Sacred Paws are built around the Afro-pop-inspired guitar playing of Rachel Aggs and the fluid drumming of Eilidh Rodgers, as well as their nimble dual vocals.
The pair began playing together in Golden Grrrls, then stayed together when that band split. Their bubbly, exuberant style of danceable indie pop mixed with tropical post-punk was first heard on the 6 Songs EP, then the duo released a pair of albums that were stripped down and energetic (2017's Strike a Match) and more nuanced (2019's Run Around the Sun).
When Golden Grrrls broke up in 2014 after releasing just one record, Aggs and Rodgers decided they weren't finished making music together. The only problem was, with Aggs living in London and Rodgers residing in Glasgow, there were 400 miles separating them. Rather than do the long-distance musical commute, when they wanted to rehearse or write new songs Aggs would make the trek to Glasgow or Rodgers would hop the megabus to London. They recorded some demos and the Mogwai-run Rock Action label was interested in the sounds the duo were making. They signed the band and stuck them in their Castle of Doom studio in Glasgow with producer Tony Doogan. The duo released their first EP, 6 Songs, for the label in 2015. In support, they embarked on a U.K. tour during which they played alongside acts like Veronica Falls, Tuff Love, and Future Islands. In the same year, they also performed a BBC 6 Music session and appeared at Glasgow's Celtic Connections Festival.
At the same time that she was in Sacred Paws, Aggs was also playing and recording with the bands Trash Kit and Shopping, while Rodgers worked at prestigious Glasgow record store Monorail. When it came time to record an album, they returned to the same studio with the same producer and welcomed a horn section and keyboardist Lewis Cook of Happy Meals to the sessions as well. One song, "Everyday," was released in 2016, then Strike a Match followed in early 2017. The band set off on tour to promote the album (with the addition of bassist Moema Meade of the band Dog Legs) and in June won the SAY Award for best Scottish album of the year.
Sacred Paws toured (with Meade and, sometimes, Jack Mellin of Spinning Coin on guitar) and worked on new material in 2018. When they had some songs ready and it came time to record, they called in Doogan once more and headed to Castle of Doom. This time they added horns to more songs, increased the amount of keyboards (again played mostly by Cook), and generally gave the songs a thicker coat of polish. The resulting album, titled Run Around the Sun, was released in North America by Merge Records and Rock Action in the rest of the world. It came out in May 2019, and the band headed out on tour soon afterward. ~ Tim Sendra, Rovi