03 February 2010

Scots Way-Hay! #1 - Ardentjohn

So here we are in the first of what I plan to be a weekly feature, cheesily entitled 'Scots Way-Hay' (if you think that's bad you should have seen the one's I chose not to use). If all goes according to plan I should have a band/artist introducing themselves to you each week. Some of them might be well established artists that you know and love, other might be new to you, either way I hope to share with you something that I personally like and hope that you do too. The first band I have chosen to go with are Ardentjohn an indie-folk band from Edinburgh. They're a band who seem to have been about for a few years now, but only came to my attention recently after their new album got reviewed in Uncut. Yes I read Uncut, I'm not ashamed to admit it, it's certainly a much better alternative to reading/looking at the pictures in the NME.
I digress, the review got me curious which in turn led me to checking out their Myspace, followed by buying their mini-album 'When The Time Comes', and that was it, I was hooked. Their new album 'Slow Train' is out now, I am just waiting on the postie delivering my copy, but if the lead single 'Home' is anything to go by I am in for a treat.
Right that's enough about me and how we got here, it's time for me to pass you over to the band to introduce themselves, enjoy......

Would you care to introduce yourself?
(SETH) We are a few from Edinburgh/London band Ardentjohn.

How would you describe the music you make?
(SETH) Bloody Good! No, always a bit of a tricky one because we tick a few different boxes - today i am going to go with Alternative Folk/Pop.

How did you start making music?
(Mark) Keiron (the main song writer) began making music on the Isle of Bute with childhood friend Roy Hayler a while back in their small flat on an old four track tape recorder. Early efforts were interesting sometimes hilarious however i first heard orange nights (song from previous e.p) in this very flat and fell in love with it. This song gave us confidence to move on. The heart has been there from the very beginning, that's why i joined the band.

What process goes into the way you write songs?
(SETH) More often than not a song comes from Keiron and his acoustic guitar. He'll bring it to a rehearsal and then we'll all jam it and try out different vibes, but we always seem to make it sound like an Ardentjohn song, which is sometimes different from what was brought in originally due to the rest of the bands different influences, although the melody is key to what we do. The new addition of strings to the live set-up has made the process a bit longer but we are loving their involvement. We've got a pretty big live sound right now.

What are you all listening to at the moment?
(SETH) I get a little slated for my taste sometimes, you could say i'm a bit of a pop fiend - what can i say, i like catchy. Having said that right now I am SO excited about the new Midlake album, 'Trials of Van Occupanther' is one of my all time favourites, and I love Temper Traps 'Sweet Disposition'. (Mark) We are also listening to Wild Beasts, The National, The XX, Whitest boy alive, Grizzly Bear, Justin Townes Earle and we're always tracing back lots of old stuff, currently Blind blake, johnny cash unearthed, roy orbison box set.

What can we expect to see/hear from you in 2010?
(SETH) We've just done our Edinburgh Album Launch for "On The Wire", which was amazing and have our London one in a week. The album has been a long time coming so looking forward to promoting it and getting it out there! We've got a live session next month with Vic Galloway at the BBC and more gigs in Edinburgh and London and, fingers crossed, we'll be doing one or two festivals this summer. It's all pretty exciting just now.

Ardentjohn's debut album 'Out on the Wire' is out now on CD, you get yourself a copy via the bands Myspace page. It is also available from Play, HMV and Amazon.

Ardentjohn - Home (MP3)


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