A perfect debut EP...

While some city folk find inspiration in the expanse of nothing the countryside of our isles offers, those rooted in no-mark towns on the periphery of any settlements of relevance rarely see the same splendour in their surroundings. To them, escape is underground railways and multi-story parking, congestion charges and £3.50 pints. They want in while we want out.

Copy Haho hail from such a skid-mark town – Stonehaven, someplace north of north of the Scottish border, where life is (to quote the accompanying verbiage) “not completely boring”. In other words: for the most part it is. But during the downtime from flicking bogies at passers-by and stealing pieces out of charity shop jigsaw puzzles (possibly), the foursome of Richard, Rikki, Stuart and Joe took it upon themselves to form a remarkably decent indie-pop band.

Clocking in at five tracks, ‘Bred For Skill And Magic’ is a rare record indeed – one released early in its makers’ career but resonating with a completeness and maturity that many an act doesn’t achieve until a few releases down the line. With only a pair of limited-run sevens prior to this, Copy Haho are likely to be an absolutely new band to most who pick this EP up; and most who pick this EP up are likely to be impressed from the off.

Much like previous touring partners Dananananaykroyd, Copy Haho’s music is both accessible and intricate, intelligent of design yet open for all to enjoy; it offers nods to stateside indie acts of great commercial success while also whispering its love of cult bands that never quite made the crossover grade. It’s guitar rock with plenty of pop sense, and it takes only a minute or so of opener ‘Pulling Push Ups’ – until it hits its chorus – for a love affair to begin in earnest.

Imagine The View if they weren’t so blinkered to Influences That Actually Matter; think Frightened Rabbit with a little more verve in their veins; heck, cast your mind back to ‘Captain’-era Idlewild but replace the flailing limbs and unfocussed aggression with a greater compositional development and melodies so strong and thick you could protect little pigs from big bad wolves with them. Basically, Copy Haho are the sound of Scottish indie that’ll be ringing loudest in the eardrums of all who hear them when the annual rush to proclaim X, Y or Z as The Next Big thing goes down ten months from now. Only, they’re not waiting that long. Now is when it matters.

‘Bred For Skills And Magic’ is simply such an accomplished package that one can’t pick it apart and find shortcomings, at least not anything to truly detract from the as-good-as-perfect impression it leaves first time around (which only gets better the more time you spend with it). When they slow their sound the result is the swoon-inducing lusciousness of ‘Cutting Out The Bad’ (like The Twilight Sad with their wall of sound knocked through); when all systems are set to hyperactivity, ‘This Retro Decade’ and its skittering percussion gets dancing shoes setting fire to bedroom carpets.

Small town boys with big ideas and ambition to spare, it’s clear from this evidence that Copy Haho is a name that radio stations nationwide will be learning to pronounce properly before too much time has passed. If the four wait ‘til the tipping season to make their next mark, they’re sure to stand out. If they strike sooner, well, that’ll be marvellous. But there’s no need to rush – this is brilliance enough to last a while yet.

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Watch an exclusive live performance from Copy Haho HERE


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