Preview taste of Rockland


John Murray on the debut album from Katzenjammer

Four young ladies from Norway are causing a stir with previews of their new album.

Collectively known as Katzenjammer, the new album released on March 2 will be called Rockland (Propeller).

They appeared in 2008 and have since wowed Glastonbury and sold out two UK tours.

All singers, all musicians and prolific as writers, the new album was the pick of 83 new songs before the final 11 was chosen.

The first single Lady Grey infuses with pop charm while My Own Tune has them all singing together to great effect.

At times, the blues influence comes through on Bad Girl and then they become a folk band on My Dear and blend many styles with a rap insert on the very ‘current’ Oh My God.

Among the newly announced dates, they play Glasgow Oran Mor on May 9.

Hailed as the best newcomer on his debut and subsequent platinum album Songs From The Deep Forest, then presenting a documentary on Ruby Murray, writing for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and finishing Kurt Weill’s musical on Huckleberry Finn, everyone wondered what next for Duke Special.

Well, the comeback album will be released in six weeks and the critics are ready with their superlatives.

Look Out Machines! (Stranger) will place the Ulster songwriter back in the public consciousness with tracks like In A Dive, a personal testament beautifully orchestrated and theatrically presented.

His sense of production certain creates musical images and even when it strips to just voice and piano as in Tweed Coats, a distant announcer’s voice creeps into the finished product.

Using the fan funding Pledge Music, there will be signed CDs and exclusive items on their way.

The new UK tour will take in Edinburgh Electric Circus on April 17. With her first solo album in 13 years Mairi Macinnes returns with Gras (Puffin).

Inspired by the storms that hit South Uist in 2004 her Gaelic vocals are accompanied by Karen Matheson from Capercaillie and producer, musician and writer Hamish Napier.

Angelic voices in Gaelic tongue and traditional instruments make this an aural delight.