The Moth & The Mirror - 2013 - album cover

THE MOTH & THE MIRRORHonestly, This World

1. Everyone I Know
2. Soft Inside
3. Fire
4. Boxes
5. Beautiful Creature
6. Honestly, This World
7. Hope Is An Anchor
8. Germany
9. Closing Doors
10. Oceans & Waves


For a band, advertised as a “supergroup” of scottish indie music, there’s a massive danger of dissapointment involved. Might the label itself be appropriate or not, as a band collecting members from FRIGHTENED RABBIT, ADMIRAL FALLOW and ARAB STRAP, there’s a huge amount of expectations for every name that’s dropped. Fortunately, THE MOTH & THE MIRROR are as far from showing-off with those other involvements as possible. Nevertheless, one could easily speculate about wether Stacey Sievwright (ARAB STRAP-cellist) or Gordon Skene (FRIGHTENED RABBIT) put that extra special songwriting skill on top that they gained through working with some of the most prominent (and arguably best) scottish music-exports. Apart from that, though, this collaboration’s debut record, Honestly, This World, clearly stands for itself, creating something more risky and nothing less beautiful than any of the aforementioned music.

Opener Everyone I Know already hints on the many possibilites this six-piece got with their musical variety: shy acoustic-picking, a massive, poignant bass underneath and some delicate distorted guitar, whining from somewhere in the distance. Above all, the remarkably strong voice of Sievwright that carries most of the album on the back of her resilient lyrics: “Your blue eyes turned black to me“, she sings and suddenly, everything that’s so admirable about scottish music blurs into one stark and dreamy stream of melodiousness. But be warned, one should not fall for the neat cover-imagery or the mellow glockenspiels, flutes and strings that are added here or there: Honestly, This World is as much of playful folk-pop as it is a remniscence to the disturbed beauty of the legendary AEREOGRAMME. An achievement that’s most likely to be connected with the person of Iain Cook who did the mastering for this record. The former AEREOGRAMME-guitarist, one half of THE UNWINDING HOURS and recent CHVRCHES-sound-magician seems to be omnipresent these days. Not only as a creator, but especially as an excellent producer.

Outstanding track Boxes maybe exemplifies the impact of his production the best: a slow and mellow build-up with crashing drums coming in, already revealing the feast of noise that’s about to descend on the listener. It’s these noisy outbursts that keep Honestly, This World exciting in it’s entirety. Pop and rock instrumentation, comforting melodies and harsh loudness – THE MOTH & THE MIRROR manage to keep contradictions in a stunning effective balance, either within one song or throughout clever sequencing of several tracks. Moreover, these fellows even implement such an uplifting, cheerful folk-rock-tune like Fires without making it seem out of place.

“Seems things are changing all to fast/ I can’t help but think my future should be my past” Sievwright contemplates in Closing Doors, symbolically putting an end to all the ambivalence that both audience and artist have gone through. Well, if there wouldn’t be the final Oceans & Waves which, of course, can’t resign itself with a simple ending. THE MOTH & THE MIRROR‘s debut therefore not only proves what a thriving and highly creative underground scene the scottish folks still got over there, it appreciatively plays with the concept of a supergroup. For this rarely sounds like anything comparable at all. It’s unique, and it’s lovely. And that is how one should perceive it.