Hip hop is not something I have ever been a fan of until recently. For a very long time I was a complete purist when it came to music. If it didn’t involve long dyed hair and tattoo’s and screaming of some sort, well to me it simply didn’t count as music. My 15 year old self probably would have said something totally cringe and insisted that no other music is “deep enough” or “speaks about serious enough topics”. Then I grew up a bit and realised that I was a twat. So in the last year I have attempted to enter into the world or rap and hip hop and have found I quite like it, however I just wish there was more of it. Unless you’re in the States or England there seems to be this view that you’re not allowed rap, however this has evidently began to change in recent years. Edinburgh’s Stanley Odd are just one example of how rap is growing and changing and finding it’s voice elsewhere, and it’s doing so in a seriously intelligent, witty, catchy, and unique way.
Their Album, ‘A Thing Brand New’ is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s something totally different to what I’m used to. It’s not trying to be anything else. Think of Dizzee Rascal, Hadouken, and the Beastie Boys and add a Scottish accent and BOOM, you’ve almost got Stanley Odd, only they bring something more to it. Their sound is almost indescribable, their melodies filled with hooks, and the lyrics filled with angst and socio-economic-political critique with a dash of Doctor Who references for good measure. It’s not trying to be anything else. It’s not a group of Scots trying to be from the states, they’re a group of Scots who clearly have something to say and so have created something to accommodate that. Their music can almost be described as Nerdy, like if the Vlogbrothers decided to stop making Youtube videos and decided to start making records instead.

As well as this genuinely intriguing and Folky-Indie-Nu Ravey- Nerdy-in-a-good-way sound their lyrics are genuinely amazing. Issues of politics and racism, with jabs the government and at the Vatican and colonialism and youth not heading down to the ballet boxes, all in one single song, the third track, “Who Am I?”. When I sat down to have a listen that was simply something that I was not expecting and was very pleasantly surprised to hear. These guys aren’t just kids with a few instruments, their artists, musicians and poets.
“Keep us detracted and keep us in debt” is not something you hear every day in this genre, but then again they’ve re-written in and turned it into something stunning. Hearing the word “Austerity” and how the Yes Vote would give the country hope, in a song was something I never thought I would hear, but I did, and goddamn, it’s intelligently done. Even without the music these lyrics could win Slam poem competitions the world over.
This music is about real life things that people can genuinely relate to, at the same time making you question who you feel about everything around you. Five stars guys, I really can’t wait to hear more in the future, I’ll be keeping tabs on this group for a long time to come.