15

Jan

Music Alliance Pact – January 2015

KLOË

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
KLOËGrip
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

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03

Jan

The best albums of 2014

Withered Hand - New Gods

10. WITHERED HAND – NEW GODS (buy)

Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy

9. DAMIEN RICE – MY FAVOURITE FADED FANTASY (buy)

Beerjacket - Darling Darkness

8. BEERJACKET – DARLING DARKNESS (buy)

Fatherson - I Am An Island

7. FATHERSON – I AM AN ISLAND (buy)

Augustines - Augustines

6. AUGUSTINES – AUGUSTINES (buy)

Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams

5. RYAN ADAMS – RYAN ADAMS (buy)

Passenger - Whispers

4. PASSENGER – WHISPERS (buy)

First Aid Kit - Stay Gold

3. FIRST AID KIT – STAY GOLD (buy)

Twin Forks - Twin Forks

2. TWIN FORKS – TWIN FORKS (buy)

The Xcerts - There Is Only You

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.

The Xcerts - The Pop Cop album of the year award 2014

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:

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15

Dec

Music Alliance Pact – December 2014

New Year Memorial

The wilfully enigmatic New Year Memorial are eager to let their music hog the limelight, which might explain why (at the time of writing anyway) you’ll find no Facebook page for them, nor even any official acknowledgement of who is in the Glasgow band. The image above is the one they emailed when I asked them to send me a group photo.

All will be out in the open soon enough, with 2015 bringing their first gig and a debut album. For now, though, Noëlle really ought to be on your playlist.

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 17-track compilation through Dropbox here.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
New Year MemorialNoëlle
What a thrilling way to end one year and usher in a new one. New Year Memorial sprang up in the last week of November with an intriguing pair of songs on SoundCloud: Lovers, with its introspective piano interlude making way for full-on bombast; and Noëlle, a lush head-turner bristling with warm strings and keys which we are privileged to offer as an exclusive MAP download. Until now, it has been the studio project of Iain Thomson, ably insisted by musician friends including singer Nicky McManus. However, New Year Memorial’s debut live appearance in January 2015 promises a full-band sound that’s punkier than what we’ve heard so far.
January 17, Glad Cafe, Glasgow

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