I’ll let you in on a secret. If you’re ever making a mix tape/burning a CD/putting up a playlist and you want to go out on an epic arty emotional high, end it with In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction by Idlewild.
It’s mainstream enough to pull anyone back in who you lost along the way with esoteric instrumentals or weird cover versions but it’s obscure enough that not everyone knows it inside out. Those that do know it will love it, because that’s how Idlewild roll. Those that don’t, will think you’re amazingly well schooled in all things Scottish and indie.
What starts off as a gentle bit of acoustic introspection builds into a stirring and frank bit of indie soap opera before the beautiful poetic coda sends you home feeling wrung out.
“In the beginning there were answers, then they came along and changed, all these questions and their answers seemed the same”
The brilliantly named Roddy Womble sings beautifully about the uncertainty of the heart and head.
“We stop in every passing place to watch the world move faster than we do, watch it pass with our eyes closed the way we usually choose to”
The gentle picked notes build. By the second chorus there are the big stadium rattling crashes of open bass chords and drums. By the songs first climax there have been strings, tears and regrets.
“So I’ll wait ’til I find the remote part of your heart, when no where else will let us choose a comfortable start and even if the breath between us smells of alcohol we call it confusion in the best way possible”
As the crescendo dies down and the song proper is fading out Edwin Morgan pips in with his take on the national character.
It isn’t in the mirror
It isn’t on the page
It’s a red-hearted vibration
Pushing through the walls
Of dark imagination
Finding no equation
There’s a Red Road rage
But it’s not road rage
It’s asylum seekers engulfed by a grudge
It isn’t in the castle
It isn’t in the mist
It’s a calling of the waters
As they break to show
The new Black Death
With reactors aglow
Do you think your security
Can keep you in purity
You will not shake us off above or below