Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag England - Full Moon 166 - 03/30/10

I Saw You Blink
4AD / Playground

Ready for some Scotch single? Single malt? Stornoway's "I Saw You Blink" is pure and blissful pop. And, it's an arch British song.

"Stornoway (Steòrnabhagh in Gaelic) is a burgh on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. [...] Stornoway is an important port and the major town and administrative centre of the Outer Hebrides. Christian observance of the Sabbath is an important aspect of the town's culture." (

Well, Scottish? According to their myspace-site, "...the band consists of an ornithologist, a rusty Russian translator, and a South African brotherhood. They were first united in a snow-encrusted garage in Oxford, where they instantly attracted the attention of Dr & Mrs Killjoy the neighbours. After initially dabbling in Psychadelic Punk, Comic Jazz, Rocksteady, and banana costumes, the band honed their sound and instantly attracted the attention of Adam Briggs, brother of the ornithologist. Adam's trumpeting can now be heard on our debut single "Zorbing", a song about the extreme sport invented in New Zealand by Andrew Akers and Dwayne van der Sluis. After throwing up, the band instantly attracted the attention of violinist Rahul Satija. The band's extracurricular interests include hiking trips, tandem cycling, power-kiting, nature-watching and something called hackisack. None of them have ever been to their Hebridean namesake. But Brian once got to within 37 miles of it." Brian is Brian Briggs (singer/guitarist, and songwriter), who together with Ollie Steadman (bassist), Rob Steadman (drummer) and Jonathan Ouin (keys and strings) make the band, who's playing (again according to their myspace) "Acousmatic/tape music/indie/soul". Then there's the additional twosome, Adam Briggs (trumpeter) and Rahul Satija (violin).

"I Saw You Blink" (taken from the album Beachcomber's Windowsill, out on May 24th) is one of those pop songs that makes the last of the snow and ice immediately starts melting. Its an instant sunbeam of pop-bliss. Simple, yet perfectly done. A smashing, totally laidback pop song. A very, very delicious song (and it somehow makes me recall my old favourites The Trash Can Sinatras). It's like a mild summer's breeze (and yet we're only in March). The Easter egg is opened. 2010 will definitely be the year of Stornoway. They're already been hailed by the critics (Drowned in Sound, The Guardian, The Independent, NME, ...). And, yes, among their fans are Jay-Z and Dave Grohl.

Copyright © 2010 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Stornoway articles/reviews: Beachcomber's Windowsill, Bonxie, Knock Me On The Head, Tales From Terra Firma.

© 2011 Luna Kafé