Winter Sun

by Trapped Mice

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"Glasgow’s Armellodie label have released some fine bands over the last while, including the Scottish Enlightenment, Chris Devotion and the Expectations and Le Reno Amps. But I think this is their finest release so far... on the evidence of this whole album, the band more than hold their own against the likes of Meursault, Withered Hand and the Savings & Loan, to pick three very fine bands from the contemporary Edinburgh scene." (9/10) - God is in the TV

"Edinburgh's dynamic indie-folk scene, already boasting Eagleowl, Withered Hand and Meursault, has just got even stronger." - Alan Morrison, The Herald

"The Edinburgh five piece Trapped Mice have been around for a while now, but this debut album, Winter Sun, is as wonderfully beautiful and touchingly melancholic as you would hope an album with that title would be. And like the best albums, even before it’s over, you just know that this is an album you’re going to want to play again and again. It’s one of the strongest albums I’ve heard this year - so make sure you hear it, too." - 17 Seconds

"The new album by Edinburgh quintet Trapped Mice is absolutely rocking my world today." - Pete Paphides

"Lucie Miller’s howling violin blends perfectly with the imperfect – yet utterly perfect vocals – of Ian Tilling that make him sound like a Scottish Will Sheff. Hermit Point is a near-waltz that ought to be soundtracking a John Hillcoat film, and again it’s the deployment of the violin that lifts it to the next level. Violins are nothing new for Edinburgh bands, of course, but on Winter Sun, the instrument conveys an emotional depth on a consistent basis that few bands have managed to reach." (Album of the Week) - The Tidal Wave of Indifference

"It’s an evocative introduction, demonstrating that even without Ian Tilling’s studiedly poetic lyrics, Trapped Mice spin stories with skill. For the remainder of the band’s full length debut, Tilling’s passionate vocals are an upfront focal point, and his words prove extremely effective" - The Skinny

"Some beautiful soundscapes and textures...very musical all the way along, and it only takes a shake of an angry guitar or a little more growl to the vocal before it just swoops right up a gear and pulls you somewhere else... It's an album that has an edge as well, and that lack of polish to the sound is totally to the music's advantage because it really does capture the thrill of the way they make music together" - BBC Radio Scotland (The Tom Morton Show)

"rambunctious, literate, imaginative and heartfelt songs...the spine tingling; ‘Hermit Point’, a song about the man who refused to sell his Northern Scottish home to Donald Trump to make way for his coastal development, imagining him growing old and wondering what may have been. It’s a staggering and beautiful track, with strings like an oil-slick and evidence of just what Trapped Mice are capable of and for me, along with effortless and perfectly formed ‘Night of Broken Glass’ hints at a future that must can only bring success. A fine, fine debut." (7/10) - Americana UK

“‘Winter Sun’ is a compelling collection of intelligent and fragile pieces of perceptive song-writing which demand your attention throughout the full course of the album. The set closes with the touching, delicate sign-off of ‘Demons’ – with tender, emotive vocals over a simple acoustic backing which leave you feeling anxious and yet with a hope that if people can express such empathy though such poignant words and music then maybe we can be optimistic about the future.” - Vanguard Online

"The debut album from the Edinburgh quintet shares a fair amount musically with the likes of Glasgow contemporaries Admiral Fallow, both in terms of the sounds produced and, vaguely, style. On Winter Sun, however, Trapped Mice, manage to plumb greater emotional depths as well as harnessing vocal abilities akin to those of both Nick Cave and Miles Hunt (circa ‘Welcome To The Cheap Seats’)...there is an underlying dry wit through a great many of what essentially amount to observances of (and musings on) slices of life." - Muso's Guide

“Scotland churns out top-quality indie-folksters at such a rate that sometimes it’s difficult to keep up. Trapped Mice come from the scene already fully-fledged: this debut album is knowing, witty, and indomitable; boasting spirited numbers such as “Cancel Shift” and “Night of Broken Glass” alongside the fragile poetry of “Dance While Winter Cries”. There’s a hint of Jeff Mangum in “Hermit Point”, a modern fairy-tale told by guitar, violin and drum; while “Quiet Place” goes from touching to tragic to wistfully funereal across its seven minutes. A mournfully witty gem of a record.” - InForty

“This is not a throwaway album, it is not pop fizz that evaporates all too quickly, it is what we would call a proper record, carefully crafted to be more rewarding with every listen. It is thoughtful, it is lyrical, heartfelt, sometimes sly and occasionally fragile. It is though, always intelligent.” - Mad Mackerel

“Typically, I don’t go straight out for the classic alternative sound, even with all it’s current production value and what not. But, that being said, I’ve really fallen for this jam from Trapped Mice, a band hailing from the other part of Scotland, Edinburgh. I’m obsessed with the way band incorporates lush instrumentation, wrapped around some incredible lyrics. You’ll also find a raw passion that introduces itself near the end via the vocal performance. It’s the perfect first single from their upcoming record, Winter Sun, which is now on my watch-list. If you like organically-grown rock n’ roll, then this hit’s for you.” - Austin Town Hall

“(a) blend of old school tunes with a touch of 21st Century tomfoolery. The Edinburgh quintet has found a way to be tough and fragile simultaneously.” - Here Comes the Flood

“Winter Sun is the debut album from Edinburgh five piece alternative folk band Trapped Mice. There are some good songs here and stirring instrumentation, all with a melancholy feel, yet with occasional touches of humour that lighten things nicely or add a caustic edge. Organ, accordion and violins mix with acoustic guitars and a strong lead vocal to give a well-crafted feel to much of the music.” - Glasswerk


released November 5, 2012


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Trapped Mice Edinburgh, UK

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Track Name: Cancel Shift
snow falls on snow
grows slowly deeper, slowly harder to fall upon
and i swear i could flow
across thawed-out pastures and desert valleys
come with me
we'll decorate each day in different ways
and i know you can't stay
but we'll keep the cold at bay in certain ways
please stay

i fell from a leaning tower
trying to prove my innocence
prove i'm innocent of rational thought
cos babe we'll never conform
we were never born
and we'll decorate each day in different ways
and i know you can't stay
but we'll keep the cold at bay in certain ways
please stay

and you know i'd never allow you to die
i couldn't even save myself
from the most decayed old burnt-out hound of hell
so come and tow the line
we'll find the perfect balance
we'll sail out
and behold the perfect pitch
along the mid-atlantic ridge
because the centre's ripe to mine
please most the people most the time
and from the grape that ate the vine
the most benign insipid wine
inside the rubber circuitry
of a robot bride-to-be
amongst the frail elastic wires
the tiniest electrode fires
a sailor drowning in a sea
of long-forgotten memories
of a love we'll never see
Track Name: Dance While Winter Cries
when she walked into the room i knew
somehow no one different would do
i knew somewhere in those two great plains
there lay, in swathes of dust and clay
the same tiny grains of truth
when i saw her standing there
i knew there were greater reasons to care
i know there's a starry ball in a distant hall
and our dreams, they'll squeeze them all
into some small sad illicit affair
but i challenged them all to find
a dream so explosive and awesome and kind
the dream that devoured my heart in a dimly lit bar
and all the stars are too fucking far
to really exist anyway
and summer spoke its name
decreed there's a sweetness in all pain
the rain from a thousand skies couldn't taint these eyes
and we dance while winter cries
at its so slow steady demise
and just around the time
you feel like no warmer sun could shine
the moment the bomb first struck
first stroke of luck
that's when i knew she'd always be mine
Track Name: Mona Lisa
mona lisa said she'll have to run
all this sitting's made her legs go numb
but leo caught her in the web he'd spun
and no one knows if leo made her come

so much wasted on a meagre sum
so much lost and so much never won
a recent survey shows you're almost done
but never mind, it's just
the piss-stained carpet you wish you were born on

there's this tree i see
it bends and it breathes
with its thorns and its leaves galore
oh! please climb with me
i'll show you what you knew before

i'll drink sweet fresh juices, squeezed to soothe
a tender tonic to make me sing in tune
but i've seen dylan smoke in pictures too
and i don't believe you

this guy camus, he wrote some words in french
i guess they made no sense
i still feel i'm living
based on circumstantial evidence

come on! rearrange my mind for me
Track Name: Hermit Point
my son held my hand
as i surrendered all the land
signed away the only stage for this one man band
and the gold trickled down
from my slowly melting crown
and it drowned out the sound as the walls fell down

they came so very fast
so many new faces
and they named the beach at last
as the planes flew past
and the sand they piled so high
setting the sun in the summer sky
where the birds all came to die
glowed so brightly in the night

and god spoke to me
said "listen to everything i'll be telling you shortly"
and he said to me:
"your home isn't everything
just think of the joy you can bring to this town
look around as the hands slowly swing
to the future, and everything"

i climbed the tallest tower
growing taller by the hour
gazed with wonder all around
as the rain came down
and i jumped into the sea
fell away so suddenly
and the current, it swallowed me
with such comforting certainty
Track Name: Quiet Place
lay me down under the stars
make sweet sounds
while setting off car alarms
and dream of the fields we used to farm
when we were young
before we surrendered to the reasoning
of a modern king, in some commercial coup
the bright city lights shine
trying with tentative taps to trace
our quiet place
a secret smile on a silent face
we found a cocoon
sweet soft walls
a tender light, and fucking room
soon we'll remember our bodies too
when we were young we felt
such freedom in our hearts
around all the parts where we used to run
we used to run
Track Name: Night of Broken Glass
and so it goes
the victims never know how it came
when the blood so sweetly flows
into the blessed virgin snow
that shines so serene in the light
the clearest crystal winter's night
sky's in flames, so many still the same
but i'll be coming home tonight
this stench, this stain on my hands
they say they'll clean this whole damn land
suicidal brides and best laid plans
so very hard to understand
well i'm just some guy from the fields
what understanding could i feel?
as they hug my knees
and plead and scream and squeal
well the pain it can't be real
the spluttering spent sparks in their eyes
some kind of blessing in disguise

they told me first as my mother gave birth
pulled aside
and whispered: "son, take heed
the devil dwells in greed"
and the whole fucking village could see
every rescued soul but me
in school they fed us evidence and rules
soon even i was full
and the doubt dulls down after time
push to the front of every line
soak in shit too long and soon you're it
every homicidal bit
every breath and every inch
every superficial glitch
every long-forgotten itch
every skull they calmly split
every child in the dirt
of a thinly covered ditch
every gramme and every grain
of the body-smelling grit
every wire in every fence
every stone and every brick
every train bound for glory
in a dreamt-of bedtime story
as your daddy tucks you in
before the hammering begins
before the sledgehammers begin
Track Name: Arthur's Seat
i climbed some kind of hill last night
and stood there in silence
and through both aching ears there blew
a skyful of sirens too

the most dilute, redundant boast
of promise, potential
the phone that rang on summit stones
a beacon for the great unknown

as i slurred the words that tumbled down
from the top of this town
arthur lost his seat and found his crown
i slurred the words that tumbled down
from the top of this town
"settle down, settle down"

a hole
your own brand new hole in your hand
a hole
your own tender hole
like fucking sartre or something
Track Name: The Devil Wandered In
the air was cold and the light was dim
on the day the devil wandered in
with a plastic knife and a silver skin
oh the light! when the devil wandered in
and he spoke his name, and he sang the blues
and he ran
in every working man's hand-cobbled shoes

i can see over the sunrise
and i can hear what you can't hear
and i live a glorious half-life
between the insatiable sleep
and the thighs of love's long-lost quivering landslide
and i know you believe
i can see it in your eyes
the light of life

so we saw his face, and we felt his arms
and we felt, in any case
so very safe, so so safe from harm
yeah! he showed us love, and the stronger stuff
on the day the devil wandered in

and our leaders complained
and the elders proclaimed such danger
but we felt so safe
like colours in clay bathed in flames
Track Name: Demons
when our demons come for their winter sun
when the cold bright breezes blow through the blinding snow
then away we'll go

and it's different now
colourful somehow
in a soft and shaded scent, of a summery bent
i'll drive you wild

my eyes were red on the day we fled
and i know i seemed so low
but i loved you then
how i love you so