Album #137: Medicine Men – A Different Port

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Glasgow, Scotland
  • Label: Last Night from Glasgow
  • Best Track: We First Met

Sad as it might be, I’ve been keeping track of all the locations of bands and artists I’ve been reviewing in this project. To my surprise, Glasgow is currently second only to London as my most blogged about city.

To be fair to Scotland’s biggest city, it’s been home to some fantastic bands over the years – Primal Scream, Orange Juice, Mogwai, the Vaselines, the list goes on – so maybe shouldn’t be shocked to see it featuring so prominently and intruding into my Northern English bubble. I really liked the debut from Cloth that I’ve previously mentioned in this blog, so I thought I’d check out another recent release from the same label, Last Night from Glasgow.

I didn’t know what to expect from Medicine Men on their second album A Different Port. It’s quite poppy, I’d say – an adult pop record. The opener ‘We First Met’ is a fine track, with strong, clear vocals yet somehow an overriding dreamlike and wistful quality.

It’s a toss-up between that ‘Bad Luck Burden’ for my favourite track. The latter boasts a standout chorus, reinforced by guest vocalist Jess Hufton. Elsewhere, the instrumental ‘Ottoman Blues’ is an effective interlude, and ‘Now… in the Desert’ is one of the darker tracks on the album with its bass line carrying an undercurrent of threat.

A Different Port is not the kind of music I gravitate to, but it is something just about anyone can appreciate, with well-written songs, catchy melodies and arresting lyrics. Last Night from Glasgow seems a discerning label that doesn’t sign up any fodder.

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