagino che sia stata quella l’impressione e la fonte di ispirazione per Ben quando visitò la città scozzese: la speranza di vedere il sole emergere tra il grigio delle nuvole e la felicità quando ciò accade. Il disco in effetti non è cupo come sarebbe lecito aspettarsi, anzi la musica che contiene sembra proprio un eco morbido alla sorpresa di ritrovare il sole dopo giorni di pioggia.

- Di Andrea Firrincieli

plan b (uk) issue # 26
Summer Daze

Professionally dreamy sonic technicians A Sunny Day in Glasgow talk chaos and farming

Complexity Theory arose from mathematicians working on the edge of chaos, noticing patterns emerging from apparent randomness. Computer models for weather prediction spiralled out of control; tiny variables could have massively unforeseen consequences. Scientists attempting to increase the signal to noise ratio in transmissions found something strange about static – it possessed self-symmetry at every scale. (Think of the conurbations of a coastline, or the self-replicating patterns of the Mandelbrot Set.) Boosting signal strength didn’t produce clearer
transmissions, just louder noise. Even primitive artificial intelligence was caugh up in this burgeoning field. The really interesting stuff didn’t happen in the cold, clinical lines of mathematical simplicity. It arose in the fuzzy, multi-layered swirls of Complexity.

Philadelphia-based A Sunny Day in Glasgow play with Complexity the way Jackson Pollock played with paintdrips. Electronic pulses, samples of gently twinkling mandolines, snippets of poppy girl group harmonies swirl together, interfere in audio moire patterns, coalesce into gorgeous shards of song, smothered in bursts of warm fuzz. The layers part, stripped back to their basic components, or pile on top of one another in a massive joyous rush of enveloping noise. Kind of like Loveless, Psychocandy or Lush cut up, William S Burroughs stylee, then regrown in petri dishes by the Aphex Twin.

I ask laptop boffin Ben Daniels if their music evolves through accident or design. “There are no accidents. Chaos is just a complex pattern. But everything is probably just a metaphor anyway,” he replies. His working method is an organic growth process. “The songs were just what came out of my mind.
Usually songs start on the guitar or mandolin, but these started from samples or mistakes from another song. ‘Von Karman St’, ’5:15 Train’, and ‘Shame, Who Wouldn’t…’ are all based around the exact same samples of a mandolin harmonics that I was just screwing around with.”

How would they like listeners to experience their music? “I’d like he listener to be alone, listening to it on their iPod, walking around. Or maybe just before or while taking a nap? In a live setting, I definitely want to be in the background. My ideal live experience is playing on a dark stage where people can’t even see us but go about their evening, with us as the background. I don’t like it when I go to shows and the band says something like, ‘Come up front and dance!’ I want people to do whatever they want, as long as no one is harmed.

“The closest we’ve come to experiencing my live ideal was this summer in Chicago. We played at this old Baptist church that is now an art space. The band set up around the altar and the crowd just sat in the pews. There was a crucifix hanging above us to which was attached a neon Jesus. If they had had turned out all the lights except for the Jesus, it would have been perfect.”

Conversation comes full circle back to weather, the effect of barometric presure on mood. “I am obsesed with weather,” Ben confesses. “With the exception of our most recent tour, everytime I’ve passed through Indiana I have been almost killed by tornados. I used to have reccurring dreams about them. The dreams would be a different sort of story each time, but the tornados were always the same and the dreams were always terrifically scary.

“Once, the dream was set in my grandparents’ cabin in the Poconos. The sky was this really eerie grey and on the horizon were about 15 tornados. I was standing on the dock at the lake staring at them, there was a brown bear at my side, and back in the cabin were about 20 children in a sort of duck-and-cover
crash position. It was terrifying, but I could only stand there. Then, about a month later (in reality, not the dream) I was up at the cabin and the sky and everything was exactly like it was in my dream. No tornadoes, bears or children though. It was creepy but nice. Rather than being scared I was filled this sense of purpose.”

So what are your dreams and goals? “Buy a big farm in Vermont or Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with lots of trees. Build a nice studio, learn how to farm and make cheese, and then buy a big bus and go on tour for the next several years.”

Well, if you’r egoing to have lots of trees, what’s your favorite?

“I am a big fan of trees. They are remarkable organisms. Picking a favourite is too hard, but I like maples, especially Japanese and Sugar ones, any fruit trees, cedars, and pines. I’ve never seen a sequoia, but I would very much like to.”

- Fiona Fletcher

exclaim! (canada)

Don’t let the paradoxical name fool you, A Sunny Day in Glasgow are a Philadelphia-based trio that use all sorts of contrary practices in their dazed and confusing pop. Designed as one big jumble thanks to a scattered throng of banjo, mandolin, pedals, samplers, manic
timekeeping and pitch-shifting guitar drones, the sibling team of Ben, Robin and Lauren Daniels miraculously filter it all into a disarming swell of agreeable harmonics. Their debut LP, Scribble Mural Comic Journal, was released early this year to much acclaim, due to its gorgeous smear of fluorescent melodies across an amorphous body that’s constantly modified. It sounds too convoluted to be good, and the Daniels family never stop evolving their intricate ideas. The way a song like “Lists, Plans”
oscillates between bubbling organs and guitars over Robin and Lauren’s angelic falsettos should be awkwardly disorientating but instead it floats like Tim Gane remixing Throbbing Gristle remixing the Cocteau Twins. However, it’s somehow more coherent than what that would actually sound like. Tout New Age is a companion EP from the summer that continues the dreamy avant-pop with an easier to digest coating. Though still warped and slippery, the band demonstrate their friendlier side on tracks like the C86-ish “Laughter (Victims)” and “Hugs & Kisses,” an accessible song they parenthetically deem the “Theme From A Sunny Day In Glasgow.” ASDIG single-handedly pick up the remnants of shoegazing’s spirit and resurrect it with an emerging concept that feels like it will never grow tired. (Notenuf)
– Cam Lindsay

aquarius records

More divine modern shoegaze, we just can’t get enough. Fergit Belle And Sebastian. Camera Obscura, who’s that? There’s a new yummy band in town who’re giving those bands a run for the money and adding a healthy dose of shoegaze-y shimmer — umm, but the town they’re in is not actually Glasgow. Nope, these kids are a trio from Philadelphia, but Ben Daniels and his twin sisters Robin and Lauren sound remarkably authentically wooly tartan’d. From now on when you think of Scotland, you just might find yourself thinking of A Sunny Day In Glasgow. Scribble Mural Comic Journal is a swirlin’ shoegazin’ blissed out treat all awash with fuzzy guitars and dreamgirl vocals in the lovely tradition of Sarah and Slumberland Records. With heaping helpings of gauzy Cocteau Twins swirl and abstract deconstructed My Bloody Valentine buzz. Press ‘play’, curl up in a windowseat, and enjoy!

forget gospel

8.5/10.0

So I have a million hokey comparative illustrations for this one so bare with me. A Sunny Day In Glasgow is the eventual teaming of Ben Daniels and his identical twin sisters Robin and Lauren. On their debut, Scribble Mural Comic Journal, the group has
resurrected My Bloody Valentine’s atmospherics into a ghostly, yet upbeat indie pop gem. This record really should be receiving a lot more attention. ASDIG is playing in the same ballpark
of hype-hogs Deerhunter, but just without the punky, jagged edges (and bizarre stage presence). Scribble Mural Comic Journal contains is absorbing haze of carefree ambient pop songs that the band seems to have sent swimming in Christian Fennesz_s washing machine. The songs have incredible
roaming room, wandering like phantoms underneath the shear weight of beautiful sound. It is as the songs peak through that you begin to realize just how stunning these deeply buried songs are. The album isn’t completely rooted in yesteryear apparitions, employing a healthy dose of upbeat electronics, I notices hints of Prefuse 73-like synths more than once. I really feel pretty bad
about this review. If there is one thing that I want to resolve right here it is that ASDIG are far more than an accumulation of its influences and one of the most pleasant surprises of 2007
thus far.

Time for Heroes zine / the deku tree

The most rewarding records are those that take the most perseverance; after months of listening to, new intricacies present themselves, new interpretations of lyrics become apparent, and at last, the piece of work seems to fit together perfectly.

The debut from sibling trio A Sunny Day In Glasgow is one of these records, but while one could get lost discovering all the hidden depths to Scribble Mural Comic Journal, the album is still
entirely striking on first listen, yet far from accessible. Everything seems so new and interesting. Imagine you’re 5 years old and you’re let loose in a vast shopping centre, filled with every
toy imaginable – this is the feeling one gains when they first listen to it. It’s one of those rare records that has you wanting to skip back and put almost every single track on repeat.

Comparisons to My Bloody Valentine, Stereolab and The JAMC have been thrown about, but seem lazy, they could be seen as influences, but are lost in a myriad. It may be a clichÈ, but this band sound like absolutely nothing out there.

Opener ‘Wake Up Pretty’ sets the eerie, distant tone for the rest of the record. Vocals from identical twins Lauren and Robin Daniels’ sound like they’re coming from the bottom of a well, but
you’re unsure if they’re calling for help or are just ecstatic to be down there. ‘No. 6 Von Karman Street’ follows and it’s become a certainty they’re ecstatic. You get the feeling there’s some kind of bizarre but euphoric party going on, and that if you jump down, you’ll be lost for an eternity.

Other highlights include the bouncy jingly pop of ‘Our Change Into Rain…’ where a perfect melody emerges through the mess of guitars and synths, and album closer ‘The Best Summer Ever’
which is one of the most conventional tracks on the record, yet one of the more interesting efforts. So that’s a near perfect start and end to the album, but the middle is even better – ’5:15 Train’ is possibly the highlight, ‘Lists, Plans’ works as a hugely engaging centrepiece and ‘C’mon’ features the most intense eruption of distortion you may ever hear.

Being surrounded by the vast soundscapes is quite an experience; A Sunny Day In Glasgow have created the perfect headphones record. A truly ambitious piece of work where pop melodies meet ecstatic noise to create a gorgeous chaos. Scribble Mural Comic Journal is one of the most original and engaging albums you’ll hear for a very long time.

austinist

The strange beauty of Philadelphia’s A Sunny Day In Glasgow sets the imagination aflame with their full length debut Scribble Mural Comic Journal; a shimmering eruption of shoegaze
melancholy and avant-garde dream pop. As the brainchild of les enfants terribles Ben, Lauren, and Robin Daniels, ASID combines the twee pop aesthetics of British influences such as The Field Mice and American noise terrorists The Swirlies to create a silver cloud blanket of metallic haze. The trance inducing vocals of the Daniels sisters recall early Ecstasy And Wine era My Bloody Valentine, and The Cocteau Twins in their prime. However, the album’s homemade DIY production style in combination with overall otherworldly songwriting gives the band a persona and sound all of their own. The spellbinding “C’mon” and “Wake Up Pretty” are examples of this new take on ’90s fuzz pop. Elements such as static and tape hiss are used in dazzling effect, with tidal waves of treated guitars and synths giving the songs an underwater quality. The rhythms sound like thundering industrial quakes on tracks like “5:15 Train” and “Ghost In The Graveyard”.

A Sunny Day In Glasgow have single handedly updated a genre and have created an atmosphere of wonder; a dreamscape where imaginations run wild across dismal skylines. The album is released on the former Austin now Transcontinental imprint Notenuf Records.

- Miguel Hinojosa

stylus

B+

No wonder those (alleged) Muslim terrorists were in a hurry to get to the check-in desk at Glasgow Airport: have you seen the summer in Britain this year? We haven’t, and nothing will
come between a weegie and his £99 swally to Majorca or, well, Afghanistan. This is what Philadelphian Ever Nalens realised whilst at Art School here-and if I may brazenly conflate
Philadelphia with “everywhere else” as a place where we presume it’s always sunny-all you people “everywhere else” like Spain ‘n that don’t realise the value of the sun! Know how
when you’re away from music for a few days and the first beat you hear again sounds extra powerful, the first bar more profound than it ever was before? It’s like that with sunlight too,
but we’re talking weeks and months of grey nothingness rather than mere days of silence.

This summer’s been particularly rainy & cloudy-”dreich” we’d say. But some day soon-first day back at school, probbly-the rain clouds will head to England and Edinburgh, and we can
laugh and get a Fab and sit outside. The sun in Glasgow is rarely strong enough to oppress-it prefers to linger softly, then cheekily hide behind a stray cloud before returning triumphantly,
and we all cheer. It sparkles on every leaf, brightens every dark drookit corner, finds a flower on every derelict wasteland, and turns Glasgow from the crumbling, poverty-stricken midden it’s
so often accused of being into the Belle of the ball, with a gleaming smile and a fresh-smelling dress. Its transformative effect is revolutionary, and Nalens band-mate Ben Daniels and his singing sisters have been convinced sufficiently to embody all that within their music.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into the back-story, but rarely has a band-name so closely resembled an instruction for best-listening. A Sunny Day In Glasgow-the band we’re talking now-can be loosely dropped alongside the new shoegaze-y crop, debuting here an album of otherworldly, ethereal noise, indistinct choral singing, hazily layered distortion, and occasionally creeping beats. They take Scottish influences-most obviously the ambient fog of Cocteau Twins, but also the droning guitars of JAMC, and even Edinburgh’s Boards of Canada. “Panic Attacks…” begins with a vague BOC whirr before glistening emphatically like the first rays of a new rising sun. “Ghost in the Graveyard”
features a throbbing beat so deep as to almost be droning, whilst angels-always coasting along rays of hard sunshine, aren’t they?-quarrel beautifully over the top. Final track “The Best Summer Ever” is the closest ASDIG ever get to a party pop song, with nearly-decipherable vocals, a jangling verse-of-sorts, and almost-a-chorus to hang your hat on.

The best thing about a sunny day in Glasgow is that the sun doesn’t set until 11-ish, whereas Scribble Mural Comic Journal could happily close a bit sooner. It can be disorientating,
especially when the first two tracks are waving, on different levels and at different times, in stereo around your head. But if that’s what drowning is like, you can get used to it within an
album as admirable as this. When the summer’s sun finally does come out, I’m heading to Kelvingrove Park with my best headphones and this on my MP3 player to await a real head-fuck
of an epiphany. Somewhere within Scribble Mural’s dense fibers I’m convinced one exists but, like a flower in an unkempt wasteland, it may require some prompting to emerge.

- Ally Brown

pitchfork

Overlooked Records 2007

After a long weekend of festival-throwing and -going, we’re taking a publishing break and marking the occasion with our third annual roundup of records issued in the first half of the year that deserve more attention than you, gentle reader, may be giving them.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow

Scribble Mural Comic Journal

[Notenuf]

Philadelphia tweegazers keep up ambient-pop’s ethereal flame, losing themselves in the trebly haze of early Creation Records, pop melodies barely shining through all the layers of noise.

- Scott Plagenhoef

bloom (germany)

Zur¸ck zum Shoegazing – um die schimmernde Schˆnheit der schwindelerregenden Disharmonien von A Sunny Day In Glasgow aus Philadelphia und ihrem Deb¸talbum “Scribble Mural Comic Journal” voll erfassen zu kˆnnen, sollte man allerdings
durch Bands wie Medicine oder My Bloody Valentine gut konditioniert worden sein. Nichts f¸r Anf‰nger.

translation: Back to Shoegazing – In order to fully understand the gleaming beauty of the dizzying disharmonies of A Sunny Day in Glasgow from Philadelphia and their debut album, one should indeed be well conditioned with bands like Medicine or My Bloody Valentine. Not for beginners.

- Friedrich Reip

impose magazine

– Jeremy Krinsley

dusted

Shoegaze is a genre that seems to have spawned from the bedroom: A small confining space representing isolation, retreat and comfort. More than any other movement in rock, it celebrates the existential crisis through a disorienting use of the electric guitar. Monolithic waves of distortion are employed as a Bell Jar cloak, wrapping the pop-based melodies in warm sheets of sound. This is music for people who take comfort in their sorrow and find catharsis in the aural celebration of mental angst. Though the sound of shoegaze has always been claustrophobic, its albums have not traditionally been recorded in domestic or unrefined spaces. Loveless, Psychocandy and Treasure were all produced in proper studios by bands that had spent years honing their skills as live rock acts. It would seem only natural then, that some young Shieldsian disciple would one day decide to make a blissed-out pop album in his bedroom –
successfully returning the genre to the nascent confines from which it was begotten.

A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s Scribble Mural Comic Journal is and isn’t that record. Aesthetically, the band meets and exceeds all that one would deem possible for a humble home recording, but the songs themselves are so oblique that they lack the teeth
needed to cling to the listener’s consciousness. If this were an ambient album, the compositions wouldnt need that sort of consistent pull, but Scribble is very much a pop record and it’s missing the memorable songs that Kevin Shields and the Reid brothers were so adept at creating.

“Wake Up Pretty” kicks off the album with entrancing austerity. The constant pulse of a tom-tom anchors the buried vocal melody in a swell of guitar and synthesizer. It is a melancholy opener that doubles as a microcosm for Scribble’s successes
in texture and feel. Ben Daniels, the band’s founder and creative force, establishes a personal production language that is both intimate and idiosyncratic. A cloudy narrative thread connects each song, but homogeneity is hardly Daniels’ aim and the individual tracks radiate with unique instrumental selections and precisely placed samples.

“The Horn Song” and “5:15 Train” stand as Scribble’s greatest achievements, seamlessly combining the band’s melodic abilities with tasteful abstraction. Both tracks eschew the traditional guitar-based shoegaze attack in favor of a more meticulous architecture. His production wizardry is endlessly inventive, but sometimes overly obtrusive. Songs like “C’mon” and “Lists, Plans” suffer from excessive knob twiddling and aggravating atonality.

The general construction of Scribble Mural Comic Journal leads one to believe that it’s a grower – requiring repeat listens in order to glean its full musical effect – but this isn’t entirely true. As the record is playedover and over again, its flaws and lack of engaging songs become more apparent. Once interesting production choices, like the wah-wah guitar on “Lists, Plans,”
do not hold up particularly well and the lesser songs reveal themselves rather suddenly.

Overall, A Sunny Day In Glasgow seem to be learning the ropes of full-length album production. If Scribble reveals anything, it’s the band’s overwhelming creativity and willingness to experiment. They channel that bedroom loneliness with a knowledge of shoegaze that goes far beyond simple homage and imitation. In the future, Daniels will learn to control his superfluous impulses and sharpen his songwriting. If the guys
stick with it, they have the potential to deliver that next homespun Treasure.

- Matthew Kivel

super 45 (chile)

Desde Philadephia, A Sunny Day In Glasgow nos recuerda que con pocos recursos y buenas ideas se pueden lograr cautivadoras piezas pop a lo Phil Spector. Muros de sonido creados con guitarras y samplers adornados por la compaÒÌa de bellos coros
femeninos. El pop imperfecto que tanto nos gusta.

translation: From Philadelphia, A Sunny Day in Glasgow reminds us that withfew resources and good ideas one can create captivating pieces of poplike a Phil Spector. † Pictures of sound created with guitars andsamplers adorned with a beautiful feminine choir. †The imperfect popthat we like so much.

øCÛmo se les ocurriÛ el nombre de la banda (“Un dÌa soleado en Glasgow”)?

Fue idea de un chico que ya no est· en la banda. …l insistiÛ con el nombre y, como no me interesaba mucho cu·l le ponÌamos, lo aceptÈ. …l viviÛ mucho tiempo en Glasgow, donde llueve mucho. Creo que extraÒaba mucho los dÌas soleados.

translation: How did you come up with the name (” a sunny day in glasgow”) ?

It was the idea of a guy who is no longer with the band. He insisted on the name and since I wasn’t that interested in what name we gave to the band, I accepted it. He lived for a long time in Glasgow, where it rains a lot. I think he really missed the sunny days.

øCu·nto tiempo lleva la banda? øHabÌan participado en otros proyectos antes?

Estamos juntos desde el 2005. Al comienzo eran sÛlo grabaciones en 4 pistas registradas con micrÛfonos pÈsimos y una baterÌa electrÛnica. El 2006, le pedÌ a mis hermanas que me ayudaran con las voces. GrabÈ todo eso en mi laptop y surgiÛ
la versiÛn mejorada de ASDIG. He tocado en un montÛn de bandas de Philadelphia, incluso, todavÌa pertenezco a King Kong Ding Dong.

translation: How long has the band been together? Do you any previous projects?

We’ve been together since 2005. In the beginning there were only 4 (four) track recordings with poor microphones and an electronic drum. In 2006 I asked my sisters to help me with their vocals. I recorded all that in my laptop and it resulted
in a better version of ASDIG. I have played in a bunch of bands in Philadelphia, including King Kong Ding Dong which I’m still in.

CuÈntanos cÛmo es el proceso creativo.

Compongo con mi guitarra, mandolina o en el computador jugando con los samplers. Nunca me propongo hacer una canciÛn, ellas llegan solas. Las letras han sido un dolor de
cabeza ya que nunca antes habÌa escrito. Tuve que escuchar las canciones cientos de veces para ver quÈ me inspiraban a escribir. Finalmente, me re˙no con Robin y Lauren a trabajar las melodÌas y armonÌas.

translation: Tell us about the creative process.

I compose with my guitar, mandoline or on the computer playing with samplers. I never set out to write a song, they come by themselves. The lyrics have been a headache since I had never written before. I had to listen to the songs hundreds of times to see what I would be inspired to write. Finally I meet with Robin and Lauren to work on the melodies and harmonies.

øComo llegaron a fichar por Notenuf?

Le enviÈ un demo al sello Fat Cat (Inglaterra), donde Steph trabajaba antes de formar Notenuf. Fat Cat nos pidiÛ m·s demos para despuÈs decirnos que no. Steph siguiÛ en contacto con nosotros y nos contÛ que estaba con un pequeÒo sello que nos querÌa editar. Fue una excelente decisiÛn fichar con ellos, porque han ayudado un montÛn.

translation: How did you come to release with Notenuf?

I sent a demo to the Fat Cat label (England), where Steph used to work before forming Notenuf. Fat Cat asked us for more demos and later told us no. Steph stayed in contact with us and
she told us that she had a small label that wanted to release us. It was an excellent decision to release with them because they have helped a lot.

øSe sienten relacionados con alguna escena u otra banda de su paÌs o el mundo?

No me gustarÌa formar parte de ninguna escena. Mucha gente nos ha metido la etiqueta shoegazer, pero tenemos bastante m·s que decir. La mayorÌa de esa escena es aburrida, creo que tenemos nuestro sonido propio.

translation: Do you relate to a scene or other bands in your country or the world?

I wouldn’t want to be pigeonholed. A lot of people have labled us like shoegazer but we have more to say. Most of that scene is boring, I believe we have our own sound.

NÛmbranos cinco discos influyentes en tu m˙sica.

Creo que la lista puede cambiar todos los dÌas, pero la de hoy serÌa:

The KLF – Chill Out: uno de mis favoritos de todos los tiempos y el mejor disco de los ’90. SerÌa un sueÒo pensar que pudiÈramos hacer un ·lbum tan perfecto como este.

R.E.M. – Murmur y Life’s Rich Pageant: cuando era chico no tenÌamos mucho dinero en casa, asÌ que lo ˙nico que escuchaba era el Greatest Hits de The Police el cual, al cabo de un tiempo, terminÈ odiando. Un dÌa, un amigo me prestÛ estos dos discos de R.E.M y me cambiaron la vida. Me acostaba a las 9 de la noche y no paraba de escucharlos hasta las 3 o 4 de la maÒana. Creo que eran los culpables de que, al dÌa siguiente, me quedara dormido en clases.

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II y Houses of The Holy: me pasÛ algo parecido que con R.E.M. La canciÛn ‘Over the Hills & Far Away’ es la responsable de que empezara a
tocar la guitarra.

translation: Name 5 (five) influential albums in your music.

I think the list could change on a daily basis, but today it would be:

The KLF – Chill Out: one of my all time favorites and the best album of the 90′s. It would be a dream to think that we could make an album as perfect as that one.

R.E. M. – Murmur and Life’s Rich Pageant: when I was young we did not have a lot of money at home, so that only thing I would listen to was the Greatest Hits by The Police, which, after a while I came to hate. One day, a friend loaned me these two R.E.M. albums and they changed my life. I used to go to bed at 9 (nine) at night and I wouldn’t stop listening until three or four in the morning. I think they were the reason that the next day, I would fall asleep in class.

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II and Houses of the Holy: the same thing happened as with R.E.M. the song “Over the Hills & Far Away” are responsible for me beginning to play the guitar.

øQuÈ es lo ˙ltimo que has estado escuchando?

Mis discos favoritos de estos ˙ltimos meses han sido Chromophobia (Kompakt, 2007) de Gui Boratto y From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt, 2007) de The Field. Son discosmaravillosos.

translation: What is the latest thing you have been listening to?

My favorite albums from these last months are Chromophobia (Kompakt, 2007) by Gui Boratto and From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt, 2007) by The Field. They are marvelous albums.

øQuÈ opinas de Internet como un medio de promociÛn como myspace, los programas p2p, etc?

Me parece genial. Gracias a los bloggers es que la gente nos conoce, ya que no tenemos la posibilidad de tocar mucho. La ayuda de myspace, es importante, pero a veces me parece
algo ridÌcula. Con decirte que a nuestro actual bajista lo conocimos en myspace.

translation: Is the internet an important medium for your music?What do you think about the free downloads: p2p software, myspace etc ?

I think it’s brilliant. Thanks to bloggers, they are the reason that people know us because we don’t have the opportunity to play a lot. The help from myspace is very important, but sometimes I think it’s ridiculous. I tell you that we met our present bassist
through myspace.

øQuÈ tal las presentaciones en vivo? Me fijÈ que tienen una agenda copadÌsima estos dos ˙ltimos meses.

Todo bien. Nuestros primeros tres shows fueron bastantes simples: mis dos hermanas en voces, yo en teclado y un ipod donde almacenÈ los beats. Para el tour, hemos armado una
banda de apoyo y me gusta mucho como est· sonando.

translation: What about your live performances? I noticed you have a really full agenda these next two months.

It’s good. Our first three shows were rather simple: my two sisters on vocals, me on the keyboard and an ipod where
I save the beats. For the tour we have put together a band to support us and I really like the sound.

øCÛmo sientes que ha sido la respuesta de la gente a vuestra m˙sica?

Ha sido sumamente positiva. ImagÌnate, hace un aÒo editamos nuestro primer EP y, por razoneseconÛmicas, sÛlo lo enviamos a promocionar a 9 radios universitarias, y a todas les gustÛ.
La respuesta de la gente nos motiva a hacer m·s m˙sica y tomarnos cada vez m·s en serio a ASDIG.

translation: How do you feel that people have responded to your music?

It has been very positive. Imagine, a year ago we made our first EP and, because of economics, we could only send to 9 (nine) university radio stations for promotion, and they all liked. The response of the public motivates us to make more music and to take ASDIG more seriously.

øAlgunas palabras al cierre?

Gracias por la entrevista y que estÈn bien.

translation: Any closing words?

Thank you for the interview and well wishes.

- Boris Orellana

- translated by my dad

little radio

(5 of 5)

It’s been years since a record truly expanded upon the dizzy waves of sound that My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless created. A Sunny Day in Glasgow accomplish this effortlessly without sounding derivative, false, or like some weak culmination of
every shoegaze-noise-pop band who merely attempt to “bring that sound back.” The quartet simply builds a musical bridge that stretches MBV’s romantically dense feel with a more “modern” approach; heavily utilizing sequencers and microdots of overdriven guitar. Vocally, the Cocteau Twins also play a huge role as the guide for these relentless sheets of ethereal guitar that overlap then suddenly disappear. Combine that with an approach closer to Dan Snaith’s amazing Caribou/Manitoba albums, and even Loveliescrushing’s dark instrumental pop,
and you’ve taken the first steps into a disorienting world.

The first half of this album is mesmerizing and sometimes scattered, but makes complete sense as a “whole listen” rather than trying to place a logical format on the arrangement. Scribble Mural Comic Journal opens with the blippy and ambient “Wake Up Pretty.” It comes off very smooth and reassuring yet more “safe” than anything else on the record. Once you hop down to “Our Change Into Rain Is No Change
At All (Talkin’ ’bout Us)” the focus becomes more bold and eventful. This particular song mashes choppy strides of guitar and glues them together with charging drums. High-pitched guitars quickly blow-up into your face sounding less like an instrument with each strum. “Ghost in the Graveyard” and
“5:15 Train” get heavier and pack more density as the guitars
come pouring down in volumes, imagine a hailstorm destroying a tin roof. As the rhythm slices the ghostly vocal delivery becomes wider and more angelic, this could easily be Enya behind the mic.

The album continues to surprise and excite with the drug-induced pitch bending on “Lists, Plans” and the mind-blowing “C’mon.” They’re easily the most striking and fucked up songs on the album with guitars and voices that sound like they’re melting under a heat lamp. The dueling vocals of twin sisters Lauren and Robin Daniels shift from soaring “oohs and ahhs” to background swells of shrieks that actually sound like the ghosts they describe. “Things I Can Only See” leads the album into straightforward pop territory, complete with a linear guitar melody that tears a page from Medicine’s Buried Life. The vocals also become more clear and recognizable on songs like “The Best Summer Ever.” A space-like chorus eventually falls back on top of weaving guitars and saturated vocals. Amazing.

I don’t want to bum you out if you’re trying to start a band, but this is an example of how music changes ideas, and in turn, changes the musical landscape. If your purpose is to push an idea into sounding less like typical music and more like an emotion or mood then this is one of the best handbooks I’ve ever come across. Scribble Music Comic Journal is filled with outstanding ideas warped into something that feels so odd and difficult but will make sense for anyone who believes that making records still holds limitless boundaries.

– Scott McDonald

prefix mag

(7 of 10)

Usually, the best albums grab you with an immediate, undeniable appeal. Whether guitar licks or soaring choruses, there’s some aspect of its songs that sink their hooks from the start. And then there’s that rare album that worms its way into your consciousness over time, even if it’s initially off-putting.
Scribble Mural Comic Journal, the debut from Philadelphia’s A Sunny Day in Glasgow, is one such album.

Mastermind Ben Daniels populates his songs with lush and hazy electronic soundscapes where distorted guitars stab, lo-fi beats sputter and thump, and the dreamy vocals of sisters Robin and Lauren Daniels float by like clouds. “Ghost in the Graveyard,” for
instance, veers in countless directions. Sounds drop in the mix and rise up again. Dense Kevin Shields-worthy guitar erupts. A propulsive bass thump marches forward until it’s traded in for a tambourine. All the while, the Daniels sisters’ skewed harmonies bridge the music’s many twists. Somehow, it wouldn’t be entirely shocking to hear that they recorded their vocals for an entirely different track.

Although each of these elements taken individually is beautiful, these songs never seem to coalesce — at least into the song you expected to hear. Instead, sounds collide, out of sync and in conflict with one another. But eventually something happens. Daniels’s fractured production wins you over. The disembodied voices, the disjointed music, the fuck-all attitude toward fulfilling listener expectations: It all pulls you deeper into the album’s textures and atmospheres. Maybe I came to terms with the fact that these songs operate on their own beguiling logic. Or maybe the mess just started to sound more beautiful.

– John Motley

reax

(5 of 5)

This ensemble calls back to the childhood you experienced, and the childhood you wished you had experienced.† I cannot help but to imagine icy brick streets in Glasgow, Scotland, sunny days with snowy hills, and trees surrounding stone edifices.†
This piece of alternative reality is the most serene music I have experienced in a long time. In fact, I have placed it in my CD drive to drown out my tinnitus before several occasions of
falling asleep.

“Wake Up Pretty” rings lowly with the pleasant crescendo of the words “beautiful dreams” wrapped around child-like voices.† Each track segues into the next like a trance album; however,
the music only requires the need for you to close your eyes and furrow your eyebrows with a widening smile. †

There is a sudden break in the cycle once “Lists, Plans” assumes its place.† The song suggests that the children are growing into fear.† The song “Panic attacks are what make me, me”
is the epitome of this fear, and Glasgow expresses this without the need of any lyrics or popular instrumentation.† Do your mind a favor and find this album.†

– Crystal Farina

xlr8r (issue 107)

On Scribble Mural Comic Journal, A Sunny Day in Glasgow nods strongly to the ’90s shoegazer era: pillowy melodies peek out behind heavy curtains of noisy distortion, while siblings Robin and Lauren Daniels float ethereal, Cocteau Twins-esque vocals above a throbbing electronic pulse. Such an ambitious blend of textures could easily sound distracting and gloopy; under the Daniels’ control, the result is something lush and vibrant, stirring up moods like potent elixirs. At other times, Scribble shows little
interest in conventional harmonies; “The Horn Song” demonstrates just how easily the band can embrace their experimental side.

– Janet Tzou

delusions of adequacy

The story goes that A Sunny Day in Glasgow began as a bedroom recording project of Ben Daniels of King Kong Ding Dong and Ever Nalens before morphing into the current trio of Ben and his
identical twin sisters, Robin and Lauren. With his cyclical guitar cascades and their ethereal vocals, Scribble Mural Comic Journal emerges sounding like the mutant offspring of Cocteau Twins
and The Jesus & Mary Chain. Sure to evoke more than a fair share of My Bloody Valentine comparisons too, which is becoming the benchmark of laziness in modern album reviews, A Sunny Day in Glasgow have concocted a terrific record despite having one of the worst band names I’ve ever heard.

Scribble Mural Comic Journal will cause much head scratching right out of the gate if you let the comparisons cloud your judgment of its opening tracks. “Wake Up Pretty” is a subtly electronic and brief intro to “No. 6 Von Karman Street,” another electronic track with sighing vocals that belies all of the fuzzy atmospherics and acute noise pop of the rest of the album. After the impression of two separate intros, “A Mundane Phone Call to
Jack Parsons” appears to claim its place amongst the best pop songs of 2007. Changing gears from bubbly techno-lite to tumbling feedback and booming drums, its lush (no pun intended) vocal delivery perfectly complements a wealth of noise with just the right ratio of melody. All the references to rocket scientists, Von Karman and Jack Parsons, would seem appropriate as ASDIG definitely seems to have its head in the proverbial clouds.

“Our Change Into Rain is No Change at All(Talkin’ Bout Us)” certainly flaunts its Cocteaus influence during its opening bars, layered acoustic guitars and keyboard opening up to wordless vocalizing from Lauren and Robin before putting a slower, Low Level Owl-era Appleseed Cast style arpeggiated bridge to good use. “Ghost in the Graveyard” peels away the repetitive beat after a minute or so to reveal chiming guitar work while “5:15 Train” springs to life with a very Fennesz-ian smear of processed guitar. “C’mon” is worthy of all the raving you might hear about its bending guitars, haunting vocals, and tinkling percussion. “Panic Attacks Are What Make Me ‘Me’” is a delicious loop of shimmering guitar and electronics, spinning off light in all directions. “Watery (Drowning is Just Another Word for Being Buried Alive Under Water)” is another sweet confection of pop goodness only outshined here by the aforementioned “A Mundane Phone Call to Jack Parsons.” “The Best Summer Ever” closes Scribble Mural Comic Journal on a high note with jangly
strumming before melting into autumnal bliss.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow release Scribble Mural Comic Journal on a world already prepped with shoegaze revivalists such as Asobi Seksu and Serena-Maneesh. Although the group appears to wear its influences on its sleeves, the real beauty here is the honesty and warmth with which they are presented. It would be a real crime to see this record dismissed as another bandwagon hopper on the shoegaze revival. If there isn’t enough room in the current scene for a record this gorgeous then we’ve got some serious problems.

– Joe Davenport

drowned in sound

(9 of 10)

It came from nowhere. No hype, no press, just some whisperings on blogs from across the Atlantic. In the year of (disappointing) second albums from Arcade Fire, Bloc Party et al, our preoccupied ears ignored a fantastic new record. That album is Scribble Mural Comic Journal. I would apologise for the late review, but chances are that you’ve never heard of Philadelphia-based quartet A Sunny Day in Glasgow anyway. That’s set to change.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow do not play in the field of guitar-driven indie-rock, nor are they, as some reviewers stateside have suggested, part of the second-coming of shoegaze. Lazy comparisons to The Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine have been born out of a desperation to link this album with something more earthly, and unless I’ve missed out on a key moment in rock music’s trajectory, this album is an entirely original composition. This record doesn’t make it clear in where they stand in the musical landscape – but it’s an album of great ingenuity, one that deconstructs the best parts of tried-and-tested genres and pastes them into one sonically-astounding collage.

Scribble Mural Comic Journal isn’t your typical nine-out-of-ten album on first glance. It’s a difficult listen in so much as the melodies are buried so deep within the fields of noise that it will take persistence to piece together all the hooks and motifs that underpin the record’s misty exterior. The album in its base form is a cerebral canvas of sound that immerses its listener in a colourful kaleidoscope of celestial female vocals and dance beats, intertwined with brooding electronics and heavily delayed guitar. Its persistent prettiness isn’t a subterfuge for poor songwriting, either. This album has a heart, a soul, a depth to it that’s intense yet ethereal, a potent craft that shines through the enclave of dark noise that permeates its length.

The pivotal moment in which the record secures its place as contender for the album of the week/month/year (delete as applicable) comes six tracks in. By that time you’ve established that the album is great, but as with many albums that promise greatness, they dip in quality on the refrain.

Scribble Mural Comic Journal doesn’t follow that trend – ’5:15 Train’ is A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s finest moment, utilising a swathe of sweeping electronic noise and echoed pop vocals. From then on the album tends to abide to more conventional stratagems, with ‘Things I Can Only See’ and ‘The Best Summer Ever’ both harnessing the pysch-rock sound that made the Deerhunter album successful earlier this year.

I could profess my love of this record even further, but then I’d be wasting your time which could be used to track it down. Is it a bona-fide classic? Will it make a significant contribution to music’s illustrious history? Forget the musical politics and let time be the judge of that. To these ears at this very moment, Scribble Mural Comic Journal is a near-perfect record.

Contender for album of the year? Most definitely.

- Ben Yates

piccadilly records (uk)

Riding on the current shoegazing revival, and then upping it a few notches with all manner of sounds, A Sunny Day In Glasgow are here to save our souls.

lost at sea magazine

Rating: 8/10

This is merfolk music. That oft-noted indie rock obsession with animals and nature has, as of late, been pretty terrestrial. Understandable, considering the genre’s typically earthy and angular themes. Melodies scuttle like mice, hooks literally jump out and bite the listener while rhythms enslave him; it all seems to have a sort of primal familiarity for us. By comparison, the aquatic laptop pop of A Sunny Day In Glasgow might initially seem monochromatic and defiantly “background,” but there’s so much to explore in the underwater odyssey that is their debut Scribble Mural Comic Journal, you’d be sorry not to jump in.

The album begins unassumingly enough with “Wake Up Pretty” and “No. 6 Von Karman Street,” a two-part sigh of minimalist IDM ripples that scarcely prepares you for the rabbit-hole plunge of “A Mundane Phonecall to Jack Parsons,” in which a mandolin line ricochets through a stampede of rhythm. I agree, the sheer viscosity of sound is a bit disorienting at first. In particular, Robin and Lauren Daniels’ blissfully out-of-focus vocals are a throwback to My Bloody Valentine, far more melodically complex yet equally auxiliary, with an emphasis on syllable rather than lyric (clearly, the group relieved the itch with their tongue-in-cheek song titles). But it’s not shoegaze in the distorted-guitar-wash sense, at least not always, but rather in Ben’s egalitarian use of the masterfade. Sounds are plentiful, organic as often as not, and the limelight is shot through a prism.

The trajectory of Scribble Mural Comic Journal makes me think of Alice in Wonderland – the songs float by, less discrete displays of ideas as transient experiences, things to be glimpsed and passed through. The immediacy of this ear-candy collage grows until the album’s spectacular anthemic centerpiece, “5:15 Train.” Its elements remain murky by most standards, but it sports the album’s most fist-pumping rhythm and a triumphant Shibuya-Kei inspired vocal line. The song is excellent yet deceptively climactic; in a clever narrative twist, all unity suddenly fragments with the anxious “Lists, Plans,” an unsettling cycle of gurgling tones, singsong chants, and a weaving “Leaf House” vocal line. The song is elegantly claustrophobic. When it ends, it seems so has the disorder, until the twilight throb of “C’mon” is joined by a bouncing detuned jack-in-the-box line. It’s a scary moment, to realize that in this fantastical ocean, nothing is necessarily as it seems.

Structurally, this “second act” isn’t particularly different from the first, except that the harmonic screw really begins to loosen. Consequently, untethered melodies that have lost their soul or mind creep in and cast the shadow of doubt over surrounding warmth. And even as they trickle away, leaving expanses of repetition and drone in the final few tracks, it’s hard to quite feel comfortable until the closer, “The Best Summer Ever” which may come the closest to the carefree twee-pop evoked by the band’s name. The idiosyncrasies remain – in such a focused context, touches like over-delayed echoes are even distracting – but after such dark and mysterious depths, it feels like surfacing. The arc is satisfying, but the real triumph of Scribble Mural Comic Journal is not its own sense of adventurousness but the one it conjures in the willing listener. And in many ways it’s a breath of fresh water.
– Collin Anderson

coke machine glow (canada)

Rating: 82%

Though A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s sister singers’ voices float through a detached haze that immediately hints at Stereolab, it isn’t until the mischievous and ghostly centerpiece “List, Plans”
that you begin to think this family band might have duplicated the type of magic Stereolab fans have been waiting for since Dots and Loops (1997).

Because Stereolab have been around so long and released a thousand or so albums and singles, it can be hard to remember that the canonical psych-poppers were once as irreverent as they are still technical and precise. On Scribble Mural Comic Journal, ASDIG’s debut album after a promising (if more conventional) The Sunniest Day Ever EP, the band find that same personal illumination and, without any pretense of explanation, explode it into myriad sound. Being comprised of three siblings (twin sisters Lauren and Robin Daniels along with principal songwriter Ben), they sometimes sound as if they’re on an exclusive wavelength, peppering their tracklisting with inside jokes and rendering their lyrics largely unintelligible by way of the album’s aesthetic of arms-length obfuscation. By doing so they capture the playfulness and seemingly endless horizons of their
predecessor’s experimentation; we may be hearing the beginnings of a long, storied discography.

Drawing a line from ASDIG to Stereolab is convenient, but admittedly superficial. The latter drew from well-established forms of bossa-nova and lounge and emerging forms of electronica as much as they contributed to the developing indie scene of the day, and so in comparing the two bands one
connects far more than two dots. The difference is that with Scribble Mural Comic Journal, one can also hear more contemporary genre influences added to the Stereolab formula, updating rather than simply emulating. More complex and contemporary forms of techno are surreally injected into opener
“Wake Up Pretty,” which combines the twin’s sonorous and seemingly wordless vocal instrumentation with the spurts and stops of a sputtering beat that defies the repetition one would expect from such a shoegazey album. The dynamism of conventional indie rock is also better referenced, as in
“Things Only I Can See” or the jubilant Jesus & Mary Chain bop of closer “The Best Summer Ever.” Meanwhile, “Ghost in the Graveyard” piles on an impressive (if sometimes distractingly incoherent) number of layers, having the good sense to give a tambourine space enough to be audible here and there to counteract the song’s otherwise weighty waterfalls of noise. “5:15″ is noise-rock bliss, simple chord progressions made enormous, and then the album’s catchiest song as the chorus appears under a tremulous amount of reverb. Though the album has roots and referents, and they’re not that deep or traditional, it’s energizing to play six degrees of separation with a new album and end up decades earlier, marveling at the breadth of scope.

It’s the aforementioned “Lists, Plans” that defines the album’s centrifugal excesses. Around it’s core swirls and dips a rollercoaster background melody, petering out, suddenly kicking back in, experiencing a key shift, and finally changing tempos and tones altogether at the sight of signposts either invisible or arbitrary to the listener; it’s an unlikely song to stay stuck
in a listener’s head as easily as it does. Sometimes the spinning, off-center quality of the album does get away from the band. “C’mon” is simply too chaotic, one sister’s noisy shrieks weakening the duo’s theretofore uncanny melodic consistency over monstrously loud walls of noise. “Panic Attacks Are What Make Me ‘Me’” can also seem a bit directionless, its sudden stops and starts less an engaging surprise than jarring and giving the song a feeling of being unfinished. Still, these diversions are more than fair price given the results yielded by such experimentation elsewhere on the album. This debut is exciting stuff, with a lot of personality and a deep reservoir of fundamental songwriting talent. It isn’t everyday one hears an album that sounds like just the beginning.

- Conrad Amenta

textura (canada)

Listening to Scribble Mural Comic Journal is rather like the moment when Lucy enters the wardrobe and suddenly finds herself confronting the magnificent, snow-covered paradise of Narnia. Just as Lucy leaves the prosaic world of everyday
life behind, the listener presses Play and is confronted by a wonderland of cascading choirs and instrumental euphoria. Following upon its 2006 five-song EP, The Sunniest Day Ever, A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s debut disc resembles what might result had an eccentric electronic experimentalist taken “Cabinessence” and exploded it into thirteen cubistic shards.

Using mandolins, banjos, samplers, guitars, bass, and drums, Ben Daniels and his vocalist sisters Robin and Lauren generate a dizzying rumble of ethereal dream-pop. After “Wake Up Pretty”
opens the collection with an overture of willowy haze and pitter-pattering drums, the album proper gets moving with “No. 6 Von Karman Street” where a surging shuffle beat buoyantly propels
Robin and Lauren’s celestial vocal mass. The opening songs establish A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s style but the better material comes later. Especially heavenly is “Ghost in the Graveyard” where the sirens work their entrancing magic and electric guitars snarl but it’s trumped by “5:15 Train” where a humongous pulse pounds raucously, rendering the singer’s words unintelligible in the process. “Lists, Plans” ups the experimental ante when swirling vocal melodies intersect in classic psychedelic style alongside a quivering wah-wah pulse that sounds like it’s
burbling underwater, while the off-kilter wooziness is extended even further by the fractured guitar caterwaul that dominates “C’mon.” At album’s end, “The Best Summer Ever” sails off into the sunset on a jubilant wave of clangorous shoegaze. Fans of My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Cocteau Twins, Lush, et al. should find much to like about the Daniels’ experimental confections too.

- Ron Schepper

other music

One of the best albums that’s landed on my desk in quite a while, we finally have enough quantity of A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s debut full-length to feature the album here in these pages. This
twin sister and brother trio hails from Philadelphia, though, as their name suggests, one could imagine the band making music in some damp, European city. It’s also easy enough to throw a
My Bloody Valentine reference their way, (check the warbled wash of guitars and feedback during “5:15 Train” for proof), but rather than simply following the Loveless playbook as so many groups do, A Sunny Day in Glasgow are about as close as anyone has come to re-imagining the term shoegaze since the descriptor first appeared.

“Wake Up Pretty” starts the album off with a backward loop of chiming guitars and distant operatic voices, and makes way for the gentle inclusion of minimal electronics and the pillowy dub propulsion of “No. 6 Von Karman Street.” The sisters’ floating melodies swirl around the shimmering loops and conjure images of the Cocteau Twins recording for Kompakt. I’d certainly be happy if the album stayed on that singular track but from there, A Sunny Day in Glasgow continually shift directions, experimenting with both sounds and songs. “Our Change into Rain Is No Change at All (Talkin’ ’bout Us)” packs in so many dizzying twists in its four-and-a-half minutes, moving from angelic washes of voices and lush dream pop to jaunty, psychedelic carnival music. The buzzing guitars and ambient pulses of “Ghost in the Graveyard” brings to mind how Richard D. James might have reworked a Jesus and Mary Chain track back in 1985, when his sampler still had training wheels.

My personal favorite, however, is the creepy “Lists, Plans,” which finds the band at their weirdest, updating the absurdist pop of a group like …And the Native Hipsters through a lysergic mix of jittery guitars and synths, the ghostly operatic voices making the track strangely paranoid and catchy at the same time. But as beguiling as the band’s music can get, it’s never too “difficult” for anyone that’s willing to let go of their imagination and just let the trio take over for a bit. And sure enough, with their last track A Sunny Day in Glasgow rewards the listener with the immediate jangle-flanged gratification of “The Best Summer Ever.”

- Gerald Hammill

emusic

An intriguing collection of dreamy, haunting pop songs and sound-sketches.A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s first full-length album is an intriguing collection of dreamy, haunting pop songs and sound-sketches, its title perhaps a neat allusion to the
impressionistic and transitory sound the Philadelphia-based trio debuted on their 2006 EP, C’mon, most of which is included here.

As befits a family project – the band consists of a brother and two sisters – there’s an intimate, almost hermetic feel to the recording, traces of footsteps and traffic sound lingering in the mix. Lauren and Robin Daniels’ perfectly matched voices echo around brother Ben’s shimmering guitars, keys and beats as if speaking a private sibling language.

While the gentle dissonance, layered vocals, and liberal use of delay bring to mind contemporaries Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear and CocoRosie, A Sunny Day in Glasgow also draws upon the shoegaze bands of the early ’90s, especially Lush, Slowdive, and the Pale Saints, along with occasional nods to the fuzzed-up excesses of My Bloody Valentine or the Jesus and Mary Chain. This is a seam of influence that bands were sure to start mining
sooner or later, but A Sunny Day in Glasgow do so with an assured and affectionate touch.

The band also steps outside the shoegaze template with interesting results: “Number 6 Von Karman Street” is based around a gentle acid-house rhythm, recalling both 808 State and the poignant, sub-aquatic disco of Arthur Russell. On “A Mundane Phonecall to Jack Parsons” and “Our Change into Rain Is No Change at All (Talkin’ ‘Bout Us),” distorted motorik beats booms beneath percussive keyboards and precise vocals that echo
Stereolab or the deliciously impersonal singing of Broadcast’s Trish Keenan. In fact, Broadcast’s presence recurs throughout the album, not only in the retro-futurist feel of the harmonies on “Things Only I Can See,” but also in the spacious, radiophonic production, with its bursts of atmospheric noise and echoing, galloping drums. This, in turn, is a nod to production pioneers Joe Meek and Phil Spector, key references that confirm A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s place in the psychedelic bubblegum continuum of which they’re clearly enamoured.

- Frances May Morgan

kexp song of the day 04/26/07

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. The podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is by A Sunny Day In Glasgow and is found on their 2007 album Scribble Mural Comic Journal on Notenuf Records:A Sunny Day In Glasgow – 5:15 Train (MP3)
What began as a Philadelphia-based recording project between two friends, Ben Daniels and Ever Nalens, who both had lived abroad in, you guessed it, the UK, soon became a project of siblings, as Ever was replaced by Ben’s sisters Robin and Laura. The most immediate comparison you’re likely to make when
listening to A Sunny Day in Glasgow is to Loveless-era My Bloody Valentine. Sure, many have tried to duplicate the MBV sound over the years, but the washes of ambient noise layered above drumbeats and ethereal Cocteau Twins-like vocals from the twin sisters reveal a deeper understanding of what “shoegazer” can be than most imitators can grasp: that music can be a joy in which to lose yourself. Those who think shoegazer rock is a downer have missed the point. You won’t miss it on A Sunny Day in Glasgow, and you don’t have to go very far. Two more lovely songs can be heard on the band’s website, a simple click away, and there you can find a link for you to purchase their debut album.

impose volume #27

The Story of A Sunny Day In Glasgow goes something like this: When Ever Nalens moved to Glasgow, Scotland to study art, he became obsessed with the horrible weather and the lack of sun due to constant rain. He then named his artwork’s website www.asunnydayinglasgow.com; once he returnedd to his hometown of Philadelphia and started playing music with college buddy Ben Daniels, their band took on the moniker. When Ever gave up music to focus on his art, Daniels kept the name and recruited his identical twin sisters, Robin and Lauren, to fill ou the band. “It occurred to me during an argument with a friend of
mine that my sisters had really good singing voices and that I should maybe ask them to sing on the song I had been recording. It just kind of worked out,” Daniels relates. The new lineup of A Sunny Day in Glasgow was complete. The band’s first EP was the self-released The Sunniest Day Ever, recorded in Daniels’s apartment on a laptop using an m-box with Pro Tools. After much radio play and attention, the trio was
determined to create a full-length. Daniels has a unique way of creating the music for ASDIG. “I write all of the music first, which usually starts from noises or samples and then sort of forms into songs. Then I drive around in my car and listen to rough mixes f just the music until words and melodies start to come out.” The beautiful voices of Robin and Lauren Daniels are layered over tracks filled with distorted guitars, banjos, mandolins and samples on the latest album, Scribble Mural Comic Journal [Notenuf Records, 2007]. When asked about the album title, Daniels is vauge. “[It's] top secret. But it sounds nice, I think.”

Reviews of the album have compared the group to My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Ben’s musical influences are eclectic: “If I had to pick a genre that most influences me, I would have to say pop music and indie pop. Pop music is the only thing I even slightly understand. In terms of artists, recently I’ve loved Xiu Xiu and Animal Collective. Discovery by Daft Punk is probably my favorite
album of the last ten years. Historically, Magnetic Fields, REM and Stereolab are probably the bands I’ve listened to more than any others.” The tracks on Scribble Mural Comic Journal are ethereal and eclectic; synthsoverpower the sweet voices of the twins. There is a sense that you have entered a large tunnel with music ricocheting off the cement walls. Each song is uniquelly its own genre; “A Mundane Phonecall to Jack Parsons,” is a groovy, psychedelic ode which moves into the outrageous, funky “Our Change into Rain is No Change at All.”

When asked what the future holds for his band, Daniels currently attending graduate school at McGill University in Montreal, replies, “I don’t really know and the plan never works out. We’ve got about fifteen songs that didn’t quite fit the album that I’d still like to release. And then I’m working on a bunch of new songs at the moment as well.” While it may not be sunny in Glasgow, the sun certainly shines for this band.

- Ellen Rosner Feig

no ripchord (uk)

(9 out of 10)

From the moment I heard the name “A Sunny Day In Glasgow” I wanted to love this band. It seems to conjure up vivid images of grim industrial skylines and alienating urban sounds, and in Scribble Mural Comic Journal this Philadelphia-based band has created a record that really befits the moniker.

The fun begins with Wake Up Pretty, which is built around a hazy, monotonous loop. After a minute, a distant and detached female vocal which ushers the track into No. 6 Von Karmen Street, a fragmented and disorientating collage of sounds set to a
driving dance beat. A Mundane Phonecall to Jack Parsons is more conventional, but only just. It sees the band utilising the classic shoegaze trick of burying a potentially great pop song beneath multiple layers of more abstract sounds, in this case a heavy rhythm track and a jarring repetitive riff. This technique is repeated with even greater success on the sublime standout track, 5:15 Train, which features throbbing guitars and more dreamy vocals.

There are a few slight miscues here, most notably C’Mon’s grating, atonal guitar (I think) riff which ruins an otherwise decent enough song, but these are few and far between. Some of Scribble Mural Comic Journal’s more drone-based tracks such as the five minute plus instrumental Panic Attacks Are What Makes Me “Me” seem unremarkable when taken out of context, but in helping to provide a welcome contrast to the more immediate melodic offerings they are key to this album’s success.

Scribble Mural Comic Journal’s final track The Best Summer Ever is by some distance its most conventional. After fifty minutes of dreamy shoegaze, it practically bursts out of the speakers
like the first welcome ray of summer sun. The vocals are nearly decipherable and the guitars even sound like guitars – it’s almost pure pop music.

Scribble Mural Comic Journal is a beautiful, brilliantly constructed album and one of the best and most inventive débuts I’ve heard in a long, long time. Hunt it down and cherish it.

- David Coleman

tokion issue #57

This wonderful bro/sis/sis three-piece hails from the South Side of Philly, though their sound beckons foggy days in the London of yore. They effortlessly connect the sonic dots that My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields left behind. As elysian as they are earthy, and as seraphic as they are secular, ASDiG have their feet firmly planted in the shoegazing ground that Creation and 4AD records discovered.

- Saheer Umar

QRO Magazine

(7.5 out of 10)

There’s something otherworldly and endearing about the swirling, heavily-affected female vocals on A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s new album Scribble Mural Comic Journal. Backed by psychedelic,
ambient art-rock, the vocals take on a supernatural tone, and calmly soak in. There’s a haunting sense of omnipresence in them, and combined with the strangely upbeat music, they
feel like ghosts throwing a party.They’re not there to mess with your soul, just hang out with it.

Sisters Lauren and Robin Daniel are the voices behind the masks, and their brother, Ben, contributes most of the music of A Sunny Day in Glasgow. While the vocals aren’t really the most dominant aspect of Scribble Mural Comic Journal, they’re impossible to ignore.Their melody on “5:15 Train” is gripping while the shattered digital wall crumbles behind. On “No. 6 Von Karman Street”, the ladies’ voices orbit haphazardly around an ethereal disco beat. Their uber-mixed chanting/singing helps weird out “C’mon” and it’s brash, metallic sound. The sisters’ vocals help steer the album into the surreal.

While the vocals on the album are distorted and attention-grabbing, the music behind them is what defines Scribble Mural Comic Journal. The combination of ambient echoes and sheets
of micro-noise conjure the calm and chaos inside an atom. The static fills gaps on “Ghost in the Graveyard” while silvery guitars slide around a bedroom jungle beat. “A Mundane Phonecall
to Jack Parsons” neatly stirs the mess of chiming guitars, distant drums, and spectral organ. Most of the music seems set back from the pop spotlight and allowed to go wild, like a storm behind a curtain: you know it’s there, but you just can’t see where exactly it’s coming from.

Auroral and disconnected, Scribble Mural Comic Journal flows with an enchanting ease and well-designed chaos.Rhythms come and go behind a wash of drugged art-rock and distorted,
siren-esque vocals. It’s the background music in a house full of ghosts.

- John Matthews

resonance issue #53
WHAT MADNESS CAUSES otherwise level-headed families to become bands? Who invites their siblings over for jam sessions instead of withdrawing behind walls of passive-aggressive disdain? A Sunny Day inGlasgow (ASDiG), that’s who, challenging rock’s notions of propriety with familyfueled
feel good/sad techno pop. It all started when Ben Daniels, now lead songwriter for ASDiG, tried writing music with a friend. “We wrote pop songs,” he says, “but neither of us could sing, so it didn’t really go anywhere.” Fortunately, Daniels was struck with a brilliant though unconventional idea. “I got in an argument with a friend about who had better singing voices among people we knew and I just kind of blurted out that my sisters [Robin and
Lauren] had better voices than anyone I knew,” he says. “It had never really occurred to me before to ask them to sing.”

On ASDiG’s debut album Scribble Mural Comic Journal, the Daniels’ risky cocktail of kin and rock pays off marvelously.
Ben lays the foundation with clouds of ambient shoegazer fuzz, enough to trick a listener into thinking they put My Bloody Valentine into their stereo. Out of this fog floats the siren song of Ben’s twin sisters. Their voices posses an extraordinary ability to blend into the music, then separate again, fluidly shifting in and out of the opaque guitars, bells, occasional thunderclaps and other beautiful noise provided by their brother. Subverting the traditional singerguitar-drums hierarchy, ASDiG weaves a musical quilt of sorts, where all the sounds seem to be part of each other. Ben was right, his sisters can sing, and by the way it all fits together you can tell they’re family.

Despite all this happiness and harmony, some traditional familial problems must surface occasionally. “We all get along much better when we don’t spend lots of time together,” Ben admits. “And you know, like everyone else’s probably, our family is crazy and it makes you crazy.” At least a trace of rebellious normalcy remains in the rock universe, even if, overall, it’s a more family-friendly place.

- Nick Goman

gbh.tv
Shoegaze isn’t exactly a subgenre you’d associate with radical excitement. Aside from Kevin Shields nearly bankrupting Creation Records with the studio bill for My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless back in 1991, shoegaze bands have always been more concerned with endless refinement as opposed to ambitious, boat-rocking experiments. Like with most guitar pop, that concern’s important because the difference between good and mediocre or even bad hinges on very small things. A good shoegaze record can be the soundtrack to a kind of blissful alternate universe, but just a few miscalculations can turn all those gauzy textures and whitest lights into something more like the uppermost limit of twee, something that lifts you into the clouds even as it gets weighted down with its own affects, and holds you maddeningly still for as long as you can stand it, or until the album ends.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow does no such thing. The Philadelphia-based trio Ben Daniels and his twin sisters Robin and Lauren Daniels have made rocking the boat their first priority on their debut album, Scribble Mural Comic Journal. Though it might be a shoegaze album in terms of its textures and ethereal, otherworldly feel, Scribble Mural Comic Journal dives deep below the surface of what most shoegaze records float on, and thrashes around with an intrepid abandon that’s thrilling to listen to.

After an aerated intro (“Wake Up Pretty”), Journal’s excitement begins in earnest with “No. 6 Von Karman Street,” a track with two distinct halves. It begins like an airy piece of techno, with heavenly vocals and currents of sound pulling things along both from above (with a set of cycling, programmed synths) and below (with a walking bass). But the second half, which starts with same figure of the first, doesn’t catch – the beat drives on before running out of gas, and the vocals then swoop in and out intermittently, bringing washes of ambient street noise with them, and the track clacks to a close on the sound of walking high heels. But before you can even settle into the idea of listening to an electronics-based record, “A Mundane Phone Call to Jack Parsons” comes stomping in, sounding like pre- and post-Loveless MBV; an avalanche of kettle drums, jangly guitars and close miked vocals that tussles with a piano that sounds like it’s being played in an elevator shaft. The struggle between sounds is exciting rather than abrasive because of the track’s purposeful pace, and it’s this steady push forward that accomodates Ben Daniels’s ambitious songwriting. “Our Change Into Rain is No Change At All” is both desolate and desperate, three distinct sections that change the feeling of the song’s recurring riffs, the swoon-inducing “5:15 Train” is a constantly mutating haze of rhythms and harmonies that engulfs the song’s drums and vocals, and a stomping drum beat keeps the warped and twisted jangles and likembe of “C’Mon,” the album’s most difficult track, in line.

Not everything on Journal is as adventurous, though. “Ghost in the Graveyard” is built out of Jesus & Mary Chain guitar scrap metal, but it never manages to go much of anywhere. Except for the nearly rambunctious album closer “The Best Summer Ever,” when A Sunny Day in Glasgow clings too explicitly to their influences, it becomes a restraint; “Watery (Drowning is Just Another Word For Being Buried Alive)” is disappointingly trad, and the songs that seem designed to carry lyrics forward feature vocals that are pretty much incomprehensible. Which, oddly enough, isn’t that big of a deal. One of the most beautiful elements of A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s sound is the twin voices of Robin and Lauren Daniels. In tandem, they’re sleepy, soaring, full, and fuzzy all at once, the mean and the median between Bilinda Butcher and Elizabeth Fraser: a perfect combination mashed together, like the rest of Scribble Mural Comic Journal, on instinct rather than formula. Thank god someone finally decided to rock the boat.

- Max Willens

asap

Magic is a very common concept in pop music. A lot of people just use it as a metaphor for the excitement of love, or utilize it as an all-purpose term covering all manner of weird sensations and awesome things, along with songs that are actually about mysticism and witchcraft. Though a lot of music on the topic of the occult can be quite bombastic, each of the selections in this week’s column deal with magic in decidedly low-key terms.

“A Mundane Phone Call To Jack Parsons”

Jack Parsons is one of the more peculiar characters in the history of modern science — by day, he was one of the most respected rocket scientists of the ’30s and ’40s. By night, he was one of
the most enthusiastic acolytes of the occultist Aleister Crowley. It’s hard to imagine having any sort of mundane interaction with such a flamboyant and fascinating figure, but this cryptic,
intentionally blurred pop song by Philadelphia’s A Sunny Day In Glasgow imagines communion with the long-deceased Parsons as an alternately spooky and commonplace activity. The songs feels strange and ethereal, but the implication seems to be that even the most profound and unnatural experiences might seem boring if they become demystified by routine.
- Matthew Perpetua

daily news mckeesport
(3 1/2 stars out of 5)

Twin sisters Lauren and Robin Daniels dreamed the A Sunny Day In Glasgow project, which makes it so hard that you have to struggle to hear them. Lost behind a wall of shoegazer fuzz and drone are their voices – high pitched and powerful and simply content to be an equal piece of the puzzle. It may grate on some that you really have to concentrate to pick them out of the mix, but if you accept that each dash of color is essential in painting the picture, you’ll find plenty to enjoy here. There’s a lot of shimmery synth in which the Daniels sisters’ voices swim, such as on “Wake Up Pretty,” “Ghost in the Graveyard,” and fittingly titled “Panic Attacks,” but the band really hits its stride
on rocker “A Mundane Phonecall to Jack Parsons,” Madonna-esque (in a good way) “5:15 Train,” and “C’mon,” which sounds broken but is not.

- Brian Krasman

lunapark6

Feels like a sunny day in New Orleans, when I listen to A Sunny Day In Glasgow. Although I have stated in past reviews that I find the whole shoegaze revival as exciting as a can of flat Coke. Yet, when done right – like using shoegaze as just one color among many other colors in a musical palette – then that form of music can still be an exhilarating experience. The Asobi Seksu album Citrus from last year would certainly be an example of this. Basically, the less “pure” derivative bands I find to be the most exciting. A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s first full length album “Scribble Mural Comic Journal” provides moments of this type of musical bliss, primarily by incorporating the ambient electronica into their music.

The first two tracks didn’t really show their shoegaze cards much at all, the songs were more straight up ambient type of electronica with airy vocals in the style of MBV or Lush.
Opening track, “Wake Up Pretty” is done just right, a perfect little opening song. The song is two minutes in length and alluring enough that you want to hear what this band is all about.
The answer is told in “No. 6 Von Karmin Street” where the electronics are still there, but with a far more uptempo beat, probably the most uptempo song on the album. The next track
“A Mundane Phonecall to Jack Parsons” is where the shoegaze influences come out. The song would fit very well on a mix cd with Asobi Seksu. The following track “Our change Into Rain is No Change At All” is where the album broke down a little bit,
similar to some of the songs on the second half of the record that are more experimental in nature. The continual reverb layered vocals started to wear thin about now, as well as an impatience with the song not going anywhere except in an acid trip like infused loop of discordant passages. The rest of the album had songs similar to these three styles. My favorite track being “No. 6 Von Karmin Street” and “5:15 Train.”

Scribble Mural Comic Journal, as the title implies, has the feel of a sketchbook. At times sounding scintillating (No. 6 Von Karman Street) to random, experimental stuff that I found not nearly as appealing “Our Change Into Rain is No Change At All. “When the band incorporated electronics into their music I found them to be at their best (hint “No. 6 Von Karmin Street”and “5:15 Train.”) I do hope we get to hear more of this on their next album. “Scribble Mural Comic Journal” by A Sunny Day In Glasgow
should appeal to the folks into Asobi Seksu, Lush, and MBV.

the big takeover issue #60

I’m seriously loving this. Like perfect dream music, A Sunny Day In Glasgow calm all the senses, enveloping the listener in the musical equivalent of pristine,marshmallow clouds. Philedelphia’s Ben Daniels and his two sisters, Robin and Lauren are ASDIG.
The female duo’s perfect siren song should be enough to slay you, but add to that some crazy feedback noises and dissonant wails (’5:15 Train’)…man,this is just supreme head music. My fave track (and this is tough,as the entire record simply smokes ass!) has to be the utterly trippy: ‘Watery(drowning is just another word for being buried alive under water’). An unequivocal delight.

– Jack Rabid

pitchfork

[8.0; Recommended]

A review of The Velvet Underground & Nico in Boston’s first rockzine, Vibrations, suggested listeners put themselves in the frame of mind they might assume for Indian music. Of course, the Velvet Underground’s narcotic repetitions– influenced by John Cale’s association with minimalist composer La Monte Young– struck the mainline for a new style of pop, similarly connected to raga’s enveloping drone. Uh, maybe you’ve heard of Can, Brian Eno, Sonic Youth, or My Bloody Valentine?

When listening to A Sunny Day in Glasgow, it’s perhaps best to put yourself in the frame of mind you might assume for those bands, too. Sure, this brother-sister trio aren’t in the same league, but they’re one of several exciting young acts keeping up ambient-pop’s ethereal flame (a few years after M83 and others put their electronic spin on Loveless swoon). Where Atlanta’s Deerhunter echo the psych-rock meditations of Spacemen 3, these Philadelphia tweegazers lose themselves in the trebly haze of early Creation Records, pop melodies barely shining through all the layers of noise. Then they kill you with ramshackle C86 adorableness.

On Scribble Mural Comic Journal, A Sunny Day in Glasgow sculpt fluffy electronic textures, overdubbed funhouse-mirror guitars, and Kate-Bush-down-a-well vocals into a debut album that warps (and greatly improves upon) last year’s self-released The Sunniest Day Ever EP. The project’s founder, Ben Daniels of local “supergroup” King Kong Ding Dong, twists the sweetness in identical twins Lauren and Robin’s voices into eerie new forms, whether off-kilter dial tones to open the thick– and, hey, ringing– “A Mundane Phonecall to Jack Parsons”, echoing raindrops on “Our Change Into Rain Is No Change at All (Talkin’ ’bout Us)”, or stereo-panning schoolgirl chants amid alien guitars on “C’Mon” . The sisters’ soft breathiness is most, well, breathtaking on cosmopolitan teenage lament “The Horn Song”, or with gliding guitar, pebbly beats, and a moonstruck melody on album highlight “5:15 Train”.

Within A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s aesthetic, their singing is less the point than the sonic environment they help create (for those gorgeous, submerged tunes!). So deceptively casual opener “Wake Up Pretty” dreams up the surreal-life dance party that is the ensuing “No. 6 Van Karman Street”, and “Ghost in the Graveyard” begins with the pounding drums and background dissonance of an impassioned anthem by actual Glaswegians the Twilight Sad, then never develops into one. Meanwhile, “Panic Attacks Are What Make Me ‘Me’” swells into a jingling alarum, shifting the details gradually enough to encourage what Eno called “perceptual drift,” and then suddenly changing direction. Dizzy? No, dazzled. As with Deerhunter’s Cryptograms, A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s debut becomes clearer as it nears an end. Album closer “The Best Summer Ever” at last distills the band’s meteorological whorls into a psych-pop sunburst befitting its title. One of the band’s older songs (it opened The Sunniest Day Ever EP) this track illustrates a notable divergence: While Deerhunter have moved toward tightly focused songs, the most recent recordings on Scribble Mural Comic Journal venture further into nuanced atmospherics. From a certain point of view, their journey is the same.

-Marc Hogan

dream magazine issue #8

Atmospheric ambience and pulsing gently chiming electronics, sustained female cooing and industrial rumbling falls into repeating layers of glee club choirs buried in sweet synthetic molasses. Chiming looping methodology of thin electronic auras over childlike sunny mantras freely self-replicating across the landscape. If shoegazing was as hairy as a yeti, this is what the yeti would sound like shaved. Or perhaps Cocteau Twins rehearsing in an attic above a noisy factory, anyway pretty groovy.

– George Parsons

pitchfork

Rising: A Sunny Day in Glasgow: Scribble Mural Comic Journal

If those voices in your head decided to start a band, they’d probably sound something like A Sunny Day in Glasgow. The Philly-based sibling act sprung up in March 2006 with the self-released, five-song EP The Sunniest Day Ever. A bunch of blog raves and a four-star Pitchfork track review later, they’re now poised to invade the indie consciousness with their first full-length.

At times lush and serene, at others clattery and delirious, Scribble Mural Comic Journal (released just last month on Notenuf Records) should prove one of 2007′s more interesting debuts– even if the logorrheic incantations of twin sisters Robin and Lauren Daniels threaten to drive a few bats into your belfry.

Guitar and pedal witchery courtesy of brother Ben Daniels only further confounds matters, making A Sunny Day in Glasgow a tough band to put a finger on. You’ll hear traces of ethereal favorites like Cocteau Twins and Slowdive, ambient interludes and backing tracks more suited to Kranky or Type Records acts, loop acrobatics reminiscent of the Field, and even song titles that smack heavily of math-rock: “Panic Attacks Are What Make Me “Me””, “A Mundane Phonecall to Jack Parsons”, and “Watery (Drowning Is Just Another Word for Being Buried Alive Under Water)”, to name a few.

But the overall sound should charm as much as it intrigues, hovering somewhere on the cusp of where dream pop’s woozy bliss states totter off into asylum territory.

“5:15 Train” floats on ethereal haze, then clomps on down to terra firma when the sisters’ chirpy voices arrive and the rhythm turns to an army-of-tap-shoes-on-gymnasium-floor-in-slow-motion stomp. Despite its placid beginnings, the track eventually finds A Sunny Day at their most clangorous, as the airy prettiness and tap-shoe phalanx battle with what sounds like a bunch of giant rainsticks filled with knives. Or maybe the insanity’s just getting to us?

“No. 6 Von Karman Street” opens on a celestial vocal bed laid out in opening track “Wake Up Pretty”, then hops aboard a house beat and careens off into a lyrical hall of mirrors. The Daniels sirens work overtime here, fluttering in from all directions with layered vocal abstractions that cascade over one another. If those incessant coos don’t drive you into the watery deep first, you can totally dance to this.

Describing “C’mon”– as heard on the The Sunniest Day Ever EP– Jessica Suarez wrote, “Gnarled guitar strings bend out of place while the Daniels sisters chant in rounds, ‘Be afraid of ghosts are, really.’ They sing the odd line in pretty little arpeggios, their sugary voices dipping in and out of the strings… Like Grizzly Bear, ASDIG’s got a steep pop-to-noise curve, so their most gorgeous melodies become thick and swampy before you’ve noticed the tide has come in.”

- Matthew Solarski

venus zine issue #31

(8 out of 10)

In the last few years, a second generation of shoegazers (Mew, Serena Maneesh) have gathered around the blissful mesmerisms of Lush, Swervedriver, and especially My Bloody Valentine. The Philadelphia-via-Montreal trio, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, fall in line with their peers on their debut album, Scribble Mural Comic Journal.

Devised by multi-instrumentalist Ben Daniels and led by the pearly vocals of his twin sisters, Robin and Lauren, A Sunny Day in Glasgow brightens the reverse reverb made famous by Kevin Shields, positioning them to become of one of indie rock’s most promising acts for 2007. If the twitching guitar psychedelics of “Ghost in the Graveyard” don’t have you voyaging to the center of the mind, then the crashing electro-pop of “No. 6 Von Karman Street” and “Lists, Plans” will have you tripping the light fantastic before you can remind yourself why you loved Kid A so much. Those who missed the band’s no out-of-print EP,
2006′s The Sunniest Day Ever, have a second chance to shimmy up to the sonic richness of “C’mon,” surely one of the album’s best moments. It’s the band’s warm touch to song and craft that makes Scribble Mural Comic Journal the surprise favorite that it is.

Until now, the multi-faceted world of all things indie didn’t even know how much they need A Sunny Day in Glasgow. Basking in the sun is always nice, but looking into the sun isn’t as blinding as you think. A Sunny Day in Glasgow makes it feel right.

- MacKenzie Wilson

washington city paper

A Sunny Day in Glasgow
Friday, Feb. 23, at the Red & the Black
In the world of indie-rock, cute doesn’t have much of a shelf life.
Yet A Sunny Day in Glasgow piles on the cute: the band name, the fact that all the band members are siblings (two are twin sisters), the decision to title one song The Best Summer Ever and name its debut album Scribble Mural Comic Journal.
You’d probably hate everyone in the band if they weren’t such meticulous builders of epic songs, each of which seems to compel some sort of dipping metaphor: 5:15 Train comes dipped in shoegazy reverb, Things Only I Can See comes dipped in the
entire Slumberland Records catalog, Panic Attacks Are What Make Me Me sounds dipped in Steve Reich’s fried hard drives. Sure, it’s all cute. But it’s irresistibly cute,so enjoy it while it lasts.- Jason Cherkis

comfortcomes

Album Reviews
A Sunny Day In Glasgow
Scribble Mural Comic Journal
Score: 9.8

A Sunny Day in Glasgow is Ben Daniels’ musical project, and one for which he got his two sisters, Robin and Lauren, to sing. Notenuf has kindly release their debut album to us. Scribble Mural Comic Journal is just a flat out masterpiece that needs to heard with headphones on. It is a large ambitious piece of
work and you will want to her every nook and cranny inside the record. Ben Daniels and his sisters have a gift at crafting one hell of a story.

The album really gets working with No.6 Von Karman Street.
The song features the Daniels sisters’ vocals swelling and circling this odd dance like beat. The song gives off the aura of fogginess, and confusion. It leads perfectly into A Mundane Phonecall To Jack Parsons.The tune is mind-blowing. The sisters’ get to emerge a bit from the noise with a 60s-type harpsichord behind them. 5:15 Train is very intense and aggressive musically but has such a gentle backbone. Lists, Plans is one of the finest pieces on this record. The song waves in and out of these
little brief scenes if you would and then you get hit with this strange and addicting note. For a five minute track, there are so many changes and just so much going on. Watery∑ is still a huge
tune and such a dreaming and ambient song. I feel like I am getting whisked away just listening to it.

To put it simply this is just a brilliant piece of work. The early EPs had promise but it all really came together so well on this record. From, start to finish you are taken on a journey and once you put the record in you won’t stop until it is over and it demands attention while listening. The record is dotted with a slightly uplifting vibe, which may sound somewhat strange. But,
regardless this is a truly unforgettable record.
– John Siwicki

fluxblog

A Sunny Day In Glasgow @ The Delancey 2/17/07
Our Change Into Rain Is No Change At All / Lists, Plans / A Mundane Phone Call With Jack Parsons / Ghost in the Graveyard / C’mon / The Best Summer Ever

A Sunny Day In Glasgow “Our Change Into Rain Is No Change At All” – A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s evolution as a live band continues to stray from the muted, ethereal effect of their studio
recordings without sacrificing their appeal. If anything, their show at the Delancey foregrounded their most appealing and accessible aspects — the melodies, the guitar textures, and the voices of Lauren and Robin Daniels — and highlighting things that aren’t so strongly emphasized on the album, i.e. the lyrics and the beats. The girls sound like shy apparitions on Scribble Mural Comic Journal, but in person, they are outgoing, flirtatious, and bold. Their drummer is tight and energetic, and was key in translating music designed for headphones into something physical and urgent. “C’mon” was played with a disco beat, “Best Summer Ever” was played like a rock hit, and “Lists, Plans” was sped up considerably, and transformed into an arty funk song not unlike Stereolab’s “Metronomic Underground.”

philadelphia city paper

A Sunny Day in Glasgow
Somewhere between melody and masochism sits A Sunny Day in Glasgow. This Philly family act, twin sisters Lauren and Robin Daniels, brother Ben, loses itself in epileptic reverse loops and distorted drum violence (“5:15 Train”), bent guitar string wails and howling vocals (“C’mon”). Stick out the noise and blissful pop emerges from the chaos. Leave your earplugs at home; you’ll feel honored to go deaf from this intelligent, challenging music.
- John Vettese

philly inquirer

While their name invokes twee and literate bands such as Belle & Sebastian and Camera Obscura, Philly’s A Sunny Day In Glasgow draws more on the shimmering, dense sonics of My Bloody Valentine and the sweeping, crashing electronics of Caribou. Every sound on Scribble Mural Comic Journal, the group’s debut, seems refracted, pitched slightly off-kilter, glinting but hard to keep in focus. Lauren and Robin Daniels sing in angelic high harmonies while brother Ben engineers the trebly soundscapes of effects-laden guitars and wax-and-wane keyboards (on Sunday, the siblings will be joined by bassist Brice Hickey and drummer Pete Leonard). Melodies abound, but they’re fragmented or obscured, although every once in a while – on “The Best Summer Ever,” for instance – one solidifies into coherence. Scribble Mural is an enticing, exciting enigma.
- Steve Klinge

idolator

We’ve been hearing raves about the dream-noise outfit A Sunny Day In Glasgow from various bloggers for a while, and we finally got around to sticking them into our iTunes playlist last night. Hailing from Philadelphia, they create sprawling, gorgeous pop from scraps of eardrum-puncturing guitar feedback, synthesizer glitches, and floating female voices. We especially like “Our Change Into Rain Is No Change At All (Talkin ‘Bout Us),” which adds some manic strumming to the mix.

audiversity

Could Grizzly Bear really be the next Postal Service? It’s been four years since Give Up dropped the colorful, crystal clear blips with heart-wrenching vocals on our collective and somewhat wincing ears and about two years since their popularity peaked. Concurrently, their devotees of crisp electropop have been waning in the last year as well, and in it’s place a sound washed with reverb, layered heavily and pulling influence in turn with typical 20 year cycles from late 60s psychedelia and late 80s shoegaze. In many ways it’s the pop antidote to the rigid perfectionism of the Postal Service, and Grizzly Bear is quickly becoming the figurehead for the sound. Enter A Sunny Day in Glasgow, a trio of siblings from Philadelphia who fit into this next style wave seamlessly. They turned some college radio heads with their mid-06 EP, The Sunniest Day Ever, and posted a four-star track on Pitchfork, which concurrently drizzled similar hype throughout the blogger hierarchy. The Daniels kids, mastermind Ben and vocalists Lauren and Robin, could not be more primed for indie take over with their debut full-length, Scribble Mural Comic Journal, and while not mind-blowing, it’s a solid record of dreamy shoegaze pop. Defining his sound for the last few years, Ben Daniels began earnestly with cassette recordings collaborating with friend and Glasgow art school-attendee Ever Nalens, who apparently lacked the foresight of Daniels and abandoned the cause back in 2005. This led to sisters Robin and Lauren taking over vocals as Ben moved back home to hone his craft. The resulting sound’s foundation is shoegaze’s sky encapsulating distortion and feedback with every pop hook or stuttering drum machine rhythm overmodulated with care and doused with enough aching reverb to produce a thick atmosphere. Ben is a talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter as he refuses to settle for anything conventional and regularly experiments with atonal melodies and odd song structures. The Daniels sisters coo with ghostly falsettos that personally are a bit distracting; they remind me too much of the trip-hop singers of a decade past. There are songs where they work well with though, heralded single “C’mon” being the focal point, but I’d definitely prefer a more varying vocal presence or more experimental instrumental pieces like “Panic Attacks are What Make Me ‘Me’”. Be prepared for a good degree of shoegaze revivalist hype with the release of this record and an ominous Grizzly Bear reference, both of which are warranted but not to the degree that they will be stated. I’m certainly not denying the talent of the Daniels’ siblings, in fact I think it’s a pretty impressive record, but I also don’t think they are there quite yet. Hopefully Scribble Mural Comic Journal is not the peak of A Sunny Day in Glasgow but a solid stepping stone forward to such greater heights (hehe harhar hoho).

all music guide

If listening to Scribble Mural Comic Journal could be likened to watching a horror flick made in the 1950s, Ben Daniels would be a skinny teenage genius in a baggy lab coat, his twin sisters Lauren and Robin would be his eerie assistants clad in go-go boots, and the album itself would be his robot bride. In other words, A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s debut is ambitious to the point of becoming monstrous; it strides right past the pop-oriented shoegaze material of the preceding EP and dives right into the (at times miry) tangle of Ben’s auditory imagination. Lauren and Robin’s tightly wound vocals are gorgeously incomprehensible, the guitars are acidic and knotted, the drums sound like they were recorded at the bottom of an abandoned mineshaft, and the whole thing comes off like a hot, blurry night at the bar. It’s the kind of album that demands headphones. The most memorable moments on Scribble Mural are those that skillfully toe the line between shoegazey pop and avant-garde noise. “A Mundane Call to Jack Parsons” is spot-on with its Byrds-esque harpsichords and urgent drums, not to mention the fact that Lauren and Robin’s vocals are given room to emerge through all that noise. “C’mon” opens with structured, springy guitars, only to lavishly implode into a mass of distortion and wails. “Our Change into Rain Is No Change at All” does the reverse, building ethereal pop out of seemingly chaotic guitars, tambourines, and synths. Scribble Mural takes Sunny Day’s debut EP and splatters it, Jackson Pollock-style, against a wall. But for all the contortion and deconstruction going on here, Scribble Mural maintains the slightly disturbing and oddly uplifting vibe that made Sunny Day’s teaser EP memorable.

– Margaret Reges

merry swankster

“Watery (Drowning is Just Another Word for Being Buried Alive Under Water)”

The melody from this song is what’s going to stay with you, even if it’s gauzy, muffled sweetness will result more in perpetual unconscious whistling than a sing-along. Given the song’s grimly accurate title it seems a bit easy to claim that the sonics feel submerged, but there is something coming between the clearly pretty singing of the Daniels sisters and the listener’s ear. Water’s as good a guess as any. It’s strange because you feel like you can crack it with a closer listen, that the girls are making perfect sense if only you could somehow squint your ears a little and bring their words, alternating and overlapping, into clearer focus. So you lean into it, and try to brush away the undulating guitar washes that hang in stasis around the edges. Every so often, the hint of a drum surge acts as encouragement, tricking you into thinking you’re on the right track. But, when you get to the end without capturing any elusive concrete meaning, it occurs to you that maybe pure melody was the point all along, and any obscuring elements were really protecting you from torturing yourself with deeper analysis. That’s when you realize the tune has taken up position in your mind with no plans to leave. Then your whistling starts, like you’ve got no choice at all…

crackers united
A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s Scribble Mural Comic Journal begins as if you are being awakened by two angelic voices on a bright sunny morning as rays of sunlight pour through a bedroom window penetrating your barely opened eyes which are unable to focus on anything but the shimmering light. Your mind is still foggy as your try to decipher between dreaming and reality in a world of ethereal layers and sounds. “No. 6 Von Karman Street” kicks in and you slowly rise from bed, still cloudy but up and moving around, cutting through the haze to get to your morning coffee. A vague beat starts making its way through the airy vocals and layers and after a few sips, the beat kicks in a little
heavier as the caffeine hits your bloodstream. A moment of clarity as your head starts to bob, before your whirled back into a fog as you try and remember the rhythm that sprung you awake a few moments ago. If the first two tracks on the record represent the clarity one tries to achieve upon waking up, then the sixth song on the album, “Lists, Plans” could represent one’s mind in complete delirium. The song is grounded by what sounds like a guitar being played underwater and the once angelic
vocals turn rather ghostly swooping from ear to ear. Add in what sounds like a dozen or so clocks going off at once followed by a twisted violin sample and one’s sure to have their nerves on end.
The familiar “C’mon” follows and it’s not until the warm organ swaths of “The Horn Song” that our nerves are soothed.
Ben Daniels truly proves his mastery of layering samples and nearly hypnotizing electronic textures on this debut that suspends the listener in a world somewhere between a murky dream and real life. The album abounds with samples, some of the more recognizable are the wind chimes at the end of “5:15 Train” and the aforementioned violin. My favorite track off the record is “Ghost In A Graveyard” which sort of reminds me of My Bloody Valentine’s “Blown A Wish” in the way that the song breathes, almost as if it’s inhaling and exhaling. It’s even got a heartbeat to boot. Subtle swirling layers creep from the abyss and rise to a climax as the ethereal Daniels sisters’ voices
swim around each another in a soup of reverb and noise.

fluxblog
A Sunny Day In Glasgow “Lists, Plans” – There are few moments of lucidity on A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s debut LP Scribble Mural Comic Journal, and even those seem delirious and disconnected from reality. The structure of its centerpiece “Lists, Plans” implies a narrative, but like the rest of the songs on the album, it’s all abstracted sensation without any concrete details aside from some vague allusion to lists in the otherwise incoherent and ghostly vocals of the Daniels sisters. The composition cuts between sections like scenes in a film, conveying movement through time and space, as well as some recognizable but barely understood drama as the track progresses. Ben Daniels’ command of texture and gift for intuitive musical storytelling is remarkable — he really ought to be up to his neck in offers for soundtrack work by the end of the year.

yer mam!

They’re not Scottish, they call Philadelphia home, but that’s not the only thing that A Sunny Day In Glasgow are trying to mislead us about. Like My Bloody Valentine once did, A Sunny Day In Glasgow shroud winning pop melodies in layers and layers of studio effects and feedback. The ringing, chiming guitars of ‘The Best Summer Ever’ are obfuscated by echoey vocals and heavily-treated drums, but it’s a testament to their songs that they still hit home despite the band’s insistence on muddying up the immediacy of their sound. 2007 should see them getting critical and fan adoration all over, with the release of their debut album, the fantastically-titled, Scribble Mural Comic Journal. One for the Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective fans.

comfortcomes

Single Reviews
A Sunny Day in Glasgow
Watery (Drowning is Just Another Word for Being Buried Alive Under Water)
Score: 9.7

“Watery” is taken from the bands forthcoming debut album “Scribble Mural Comic Journal.” Being a big fan of their EP “Sunniest Day Ever” we simply could not wait for this new material. “Watery” simply blows away any expectations we had for this record. The Daniels sisters’ voices gel together and just swirl around your head making you powerless. The combination of the pounding drums and pulsating noises with the melodies will leave you stunned. It is one of most captivating and just down right gorgeous pieces of music I have heard in a long time. It may be premature but could be one of the songs of ’07 already.

- John Siwicki

the rich girls are weeping

And, so sue us for being on the hype bandwagon, but A Sunny Day In Glasgow is too good to pass up, really. We heard about ‘em from the always au courant Fluxblog, and for that we are most grateful to Mr. Perpetua. Ben Daniels writes the songs and plays all the instruments; his sisters Robin and Lauren provide the ethereal, far-away vocals. The best way to describe this band is to say that they make the kind of dreampop that sounds like a lost demo tape some little band sent in to 4ad sometime between 1987 and 1991 — which is about the highest praise possible, really.

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