Honeyblood’s Debut 7" Bud

Debut single from a Glaswegian duo who choose bitter over sweet.

Honeyblood’s Debut 7" Bud

Bud, the debut single from Glaswegian duo Honeyblood, aka Stina Tweeddale and Shona McVicar, achieves special merit points, not just for its irresistibly perky two-minute popsmarts but for productively moving the post-White Stripes formula on in a way that many have tried and many more have failed to do. The A-side in particular perfectly distills the pair’s strengths; McVicar’s primal, heartbeat drums never fail the John Bonham test-your-strength meter but sidestep it completely, preferring instead to take Moe Tucker’s laidback approach, coolly cuffing and nudging the song along. While Tweeddale’s dolorous, diction-rich voice brings the sexy librarian charms of Delgados’ Emma Pollock to the teen-dream aesthetic beloved of current hipsters like Beach House or Haim, but without having to launch its own lifestyle range in Urban Outfitters and alienate the non-cute teenage fan demographic in the process.

Which isn’t to say Honeyblood aren’t adorable – they rock doll cheeks and a dungaree as well as primetime Clare Grogan – but musically and emotionally you suspect they’d choose bitter over sweet in life. To wit, a poisoned earth metaphor for the frustrations of young love runs through Bud. “Problems seem to stem from the very seeds I plant / I try to stop / I can’t / It’s not in my nature,” Stina avows, before chucking in a masochistic lyrical twist worthy of Kristin Hersh to send the Zooey Deschanel fans fleeing for the comfort of a baby owl pics blog: “Nip it in the bud / They don’t make it hurt it enough / Dead in his tracks / When I finally think I’m never going back / They begin to flower”.

Here’s Rory Atwell’s (Palma Violets, Veronica Falls) pert single mix of the song, available as a limited 7" (Bud b/w Kissing On You) on FatCat.

And here they are revealing the song’s mordant roots live last year: