Distinctly Scottish band, Universal Thee have been both delighted and surprised with national radio play within days of their most recent recording sessions, showing they have achieved their aim of creating music of wider appeal than their current Edinburgh base. Attention for the band has been beginning to mount and they have been taken on by Napier University on a band development initiative.
With a range of songs and styles, the five-piece, led by husband and wife, James and Lisa Russell, provide a Pixies-esque loud-quiet-loud dynamic, mixing slacker rock, grunge and indie pop. It is James talent for writing catchy melodies delivered by beautiful male/female harmonies, matched with Robin’s ability to create diverse and powerful lead guitar hooks, that ensures listeners will be singing their songs for days. Although their music gives a nod to their many interesting and diverse influences such as Ash, Pixies, Weezer and Queens of the Stone Age (amongst others), fans and bloggers agree that they genuinely have their own new, distinct and exciting sound. The blog site musicmusingsandsuch sought to describe their sound, stating: “as well as melody, there is a great deal of exciting noise; this combination, combined with male and female (lead) vocals, elicits an almost-Grunge/Punk splendour, rarely attempted in the 21st century”.
The band has been recording with Garry Boyle for their gentler folky sound (previously involved in the Pixar Brave soundtrack and SAMA winners, The Holy Ghosts, album) and Ross McGowan, (producer of Fat Goth and Dananananaykroyd) for their heavier work and are working with PR company A Band of Friendship, to promote, and release, their first single and Album in early 2014, with a tour scheduled to compliment the releases.