EDIT: This article has been changed since its initial publication to update the date for Nieves' Mad Hatters gig, following the initial show's postponement due to the ongoing weather concerns.
Nieves’ debut album has been a long time coming.
Since forming in late 2013 there has been a steady stream of singles and EPs from the Glasgow rock four-piece.
Yet it took them almost half a decade before the band felt able to release debut album Exist and Expire – out last Friday.
For frontman Brendan Dafters, it’s been worth the wait. “We felt for a long time that we’re a bit of an album band – it says a lot more about who we are.
“I feel like we do a few things and they do make sense and they make one sound, but it’s hard to get everything that we want to across on a shorter release.”
For the band, it’s a chance to get back on the road – and there’s one part of Scotland that Nieves never miss out.
The band have a string of dates lined up across the north of Scotland this month – Mad Hatters in Inverness tonight (Thursday), the Drouthy Cobbler in Elgin on Saturday, the Old Bridge Inn in Aviemore on Friday, March 30, and the Arch Inn in Ullapool on Saturday, March 31.
“We normally make sure we come up once a year at least,” Brendan explains. “I can’t wait to be back!
“We’ve found the north of Scotland got behind us before Glasgow in a way. So we feel super welcome when we come up.”
And they’ll be hoping that Highland audiences embrace the new music on Exist and Expire.
An evolution of sound from their alt-folk days, a lot of thought has gone into the 11 tracks that have to tie so many disparate elements of Nieves’ sounds – its massive echoing anthems and its minimalist quiet affairs – into one cohesive whole. “This record gives you a little bit of all of that – I feel like it pulls you in close when it has to, and then we absolutely smash your ears – and that can all happen within one song.”
It’s ultimately a passion project for the band, and a stand out in a music scene where more and more artists are relying more on singles and EPs to get their music out rather than the traditional full length record.
“I think a lot of that is to do with money,” Brendan said. “I think, what it costs to record an album...
“We wouldn’t have been able to record the album without PledgeMusic. It’s been a total godsend – as soon as we knew we might have a big enough fanbase to generate the income to do this, it was a no-brainer.”
That fanbase put a lot of trust in the band – the album ended up receiving more than 200 per cent backing from 99 separate pledgers in the end. “It’s been amazing! And see when you see it, it reminds me why you do it.
“You see what some people have pledged and the messages they’ve sent about it, and you just think, the fact that even one other person outwith the band is as desperate as us to hear the album is so motivating.”
Not that the band’s crowdfunding didn’t add to the pressure for a band gearing up for their debut album. “I think as well we were a bit nervous, because some people had put in so much money – what if they’re not happy with what we’ve done.
“So we did feel a little bit of pressure from that, but the pledgers obviously have it now and it seems to be going down well – no returns anyway so far!”
Nieves play The Drouthy Cobbler in Elgin on Saturday (8.30pm, £8), Mad Hatters on Thursday, March 29 (7pm/£5), the Old Bridge Inn in Aviemore on Friday, March 30 (7.30pm, free entry) and the Arch Inn in Ullapool on Saturday, March 31 (9.30pm, free entry). For more information/tickets, go to www.beyondhighlands.com