AdvertisementPop Mutations presents:
Savage Mansion - Golden Mountain, Here I Come album launch
+ The Bellybuttons
+ Bas Jan
+ DJ Lifestyle B2B DJ Hairct
+ Lost Map DJs
Friday 15th April
Ticks at Ticket Scotland and https://www.citizenticket.co.uk/events/pop-mutations/
Glasgow-based five-piece Savage Mansion have shared a second single from their forthcoming third album Golden Mountain, Here I Come. A song about the myriad hypocrisies of the ruling classes told through the frame of modern professional sports with clanging Britpop guitars, ‘Football Weather’ is available to stream and share now, as well as released via Lost Map’s PostMap Club subscription service. A live video, filmed for the New Colossus Festival in New York, is also available to watch and share. Savage Mansion tour the UK in the spring, opening for Pictish Trail.
When 2020 ground to a halt, it could have been the end for Savage Mansion. The release of their critically acclaimed second album Weird Country – the swift follow up to 2019’s Revision Ballads – was overshadowed by a state of collective panic, a litany of cancelled tour dates, and plans not so much put on the backburner as thrown out the window of a van somewhere between Glasgow and Birmingham. But instead, with the excellent Golden Mountain, Here I Come, they’ve doubled down, solidifying their reputation as one of Scotland and the UK’s most prolific emerging guitar bands, and as a hardworking collective drawing from a diverse palette of musical and literary influences. Re-emerging as a five-piece with Craig Angus (vocals, guitar), Andrew Macpherson (guitar), Beth Chalmers (keys), Jamie Dubber (bass) and Lewis Orr (drums), they’re back with a record that’s hook-laden, poignant, and cryptic. It’s indie rock that’s both an instant feast for the senses and a rich tapestry of sounds and words to pore over and savour.
“It could be our first record as a band,” says Angus. “In many ways it is, to the extent that we toyed with changing the name of the band. But you forget it's a f*cking pain naming a band in the first place, so we stuck with it.”
Recorded with the band’s live engineer Ross McGowan (Kaputt, Dananananaykroyd) at Chime Studio in Glasgow, the more collaborative aspect of the band’s third album is palpable. “It was the first record we made with Beth on keys,” Angus says, “so there were five people actively having a say about musical direction, whereas in the past the songs were 80 to 90% fully formed before they got to rehearsal rooms. We reworked a lot of the songs beyond recognition this time. I had to let go of a lot of the expectations I had, and it’s a stronger body of
work as a consequence, more adventurous.”
It’s that spirit that’s interwoven throughout the record, starting with the album title, taken from a line in the first completed song ‘Jesus Is Pale’. “It was something that came to me at work one day,” says Angus. “I used to scrawl ideas on bits of paper as I went about my business, and the idea of ‘now climbing golden mountain’ appealed to me looking back through notes. It felt a little bit like something you’d find in sci-fi or fantasy fiction maybe. And I like the idea of a destination or landmark being the centrepiece of a work. Like the way Dylan used Highway 61 as a frame to explore a specific time.”
The album began life as a fictional travelogue, still evident on the ‘The Black Cat’ where a surreal hitchhiking narrative is weaved over a musical soundscape that’s influenced by krautrock grooves as much as country
sensibilities. “Over time golden mountain became a placeholder for something else,” Angus says, “a looser destination, sometimes a physical place, sometimes a mental state. I think a lot of that was to do with being confined to one room, more or less, for months on end. You’re living in this stasis, with no real grasp on how long it’ll last, so a lot of living becomes imagined.”
The themes are apparent from the off. Opening track and lead single ‘Life More Abundant’ rolls like a runaway train, all chugging guitars and rapid vocal delivery, as an energised narrator thrillingly rejects tired conventions
and seeks a new way of life. In the funk inspired standout ‘The Crucible’, which feels as much indebted to James Brown as it is garage rock, the central character rediscovers their own agency in real time. By the rousing climax of ‘Plans’, a full on revolt is brewing. It’s a fresh musical direction for the group too, a new wave sound inspired by The B52s and Elvis Costello as much as the garage rock Parquet Courts and The Replacements. Saxophone and clarinet are supplied courtesy of Stephen ‘Sweet Baboo’ Black (Cate Le Bon, Aldous Harding).
Golden Mountain, Here I Come is a triumphant comeback for Savage Mansion. While the new material features
the same razor-sharp songwriting, melodic intertwining guitars and close harmonies, it's the artistic focus that
elevates the band to a new level. The DIY, lo-fi ethos remains but the ambition is undimmed, the output infectious.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Stereo, 22-28 Renfield Lane,Glasgow, United Kingdom, Glasgow, United Kingdom