Scottish alternative rock band PAWS will release their new self-titled album via Ernest Jenning Record Co. and the band's own Wish Fulfillment Press on October 27, 2023. The band has also shared the album's first single "Disenchanted" and its accompanying video which can be streamed below.
Following the release of their fourth LP, 2019's Your Church On My Bonfire, PAWS - the Scottish DIY indie rock songwriting partnership of Phillip Jon Taylor and Joshua Swinney, toured briefly, and as the world began to shut down, they slipped out of sight. Phillip retreated north to the Highlands where he focused on his painting, solo work and the rewarding demands of fatherhood. Josh headed south to London, pursuing his other passion as a chef at the highly acclaimed Plimsoll. It would have been easy for both to settle into their new lives, but PAWS never died…and neither did the tie connecting the two friends. Having missed playing together for too long, a plan was set and in October 2022 Josh travelled to Phillip's home studio in his Crofters cottage where work began on the band's fifth self-titled LP. Relying on a set of phone demos and chemistry honed after years on the road the songs came together surprisingly fast.
“Remembering just how much we enjoyed writing and recording together was the driving force” explains Josh. After recording previously with both Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus and Frightened Rabbit’s Andy Monaghan, the band once again seized control of production duties as they had on their second album, Youth Culture Forever. “The thing we were hoping to achieve with making this album was to be able to be creatively free and to have fun writing and recording” Josh continues. “We wanted it to happen quickly and not be a stagnant process.” Utilising all they had learned and adding their own DIY ethos into the mix, the music was done in a week. Josh headed home and Phillip set to work on the lyrics.
The resulting record finds the band as grounded and assured as they ever have been. Marrying the deafening assault of youthful abandon with the whispered reasoning that comes with getting older; swaying from anger and exasperation to wide eyed optimism. A disorientated alienation stalks first single “Disenchanted.” “What and who are we as human beings?” Phillip sings above a full throttled punk assault that drops before the two-minute mark while the duo still have breath in their lungs. “That was the first song we wrote and recorded for the album” explains Phillip. “Josh was visiting and we spent all weekend chilling and catching up. Then a few hours before he had to head south again, we just decided to have a quick jam. I played bass and because I have my wee studio set up to record, we just naturally structured a song and tracked it really quickly. It was really liberating.” It also provided the template upon which the rest of the record was built. “If we didn’t like the take or part listening back, we did it again until we were happy and boosted on to the next thing. It was definitely a refreshing way for us to work I found and just allowed us to do what we love.”
PAWS is a succinct, razor wire encased documentary chronicling the pains of modern living. Delving into the dark underbelly of 90s alternative rock, painting with evocative instrumentals and reveling in celebratory indie punk, the band also embrace sordid pop and ambient electronics. And while it pays homage to where they have come from, it also signals a clean slate for the pair.
The album will be released on evergreen colored vinyl, as a Deluxe LP w/ 28 page zine, CD, cassette and digitally and is available for pre-order. The zine is a 28 page full color A5 zine with behind the scenes studio photos and artwork.