A Sunny Day in Glasgow Play on a Snowy Night in New York

March 1st, 2010

A Sunny Day in Glasgow – Mercury Lounge – February 25, 2010

(Photo: Drew Reynolds)

(Photo: Drew Reynolds)

A Sunny Day in Glasgow was literally what NYC needed on Friday night. The idea of any kind of sunshine was a far-away dream buried beneath the snowed-in streets, but that didn’t stop the band from launching their US tour in a packed Mercury Lounge. A Sunny Day in Glasgow is not sentimentally named. Instead, the moniker refers to what a freakish occurrence a not-gray day actually is over there. The idea of waiting out the everyday for those unusual moments exactly describes the group’s process, constructing dense layers of just barely melodic sound.

The blasted wash of guitar tones consists of a thousand individual chance elements. And the harmonies from Annie Fredrickson and Jen Goma, who sometimes seem to be singing completely different melodies and lyrics, come together in a way that can’t be planned. Rows of guitar pedals and samplers, with inexact dials and effects, add even more layers of uncertainty to the band’s live performance. Ben Daniels, a founding member, and Josh Meakim, both on guitar, certainly work hard to keep the saturated tones cooperating, carefully watching each other for changing effects and sound cues. Adam Herndon, on drums, provides the only consistent sound, keeping an even rhythm for the reverberated vocals from both frontwomen. It all comes together in an experimental twee soundtrack of dizzying heights.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow thanked the audience for braving the weather, but it didn’t seem to be on anyone’s mind. For this group, ambient shoegaze pop didn’t end with My Bloody Valentine, Lush or Cocteau Twins. No, they’re trying to create that unexpected moment when the clouds finally part. —Jason Dean