Two divorced women and a drum machine: introducing Scotland's latest export, Ex Wives
It would be all too easy to sit here, plagiarize/paraphrase for all it’s worth and reel of yet more spiel about this year’s must-hear acts (that is, according to about 99% of the music press). After all, Ellie Goulding and The Drums are destined for big things, don’t you know? But of course you did, because everyone has already told you so, and I’m pretty certain to read those predictions for the umpteenth time would just prove tedious. At least, it would be as thrilling as it will eventually be when these acts hit the big time: their future, and indeed their success, has long been mapped out. It’s written. It will happen. Party over.
So instead, the band I’d like to tip for bigger things in 2010 is Ex Wives. I say bigger, because the possibility that you’ve heard them already is slim to none, and, let’s be honest: given their ethics and even the genre they slot into, it’s unlikely that the band – who are, in fact, are not divorced women at all – are going to reach stadium-sized stature overnight (or ever, actually, but I’m not convinced they’d be too disheartened by that). But they’ve been kicking about their native Glasgow for long enough, have just been interviewed by Artrocker magazine, and, with a European tour and album release in the pipeline, the first year of the new decade might just be a pivotal 12 months for the three-piece.
“We’re doing a [European] tour in March or April, so I can visit lots of countries and realise my stereotyping was entirely correct,” frontman Alastair told The Badger last week, and there you have first warning: to get along with Ex Wives, a thick skin and a resilient sense of humour is, well, a must. (Your second warning? A penchant for Steve Albini and/or Shellac might be an idea, too).
Disclaimers aside, however, here’s some of that background information and tidbit trivia entirely necessary in order to get to grips with the band. Ex Wives are Alastair (guitar/vocals), Colin (bass) and Kris (drums), all of whom can apparently be found in “varying degrees of employment in Glasgow, Scotland”. Created from the ashes of Glaswegian trio Stars Kill, Ex Wives came into play when, as Alastair himself describes, Star Kill’s bassist found herself pregnant and “we kicked her out”. And, as controversial and repugnant as they may seem, they are actually very good. So good, in fact, that Michael M of We Are the Physics cited the three-piece as one of this top ten acts last year.
It’s justifiable, too, because 2009 was a pretty good year for the band. After spending much of 2008 holed up in a recording studio, the band’s EP, Fucking Dutch, was finally released in December, limited to only 300 copies. Still, it was well received: reviews have been positive, and, as Alastair remembers, “Vic Galloway started to play our tracks on Radio 1 at one in the morning when no one was listening.”
But 2010 should be even better for the divorcees. Not only is there that impending full-length release (potential titles for which are as close to the knuckle as ever) but the band want to try their hand at something quite different altogether. “We want to write a Christmas song,” Alastair says, “but if it doesn’t topple the X-Factor we’ll be okay with it.” So there you have it: it’s only January, but I’m already looking forward to December – because, coming from the frontman of a band who will think nothing of lending titles such as Every Woman Loves A Fascist to his tracks, this should be one intriguing festive period.