One of the benefits of Scotland being a small country is that when it comes to music, the cream quickly rises to the top. That has been witnessed recently from the likes of Admiral Fallow, Frightened Rabbit and Rachel Sermanni. That is now the case with Quickbeam.
Originally the brainchild of Monica Gromeck and Andrew Thomson after bonding over similar tastes in music, the band has now swelled in numbers and has recorded this atmospheric and cinematic self-entitled debut album, the results of which are pretty profound with its sweeping grandeur.
Quickbeam's debut album builds on the EP that the band released in 2012, Seven Hundred Birds, which garnered quite a bit of critical acclaim upon its release. This album sees the band finally fulfill that promise over a full length album.
Immersed, track three on the album and one of its recent singles is a great calling card that perfectly sums up what the band is about. If comparisons were to be made with other bands, Mogwai would be perhaps an obvious choice. Although Mogwai are slightly more visceral in their noise, they both write songs in a similar arrangement where the music is allowed to meander on bringing out the best in the musicians.
Due to the genre of music that Quickbeam perform it is difficult to even think about considering any track as album filler. Each track is more sumptuous in texture than the last as strings and Gromeck's voice warmly wash over you. This is the case with Matter; the sparseness of the song just adds to the epic arrangement found all the way through this album. The only scandal about this album is that it took a grant from Creative Scotland to help the band record such an exquisite piece of music. It makes you think how many other pieces of music have been lost in time due to a lack of funding.
Although acts like Quickbeam may never grace the likes of Radio One, it can be assumed that the band and their peers never intended to do that anyway. Quickbeam's debut album has too much talent and beautiful music on it to suffer that fate. This is the sort of record that will make people want to buy LPs again and look forward to taking the artwork booklet out of the CD case.