Meursault (band)

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Background information
Origin Edinburgh, Scotland
Genres Lo-fi
Years active 2006–2014, 2016–Present
Labels Bear Scotland (2007)
Song, by Toad Records (2008-present)
Associated acts Withered Hand, Rob St. John, The Leg, Cold Seeds, Frightened Rabbit, King Creosote
Members Neil Pennycook
Calum MacLeod
Pete Harvey
Rob St. John
Kate Miguda
Sam Mallalieu
Lorcan Doherty
Ben Fletcher

Meursault are a Scottish indie rock band from Edinburgh, formed in 2006. Led by singer-songwriter Neil Pennycook, the band's musical style has been categorised as folktronica, alternative rock and indie folk. The band themselves have described their latest work as "epic lo-fi". The name of the band is a reference to the main character of L'Etranger, the absurdist novel by Albert Camus.

Their releases to date have been generally well received by the music and entertainment media, both in Scotland and on a nationwide level.[1][2][3][4] In 2009 The Skinny placed the band's debut album, Pissing On Bonfires / Kissing With Tongues, at No. 16 in their "Scottish Albums of the Decade" list;[5] while their second full-length release, All Creatures Will Make Merry, has been reviewed favourably by several notable media outlets, among them The BBC,[6] Pitchfork,[7] Bearded,[8] Clash,[9] The List [10] and The Skinny.[11]

During 2009 and 2010, the band were included in regular rotation on local and national BBC radio stations, and playlisted by a number of BBC presenters including Gideon Coe, Marc Riley, Vic Galloway and Nemone.[12] They made appearances in many music festivals, including RockNess,[13] T in the Park, Truck, End of the Road and Glastonbury.[14] In May 2013, Meursault's third studio album, Something for the Weakened, was shortlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) award.


Neil Pennycook of Meursault performing at Knockengorroch 2010

Meursault were formed when singer-songwriter Neil Pennycook began performing with friends from his hometown of Penicuik, on the outskirts of Edinburgh in Scotland. Pennycook noted, "I was into basketball, and only into basketball, until I was 21. I was as passionate about that as I am about music now. But I hurt my knee and had to take six months off, so I started playing guitar. And that was that."[15]

In 2006, a then 3-piece Meursault released an EP, Making the Most of the Raw Materials of Futility, via Glasgow indie label Struck Dum Records.

The band self-released their debut album, Pissing On Bonfires / Kissing With Tongues, in 2008, before a second run was released on the Edinburgh-based independent label, Song, by Toad Records, in 2009.

In 2009, Phillip Quirie and Pete Harvey joined the band, with Pennycook stating that "the highlight [of the year] would have to be Phil and Pete joining the band. I’ve followed both of them, in their various projects, for what feels like years, and can’t believe how lucky I am to have the chance to work them both".[16] In 2012, Pennycook elaborated, "I was a huge fan of Pete through Khaya, and Desc, and The Leg, and then he came in to do the Cold Seeds album. I told him I really liked his stuff, and he said the same, and he actually asked to join the band. I was quite flattered by that. I got to record with King Creosote that day too – I’d been buying his records since I was at college. That was a good day".

In late 2009, Neil Pennycook and Peter Harvey contributed to the Cold Seeds collaborative album along with Frances Donnelly (Animal Magic Tricks) and Kenny Anderson (King Creosote). Anderson, Donnelly and Pennycook all wrote songs for the project, which all four performers then recorded together.

The band have played numerous concerts in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and in 2009 embarked on their first nationwide tours. In early 2010, the band announced that their first European tour would take place during April and May of that year.

The band's second album, All Creatures Will Make Merry was released on Song, by Toad Records as a limited edition handmade CD available to guests at launch events in Glasgow and Edinburgh in early April 2010, prior to a full national release on 24 May 2010.

In 2012, the band released their third studio album, Something for the Weakened. It was nominated for the 2013 Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) award.[17]

In 2014 the band released a mini-album titled The Organ Grinder's Monkey, which was compiled using a Kickstarter campaign to fund the band's appearance at SXSW in Austin, Texas.[18]

In July 2014 it was announced that Meursault will be officially disbanding. Neil Pennycook will continue to release music under the name Supermoon.[19]

In October 2016, it was announced on Facebook that Meursault had returned[20] with a new EP Simple is Good being released in November and an album, I Will Kill Again following in February 2017.

Band members[edit]

  • Neil Pennycook (2006–present)
  • Calum MacLeod (2008–2014)
  • Pete Harvey (2009–2014)
  • Rob St. John (2011–2014)
  • Kate Miguda (2011–2014)
  • Sam Mallalieu (2011–2014)
  • Lorcan Doherty (2011–2014)
  • Ben Fletcher (2012–2014)
  • Fraser Calder (2006-2011)
  • Philip Quirie (2009-2011)
  • Chris Bryant (2006-2011)
  • Gavin Tarling (2008-2011)




  • Making the Most of the Raw Materials of Futility (2006)
  • Nothing Broke (2009)
  • Simple Is Good (2016)[22]


  • William Henry Miller Pt.1 / The Dirt & The Roots (2009)
  • William Henry Miller Pt.2 / A Few Kind Words (2009)
  • Flittin' (2012)
  • Dull Spark (2012)



  1. ^ Brown, Alistair (3 June 2009). "Ones To Watch: Meursault". Clash. 
  2. ^ Drever, Ryan (7 January 2010). "10 for 2010: Meursault". The List. 
  3. ^ Shepherd, Fiona (5 December 2008). "Album review: Meursault - Pissing on Bonfires, Kissing with Tongues". The Scotsman. 
  4. ^ Hamilton, Billy (2 December 2008). "Meursault - Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues". The Skinny. 
  5. ^ Bruce, Gordon (26 November 2008). "Scottish Albums Of The Decade No. 16: Meursault - Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues". The Skinny. 
  6. ^ Ubaghs, Charles (25 May 2010). "Meursault All Creatures Will Make Merry Review". BBC. 
  7. ^ Granzin, Amy (24 June 2010). "Album Review: Meursault - All Creatures Will Make Merry". Pitchfork. 
  8. ^ Harper, Simon (1 June 2010). "Meursault - All Creatures Will Make Merry (Song, by Toad)". Bearded. 
  9. ^ Drever, Ryan (26 May 2010). "Meursault - All Creatures Will Make Merry". Clash. 
  10. ^ Atkinson, Robin (6 May 2010). "Meursault - All Creatures Will Make Merry". The List. 
  11. ^ Hamilton, Billy (4 May 2010). "Meursault - All Creatures Will Make Merry". The Skinny. 
  12. ^ BBC Music (December 2008). "Meursault". BBC. 
  13. ^ Ashman, Neil (21 June 2010). "Rockness 2010: the DiS review". Drowned in Sound. 
  14. ^ BBC (23 June 2010). "Glastonbury 2010: Meursault". BBC. 
  15. ^ Meighan, Nicola (10 July 2012). "Interview: Meursault". Nicola Meighan.  External link in |newspaper= (help)
  16. ^ McMeeken, Euan (9 February 2010). "The Steinberg Principle Interview No. 12: Meursault". The Steinberg Principle.  External link in |newspaper= (help)
  17. ^ "2013 SAY Award shortlist announced". 14 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Meursault - The Organ Grinder's Monkey". 
  19. ^ "Death to Meursault". Song, by Toad. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  20. ^ "The Return of Meursault". Song, by Toad. Retrieved 14 March 2017. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Out now: Meursault – Simple is Good". 28 November 2016. 

External links[edit]