Modern Studies are a chamber pop band from Glasgow-via-Yorkshire. Their quietly experimental landscape songs are played on analogue synths, cello, double bass, drums, guitars, a wine-glass orchestra and, at the creaking centre of things, a Victorian pedal harmonium.
The band came together in early 2015, when Glasgow songwriter Emily Scott recruited old pals and collaborators Pete Harvey (King Creosote, The Leg), Joe Smillie (Call to Mind, boss of Glasgow’s The Glad Cafe) and Rob St. John.
Working throughout the year at Pumpkinfield – Pete’s rural Perthshire studio – the band shaped a set of Emily’s skeleton songs, drawing largely from the salt and spray of the sea. This communal arts-und-crafts-werk resulted in their debut LP ‘Swell to Great’ (named after an organ stop), which was released on Song, by Toad Records of Edinburgh, Scotland in September 2016.
Woodpigeon was coined in 2005 to shelter a revolving cast of Mark Hamilton’s musician comrades as they coalesced around his first songs. Since then, five full-length albums and at least a dozen other recordings have been released into the wild under the Woodpigeon banner. Hamilton, sometimes with guests but often alone, has toured Europe and North America alongside several artists (including Withered Hand, Jose Gonzalez, Iron & Wine, Grizzly Bear, Broken Social Scene, and Calexico), and been on the bill at a few festivals (Sled Island, The End of the Road, Haldern Pop, Field Day, Pop Montreal). The Woodpigeon entity has been involved in theatrical, cinematic, and performance events and featured on productions by many purveyors of fine musical exposure (CBC Radio, BBC, Radio France, Le Blogotheque, Black Cab Sessions, Bandstand Busking, Southern Souls, XFM and more). In 2010, Woodpigeon completed its first residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts. While all of this has been wonderful, Hamilton wishes with all his heart that Woodpigeon could have had a Peel Session. Alas.