If you haven’t heard this band I feel sorry for you, in fact I pity you. You’re a disgrace! Wow, sorry for coming across all NME there, but seriously Edinburgh based acoustic-soul trio The Rising Souls are an ‘Undiscovered’ act not to be missed!
Dripping with roots, country and soul influences Dave Archibald, Roy ‘Kelso’ Laing and Tom Reed are The Rising Souls. Having formed in 2012, after coming together off the back of various musical projects, the band released their self-titled début (as a three piece) The Rising Souls in 2014.
Undoubtedly affected by sixties soul legends from Motown and Stax like Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, Archibald’s vocals throughout are simply sublime. Raw, extremely powerful and gritty reminiscent of the true soul greats aforementioned.
The album opener ‘Don’t Say You Love Me’ gives us our first taste of Archibald’s amazing vocals, honestly how can a Scottish guy sing like this? Very bluesy, stripped back, it almost sounds like a work song with it’s stomping percussion. The harmonies from bass supremo Kelso and percussion master Tom Reed are perfectly complimentary to Archibald’s rugged vocals. The Rising Souls ask: “can I get a witness?” and I’m sure with tunes like this they’re going to gain plenty fans witnessing their rise to the top.
Another one of my favourites off of the album is the slightly, slower more r’n’b influenced ‘Man In Black’. Think Paolo Nutini’s new material mixed with the country/folk stylings of Neil Young. The sad sounds of harmonica add extra emotion to the track and again Archibald’s vocals, when he really belts it, are enough to make every hair on the back of your neck stand-up.
Short and swift no track lasts much more than three minutes. Punchy and full of soulful attitude the guys create a really full sound despite the lack of instruments present. They literally squeeze every bit of soul juice out of their bodies and leave it lying for their fans to drink up with delight.
‘Monster’ begins with plodding guitar and percussion, being pushed along slowly by delicious bass notes. Always building and rising Archibald lets loose again and wails “but maybe tomorrow, a change will come / no time for dreaming now, because my mind says leave but my heart just tells me to go.” But Archibald is just warming up as he breaks free of the shackles and screams us home in the final minute of the track – truly stunning vocals, the likes of which I’ve not heard from many modern musicians.
Swooning and sounding very laid-back ‘Steady’ truly is an aptly named tune. If Newton Faulkner had half the soul of The Rising Souls this is probably how he’d sound. Guitar tapping and catchy percussion litter this little gem as well as heavenly harmonies and as ever those mind-bending lead vocals.
Suddenly getting very country and all Nashville on us ‘Fool In Time’ lets Archibald express the subtleness of his tones. Pitter-patter percussion and bending bass layer over each other as those ever-present harmonies display that sometimes you shouldn’t mess with your sound too much. They’ve got a winning formula and I truly hope they stick to it.
The Rising Souls are a truly stand-out act from all of the ‘Undiscovered‘ unsigned acts we’ve reviewed before. Their unique soulful sound is a refreshing throwback to a time gone by that many are yearning to recreate for a modern generation. Their big break could be just around the corner!
The band are about to embark on an European tour in the New Year taking in Amesterdam, Hamburg amongst other major cities travelling in the comfort of a camper van. Very rock ‘n’ roll it must be said!
If you’re as excited about this band and our other ‘Undiscovered’ acts as we are we urge you to support them by buying their music and attending their gigs. Coincidently in Spring 2015 The Rising Souls will be playing in a few venues across the city for The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You can find out more about the events and how to get tickets via their official website. Don’t forget a simple way to support the boys is to connect with them on social media!
I’m gonna leave you with the barn-storming ‘The Boxer’.