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Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Post-rock





Guy Garvey (Elbow) - BBC Radio 6 - Guy Garvey (Elbow) - BBC Radio 6

"NME - Quickbeam - 'Seven Hundred Birds' Video"

Directed by Mat Sheldon, this is the clip for the nature-baiting clip for the forthcoming single from the Glaswegian band, which comes out on April 9th - NME

"“Intent on pickpocketing your innermost feelings”"

“Intent on pickpocketing your innermost feelings”

- Steve Lamaqc - BBC Radio 2

""A Captivating and Lush Debut Album""

The Glasgow-based outfit turn in a captivating and lush debut album which attempts to channel the essence of those that inspired it. Taking their cues from the subtle dynamics of Low and bottling the sweeping orchestration of Sigur Ros, this is further augmented by the distinct vocal melodies which populate the record throughout. Forthcoming single ‘Immersed’ captures the band in all their glory. - The List

"“Beauty abides in every corner of this debut album.”"

Cellos ... they're the new rock'n'roll. To a list that includes eagleowl and Turning Plates now add Quickbeam, another Scottish band who are astutely aware that bowed strings can bring a cinematic grandeur to a folksy post-rock style. Beauty abides in every corner of this debut album from the Glasgow-based quartet. Opening track Remember sounds a bit like Biffy Clyro's Many Of Horrors sneaked through the back door of the Conservatoire for an elegant makeover, as the chordal escalation of the chorus gives way to strings and piano phrases that wrap around, over and beneath each other. Sparse without lacking substance, the core musical palette is enriched at times by melancholic harmonium, explosive drumming, stately brass or a train-in-a-tunnel advance of guitar distortion. These arrangements look to the north (Sigur Ros is surely a reference point) as each song's measured pace becomes the perfect match for the luxuriance of the instrumental music and the evocative images conjured up by the lyrics. Part-funded by Creative Scotland, the end result sounds like a million dollars.

Alan Morrison
- Sunday Herald

"“Glasgow’s Quickbeam have recorded this year’s album of the year.”"

I really wasn’t sure how to start this review, or how to do ‘Quickbeam’ justice with mere words so I'm just going to come right out & say it; Glasgow’s Quickbeam have recorded this year’s album of the year. The true injustice here is that music this stunning, emotive and brilliantly played is probably going to be overlooked by the masses. Another fantastic (Scottish) band who will give those of us with a beating heart reason to believe. Reason to hope. Reason to live.

This is one of the finest hours of music you’ll hear. The album is only 52 minutes long, but the full hour will be made up of going back to ‘The Great Expanse’ to hear that glorious moment when the track stops momentarily, only to begin again with a melody and arrangement that will make your heart explode. An exquisite joyful fluttering of harmonium (?) that sounds not unlike the Italian National Anthem. You’ll play it again. One hour of magical music.

Quickbeam eschew song writing structure, often neglecting to bother with a chorus, instead letting the music transport the listener with creative flourishes of strings, brass and woodwind instruments. There are 3 gorgeous instrumental interludes, ‘Mountains’, ‘1743’ and ‘Far Out At Sea’, the first and last having the brilliant ability to conjure up images of the track’s title.

So let us return to the beginning of the album and opening tune ‘Remember’, one of the tracks to feature a chorus, and it’s lovely too. The hymnal vocals (from Monika Gromek) that feature throughout the album are ushered in on a soundscape of wondrous violin/cello. I must mention the production and arrangements on this album, they are exceptional and you have to remind yourself that this band are not signed to a major label. (In fact they credit Creative Scotland for assisting with ensuring the album got made at all).

The lengthy intro to second track and debut single ‘Seven Hundred Birds’ is melancholic and mournful, but highly emotive so that you’re left with a feeling of euphoria rather than sadness. ‘Immersed’ might have connotations of drowning but it’s an uplifting song with a vocal melody and final instrumental flourish that raises you up from the waters.

Quickbeam referenced Sigur Ros in the Press Release that went with the album, which attracted me to them in the first place. ‘Fall’ is certainly one moment that echoes the Icelandic melody makers when the alternative vocals of Andrew Thomson take over. There are quite a few tracks on the album that feature the muted brass and twinkling pianos often favoured by Sigur Ros but not in a plagiaristic way. Scottish highlands and lochs are the imagery inspiring here and there’s certainly a warmer feeling in the sounds.

‘Home’ is one of two tracks that allow Quickbeam to swell the music into an eruption of guitars, recalling the heady swoosh of Slowdive. ‘Grace’ being the other, both are gorgeously melodic and the extra dynamic is a welcome moment.

The aforementioned highlight ‘The Great Expanse’ is positioned at track 9, the flow throughout the album is perfectly paced, with the interludes and alternative male/female vocal tracks ensuring you remain mesmerised.

Closing track ‘One To Hold’ gives you a warm embrace and ends the album in a joyous mood, we’ve had an emotional journey, trauma has inspired, we emerge at the journey’s end ready to set sail again.

I hope I’ve managed to convey to you just how incredible this album is. I don’t think I can satisfy myself with whatever I write that will do the band true justice. You must hear it for yourself, you must enrich your life with Quickbeam’s music. Part of me wants the masses to hear Quickbeam and part of me just wants to keep it for myself.

To quote Echoes and Dust Editor Dan, this album is ‘All kinds of lovely’. A perfect summation of a perfect album. - Echoes and Dust


Wringing real emotional heft from a sparse instrumental template is a neat trick, and this Glasgow quartet achieved the sort of refined intensity achieved by Minnisotans Low and very few others with a rare grace.

"GigApe - Glasgow's Quickbeam new single and video"

Scottish band Quickbeam are set to release their debut single Seven Hundred Birds on April 9th 2012. The single was produced by Chris Gordon (Union of Knives, Song of Return) and is accompanied by a video directed by Mat Sheldon (Kodak Short Film BAFTA finalist) of Crush Films, whose director of photography worked on features including Jane Eyre, This Is England and the recent Sherlock Holmes movies.

Quickbeam were formed in Glasgow by Monika Gromek and Andrew Thomson in 2010 with violist Nichola Kerr joining in 2011.

An early demo recorded by the band caught the attention of Steve Lamacq who played them on his BBC 6 Music show. As a result, this led to further airplay on Vic Galloway's BBC Introducing In Scotland on BBC Radio 1 as the industry began to sit up and take notice. - Gigape

"Beardrock - Quickbeam"

A slice of string-led loveliness here from Glaswegians Quickbeam. If you like Sigur Ros, Low and all things minimal, I think you'll enjoy this.

'Seven Hundred Birds' will be released on 9 April. The video is below, with the band wandering round some gorgeous scenery, yer man dressed like he's auditioning for the next series of Victorian Farm. - Beardrock

"Glasgow Podcart - Song of the day - Quickbeam"

Our Song of the Day comes from a band that is very close to home. Quickbeam have exploded back into our lives and have a new label behind them too.Seven Hundred Birds is a track of rare and strange beauty. The production in itself is stellar and really captures the atmospheric dreamworld that the band is trying to create.

The instrumentation on Seven Hundred Birds is pivotal and I feel this is what significantly sets it apart from many songs Scotland is producing at the moment. It is often hard to write down what you are truly feeling when listening to music; however Quickbeam have managed to compose a song that has ageless warmth, fragile beauty and ultimately displays a humanity that is emotionally uplifting. - Glasgow Podcart

"Songs Heard on Fast Trains - Seven Hundred Birds Review"

Quickbeam were one of a slew of bands I discovered a little while back via by virtue of the ever-surprising Glasgow PodcART just at the right momemnt. On a train trip through bright, wintry countryside this beautifully simple mix of alluring vocals and melancholy traditional instrumentation clicked into place and sent me scurrying off to find out what I could. Apparently named for one of the ponderous, wise old Ents in ‘The Lord of The Rings’, any sense of whimsy ends there. But the slowed, gentle approach this suggests is an appropriate one – Quickbeam‘s music is glacial and graceful as much as it is dark and mysterious.

Previewed by a rather special video being promoted with unashamed excitement by Glasgow’s emerging Comets and Cartwheels project, “Seven Hundred Birds” is the first single as such from Quickbeam despite a couple of collections of demos which have circulated among those deeply smitten by the band for a while. A plangent bass drum beats the rhythm while a harmonium moans amid spirals of wonderously mournful violin courtesy of recent new member Nichola Kerr. Monika Gromek‘s vocals are sparing, giving the music room to breathe – but when she sings in her wonderfully understated and gentle way, the atmosphere deepens and the tone darkens. The production and recording of “Seven Hundred Birds” is a triumph too – every gasp from the harmonium captured, silences and spaces preserved to provide a sense of depth and distance – like you’re hearing something ancient and reverent. There is a line here where Gromek sings of “a painting that’s escaped the frame” – and perhaps that is the best description for Quickbeam? A moment of beauty, briefly and gloriously animated. - Songs Heard on Fast Trains

"This Is Fake DIY - Quickbeam - Seven Hundred Birds"

Seven Hundred Birds’ is the debut single from Glasgow ambient folk trio Quickbeam and it is a truly lovely slight piece of melodic folk. Released in April on new Glasgow label Comets and Cartwheels, ‘Seven Hundred Birds’ sound is sparse based around a simple combination of harmonium, cello, and double bass. The understated instrumentation coalesces beautifully around the lilting sweet purr of vocalist Monika Gromek and it all makes for an impossibly beautiful piece of music and an incredibly assured debut single. The single is also accompanied by a suitably melancholic video directed by Matt Sheldon of Crush Films. - This Is Fake DIY


Debut Album : Quickbeam - 3rd June 2013



Quickbeam are an atmospheric/cinematic/post rock band based in Glasgow, Scotland. Originally formed in 2010 by Monika Gromek and Andrew Thomson. Almost a year after the release of their critically acclaimed first single Seven Hundred Birds, Quickbeam have released their Self-Titled Debut Album, which reached number 10 in the Record Store Album Charts.

The resulting collection of songs reveals more of what Quickbeam have to offer in the studio, and saw them find a well-suited collaborator in Scottish producer Stuart MacLeod. Part sparse minimalism and part luscious extravagance, the record is a confident showcase of the members growing maturity as songwriters. Consistently underpinned by orchestrally arranged strings, brass, and rich harmonium pitted against thunderously distorted guitar passages and pounding rhythms, the albums overall feel is one that calls to mind grand themes such as the passage of time. Throughout the record, female led vocals are complemented by warm harmonies and subtle atmospherics which lend the music a rather captivating and often melancholic beauty.

Band Members