By John Curley
Glasgow’s Lola in Slacks have been together for several years now, gigging and releasing a few singles. The recently released Moon Moth is the band’s first album. Their very unique sound can probably be best described as Marianne Faithfull meets The Velvet Underground meets Portishead. French influences are all over the album, both lyrically and stylistically. That is largely due to the band’s frontwoman Louise Reed having spent time as a musician in Paris. Reid is one half of the band’s songwriting team, with guitarist Brian McFie being the other half. The band also includes pianist/keyboardist Fiona Shannon, bassist Davy Irvin and drummer Lesley McLaren. (McLaren is also the drummer in the current lineup of Clare Grogan’s Altered Images.)
“Postscript in Blue,” which the band had released as a single in 2018, kicks off the album in grand atmospheric style. The song has a great flow to it with a terrific vocal by Reid. It could be the theme song for a film noir. “Ocean Atlas” contains great work by both Shannon on piano and McLaren on drums, and it comes to a somewhat abrupt ending. “Bisous du Mistral” is an easy-going tune with trebly guitar and light percussion at the start before the full band kicks in. “Luna Moth” highlights Reid’s vocal and McFie’s guitar.
“Souvenir de toi” is a song with two very distinctive halves. The first part of the song is slow and atmospheric and then picks up pace with Reid singing in both French and English. McFie’s guitar is all over it. It’s an outstanding piece of work and one of the highlights of the album. “Trocchi’s Canal” is a wonderfully mellow track that shows how the band works so well together as a unit. There are no passengers in this crew. Reid’s vocal and McFie’s trebly guitar take center stage on “Glasshouse.”
The band’s first single, 2016’s “Tramlines,” is the album’s penultimate track. It’s an evocative song that features Shannon’s stark piano at the start. Reid’s vocal paints a word picture that is supported perfectly by the band. The album’s closer, “Strawberry Locks,” is without question the wild card of the set. It’s a bit trippy and more of a rock song than the rest of the tracks on the album. The bass, drums and guitar get heavier in the song’s midsection and play it out in that style.
Lola in Slacks haven’t performed in North America yet, but here’s hoping that situation changes in the near future. The band’s live shows in the Glasgow area have received rave reviews. And the quality of the songs on Moon Moth is a testament as to why. This is a collection of songs that deserves airplay and to be heard.
The album is available in both vinyl and digital formats. The LP can be purchased from Last Night From Glasgow at https://shop.lastnightfromglasgow.com/collections/lola-in-slacks/products/lola-in-slacks-moon-moth-vinyl-lp-and-lossless-dl.
The video for “Luna Moth” can be seen below:
The video for “Trocchi’s Canal” can be seen below:
The video for “Postscript in Blue” can be seen below: