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We review the latest single from BOOTlace – Portrait

Dundee-born, Edinburgh-raised five-piece BOOTlace return with a new release for 2022 – a self-described “post punk indie shenanigan” of a track – ‘Portrait’.

After forming back in 2017, the band have spent the last few years already making a name for themselves across their native Scotland and beyond. A fist-full of singles and an EP later (2021’s four-track record ‘The Haar’) – this new year brings the group’s first fully collaborative effort to our eardrums. Atmospheric from the off, this lilting indie-rock track brings in lush strumming guitars, snappy drums and an ethereal synthy/keys sound that lingers throughout like touch of nostalgia you can’t quite place.

Much more upbeat than say ‘The Long Way Home’ and ‘Maybe Tomorrow?’ from ‘The Haar EP’ – this quickened pace is still tinged with a haunting melancholy that’s hard to shake. According to the band – “It’s inspired by Robert’s mum, and beyond that it becomes about the tragedy and frustration of English patriotism in a small-town setting”.

Vivid lyricism explores that real sense of resentment, escapism and yearning for something more.
“We want what you want / It happens all the time / And I will breathe the morning air again / I came in on the wind / I’ll be fine”.

Lead vocals are captivatingly deep and accent-heavy almost bridging on spoken word in places. The short sharp shouts in the refrain layered with backing vox from other band members signalling the desperation felt.

This interesting juxtaposition between the wistful vocal style and upbeat sound could feel somewhat jarring – however, for those familiar with bands like fellow Scottish indie-rockers The Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks and Frightened Rabbit especially – it’s a familiar bittersweet treat.

BOOTlace add another thread to the rich tapestry of Scottish indie with this one.