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TRAPPED MICE - MONA LISA
*FREE DOWNLOAD SINGLE*
TAKEN FROM THE ALBUM "WINTER SUN"
OUT ON MONDAY 5TH NOVEMBER 2012.
Scurrying in between the cracks of Edinburgh’s genteel high society and the stink of its sordid underbelly are Trapped Mice. A five piece made up of Lucie Miller, Barry Jackson, David Friend, Brian Pokora and front-man Ian Tilling.
Together they have crafted Winter Sun in living rooms and bedrooms across Scotland’s capital. A debut album steeped in the chilly themes of longing, confusion, and a creeping sense of dread at the slow march of “progress”, all tied up in one big melancholic noose.
From the opening accordion driven motif of ‘An Ending’ and into the brazen ‘Cancel Shift’, the songs on Winter Sun take in real life events and divine narrative concerning relationships, integrity and the good fight for artistic credibility.
There’s a sense of a slightly knowing smirk behind some of the tried-and-tested themes of the album, namely heartbreak and abandonment. Be it on the wonderfully exposed ‘Dance While Winter Cries’ or the masterful, ‘Mona Lisa’, it’s hard not to be drawn in by Ian Tilling’s heartfelt lyrical muses, each song unwinding with perfect precision as a prose poem, fantastic songcraft and bared-soul performance.
With elements of the rustic tones of Okkervil River, the humour of Morrissey and the angst of Bright Eyes, this album should appeal to anybody who loves powerful songs performed with abandon. The characters are illuminating, as on ‘Hermit Point’, inspired by a man in the North of Scotland who refused to sell his house to Donald Trump to make way for his coastal leisure development. He is imagined as an old man, in a crumbling cottage by the sea, pondering what may have happened had he sold up. In ‘Quiet Place’, a middle-aged couple embark on a sordid voyage of sexual rediscovery set to some kind of scuzzy avant-folk accompaniment.
As the album plays on, it becomes increasingly obvious that Winter Sun is a glorious anthology of short stories, each one memorable, meaningful and double-edged - that is, an occasionally rusty, serrated edge. When asked about ‘Cameraman’, Tilling drolly replies, “Yeah! A spoken word track with more death and misery! Fuck it, why not?”
At its most stirring on the likes of ‘Night of Broken Glass’ and album kiss-off ‘Demons’, Winter Sun is wistful, poetic, and intelligent, There is nothing clichéd or fake. It is direct from the heart, no bullshit. 'Tis a beautiful creation, but fragile; so tip-toe towards it, lest it shatters.
Release/catalogue number: ARM31
Release date: Nov 5, 2012