MEDICINE Men are set to release a 10-track record on 15th May 2020. ‘A Different Port’ is a varied yet cohesive collection of 10 tracks and is a worthy follow up to 2017’s debut ‘Into the Light’. The album features melodic and at times anthemic songwriting underpinned by a distinctive electronic sensibility.

The sonic palette is further expanded by saxophone on ‘Change My Mind’ and female guest vocals on ‘Getaway Driver’ and ‘Bad Luck Burden’.  Physical formats are available from the LNFG online store here.

You can stream the album exclusively via TTV now ahead of its release below:

Ahead of the release, TTV catch-up with lead singer Ian MacKinnon in this TTV SPOTLIGHT feature as he talks us through each track from their forthcoming record.

1. We First Met

“First track on the album but one of the last ones to be recorded.  Some tracks I take in to the band already written and fully formed but this one was jammed out from scratch in the rehearsal room by all of us over the course of a couple of weeks.  Once we had the synth loop at the start with those wurlitzer chords over it I knew we had something.  The lyrics are about those early days of a relationship where it’s really exciting, you’re getting to know each other and generally don’t have a care in the world.”

Medicine Men – We First Met

Video by Connaire McCannTaken from the album "A Different Port".Available here:

Posted by Medicine Men on Thursday, 30 April 2020

2. Getaway Driver

“I recorded the demo for this in the spare room of my flat.  I bought a wee acoustic travel guitar from a mate of mine and really loved the sound from it so that’s what’s on the actual record.  On the demo I sang the middle 8 myself but I knew it would sound much better with a female singing it.  Joni is Marc’s girlfriend and I’d heard her singing once at a party back at theirs and was really blown away by her voice.  But in the cold light of day she needed a lot of convincing and given that she had never recorded anything before or even been in a studio, she was understandably nervous.  I often think about how awkward it would have been if it hadn’t worked out but luckily she was great.  I really hope she does more singing because she has a great tone in her voice which marks her apart from other singers.”

3. Back On Board

“The oldest song on the album and the first one we recorded.  Again, I demo’d this on my own and took in to the band, but the thing I love most about it now is Marc’s bass playing on it.  It’s outstanding.  Regardless of what happens next with the band I’m glad we made a full album with this line up because it’s far and away the best we’ve ever sounded, be it live or on record.  The lyrics to this were written one very hungover Sunday morning when I was wondering why we do it to ourselves, what keeps us going back every weekend for more of the same when we know how rough we will feel at the end of it.  That being said, given current circumstances I would jump at the chance of a 3 day bender.”

4. Bad Luck Burden

“Probably the closest I’ll ever come to confronting mental health in a song.  The chorus is more or less trying to say, we all have shit times where it feels like nothing will ever get better, but it will and it does.  I wrote it after I watched an interview with one of the only people to ever survive jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.  He said that as soon as his hands left the rails he felt instant regret, and all other suicide survivors he spoke to said the same.  I think that’s such an important message to get out there.  Jess Hufton is the singer at the end.  I’ve still never met her.  It was a last minute decision to get a female singer on this track and Jess is a friend of Gordon McNeil who recorded the album at his studio in rural Ayrshire.  She lived nearby and did it in 1 take in her PJs after I had gone home for the night.”
5. Change My Mind

“We had been playing this live for quite a while before we went in to record it.  But when we got the first mix back it just didn’t sound quite right and I couldn’t figure out why.  Eventually we re-recorded the drums so they were more in sync with the offbeat sax and bass line.  I’m glad we persevered as it’s one of the best songs to play live.  I wrote this about all the cliches that get fed to you as a son when your father dies.  “Man of the house.  Be strong for your mother/sister”.  It’s bullshit really.  The truth is, having lived through that, it was my wife, my mum and my sister that showed all the strength and resolve at that time, rather than me carrying them.  Calum Mackie Cummins from the band Yoko Pwno played saxophone on this.  After some late night negotiations at Doune The Rabbit Hole last summer.”

6. Ottoman Blues

“This is very much an album of 2 halves, so I guess we’re lucky it’s coming out on vinyl.  Side A is the calm and Side B is the storm (yes I am keeping the nautical theme going).  Ottoman Blues is something that I had kicking around for 7 years before doing anything with it.  Thanks to the miracle of iCloud storage and the voice memo app I can tell you that I recorded the acoustic guitar in to my phone at 1:31am on the 7th October 2013, whilst watching a documentary on BBC FOUR about the Ottoman Empire.  It’s probably the heaviest thing on the whole album and Mick’s playing in particular here is top drawer.”

7. Now…In The Desert

“My oldest friend from childhood, Alan Henderson Jnr, had a studio down at the Hidden Lane. We used to record at a different studio in the same lane and whenever I had finished for the night I always knew he’d still be in (it was usually a particular horticultural smell that gave him away) . He played me loads of different  instrumental stuff he’d been working on but I remember one late night when he first played me a piece simply called “NOW”. I thought it was brilliant and asked him if I could record a vocal for it. For one reason or another we never got round to it and the years (and years) went by and he moved out of the studio and all the way to Spain. Eventually, one day I get an email with a file attached so big it nearly broke my computer, and it was the track I had asked him for all those years ago. I had assumed it had been lost in transit during his various moves between countries, but there it was.  Much of the original percussion and instrumentation is still there. Thankfully, Gordon McNeil managed to bring it all together so well for us in the mix.  Forbo holds down the groove here so well, he compliments all the percussion whilst locking in with Marc’s bass, far from straightforward from a drummer’s point of view.  They always recorded together for this album and I think it really shows with how tight they both are.”
8/9. Necropolis/Graveyard Lady

“This was originally a track I recorded with Crash Club a few years ago, in the same session as Pennydrop.  For whatever reason it was never released but I loved the chorus and the Mick Jagger falsetto hook.  So with official McHarg blessing we re-wrote it as a Medicine Men track.  I always had high hopes for it so I’m glad that it’s finally getting released in some shape or form.  Looking back on the Crash Club days now it was ridiculously enjoyable for me.  As it wasn’t my band I didn’t have to organise anything, I didn’t even have to play guitar!  Some of the best days I’ve ever had in music with some of the best people.”

10.  Medicine Machine

“A song that was written during down time in the studio after I had finished all my vocals for the day and we were still missing a closing track.  I had this guitar riff I had been playing using an octave/organ pedal for a while and I also had a drum machine with me, which explains the “working title” that we never got round to changing.  The lyrics were written there and then, and the vocal that’s on the album was only meant to be a guide for everyone else.  The 909 drum machine and the JP-08 synth feature heavily on this album which is quite an achievement considering I still don’t know how to properly use either of them.  When the other 3 guys kick in on the 2nd verse, it’s probably the most emotional moment on the album for me.  People often think of Medicine Men as my thing but there’s absolutely no way I could do it without the other 3.”

Check out our session with Medicine Men below. Buy the album now via Last Night From Glasgow.