Out on May 31st is Run Around the Sun, the second long playing installment from duo Sacred Paws, aka Rachel Aggs and Eilidh Rodgers. There were high hopes in this household following 2016’s Strike a Match, and the Paws (as absolutely no-one calls them) have come up with the effervescent goods.
Yeah there’s something of the Honeyblood about them, both being from Glasgow and all that, both girls making intensely melodic records, but where Honeyblood embrace the garage rock (or at least use it for their own purposes), Sacred Paws take these West African / early Vampire Weekend rhythms and guitar stylings along with a dollop of brass (check out Shame on me for it at it’s most heart on the sleeve moments) and make something genuinely uplifting and joyful. It’s as if it’s goading you body into moving at any moment – “I think we’d get bored if it was too slow,” Eilidh says. “We’d never want to play something live that people couldn’t dance to. It would feel really strange to us. It’s kind of the whole point.”
As such, Run Around The Sun is like being beaten repeatedly by Ken Dodd’s tickling stick (ask you’re parents, kids) despite these little moments of melancholy that creep into the melodies, with the brilliant opener The Conversation – all vocal intertwining and this frankly gorgeous guitar work just leaving the door ajar to a succession of delightful, exuberant pop songs, which only abates with How Far, which mixes things up (including crucially tempo) to bring some light and shade to proceedings
‘Is this real’ gets the album back in full flow, the different guitar and vocal lines all leading the listener on a merry dance before the rest of the album plays out still leaving you fighting against your frame dancing around the kitchen, swigging back on your can of Bitter shandy (we know how to live in backseat mafia towers) wearing down your loafers – or is that just me?
Whatever it is, Sacred Paws have made one of the albums of the year. And what’s good about it is this. They’ve made intricate, irresistible pop songs that make you want to dance and make you happy, but they’ve managed to mix it up so there’s ten different sorts of happy. And that’s a skill.
Run Around The Sun is due for released May 31st via Rock Action.