May 24, 2013: Quickbeam song Grace is available for free download – it’s taken from the band’s self-titled debut album, out on June 3.
Giant Fang has unveiled a video for Aqualung.
May 23, 2013: A Music Open Day is being held at Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree on May 26 with a programme that includes three music industry panels, a soundcheck workshop and live music from Revere, Uniform, Leanne Smith and Marionettes. Free tickets to the evening show will be available to anyone who attends the free seminars during the day.
The Wickerman Festival has added Admiral Fallow, Chic ft Nile Rodgers, Dreadzone, Waylayers and Greg Wilson to its line-up on July 26-27.
Algernon Doll track Anti-them is available for free download – it’s taken from second album Citalo-pop, due for release on June 10.
May 22, 2013: The Basement Coffee House in Ayr has been shortlisted by NME as Scotland’s representative in a public vote to find the best small venue in Britain. The 80-capacity venue opened eight months ago.
Tomorrow’s second instalment of the Dewar House Experimental Batch series sees Edinburgh’s Caves host free live music from Kid Canaveral, The Last Battle and Adam Ross (Randolph’s Leap). There will be 550 tickets available on the door on a first come, first served basis.
May 21, 2013: Camera Obscura song Fifth In Line To The Throne is available for free download in exchange for an email address. It’s taken from the band’s fifth album Desire Lines, out on June 3, and pre-ordering it will get you another track, Do It Again.
Book Group have released their debut EP, Homeward Sound.
Sparrow And The Workshop’s third album Murderopolis, out on May 27, is streaming in full via DIY - one of the songs, The Faster You Spin, is also available for free download.
May 20, 2013: Garden Of Elks’ debut EP, Extended Play, is available to buy and stream.
The Clock have a video for their excellent song Everything’s Eventual, which is released on May 28. They have Glasgow gigs lined up at Broadcast on June 1 and Roxy 171 on June 20.
May 18, 2013: The 16-strong T Break line-up for T in the Park on July 12-14 has been unveiled - Arches, Blindfolds, DARC, Fake Major, Hector Bizerk, Honeyblood, Machines In Heaven, Michael Cassidy, Poor Things, Pronto Mama, Seams, Sunshine Social, The Merrylees, The Velveteen Saints, Vasa, Waiting For Go.
Anna Sweeney has announced she is taking a full break from music and has cancelled her scheduled appearance at Wickerman in July as she relocates to Reading for work in June. Another musician swapping Scotland for England is Plum, who is moving to Brighton in July.
May 17, 2013: The stage times have been released for the 35 acts playing Stag & Dagger across seven Glasgow venues on May 18.
Franz Ferdinand’s fourth album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action will be released on August 26 – check out this brief trailer.
Frightened Rabbit recorded a cover of Best Coast’s The Only Place for Australian radio show Triple J. The band release their Late March, Death March EP on June 2.
The Mouse That Ate The Cat song When I Wake Up is available for free in exchange for your email address.
The title track of Adam Stafford’s forthcoming second album Imaginary Walls Collapse is streaming here.
May 16, 2013: The Discopolis remix of Bwani Junction single Civil War is available to download for free from SoundCloud.
Born To Be Wide’s next seminar at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on May 30 is on the topic of goNORTH, with a panel featuring broadcaster Vic Galloway, goNORTH duo Amanda Millen and Alex Smith and Chasing Owls frontman Ben Sunderland explaining how musicians and delegates can get the most out of the annual Inverness convention. Tickets are free.
AC/DC have backed a campaign to erect a bronze statue of their former frontman Bon Scott in his hometown of Kirriemuir in Angus. Community music group DD8 Music hope to raise £50,000 via Kickstarter by June 5.
Kite And The Crane’s debut EP, Found In The End, is out on Bandcamp.
May 15, 2013: Biffy Clyro have a video for their new single Opposite.
The View are playing a one-off show at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on June 12 for the Sunday Mail Centenary Fund.
Adam Stafford is launching his second album Imaginary Walls Collapse with a gig at Glasgow’s Glad Cafe on July 5 with support from Siobhan Wilson and Robbie Lesiuk.
May 14, 2013: The Wee Chill will mark its 10th anniversary with a two-stage bill at Glasgow’s SWG3 on June 29 for the West End Festival. The line-up features Malcolm Middleton, James Yorkston with Sparrow & The Workshop (collaborative debut), Aidan Moffat (spoken word), Three Blind Wolves, Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, Miaoux Miaoux, Fake Major.
Tommy Perman, who recently left FOUND, has unveiled his new solo project ComputerScheisse – check out These Beautiful Minds, the title track of his debut EP, out on July 15 through Phuturelabs.
RockNess have announced more acts for the festival on June 7-9 including Fenech-Soler, Fatherson, Public Service Broadcasting, The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, Niteworks and Jemma Tweedie.
Too Many Fireworks Records will donate all profits from sales of Variations Of Chopin, an album of contemporary interpretations of the composer’s music, to the fundraising campaign for drummer Robbie Cooper, whose cancer fight was documented on The Pop Cop.
May 13, 2013: New releases out now include Young Aviators’ debut album Self Help, Eagleowl’s debut album This Silent Year, and Cherri Fosphate’s new Burning Youth EP.
May 10, 2013: The live schedule for goNORTH in Inverness on June 5-6 has been unveiled – it includes a Scottish Bloggers Showcase hosted by The Pop Cop, Peenko and Song, by Toad featuring a four-band bill of Garden Of Elks, Friends In America, The Yawns and Flutes.
May 9, 2013: The documentary Hunting For Remoteness details The Magnetic North’s visit to Orkney – where frontman Erland Cooper is from – for the making of their debut album. It will be released on June 24 alongside a reissue of that record, Orkney: Symphony Of The Magnetic North. You can watch the trailer here.
Alphabetical Order Orchestra are streaming their first song, The Architect. The band is made up of My Latest Novel members Chris Deveney, Gary Deveney and Ryan King.
A Band Called Quinn have launched a crowdfunding campaign to support performances of their multimedia show Biding Time (remix) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.
May 8, 2013: Three Blind Wolves have released their new album, Sing Hallelujah For The Old Machine.
May 7, 2013: Adam Stafford’s new single Please is streaming online – it’s taken from his second album Imaginary Walls Collapse, out in July.
May 6, 2013: The T in the Park Roadshow is bringing free live music to Scottish towns this month – it stops at Glasgow today for The View at Kelvingrove Park (1pm) and Buchanan Street (3.30pm); Edinburgh on May 10 for Vigo Thieves at Queen Margaret University’s Student Union (noon), Dundee on May 11 for The LaFontaines at Overgate Centre (noon); Aberdeen on May 12 for Sienna at Aberdeen University (noon); and Ayr on May 18 for The Redettes at Ayr Railway Station (noon).
Fake Major have a video for Fiction, a song on their Have Plenty Of Fun EP. Fellow Comets & Cartwheels artist Finn LeMarinel has a new video for Garden, taken from his debut album Violence.
Capitals have released a sampler of all the tracks on their debut album A National Service, out on June 3.
May 3, 2013: Episode 11 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Cara Mitchell, Brown Bear & The Bandits, Three Blind Wolves and Anna Sweeney.
Steve Mason has accused Samsung of plagiarising the video for The Beta Band’s 2004 single Assessment for their new television advert. Both show historical figures running down a beach and helicopters circling overhead.
May 2, 2013: Young Aviators’ debut album Self Help is streaming on Electric Honey’s SoundCloud ahead of its release on May 13.
May 1, 2013: Travis have a video for Where You Stand, the first single and title track of the band’s seventh album, out on August 19.
Fake Major’s debut EP, Have Plenty Of Fun, is available for download.
My Latest Novel have gone on hiatus, with three of the members forming Alphabetical Order Orchestra - look out for music from them next week.
Kobi Onyame has a video for his new single The Real Part 2.
Trapped In Kansas have unveiled new song Collapse Rebuild.
Rob St John’s new AA single Charcoal Black And The Bonny Grey/Shallow Brown is out now.
April 30, 2013: Boards Of Canada will release Tomorrow’s Harvest, their first new album in eight years, on June 10.
Quickbeam song Immersed is available to download for free from DIY – you can also listen to snippets from every track of the band’s self-titled debut album, out on June 3.
Discopolis have unveiled the video for their new song Falling (Committed To Sparkle Motion), out on May 5.
April 29, 2013: The SAY Award will stream each of the 20 longlisted albums for 24 hours through their app, starting today with Miaoux Miaoux’s Light Of The North. You can read The Pop Cop’s feature here.
Panda Su’s new song MAPS is available to buy now on Amazon, while Bwani Junction’s new single Civil War is on iTunes.
The Boy Who Trapped The Sun has a video for new song California ahead of his May tour in Scotland.
The Pastels have a video for Check My Heart, taken from their forthcoming new album Slow Summits, out on May 27.
Frank Turner covered Frightened Rabbit’s The Modern Leper for Jim Gellatly’s In:Demand Uncut session.
April 27, 2013: Episode 10 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features two fantastic unreleased songs by Beerjacket as well as The Holy Ghosts, The Merrylees and Ray McCartney.
Travis, Johnny Marr, Hurts, James Skelly, Jack Savoretti, Willy Mason, Foy Vance, Steve Mason, Milo Greene and DIIV have been added to the T in the Park line-up, which has now been separated into day-by-day splits.
Edinburgh venue The Forest Cafe, which has been banned from hosting live music due to council restrictions, are looking for acts to play their new monthly event, the Forest Big Night Out at Old St Paul’s, which launches on May 23. Email email@example.com for details.
April 26, 2013: The Burns an’ a’ that! Festival will feature live music as part of Weekend in the Park at Ayr’s Belleisle Park on May 25-26. Rose Parade, Little Fire, Pronto Mama and The Bluebells are among the free acts; Justin Currie + Rachel Sermanni play a ticketed gig on May 26.
Other newly-announced concerts on sale include Lana Del Rey + Kassidy at Glasgow’s SECC on May 16 (replacing her two dates at the Academy on May 15/16) Bombay Bicycle Club at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on June 7, Belle & Sebastian at Inverness’ Ironworks on July 1, We Are Scientists at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on July 29, Kid Canaveral + Ballboy at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on August 10.
Kid Canaveral + The Last Battle + Adam Ross (Randolph’s Leap) also play a free show at Edinburgh’s Caves on May 23 with 300 tickets on the door on a first come, first served basis as part of a Dewar’s event.
April 25, 2013: Seasick Steve, The Pigeon Detectives, Julie Fowlis, Meursault, Washington Irving, PAWS and The LaFontaines have been added to the Belladrum Festival line-up on August 2-3.
Washington Irving have released Palomides Volume 1, the first half of their debut album.
The View are streaming Kill Kyle, one of two new songs on their compilation album Seven Year Setlist, out on June 17.
April 24, 2013: The showcase list of artists picked to play goNORTH in Inverness on June 5-6 has been announced. For the third consecutive year there will be a bloggers’ showcase stage hosted by The Pop Cop, Peenko and Song, by Toad. More details to follow soon.
Kilmarnock’s Dirty Weekender will feature 45 acts over three venues on May 31 to June 2 including Fridge Magnets, Bwani Junction, The Ok Social Club, Ross Leighton (Fatherson) and Chris Helme.
Poor Things’ new single Morgan is free to download – it’s taken from their Hurricane Poor Things EP, out on June 10.
Similarly, Cherri Fosphate are giving away Wool from their Burning Youth EP, out on May 11.
April 23, 2013: Glasvegas will play Aberdeen’s Garage on June 27, Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on June 28 and Glasgow’s ABC on June 29.
Reverieme’s second album With Up So Floating is out now.
Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire have announced they will release their self-titled new album through Middle Of Nowhere Records in July.
Herculean have a video for Red Weather, taken from The Falling Thunder EP, out on June 7.
April 22, 2013: Stag & Dagger have added Phosphorescent, Rachel Sermanni, Randolph’s Leap, French Wives, Fake Major, Prides, Chris Devotion & The Expectations and Donald Macdonald & The Islands to the Glasgow festival’s line-up on May 18.
Episode 9 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Brown Bear & The Bandits, Cara Mitchell, The Open Day Rotation and John Wean.
Texas have unveiled a video for The Conversation, the title track from their first album in eight years, out on May 20.
Bronagh & The Boys have released their debut single Green, taken from A Young Heart EP, out on May 19.
April 19, 2013: Kassidy’s Barrie-James O’Neill and his girlfriend Lana Del Rey have recorded a cover of Summer Wine (made famous by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood), backed with a video featuring handheld footage of the pair in Los Angeles.
My Bloody Valentine, Trash Talk, Fidlar and The VirginMarys have been added to the T in the Park line-up.
April 18, 2013: Pre-sale tickets are available for Regina Spektor at Glasgow’s Academy on August 20 and Kings Of Leon at the ciry’s Bellahouston Park on August 15, the latter being part of the Glasgow Summer Sessions.
The Mirror Trap have unveiled a video for Westminster Ghost Story, the first track to be taken from their second album Stay Young, due out this autumn.
April 17, 2013: Midnight Lion have changed their name to Prides and expanded to a trio with the addition of Kitty The Lion’s Callum Wiseman on guitar and vocals. To coincide with the announcement, they have unveiled wonderfully addictive new song Out Of The Blue.
T in the Park have added Local Natives, Lucy Rose, Swim Deep, Theme Park, Lewis Watson and Sons & Lovers to the festival on July 12-14.
April 16, 2013: Doune The Rabbit Hole have announced that this year’s festival will take place at the new location of Cardross Estate at Port of Menteith in Stirlingshire on August 22-25. The line-up features Clinic, Meursault, Rachel Sermanni, Alasdair Roberts, Washington Irving, The Pastels, PAWS, Beerjacket, Rick Redbeard, We Are The Physics, Randolph’s Leap, Siobhan Wilson, Panda Su, Shambles Miller, Jo Mango and TeenCanteen. See here for full day-by-day splits.
April 15, 2013: James and Twin Atlantic will headline the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival on August 2-3. Other acts on the bill include Admiral Fallow, Fatherson, Rick Redbeard, Noisettes, The Horrors and King Charles.
April 13, 2013: Edinburgh’s live music scene has suffered yet another setback with Forest Cafe having its live music licence reviewed, causing the immediate postponement of gigs there, starting with the Solas Showcase scheduled for today.
Newsnight Scotland featured a report on the music industry on April 10, prompted by the Wide Days convention in Edinburgh. Watch the segment on BBC iPlayer, with contributions from Stanley Odd’s Dave Hook, Plum’s Shona Maguire, Chemikal Underground’s Stewart Henderson, Wide Days organiser Olaf Furniss and journalist Nicola Meighan. The interviews were conducted by Galleries drummer Andrew Black.
April 12, 2013: Episode 8 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Niteworks, The Holy Ghosts, Miaoux Miaoux and The Merrylees.
Eagleowl have unveiled Not Over, the first offering from debut album This Silent Year, which will come out through Fence Records on May 13.
Dear Lara, aka David Lan, has released his debut EP Plans as a free download.
April 11, 2013: Capitals’ debut album A National Service will come out on June 3, with those who pre-order it (from just £5) getting an immediate download of any of the record’s 11 tracks, one of which is Reliever.
The View will release singles compilation Seven Year Setlist on June 17 – the album features two new songs, Dirty Magazine and Kill Kyle.
Several Scottish acts have posted tracks from forthcoming new albums – check out Washington Irving – Wandering Wits, United Fruit – Taste I Can’t Give Up and Hector Bizerk – Orchestrated Madness.
April 10, 2013: Promoters Cry Parrot will host their 6th Birthday Party at Glasgow’s Glue Factory on April 26 with a gig featuring Sacred Paws, Hector Bizerk, Tut Vu Vu, Ultimate Thrush, Ela Orleans and Sad City.
Three Blind Wolves are previewing Slow Summer Deer, taken from their Sing Hallelujah For The Old Machine album, released on May 6.
Where We Lay Our Heads single Keanu Leaves is out now.
Great Cop are giving away new song Stop Hiding as a free download.
April 9, 2013: Mogwai guitarist John Cummings uploaded a photo of himself at Glasgow’s George Square yesterday where more than 300 people gathered, inspired by his band’s 2011 song George Square Thatcher Death Party.
Hi-Arts, which promotes arts in the Highlands and Islands, has issued notices of redundancies to all 10 of its staff in the wake of funding cuts.
April 8, 2013: Fridge Magnets will play a ‘silent gig’ at a secret outdoor location in Glasgow on May 15 (6pm) – tickets can be won through organisers Deezer. The band will perform inside a mobile perspex box with the 300-capacity audience able to hear them through headphones.
Kassidy have released new mini-album People Like Me.
April 7, 2013: Song Of Return have launched their Singles Club project on Bandcamp through which they’ll be selling unreleased tracks. Month 1 contains Torn Between The Tides (see video) and Enough.
Cairn String Quartet, who were profiled on The Pop Cop in March, have unveiled their orchestral cover of Kid Canaveral’s Low Winter Sun.
Travis have made new song Another Guy available to download for free through their website. It also has a video.
April 6, 2013: The following 16 HMV and Fopp stores in Scotland will remain open following Hilco’s takeover – HMV: Aberdeen, Ayr, Dundee, East Kilbride, Edinburgh Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh Princes St, Glasgow Argyle St, Glasgow Buchanan St, Glasgow Fort, Inverness, Livingston, Stirling; Fopp: Edinburgh; Glasgow Union St; Glasgow Byres Rd.
Bwani Junction have a video for new single Civil War, out on April 29.
Rachel Sermanni and Emma’s Imagination are among the acts playing the Kintyre Songwriters Festival in Campbeltown on May 24-26.
Quickbeam will launch their debut album with a gig at the disused Govanhill Baths in Glasgow on May 31. They will be supported by Fake Major whose debut Have Plenty Of Fun EP comes out on May 1.
April 5, 2013: Spotify director Mark Williamson will give the keynote speech at next week’s Wide Days event in Edinburgh as part of a session on the business of streaming. The full running order is here.
Episode 7 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Anna Sweeney, Cara Mitchell, Discopolis and Paul McGranaghan.
Dot JR has uploaded new song Waterfalls to SoundCloud.
April 4, 2013: The Tiree Music Festival will take place in An Talla on July 20-21 with a bill that includes Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, Washington Irving, The Youth And Young and Brown Bear & The Bandits.
Galleries’ fantastic new single Midnight Rush is out now.
Casual Sex have made a video for their debut single Stroh 80. They play Glasgow’s Nice ‘n’ Sleazy on April 5 and Oran Mor on April 7.
April 3, 2013: Comlongon Rocks have added a third day of live music to its line-up at Comlongon Castle in Dumfries & Galloway on May 17-19. The festival’s line-up features Three Blind Wolves, Emma’s Imagination, The OK Social Club and Saint Max.
Chem 19 are offering three days of free recording time to five Scottish acts through their Creative Scotland Demo Fund. To apply, musicians (under-25s only) should email a link to some demos and a bio to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Chem19 Demo Fund Enquiry before April 26. Chosen acts will also take part in a live showcase.
Siobhan Wilson + Julia And The Doogans + Jo Mango will play Glasgow’s Roxy 171 on June 26 as part of the Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes vs Peenko night at the West End Festival.
April 2, 2013: Acts confirmed for The Insider Festival in Aviemore on June 21-23 include Rachel Sermanni, Karine Polwart, Hector Bizerk, Urstan, David Thomas Broughton, Miaoux Miaoux, Pete Roe, Jonnie Common, Adam Holmes And The Embers and Sparrow And The Workshop.
Up-and-coming acts can apply to play the Hebridean Celtic Festival in Stornoway on July 17-20 through their One Step Further competition which is open to musicians aged 18-25. To enter, artists need to email email@example.com with the subject HebCelt New Talent Submissions and include links to three songs, a biog and high-res photo. Closing date is April 12.
April 1, 2013: Quickbeam’s self-titled debut album will be released through Comets & Cartwheels on June 3 – check out the video for lead track Immersed which will be available as a free download on April 29.
We Were Promised Jetpacks will headline the second night of the three-day Solas Festival in Perthshire on June 22.
Minor Delilah will be giving away copies of their new EP, Only Dust Can Hear You, to anyone who attends their launch gig at Glasgow’s Classic Grand on May 3.
introduced the world to the Music Alliance Pact.October 15 is a landmark day for The Pop Cop as it is precisely one year since we
It really has been a global effort to get this far. From the initial 12 blogs/nations who joined the project, MAP has expanded to the 34 you see here today, the latest additions being Popop from Estonia and Deaf Indie Elephants, who are standing in for our regular Venezuelan contributors.
Big or small, democratic or communist, there is a place for all at the MAP table… just as long as they have good taste in music.
You can freely download any song individually, but we recommend you snag the full collection via the Sendspace link at the bottom of the page because this month we have by far the greatest selection of songs yet. Seriously, you won’t believe just how good they are. Enjoy!
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Meursault – A Small Stretch Of Land
Edinburgh six-piece Meursault’s otherworldly, experimental folk seems almost tailor-made for the music blogging cognoscenti. But as A Small Stretch Of Land shows, Meursault (pronounced “mer-so”) also know when less is more, stripping the song to just acoustic guitar and vocal with crushingly beautiful effect. It’s no surprise Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison described A Small Stretch Of Land as “one of my favourite songs of last year, or indeed any year”. You can buy Meursault’s album, Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues, and other releases here.
October 23, The Bowery, Edinburgh (Oxjam) (tickets)
November 7, The Bowery, Edinburgh
November 10, 13th Note, Glasgow
November 29, Stereo, Glasgow
Lipgloss – Land Of Lords
This band from Buenos Aires released their first EP a couple of months ago and Land Of Lords is our favorite song from it. Lipgloss sound like they’ve been listening to British rock all their life and you sure can feel the influence of bands like The Stone Roses at the end of the song, with the psychedelic guitars and all. If you like it, you can download the entire EP directly from this link.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Cloud Control – Gold Canary
New music from the Blue Mountains! Only it sounds kinda like it originates from somewhere deep in America. Cloud Control always had an earthy, pastoral quality to their music but it sounds all the more temporally appropriate post-Fleet Foxes. Less jangle and more twang. Gold Canary is pulled from their debut album expected early 2010. It has some rootsy backing vocals and yelping, tambourine/handclap percussion, references to family members in the lyrics and then… a synth solo. This song is rad.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Constantina – Sobe Ladeira
There is something special about Constantina that goes beyond their music. The absence of vocals never leaves you with a feeling of emptiness. It’s just the opposite. The instrumental songs are so deep and strong that lyrics would limit them to what we can express with words.
The Balconies – Serious Bedtime
It’s almost mind-boggling how good and how talented The Balconies are. They have two incredible lead singers (in brother and sister Jacquie and Steve Neville), both of whom are also astoundingly good songwriters, and they’re backed by one of the steadiest drummers I’ve ever seen. They’ve barely been around for more than a year but they’re generating a whole lot of buzz (their debut has just been released and it’s already charting nationally). Songs like Serious Bedtime make it easy to see why.
CHILE: Super 45
Tonossepia – Happy Habibi Te Vez Mas Feliz
Tonossepia (Diego Vergara) is one of the most advanced musicians in the Chilean electronic scene. Constantly evolving in his way of creating music, this year he released his fourth album, Happy Habibi, an effort full of organic textures, warm harmonies and rhythmical variations. By mixing, almost to perfection, IDM and hip hop, Tonossepia has a lot of robot style and rap style.
Silkfloss – Mon Amour
Mylène Chan (Muxitu) and Quan Du formed Silkfloss at the start of this year in Beijing. They are electronica, they are trip-hop, they are everything that brings you softness and fills you with love. Mylène also collaborates with many local electronic producers as a vocalist.
COLOMBIA: Colombia Urbana
Jiggy Drama – Contra La Pared
Direct from San Andres Island, Heartan Lever – better known in the artistic scene as Jiggy D – comes loaded with cool rhymes and party beats. Jiggy mixes Antillean dancehall with old-school hip hop and Contra La Pared proves that when something is good, it doesn’t have to be forced. The combination of typical Colombian sounds (papayera in this case) makes him the perfect choice to represent the nation in MAP. Jiggy is currently working on his new album, Nerdside.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Sebastian Lind – Stay
A pop natural and excellent singer, 20-year-old Sebastian Lind excites with an enticing mix of singer-songwriter acoustics and crackling electronica. He has just released his first single Stop These Feet, but here’s Stay – a strong contender when it comes time to select a second.
ENGLAND: The Daily Growl
The Voluntary Butler Scheme – The Eiffel Tower And The BT Tower
This month’s song comes from the English Midlands courtesy of awesome one-man-band Rob Jones aka The Voluntary Butler Scheme. He’s a little scruffy around the edges but he serves up a tasty dish of pure pop. Although probably best experienced live, his debut album At Breakfast, Dinner, Tea (how old-school English is that title?) is full of sprightly tunes, huge hooks and amusing lyrics and is well worth checking out.
I’ll Hit Her – Noise In Your Mind
There’s not much info about Estonian electro-poppers I’ll Hit Her and Googling that name will probably get you some quite disturbing results. Listing Aqua, 2 Unlimited and Joy Division as influences on their MySpace page, that’s really as diverse as you can get.
The Capital Beat – Feel The Reggae
This is not the kind of song you would expect to hear from a Finnish band, but The Capital Beat phenomenally recreate the warm sounds of Jamaica on their first album, A Greater Fire. This eight-piece combo takes Jamaican music to a new latitude and there is only one condition – feel the reggae and do the ska.
Pascal Comelade – Two Maniaco Depressive Beatnicks Squabbling Over A Jane Russell Mozarella’s Stereokini
Pascal Comelade is a really special musician. He mixes common instruments with some toys he found in a flea market. This way of working gives his music a unique tone and makes the listener feel the soul of his work. In some ways, his music reminds us of Yann Tiersen – nice piano, accordion and a lot of percussion. Two Maniaco…, with its happy leading saxophone and ringing xylophone, is a track dedicated to a happy life, which makes it a must-hear before beginning a day at work.
Rhytm Police – Ghosttrain
Rhytm Police sound like they live in a metropolis as they reduce music to a strong bass line, synth sounds and sometimes quite snatchy vocals. However, they come from the rather rural Augsburg in western Bavaria. The only way to figure this out is by listening to their songs with German lyrics. But the featured song Ghosttrain shows their international attitude.
Coin – Error 687
Coin draw their influences from the Manchester scene of the 80s and American grunge of the 90s. In their third studio album they shift their best qualities into different, equally dazzling guitar-pop shapes, sounding unclenched, enchanting and energetic. Popstitute is a beautifully balanced album filled with tremendously rich highs, unfailingly tuneful music, jagged guitars, drums and bass, which supply the rhythmic pulse and captivating hooks.
ICELAND: I Love Icelandic Music
FM Belfast – Synthia
FM Belfast was formed in late 2005 by Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson (aka Árni Plúseinn) and Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir. For the Iceland Airwaves festival in 2006, the band expanded into a live act with up to eight (or even more) members. The core of the band is now a quartet with Árni Vilhjálmsson (of Motherfuckers In The House) and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason (of Múm). Synthia is taken from their debut album, How To Make Friends, released on the band’s own World Champion Records label last year.
Teddy Boy Kill – Tonic
New Delhi’s Teddy Boy Kill represent the new Indian electronica soundscape – instantly international, slick and unrestrained by the need to reflect any inherent Indian-ness. This unsigned act from the country’s capital released their debut album, The Exit Plan, as a free download. Tonic is one of the highlights of the record – an immediately catchy dancefloor anthem that’s as temperate as it is energetic. Get ready to do something stupid.
The Super Insurgent Group Of Intemperance Talent – Money Making
The Super Insurgent Group Of Intemperance Talent are the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in Indonesia. Their straight-to-the-point songs, killer hooks and good attitude has already seen them play some big venues and sell out concerts, which is very rare in Indonesia.
Trophy Boyfriend – Black Ship
Despite the silly moniker, Gregor Ruigrok aka Trophy Boyfriend still managed to impress us with his first self-titled EP. He’s still at the embyronic stages having not played live or formally released anything in Ireland yet, but judging by the electro-indie of Black Ship, we certainly hope he gets out there soon.
Damien* – Confidants
Play this song and fly back in time, to around the first half of the 90s, when Britpop was full of hope and strength. Well, this is just how Damien* are today. This young and promising band from Pesaro, on the Italian east coast, is able to mix a post-punk background with a more pop attitude. The incredibly catchy Confidants is taken from their second album, out this week on Suiteside.
JAPAN: JPOP Lover
Henrytennis – Valencia Raincoats
Another progressive band in the Tokyo music scene, Henrytennis feature instrumental dynamism influenced by post-rock, IDM, jam and progressive rock. Their members come from such outstanding Japanese bands as 4 Bonjour’s Parties, Hula Hooper, Kuruucrew, Oceanlane and Shugo Tokumaru. Their excellent second album R.U.R. is released on November 11.
MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
Radaid – Shine
Shine is the opening track of L’Intent, the most recent record by Radaid. Hailing from Guadalajara, Jalisco, the eight talented musicians produce a peculiar mix of pop and original rhythms. That is why traces of Indian influences echo in Shine, while the vocals are by Sofía Orozco, who not only wrote the English lyrics but also invented the dialect which has nods to the phrasing of Hindu MCs.
NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
O’Lovely – A Different Day
O’Lovely are from Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island and they have a glistening, ringing guitar sound on this song that reminds me of some great bands from that city’s past such as Bailterspace and Loves Ugly Children. The band has morphed from the more poppy The O’Lovelys with singer and keyboardist Laura Lee remaining at the centre of the band. She’s joined by Perry Mahoney of Bang Bang Eche, whose guitar gives a darker, noisier feel than the earlier band. A Different Day comes from the five-track Lost Luck EP.
Firefly Effect – Never By Your Side
Oslo quartet Firefly Effect recently released their brilliant debut album, Everything Is Beautiful And You Are The Reason, on Perfect Pop Records/Solerød Records. It is full of charming indie-pop songs with organs, boy/girl harmonies and jangly guitars. They call their style “retro-futuristic sunshine pop” which is a definition of their sound I can agree on. Perfect pop!
Emergency Blanket – Next Passenger
The music of Emergency Blanket is fully charged with life and energy, taking influences from rock classics from the 60s, 70s and 90s to achieve a vintage yet fresh and original sound. Emergency Blanket recently released their debut album, Combi + Nation, which includes songs in Spanish, English and even a combination of both languages. Next Passenger has taken them to the final of The People’s Music Awards and you can vote for the band here.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Real Combo Lisbonense – Oh!
Real Combo Lisbonense (Lisbon Real Combo) play music that takes us back to a time when everyone would dress up to dance to the sounds of an orchestra or a small ensemble. RCL is the band you would expect to hear in the casino lounge of an Ian Fleming novel. They remade some Portuguese and international popular classics of 50s and 60s and have become one of the pleasant surprises in the Portuguese indie scene this year. Shall we dance?
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Vive La Noiz – Bird Song
Vive la Noiz could be seen as the usual alternative/indie band. Two girls and two boys starting a band in the finest DIY ethic. However, their eclectic influences and pure, melodic sound label them as post-everything because you can find anything there, genre-free. Dark Clouds And Silver Linings is regarded as one of this year’s most interesting EPs.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Inch Chua – Devotion In Reality
Like the wet leaves after a thunderstorm, Devotions In Reality bring a melancholic hope to past hurts, as the first step after grief into a new light. Inch Chua is more well known in Singapore as the little dynamo of a frontwoman with rock stalwarts Allura. Taking time off to record her solo EP, she brings to the forefront another facet of her versatility, especially on this number that is best described as a cross between Lisa Ekdahl and Stars.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Ameen Harron – Techicoloured Oblivion
Ameen Harron is a force to be reckoned with in the South African music scene. He is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, and one of the country’s up-and-coming producers, who has worked with a range of the best local musicians, garnering national and international attention. Technicoloured Oblivion shows not only his skills as a producer but as an artist. He has strong ties to hip hop, which is evident as his combination of hip hop, punk and electro creates his own distinctive sound. The song has an almost soulful feel to it and wouldn’t be out of place on the international charts. Ameen Harron is set to take over. Watch out.
SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Julia Hart – Korean Girl’s Winter
Always delightful guitar-pop act Julia Hart decided it had been too many years since the release of their last album in 2007 and consequently released a digital single with a couple of new songs for people to hear last month. One of them, Korean Girl’s Winter, shows Julia Hart at their loveliest and is a perfect indie-pop piece well suited for repeated play hours on end.
Leaving Mornington Crescent – Seventeen
From the sound of Seventeen, Leaving Mornington Crescent have ventured into new territory. Unlike the sunny 60s-inspired indie-pop of April Song from their Cloudberry split CD, Seventeen is a rather heavy, shoegaze number with buzzing and churning guitars and a solid backbeat. Still the vocals retain the cheeriness of April Song with a chorus of “I’m seventeen on the inside, the only difference is…”.
Kim Ki O – Serbest Kalp Dusmesi
Kim Ki O’s songs are self-written, self-played and self-sung in the name of self-pleasure and self-impulsion. Kim Ki O, which is the Turkish expression for “who is that anyway?”, is a name chosen for its phonetic beauty. The duo like to play with synthesizers and drum machines but do not to use computers in their music, preferring to create all the action live with enthusiasm and tension. The two members of the gang are former high school buddies who had been out of touch for years. Now they are back, clasped together, making great things.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
That Ghost – The Red Bow
That Ghost is the musical moniker of one crazy kid from the coast of California. Ryan Schmale, a youthful 19-year-old, creates lo-fi pop that evokes the warmth of bedroom recordings. He has a new EP on the way titled Get It And Get Out that IGIF will certainly be writing more about in the near future.
VENEZUELA: Deaf Indie Elephants
Ulises Hadjis – Lunes
The warm voice of Ulises Hadjis and his guitar are suddenly interrupted by a theremin, a trumpet from a gypsy story and a dialogue between Star Trek’s Captain Kirk and Zulu. These are some of the big surprises you’ll find in his debut album, Presente, which without doubt was one of the best debuts of 2008. His original indie-pop contains lyrics as melancholic as Bon Iver’s or Elliott Smith’s and a musical diversity that in its best moments resembles Beirut or Neutral Milk Hotel. On a Sunday morning this album will be your best company.
To download all 34 songs in one file click here