Stuart Dougan is a Glasgow-born and-based singer/songwriter, who is best known in his native Scotland for fronting French Wives and Smash Williams. Dougan steps out into the limelight as a solo artist, writing and recording every single part of music on his own terms with his latest project The Quilter.
Dougan’s The Quilter debut, Bolt The Door EP is a collection of bold, alt pop songs, som eo which were written and recorded before the pandemic with others written during the initial lockdown. Interestingly, the EP follows upon last year’s immersive and cinematic visual record Dark Cloud/Grey Area, which was equal parts documentary film, live concert and album.
Bolt The Door’s latest single “The Long Weekend,” is an anthemic bit of synth pop featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, a driving groove and a euphoria-inducing hooks and fueled by nostalgia for hook-driven New Order-like dance anthems and for the things we here in the States are slowly getting back — in particular, being in the company of other sweaty and joyful humans at a summer festival and for other mundane things we’ve been deprived of for the past 15 months or so.
“This song was in part inspired by a viral clip I saw from the set of Uncut Gems where the crew had finished filming and were all dancing to ‘I Feel It Coming’ by The Weeknd. It was just a short clip but I wanted to try and capture the palpable sense of joy that was clearly being felt at the time. It was written during lockdown and is basically a love letter to my friends and daydreaming about getting to hang out and have fun in a post pandemic world. I’m very aware that it’s bombastic and over the top in places but I wanted to purposely try and capture a sense of hopeful euphoria that one day, not too far from here, you’ll get to hug all your friends again.”
The main star of the recently released video for “The Long Weekend” is a park bench on a beautiful Spring afternoon — but this park bench happens to be the spot: starting with The Quilter’s Dougan, a series of locals including kids, couples and people just walking their dogs sit on the bench and listen to music. In some way, it’s all a bit of a welcomed escape from their days. Adding to the playfulness of the video, Dougan eventually joins these people for a few minutes. While centered around a rather simple concept, the video reminds all of us is that music — and our love of it — are the way that we can connect with others, and that it inspires us to be around others.
“The whole concept of the video was, by design, supposed to be very simple so that it would be logistically easy to shoot and edit,” Stuart Dougan explains. “That may not be exciting to hear, but sometimes that’s how the sausage is made (quickly). Disaster struck however when the footage from the shoot got corrupted due to (redacted, unimportant technical issue). Long story short, the only way to salvage the footage was to pivot to a stop motion animation concept that resulted in over 8,500ish screenshots being taken to make it work. It was traumatic and outrageously laborious so whilst I may struggle to ever watch it again, I hope that folk enjoy it!’