“The duo have crafted a unique sonic palette via the merging of contemporary spoken word and post-punk/electro instrumental arrangements, bringing to the surface each artist’s individual musicality.”
Pure Concrete is a cracked hymn to the city of Glasgow. An album about love and lust, death and grief. A record that explores the walls we build around ourselves – the societal, the personal, the literal – and tears them down with a torrent of unfiltered honesty.
Ralph Hector’s sonorous compositions converge perfectly with Kevin P. Gilday’s modern poetry, creating a truly unique sound that encapsulates a feeling of contemporary urban angst – a rallying call to transcend the confines of late capitalist civilisation and find meaning in each other.
This is an album that wears its heart on its sleeve, lyrically. The songs delve unflinchingly into the truth of modern living. The alienation, the fleeting connections, the unrelenting pressures – all laid bare with elegiac detail. The personal and the universal coalesce. Intimate experiences are recounted and ubiquitous truths emerge. Life is seen from forgotten housing schemes, lonely hotel rooms, empty beaches and anonymous industrial estates. This is the sound of a writer laying their life out to be examined with an unsettling totality.
“Pure Concrete is Glasgow in a nutshell; diverse, boozy, unshrinking, occasionally crude, and often hilarious.”
The Wee review
Musically the album conjures a diverse palette – employing vintage synths, drum loops and post punk guitars one minute then majestic piano, jazz percussion and textured soundscapes the next. The through line is the precision of Hector’s crafted musicality, rich compositions that push at their boundaries and refuse to sit still.
“It’s our masterpiece two years in the making,” says Gilday. “Not only is it our best work as a band but I think it might be the most complete piece of art I’ve ever produced. It paints a compelling picture with its incredible musical landscape, and lyrically it’s my most invested work – I held absolutely nothing back. In this uncertain time I really hope it can be a catharsis for people, a record to put on and feel intensely.”
Pure Concrete is released 29th May via Iffy Folk Records on CD/Vinyl/Digital. This project was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the PRS Foundation.
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