Listening to ‘Diet Cigarette,’ the first thing that grabs my ears is the velvety-textured voices of Gillian Dhlakama (guitar/ vocals), and Taylor-Ray Dillon (Bass/ vocals), interlaced with Gill’s pealing harmonising, offering detailed and layered vocals that really gives the song a special feeling. The record overall is warm and easy on the ears, with the creamy sound of flat, thick drums and warm guitars washing across the mix.
Something about ‘Diet Cigarette,’ is reminiscent of 90s country pop hits from the likes of Shania Twain or Alanis Morissette, alongside a 70s modern-vintage recreation, popularised by more recent global acts like Haim. However what’s also apparent is the similarity with other local legendary Glasgow Indie bands such as The Lappelles. Especially in the buzzy, piercing lead guitar tone (Bex Young), that cuts through effectively throughout. Unsurprising then, that former Lappelles drummer Jamie Holmes is producer/engineer on the track. To Holmes’ credit, having reviewed a number of tracks in recent months that he has worked on, he has developed a recognisable style that he will regularly apply to younger, upcoming bands, shoring up the overall sound and building a robust foundation for the quality of the song to flourish on top.
I saw Uninvited open for Dead Pony as part of the King Tuts Summer nights series in August, and while I was instantly enamoured by the overall sound of the band, and the capable instrumentation, (Fiorenza Cocozza on drums), it was clear that the band are very much in the early stages of developing their sound and live performance. As a result I was quite pleasantly surprised by the lilting country vibes coming from Diet Cigarette, which I didn’t pick up on in August from the live set. Singing in a more general American accent sets Uninvited apart from the wider Glasgow indie/pop scene, and brings a wider like-ability and familiarity to the record that might not be apparent; given the band’s image that hints of a punky edge, synonymous with much of their contemporaries under the 7 West umbrella.
‘Diet Cigarette’ is ultimately a pop song. The chorus is catchy, and draws on those intense and relatable feelings of despondency caused by whimsical and disposable relationships in the modern context of dating apps and social media. This idea is understood when explained by Gillian and Taylor: “taking back power in one-dimensional relationships and friendships that leave you burnt out, as if it was only a matter of convenience to them.”
‘Uninvited’ as a band name is evocative of the ongoing conversation and cultural shift that is being seen in music and across the arts, namely that of young women, of colour, and openly LGBTQ+ across the band, seizing the music industry as their own and working to break traditional boundaries. The band have shared that they are, “aware that they themselves could be the change they wanted to see, writing music that pushes the LGBTQ+ conversation into the male-dominated indie atmosphere.”
It’s clear to see that from an early stage this approach has been working well for Uninvited. Attracting over 1k followers on instagram without releasing a single track is remarkable, and beginning with a deal with 7 West only a couple of weeks in suggests that big things are to be expected from the band. Combine this with publications such as Tenement TV hailing the band a, “breath of fresh air” and tipping the girls to, “shake up Scotland’s rock scene.” The self-proclaimed Indie/Pop outfit are in a strong position two singles into their career. The door is lying open for Uninvited, and it will be exciting to see where they can get to. I’m looking forward to hearing what comes next.
Keep up with Uninvited.
Listen to Diet Cigarette.