The Ship and The Iceberg Press
“Glasgow’s State Broadcasters seem cut straight from a film by Bill (Gregory’s Girl) Forsyth: bonding in the local library, starting up at someone’s kitchen table, composing guileless songs about bunk beds and binoculars. But this beautiful record, from the same label that broke Belle and Sebastian with ‘Tigermilk’, is an artful thing of deft ensemble playing. There are spoors of American kindred spirits Lambchop and Dakota Suite in their delicate richness, setting nimble guitars, piano, strings and horns, right up to the pale his ‘n’ hers harmonies of Graeme Black and Gillian Fleetwood. And it all unfolds so regally that you never want it to stop.” (4 out of 5)
Uncut Magazine – July 2009
“The band lead off with an ace in “Let’s Make T Shirts” for this is a song that would surely earn a place in the soundtrack of any remake of that damnable film “Gregory’s Girl”. I mean, you just can’t hate it…
….The Ship and the Iceberg” has much to commend it. Musically, it’s far more ornate than you would expect from a Glasgow band and it does manage to convey that feel of a cosy electric blanket very effectively. Worth a listen or ten”
The BluesBunny – April 2009
“The dusty, rootsy sound of the American Midwest is termed ‘Americana’, the sound of Iceland is supposedly ‘glacial’ and, while the State Broadcasters are reminiscent of both, a suitably generic, geographic adjective has yet to be coined to describe the distinctive Scottishness of their debut…., The Ship and the Iceberg flows from slow, lovelorn balladry to jangly – but still melancholic – pop… However, the band show masterful restraint – such as the beautiful harmonies of Grass Stains and the stripped-down acoustic Archie’s Tears – their subtle textures create a dreamy landscape in which the songs dwell naturally. If you dress like you’re harvesting grain in a popular beer advert, this could be right up your cornfield. ”
The Skinny – March 2009
“a gentle swirl of strings, harp, banjo and Scottish accents are the latest band to release an album on Stow College’s student-run label, Electric Honey. The Glasgow six-piece’s debut is an innocent folk-pop swoon, with stories of bunk beds, grass-stained knees and autumn leaves giving a naive wholesomeness to their Americana sound.
No wheels are being reinvented here, and the lilting melancholy and whistle solos will be too sleepy for some, but if you want to be soothed with stories of cups of tea and first love, then here’s a very melodic way to do it.”
The List – April 2nd 2009
“This album contains all human life, yet never strays far from its own backyard, global politics seem inconsequential when set against these micro tales of birth, death, love, hate, joy and regret. The Ship and the Iceberg is an album infused, like all great art, with hope and beauty and there can be few whose lives would not be enriched by a little more hope and beauty.” (8 out of 10)
Steven Burnett – The Music Fix
“At times quiet and heartbreaking, at others joyous and uplifting, the melody and comfort contained in this album is the over-riding emotion that the listener will take away……If you needed to put them in a box, the folkish harmonies displayed by the shared vocals of Graeme Black and Gill Fleetwood will delight and inspire comparisons to the new folk revival and the artists who inspired it originally but there are many different styles on show here and it’s the overall sweetness and ease that binds the album together.” (4 out of 5)
Andy Reilly – Is This Music? March 2009
“When I arrived at the BBC some fifteen minutes before my spot a band were playing live in the control room, I said my hellos to perfect Peter and to Chris the everlasting sound engineer genius, shuffled over to the mixing desk, peered through the glass, saw a girl harpist [striking as harps are not exactly an everyday occurance], a cello player, piano, banjo, guitars and other less recognisable instrumental paraphernalia.
It was crowded in there. I’m guessing there were about eight of them plus a cameraman close to passing out in the heat. The band was called The State Broadcasters, they’re from Glasgow and I was, to use a well used cliché, blown away. As their performance ensued so an air of studied reverence seemed to envelope the control room as a small group of us gathered around the monitors. Part Sigor Ros part Arab Strap was my lazy amateur off the cuff description but there are also traditional folk elements, like a Scottish Fleet Foxes or a baroque Arcade Fire… musicians coming together from all kinds of backgrounds and making something unique. Which is what it’s all about right?
Anyway, I really enjoyed them, nothing was over done; everything had its place, witnessing this was one of those wonderment and joy moments sent to take us unawares, to keep us on our toes. Afterwards we said hi and ate some cake.”
Vinny Peculiar excerpt from his myspace blog