My first introduction to Iglue - real name Niaal Manson - was during my visit to Inverness for GoNorth. I remember fellow blogger Peenko remarking that he sounded like a mix between Bright Eyes and Bombay Bicycle Club and at the time I thought that description was as accurate as you could get. The 21 year-old's new batch of songs are a far cry from that initial reaction. Sparse and timid melodies replace the pop sensibilities of his older songs and youthful optimism is now traded for jaded cynicism. 'The Modern Youth' is a perfect example of this as Manson strives for answers via a sullen existential lament. Environment plays a massive hand in the foundations of his songs as he grew up on the small, ocean locked Island of Lewis. 'Afloat', 'Men Are Made At Sea' and 'Jump Into The Sea' evidently have a recurring theme, using the sea as a vehicle for many a metaphor. The lack of optimism can, at times, grate on you and a wee glimmer of hope would be nice but I suppose this is the whole charm of these songs. It also illustrates the bleakness of island life extremely accurately (as I found out during a stint in Shetland).
Iglue is far from a finished product but these songs definitely show promise. Some variation in sound would certainly give the songs more longevity while bringing back the initial sound which caught my attention. However, what young Manson has achieved is show his diversity and maturity which makes him one to watch.
If you want to find out more there is a lovely wee interview with Niaal at the aforementioned Peenko Blog.
The Modern Youth by iglue
Afloat by iglue
Myspace / Soundcloud