The elusive Monogram is finally on the cusp of making a welcome first foray into the live music arena. Liam Rutherford, the multimedia mogul behind the moniker, may be familiar to Glasgow scenesters for his guitar work in now-defunct The Darien Venture. Now doing his own thing, his raw, heartfelt vocals sit against an expansive sound of pounding keys and unrelenting beats, culminating in emotion-fuelled, post-pop anthems.
Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 19-track compilation through Dropbox here.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Monogram – Anno(mute)
Monogram, aka Liam Rutherford, first appeared in MAP’s August 2013 edition under his previous pseudonym Mast. The accompanying song, Romance, was my favourite of that year. Anno(mute) is a subtler, haunting offering, but remains true to his DIY ethic. Working from a remote cabin studio in the Borders, he plays all instruments, designs his own artwork and self-produces his promo videos to create an all-encompassing experience.
May 2-3, Brew at the Bog, Inverness
When it comes to discovering new music there are rich pickings to be had at any time, but the start of a year tends to bring extra focus on promising talent, and KLOË certainly falls into the category. Hailing from Clydebank, the teenager’s dazzling debut song Grip is very much the sound of now, and you can help yourself to an exclusive free download of it for a limited time on this month’s Music Alliance Pact along with the rest of the blogging world’s hand-picked selections.
Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 18-track compilation through Dropbox here.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
KLOË – Grip
The hype around Glasgow electro-pop singer KLOË (aka 18-year-old Chloé Latimer) is at feverish levels – and for good reason. She has justifiably drawn comparisons with CHVRCHES and Ellie Goulding and, just like those two acts, her debut song was premiered on the website of New York label Neon Gold. The track in question, Grip, is both brooding and blissful, having been shaped into contemporary sublimity by super-producer/drummer Lewis Gardiner (Prides). The first live outing from KLOË in February is sure to be buzzing.
February 28, The Garage, Glasgow
1. THE XCERTS – THERE IS ONLY YOU (buy)
I’m always on the lookout for a potentially life-changing rock record. Always. I’ve never really thought about why that is. Probably because I obsessed over Jimmy Eat World and Idlewild when I was young and impressionable. There Is Only reminds me of my favourite albums growing up. It’s an easy thing to love: clusters of hooks pop up throughout; the choruses go where you want them to; the production is clean and vibrant. But the best thing about listening to The Xcerts’ third album is that it makes you want to be in a band that plays songs that sound like this.
Hooray, The Xcerts! Your third record There Is Only You is The Pop Cop’s favourite album of 2014. Have an award for your efforts…
Murray Macleod (singer): “Thanks! That’s awesome.”
Jordan Smith (bass): “It’s an honour.”
Is this the first award you’ve won?
Murray: “It’s the second. We were 16 when we won Best Newcomer at the Fudge Awards, the local music awards in Aberdeen. It was a brick spray-painted gold. It’s in my parents’ attic. They have a whole room dedicated to Xcerts memorabilia.”
Tom Heron (drums): “I wasn’t in the band at that point so this is my first award.”
Would you agree that this is your best album to date?
Murray: “I guess a lot of bands always think that about their latest album, but this is undeniably our best record. It does feel like people are picking up on that.”
What have been your goals for the album?
Murray: “This record’s really accessible and what we hope to achieve is people feeling very strongly about it, like yourself, and then handing it to a friend. It’s very melodic so people are connecting with it a lot quicker.”
Here’s a SoundCloud playlist featuring songs from each of the top 10 albums: