The Last Battle

The Springwell EP


It’s remarkable how many bands have set down their distinctive roots in the fertile field that is Scottish indie-folk. Edinburgh sextet The Last Battle sit right on the hyphen in that genre definition, layering vocals that follow a more traditional line over music that has featured grungy bass, dark cello and chiming glockenspiel all at the same time. Indeed, their ambitious debut album, Heart Of The Land, Soul Of The Sea touches on Arab Strap as much as Frightened Rabbit or the post-Idlewild work of Roddy Woomble. This EP finds them putting their constituent parts to more commercial ends on lead songs Floored (with its punchy rhythmic attack and campfire chorus) and Ward 119 (with its sighing harmonies and galloping beat). Third track Viv Nicholson is a personal favourite, a lovely little portrait in song (and “cautionary tale for everyone”) of the 1960s pools winner and Smiths cover star. The rest of the EP falls into what would once have been dismissed as B-side territory, but The Last Battle have won the war long before then.

Alan Morrison