Sons and Daughters | DNO294
Records that instantly deliver greatness can often leave you wanting more, while others slowly but surely sink in their hooks and refuse to let go - like Mirror Mirror - Sons & Daughters’ third album. The follow up to 2008’s The Gift is a very different beast to its predecessor. A slow burning sensation, a wiry, raw, sensual injection of primal monochrome rock, Mirror Mirror is not only thrillingly contemporary but unique by 2011 standards.
Sons And Daughters reached back to their own past - namely 2006’s The Repulsion Box and the band’s 2004 mini-album debut Love The Cup - for inspiration. As Scott Paterson observes - "We sound better when we’re more minimal. We wanted everything on the new album to be necessary, no added fluff, and only recording on 16-track."
With this model in mind the band enlisted friend and fan Keith McIvor - aka JD Twitch of local legends Optimo Music – as producer. Mirror Mirror is his first full length album. "We knew someone like Keith could be really honest with us," says Scott. "He has great taste in music, and we also knew we wanted to start using electronics, and he’s really into his dance music." The mood was further enhanced with mixing by Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, These New Puritans).
Several songs changed shape during recording. "Silver Spell" and "Ink Free" had, "full on punk rock guitar" before the synths (vintage, of course) took over. Adele stirs in themes of fairytales, serial killers and witchcraft, as well as tapping her own inner demons. The album title – turned into a forceful mantra on the opening "Silver Spell" – comes from reflecting on all that darkness. "Ink Free" and "Orion" come from a similarly troubled place.
Deeper and darker, "The Model" is based on a newspaper story about a model who threw herself from a balcony window. "The Beach" about the discovery of a dead girl in the woods while "Axed Actor" is another filmic reference, to ‘50s Hollywood and actress Elisabeth Short, known as the Black Dahlia, who was found dismembered in a field and her killer never found.
Have Sons & Daughters ever been this dark? "Maybe not," says Adele. "But with so much time off, I became interested in different things and new ideas. On This Gift, it was ‘60s cinema; this time it’s Italian Giallo cinema [crime, mystery and evil) If any film represents this record, it would be like Dario Argento’s Suspiria."
"I love the feel of this album and it’s the most balanced thing we’ve done," Scott reflects. "There are great rocking moments but it’s also reflective and dreamy. It sounds odd in a natural way."