Auld Spells blends psychotropic sounds with dreampop undertones. The Edinburgh-based five piece is made up of lead singer and guitarist Tommy Danbury, keyboardist Rob Spellsman, drummer Peter Wilson of the band Rome and Murray and Sandy Raeburn of the Raeburn Brothers on guitar and bass. The band’s reverb-drenched melodies – in the vein of Beach House, Neil Young, Nick Cave, My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive – brew a sonic tonic for strange times.
The band has been busy in the studio, waiting for venues to reopen and releasing a song a month for the foreseeable future. Their firs released track ‘Something Something Somewhere,’ is about shedding false nostalgia, merges 60s jangle pop and ragged Neil Young guitars with early 90s shoegaze. Their second release, ‘Julie,’ explores compassion for a loved one on the verge of breakdown, with its psychedelic guitar riffs and driving percussion delivering the final, cathartic notes. Their third single, The Moon, is a mellowed out dream pop tune made for a lounge act in space, mixing guitar reverb with the rhythm section’s tight bass melody and laid back beat (by guest drummer Dan Allaire of Brian Jonestown Massacre, Darker My Love). Their fourth single, ‘Dead Gurl’, drifts through a rock n roll dreamscape of guitar reverb and hammond organ, inspired equally by The Bad Seeds and Angelo Badalamenti. The baritone vocals of singer-songwriter Tommy Danbury evokes the of heartbreak of Scott Walker and Leonard Cohen, while the female lead binds the song together in the middle 8 – reminiscent of Mark Lanegan paired with Isobel Campell.
The band recently released their latest single called ’14th Floor’ on November 27th 2020. ’14th Floor’ journeys through hazy dreams and broken memories of a relationship clouded by addiction and mental illness. The tune follows on the heels of their well-received songs ‘Dead Gurl’ and ‘The Moon’, which BBC Scotland DJ Vic Galloway called “just an excellent tune…feels like it could be in a David Lynch film…that’s my kind of soundtrack.” Its music video of Alice in Wonderland collage imagery is directed by Portland, OR, multidisciplinary artist Melody Owen.
You can listen to all five tracks on the private soundcloud playlist below.
“The Moon, it’s just an excellent tune…feels like it could be in a David Lynch film…that’s my kind of soundtrack.” – Vic Galloway, BBC Radio Scotland
‘The Moon’… conjures a menacing setting, one that uses woozy lead guitars and intoxicatingly hazy lead vocals to bring its auditory wasteland to life. The fog never seems to subside from this perilous environment, yet the track’s sheer sexiness never feels lost – its danger only serves to invite the listener closer into its tantalising grasp. – Robert Mitchell, Loaf Magazine