The Karelia were a Scottish band formed by current Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos, known at the time as Alex Huntley, in 1996. The four original members were Alex Huntley (vocals, guitar, bouzouki and banjolele),Glen Thompson (bass guitar and percussion), Alan Wylie (trumpet) and Thom Falls (drums) – Falls was later replaced by Greek drummer Tassos Bobos.
Their sound has been described as “prog/techno rock with Iggy-voxed overtones”, and “jazzy film-noir lo-fi”. The band’s only album, Divorce At High Noon, was released in 1997 on Sum Records to little acclaim. Produced by Bid of The Monochrome Set, it was an off the wall mix of rock and jazz trumpet with unusual lyrics. The final song, “Garavurghty Butes”, was completely freestyle with improvised lyrics and musical arrangement. The band did not tour and were unknown outside Glasgow. Very few copies of the album sold and the band split in 1998 after contributing to an EP for the Guided Missile label.
Upon the huge success of Franz Ferdinand fans began to exchange originals of Divorce at High Noon for £50-£100. Because of this, the album was re-released in February 2005. It featured all of the previous album and two bonus tracks.
What it didn’t feature was a song The Karelia contributed to The Glasgow EP, four tracks that also featured Mogwai, El Hombre Trajeado and The Yummy Fur, released in 2000 by Plastic Cowboy Records.
The Glasgow EP was one of a collectible series released by the label, with the other cities being London, Liverpool, Oxford and Tokyo, with another devoted to Essex.