Ones To Watch: Universal Thee

Universal Thee is a five-piece indie-rock band hailing from Edinburgh. With an album already under their belt, and they have another, All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace (a title of a poem by Richard Brautigan depicting a world where machines have eliminated to need for human labour) set for release this month.

The band seem to have mastered the art of crafting infectiously catchy songs and compelling guitar riffs all whilst playfully utilising the male and female vocals to create seamless harmonies made all the better, in my view, by the distinctive Scottish lilt, as exhibited particularly in their recent single from the new album, ‘Speaker’.

The sound of Universal Thee is hard to pin down into a particular genre as they dabble with lighter, more lyrical and almost folk-like refrains without shying away from more a more urgent style of play with driving drum beats and ominous bass lines that are particularly prominent in tracks like ‘Aranis Natas’. Influences seem to be taken from a whole host of other artists, from Pixies to Weezer, thus opening up the potential for a large fanbase.

It really is only a matter of time before Universal Thee start to receive the recognition they deserve outside of the Scottish music scene, and with a promised but as of yet unconfirmed debut gig in London itself, 2016 could well be their year.

All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace, the new album from Universal Thee, is out 19 February.

Matilda Bywater