The State Broadcasters

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Ghosts We Must Carry is the stunning follow-up to State Broadcasters 2009 debut The Ship and the Iceberg. As ever, the band bury the wrenching sadness of their songs beneath layers of subtle orchestration and oft-naïve charm, making for the finest of wistful pop music.

“The ghosts in the title are the burdens we carry with us as we get older, the things we’ve done or had done to us... more

Ghosts We Must Carry is the stunning follow-up to State Broadcasters 2009 debut The Ship and the Iceberg. As ever, the band bury the wrenching sadness of their songs beneath layers of subtle orchestration and oft-naïve charm, making for the finest of wistful pop music.

“The ghosts in the title are the burdens we carry with us as we get older, the things we’ve done or had done to us that still hurt – actions and memories that occasionally haunt us,” the band say and they execute this theme beautifully. Opener “The Only Way Home” (a tribute to Mark Linkous and Vic Chesnutt) builds layers of sound underneath melancholic vocals. Yet tracks like “Trespassers” and “Kittiwake” pick up the pace bringing a dreamy nostalgic quality that has become the band’s trademark. There are tinges of The Low Anthem in some of the more sombre tracks but in their more upbeat moments the melodies are more akin to Andrew Bird’s “catchier” tunes.

Graeme Black (guitar, vocals) met Pete MacDonald (piano, trombone, vocals) in a library in Glasgow in 2004. After bumping into each other at various gigs and bonding over their love of Lambchop and Clem Snide they tried playing some songs together in Graeme’s kitchen and it wasn’t before long that they called themselves the State Broadcasters.

Soon after Pete’s brother Fergus (guitar, banjo, uke, accordion and vocals) joined them followed by Gillian Fleetwood (harp, accordion, vocals), Cameron Maxwell (double bass, electric bass, trombone, vocals), Susan Appelbe (cello, vocals) and Andrew Samson (percussion).

With much of their first album The Ship and The Iceberg having been featured in Scottish independent films – fitting for a band described by Uncut as being “cut straight from a film by Bill (Gregory’s Girl) Forsyth”- in the interim between records the band took time to compose and record the soundtrack for the multi-award winning short Fixing Luka. This piece saw co-songwriter and producer Pete MacDonald taking home the BAFTA New Talent Award for ‘Best Original Score’. The band have also found themselves the subject of a great many admirers with Uncut, The Sunday Express, The List, BBC 6Music’s Gideon Coe, Mark Riley and BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway amongst them.

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