The four-piece of Birdy Burgess (vocals), Sandy Middleton (guitar), John Valentine (bass) and John Gair (drums) are about as Scottish as it gets, given they hail from the UK’s most northernly destination, the Shetland Islands, at the very north-east of Great Britain.
Since forming from several bands that supported each other for several years back in 2016, the quartet have gone about honing a sound that merges the rockiness of Biffy Clyro with the more edgy, punky feeling of Alkaline Trio, who the band tell us are a major influence along with the likes of Foo Fighters, The Gaslight Anthem and Rise Against.
As John puts it: “We’d say we are quite rocky with a bit of pop thrown in. We have some drum fills to make your heart explode!”
As mentioned in our previous article, the band have just released their latest single Pennies In The Water. It opens up with a light guitar intro that’s soon joined by echoey, distant vocals that end “Pennies in the water, Your dreams are going under.” A brief pause drops into a cool little riff and jauntier guitar chords through a more upbeat verse, and the song grows in intensity. A cool section of “Ooh-ooh” vocals over big guitar chords and driving drums comes in before the pace drops right down for two final cries of “Pennies in the water, Your dreams are going under.”
On the track, John tells us: “This song is a slow starter. It begins with haunting harmonies and guitar. It builds momentum throughout the song and finishes with a flurry before coming back into the reverbed vocals and guitar at the end.” Check it out in the video below:
That track follows last year’s single Leave The Light On, which is one of the best rock tracks we’ve heard in a while. It also starts slowly with laid-back vocals over light guitars, then palm-muted guitars give way to a big cry of “‘Cos every time I’m with you I’m overwhelmed by your good teeth, Burning blue eyes, long legs, something’s coming over me, I’ve never felt like this before, I’m begging you to show me more, Is this really happening.”
That drives us into a big singalong chorus of “So leave the light on, I’ll be coming home, And make sure that my side of the bed is warm,” which end on a big smash of guitar chords, rolling drums and cymbals. A lone bass line kicks in and is soon joined by call and answer cries of the chorus lyrics, building up to another smash of the chorus with some almighty drums driving it forwards. Check out the video below:
It certainly lives up to the band’s description of their sound as “harmonies, gritty and melodic.” And on what inspires their music, John explains: “We write about anything really. From relationships to politics. Partying with friends to feeling lonely.”
The band tell us that the Shetlands rock scene is in a pretty good state, but the loss of two major rock festivals being discontinued has seen it take a bit of a nosedive. John adds: “Not a lot of Shetland bands get recognised so we are very grateful that you have come to us. We hope you enjoy our songs.”
We certainly do enjoy their music and as we say in the new music article, rock with a Scottish twang really is one of the best things in music. The Forgotten Sons sound is packed with engaging vocals that you’ll struggle not to sing along to, fuelled with bags of energy from driving drums and fun guitar riffs, and it’s pretty hard not to love it.
The band has gigs coming up in Shetland, ahead of writing new music and planning for new releases and more tours next year.