Hailing from “all across the central belt of Scotland”, first finding their feet in Edinburgh, and then settling in Glasgow, Medicine Cabinet are the coolest fast-rising band you’ve only just heard of.
Having met on a tinder date one summer in Glasgow, Anna Acquroff (“pronounced AK-yuh-roff”)- a tattooist, model, and degree holder in the sociology and psychology of music, and Joshua Chakir- a hairdresser-come-synth-extraordinaire who’s: “the reason [we] have loads of creepy hairdressing heads at our sets and merch desks”, connected over mutual love of all things music. Spilling coffee everywhere and waxing lyrical about being in a band, Chakir, in no time at all, convinced the budding vocalist Acquroff that you can indeed “just start a band and do gigs, no one will stop you”.
Six months down the line and with the addition of Eilidh O’Brien (“pronounced like Hayley without the H”) on synth and guitar, bassist Cal Menzies- the budding gig-photographer who Chakir met in Edinburgh, and Joseph Lowrie on drums, Medicine Cabinet, despite their questionable naming, emerged out of the western Lowlands as the destined to be superstars we meet them as today. “There’s no such thing as a good band name, only good bands.”
A “creative/busy/interdisciplinary bunch” who seek pleasure and inspiration from all manners of outlets- whether that’s “coding for sound and embroidery”, releasing “loads of secret music” via Soundcloud and under a plethora of pseudonyms, or burning energy as quote-on-quote “gym bros”, Acquroff, Chakir, O’Brien, Menzies and Lowrie, appear to be a five-way-match made in alt-heaven. Be it the iconography of La Roux, Riot Grrrl’s unabashed authenticity, the rhythmic seduction of Working Men’s Club, or “genres where cute meets scary, like metal pop”, Medicine Cabinet soak it all up like a well-dressed sponge of charm, humanity, and pop musicality at its most vignette and pure.
“I think we’re always chasing that sort of satisfying feeling that songs can give you” notes Anna. “where they let you feel part of something… or imagine another world or life or circumstance; or, make you feel something really strongly.”
Produced by Pete Robertson of Beabadoobee acclaim, and written in London’s RAK two and a half years ago, Medicine Cabinets debut single ‘The Signs’, is a fearless first glimpse into the creative-minds of a group we’ve been begging to be formally introduced to. A hook, spark, and joy laden hit written “in the room that one of [my] favourite Ladyhawke albums was written in too” (muses Acquroff), ‘The Signs’ gives laid-back confidence and shimmering polyrhythm; a charismatic sign of all that remains to follow.
Whether they’re busying themselves channelling “hope”, desperately looking for “meaning in the signs and symbols and happenings around [you]”, or “finding belonging in other people”, rest assured every detail has been thought out to achieve the maximum levels of narrative-renegade. This may well be the first, but it’s surely not the last time you’ll be hearing from Medicine Cabinet. In their own words: “Your favourite non-existent band officially exist.”
Issue Thirty-Seven is out now Ft. Porridge Radio, Crows, Folly Group, The Dinner Party, Automatic, Gently Tender, headboy and more. Buy in print here. Read the digital edition below.