Glasgow’s Haight Ashbury have inevitably been compared to many acts from the swinging 60s and 70s. For Kirsty, (bass and vocals) the strangest of these has been as a psychedelic Abba. When asked if these constant comparisons bother them, they explain that on the contrary, they’re hugely flattered. “We have always looked up to bands like Fleetwood Mac and Stealers Wheel, as our parents listened to them and so did we as kids. To be compared to them is amazing”.  “We also listened to a lot of blues, and to play songs like that with female vocal harmonies made it really interesting”.

Along with childhood friend Jennifer,  brother and sister Scott and Kirsty  have always made music, mainly in an acoustic vein, with dual female harmonies. From this, an organic sound that unconsciously echoed their heroes emerged. “We don’t sit down and write and say this has to sound like psych-folk and blues because that’s what our MySpace says. It just happens naturally” says Kirsty.

When asked if perhaps they were born in the wrong era, Kirsty adds “We would probably [have been] as lost back then as we are now”. In terms of bringing the sound of the 60s to 2010, Scott says “There are other bands out there doing similar things like Best Coast, War Paint and Mazzy Star. We hadn’t even heard of Mazzy Star but we were compared to them and now we’re big fans”.

In terms of the Glasgow music scene, Haight Ashbury are worlds apart from copycat twee cutesy bands or the chart fodder of Franz Ferdinand. “There is a big focus on bands using the Scottish accent but we wanted to be different, but not in a contrived way. We really like local band Sparrow and the Workshop, as they use vocal harmonies and stripped down instrumentation like us,” Scott points out. Indeed the depth of sound the three-piece create with just two vocals, bass, guitar and a snare drum and tambourine reflects the organic flow of musicality that they hold dear.

Following a sold out tour with The Vaselines, I wonder what advice they have for new artists in unstable times for the music industry. Kirsty says “Gig all the time, develop your sound and style. Also don’t ignore the internet. Don’t rely on it 100% as it’s more for the teen market. But get yourself out there. We got the Vaselines tour because Frances heard us on the radio.” Scott adds “It’s still a lot to do with luck nowadays”.

Debut album Here in the Golden Rays begins with a dreamlike girl power track titled ‘Freeman Town’. Live, the vocals are astounding, much more alive than on record as Kirsty and Jennifer act as provocateurs: “You could see me home from school, ha”. Scott’s guitar playing echoes that of Stephen Stills or Lindsey Buckingham, and indeed if he added a vocal, the Fleetwood Mac tag would be even more befitting.

Radio-rotated ‘Favourite Song’ has all the sass of The Bangles slowed down and sung through a cloud of psychedelic smoke. ‘Sympathetic Strings’ is like a Buddhist chant song with sitars and hymn-like lyrics, harking back to the Beatles’ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. We enter heavier territory with ‘Mothers Ruin’ with Jesus and Mary Chain fuzz combined with angelic yet haunting vocals.

It may be sub zero in Glasgow tonight but it feels like we’re back in the Summer of Love, enjoying Good Vibrations. Inspired and unique.

Here in the Golden Rays is out now on Cadiz Music.

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