December 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… Prides – Messiah.
New video via YouTube… Rachel Sermanni – Everything Changes, taken from Everything Changes EP, out on January 27.
Free mini-album download via Bandcamp… We See Lights – Every Autumn, Every Winter.
New gigs… Kid Canaveral at Glasgow’s Stereo on February 14, Aberdeen’s Tunnels on March 7 and Dundee’s Beat Generator on March 8.
December 5, 2013: Fatherson, The LaFontaines, Cairn String Quartet, Garden Of Elks and The Holy Ghosts have been announced as The Big Apple Award competition finalists. All five acts play free sets at Glasgow’s G2 on December 11, with an all-expenses-paid trip to play New York City in April 2014 up for grabs for the winners.
New gigs… Silibil N’ Brains (stars of The Great Hip Hop Hoax film) play Dundee’s Buskers on December 27 and Glasgow’s Pivo Pivo on December 28.
December 4, 2013: Mick Cooke has left Belle & Sebastian. The band made the announcement in their latest mailshot, stating: “We wish him all the best with any future projects and hope to work alongside him again in the future.” The multi-instrumentalist, who had been a full-time member of Belle & Sebastian since 1998, will now focus on his work as a composer and arranger.
New gig… Song, by Toad Records’ 5th Birthday Party at Edinburgh’s Henry’s Cellar Bar on December 21 featuring PAWsault, Tom Collins Shatner and assorted label friends and guests.
December 3, 2013: Budding musicians aged between 14-19 can register for Hit The Road, a project that offers workshops, seminars and information sessions about performing live, before they are given the opportunity to tour across Scotland. The next set of tours will launch in January, with each one taking three acts on the road.
New video via YouTube… Red Sands – Too Short A Season, taken from debut album Red Sands, out on December 9.
New video via YouTube… Mickey 9s – Ammunition.
New EP release via Bandcamp… Jo Mango – When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree.
December 2, 2013: New video via YouTube… Mogwai – The Lord Is Out Of Control, taken from their forthcoming album Rave Tapes, out on January 20.
New album release via iTunes… Cold Crows Dead – I Fear A New World, featuring The Xcerts’ Murray Macleod.
Free album download via Bandcamp… Kobi Onyame – Glory.
November 29, 2013: Brew at the Bog have announced the first 25 acts for its festival in Inverness on May 3. The line-up includes Kid Canaveral, Stanley Odd, Friends In America, Fake Major, Randolph’s Leap, Call To Mind, Beerjacket, Campfires In Winter, Shambles Miller, The Little Kicks, This Silent Forest, Woodenbox, Jo Mango and Atom Tree.
The Holy Ghosts have set up a Kickstarter page for pre-orders of their debut album Ride Them Down, due out in April.
November 28, 2013: New video via YouTube… Over The Wall – Radiator.
New video via YouTube… Book Group – Victory Lap, taken from Victory Lap / The Lowdown Of A LOUD Sound single.
New album release via Bandcamp… Scott McWatt – A Ceíst Amá.
November 27, 2013: New song streams via SoundCloud… King Creosote – Dial C For Cradle; Meddling Gut Wrenches; Impossible To Resist.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Rachel Sermanni – Everything Changes.
Findlay Napier has set up a PledgeMusic page to fund the recording of VIP: Very Interesting Persons, an album of songs co-written with Boo Hewerdine.
November 26, 2013: Free album download via Bandcamp… Olive Grove Records Sampler featuring Call To Mind, The State Broadcasters, Randolph’s Leap, The Moth & The Mirror, The Son(s), Woodenbox, Jo Mango and Pensioner.
Free album download via Bandcamp… Mini50 Records Winter Sampler 2013.
New song release via iTunes… Withered Hand – Black Tambourine. Dan Willson will play solo gigs at Glasgow’s Glad Cafe on November 27 and Aberdeen’s Tunnels on November 28 as well as Glasgow’s Platform on January 24 for Celtic Connections.
New video via YouTube… Kid Canaveral – A Compromise, taken from A Compromise EP.
November 25, 2013: New album release… There Will Be Fireworks – The Dark, Dark Bright on CD and download.
Detour will hold their fourth Wee Jaunt in Glasgow on December 7, and the allocation of free places has already been snapped up. Email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the reserve list.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Sparrow And The Workshop – One Brush.
Blindfolds have split up after three years together – they bow out with the release of new video Lucid.
November 22, 2013: New video via YouTube… Young Aviators – We’ve Got Names For Folk Like You.
New video via YouTube… The Pastels – Kicking Leaves.
New video via YouTube… Conscious Route feat Werd & Jordan Butler – Friends Til The End.
New gig… The Xcerts at Aberdeen’s Downstairs on December 21.
New gig… Glasgow’s Dirty Weekender across five venues on February 28-March 1 featuring Mark Morriss (The Bluetones), Mark Gardener (Ride), Bombskare, etc.
November 21, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Withered Hand – Black Tambourine.
New video via YouTube… Jo Mango – When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree, taken from When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree EP, out on December 2.
CHVRCHES’ gig for TYCI’s Christmas Party on December 21 has been moved to Glasgow’s SWG3 due to a delay in the reopening of The Vic venue at The Art School.
New gig… The Jezabels at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on February 26, plus ticket bundles with new album The Brink.
November 20, 2013: Arctic Monkeys have been announced as the one of headliners at next year’s T in the Park on July 11-13. Tickets go on sale on November 22.
New gig… The Christmas Songwriters’ Club at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall on December 22 featuring Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison, Kid Canaveral, Broken Records, Miaoux Miaoux, Siobhan Wilson, TeenCanteen with Eugene Kelly, Karine Polwart & Findlay Napier, We See Lights and Very Well.
New song stream via SoundCloud… SOS – Fake Hallelujah.
November 19, 2013: New video via YouTube… Franz Ferdinand – Bullet.
Free EP download via Bandcamp… King Post Kitsch – The Silver Screen.
New video via YouTube… The Amazing Snakeheads – Flatlining.
November 18, 2013: CHVRCHES have been confirmed as the live band for TYCI’s Christmas Party at Glasgow’s Art School on December 21.
New album trailer via YouTube… Withered Hand – New Gods, due out in February.
New Beerjacket album Darling Darkness will be released on January 27.
New tour… The Winter Tradition at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on February 6, Stirling’s Tolbooth on February 7, Aberdeen’s Cafe Drummond on February 8, Inverness’ Mad Hatters on February 9, Galashiels’ Heriot-Watt Student Union on February 10, Dundee’s Duke’s Corner on February 11 and Perth’s Twa Tams on February 15.
November 17, 2013: Glasgow venue King Tut’s has unveiled it line-up for the fourth annual King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution on January 3-16, with the likes of Campfires In Winter, Cherri Fosphate, Book Group, Garden Of Elks, Saint Max And The Fanatics and Quinny featuring on all-local bills.
Labels, musicians and fans are being invited to register albums released by Scottish artists in 2013 for consideration for next year’s SAY Award.
November 15, 2013: French Wives will play their last ever gig at Glasgow’s Mono on December 19 after announcing they are splitting up.
New video via YouTube… There Will Be Fireworks – Youngblood.
New album release via iTunes… Ministry Of Stories – Share More Air, an album of children’s lyrics set to original music including Rachel Sermanni’s Love Story.
New song stream via Bandcamp… Water Of Life – Sources And Springs / Abercrombie, 1949, an art-science collaboration between Tommy Perman and Rob St. John exploring flows of water through Edinburgh.
November 14, 2013: New gig… The Wee Chill Festive Weekender at Glasgow’s SWG3 on December 22, featuring Admiral Fallow, Washington Irving, The Little Kicks, Call To Mind and Atom Tree.
The Big Apple Award has launched its annual competition, with an all-expenses-paid trip to play New York City in April 2014 up for grabs. The deadline for applications is December 2, before the winner is picked from a shortlist of five Scottish performers at Glasgow’s Garage on December 11. The last two victors were Stanley Odd and Song Of Return.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Mike Nisbet – Traveling Blues (demo)
November 13, 2013: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations will incorporate an afternoon of free live music on January 1. Starting at the National Museum of Scotland at noon, the guest-curated SCOT:LANDS event will feature performances across nine Old Town venues by the likes of King Creosote, Withered Hand, RM Hubbert, Lau and FOUND as well as a production of Whatever Gets You Through The Night.
New video via YouTube… Washington Irving – Palomides , director James Houston claims it’s the world’s first autostereogram music video.
New video via YouTube… Nightmare Boy – Paranoid (Black Sabbath cover).
New video via Vevo… KT Tunstall – Made Of Glass.
November 12, 2013: New album release via Bandcamp… Medals – Disguises, new project of Sucioperro’s JP Reid.
New event… Vic Galloway – Songs In The Key Of Fife book reading + Withered Hand + Kid Canaveral at Glenrothes’ Rothes Halls on November 29.
New album stream via SoundCloud… Kobi Onyame – Glory, available to buy on iTunes.
November 11, 2013: Next year’s MTV Europe Music Awards will be held at Glasgow’s Hydro on November 9.
Arches singer Michael Rice has left the band, with guitarist Barry Morrell taking over vocal duties.
New EP release via SoundCloud…. Casual Sex – The Bastard Beat, streaming on SoundCloud.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Mike Nisbet – What Will Be Will Be (demo).
November 8, 2013: BBC ALBA programme Buskers has returned for a second series, with the first two episodes available to watch on iPlayer. Episode 2′s spotlight on Glasgow features Donald Macdonald, Alan Tennie, Anna Shields and Holly Wilson.
November 7, 2013: New gigs… Fireside Acoustic Sessions (organised by Comets & Cartwheels) at Glasgow’s Drake Bar featuring free stripped-back sets from Friends In America + Prehistoric Friends on November 7, Finn LeMarinel on November 14, Randolph’s Leap on November 21 and Honeyblood + LightGuides on November 28.
New gig… There Will Be Fireworks + Friends In America + The Youth And Young at Strathaven’s Old Mill Studios on December 7.
November 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… Prides – Roar (Katy Perry cover for Vic Galloway session).
New song stream via YouTube… Fridge Magnets – Chase The Sun.
Rachel Sermanni has set up a PledgeMusic page for pre-orders of her Everything Changes EP.
Free song download via SoundCloud… This Silent Forest – Root To The Seed, taken from debut album Indivision.
New song stream via Gold Flake Paint… Book Group – The Lowdown of A LOUD Sound, taken from Victory Lap / The Lowdown Of A LOUD Sound single, out on November 25.
New video via YouTube… The Button Men – Man With A Plan.
November 5, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud (today only)… There Will Be Fireworks – Elder And Oak.
New video via YouTube… CHVRCHES – Lies.
The Birthday Suit have a PledgeMusic campaign featuring various incentives and packages to go with pre-orders of their third album A Hollow Hole Of Riches, out in April.
BrewDog Records has been set up by the Scottish craft beer company with its first official release being The Shiverin’ Sheiks single Guided Missiles, taken from the band’s debut album A Curious Case Of…, out on November 20.
November 4, 2013: New album release via Bandcamp… Washington Irving – Palomides: Volume II.
New album release via iTunes… Kobi Onyame – Glory.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Over The Wall – Radiator, taken from This Is How We Did It EP, out on December 9.
November 1, 2013: New gig… There Will Be Fireworks + Friends In America + Kevin Harper at Glasgow’s SWG3 on November 22.
Arctic Monkeys have rescheduled tonight’s show at Glasgow’s Hydro to November 21 as singer Alex Turner has laryngitis. All original tickets remain valid.
New video via YouTube… Michael Cassidy – Everybody’s Scared. He plays with Beerjacket + Julia And The Doogans at Glasgow’s Mono on December 5.
October 31, 2013: New video via YouTube… Nightmare Boy – Mary (first solo offering of ex-Kassidy member Barrie-James O’Neill).
New video via YouTube… Frightened Rabbit – Holy.
A fan-led campaign to boycott all of Idlewild’s side-projects in the hope of spurring them to make new music has been attacked by band member Rod Jones. The guitarist, who also fronts The Birthday Suit, wrote: “If anything this just has the opposite effect in that it made me really consider whether I wanted to make music anymore. My other band The Birthday Suit and its touring and releasing records has absolutely no bearing or influence on whether and when an Idlewild tour or album might happen.”
October 30, 2013: New gigs… The Reflektors (Arcade Fire) at Glasgow’s Barrowland on November 15 and November 16 – general sale from November 1; presale passwords are available to those who pre-ordered the band’s new album from their official website.
New album release via iTunes… Cairn String Quartet – One (streaming on SoundCloud) featuring orchestral covers of Lana Del Rey, Coldplay, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Ocean Colour Scene etc.
October 29, 2013: Free song download via official website… Mogwai – Remurdered (streaming on SoundCloud), taken from eighth album Rave Tapes, out on January 20.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Pinact – Brew.
New video via YouTube… The LaFontaines – All She Knows.
Free song download via SoundCloud… SOS – ROCK N ROLL.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Madison – Mending, taken from Mending EP, out now.
Gig venue change…. Katie Sutherland plays Glasgow’s Faktory instead of Mackintosh Church on November 2.
October 28, 2013: New album release via Comets & Cartwheels… Blood Relatives – Deerheart.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Call To Mind – A Family Sketch.
New album release via Lost Map… Monoganon – F A M I L Y, streaming in full on Gold Flake Paint.
October 25, 2013: Born To Be Wide will host a seminar on record shops at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on November 7. Panelists include Rose Norton (Coda), Sandy McLean (Love Music) and Darren Yeates (VoxBox).
New gig… Blood Relatives album launch at Glasgow’s Bar & Fly on October 26.
New gig… Scottish Fiction presents Beerjacket & Friends + Julia And The Doogans at Glasgow’s Mono on December 5.
New song stream via SoundCloud… The LaFontaines – All She Knows (Prides remix).
The 1975, Nina Nesbitt and The 10:04s have been added to the Concert in the Gardens bill at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay alongside Pet Shop Boys. Other stages feature CHVRCHES, Django Django and King Creosote.
October 24, 2013: New gig… TYCI Christmas Party featuring secret live act plus DJ sets from CHVRCHES + Pretty Ugly + Adele Bethel at Glasgow’s Art School on December 21.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Honeyblood – Kissing On You.
New gig… Starz In Their Eyes featuring RM Hubbert + Eagleowl + The Pictish Trail + Kid Canaveral + Two Wings (each covering a female artist of their choice) at Edinburgh’s Pilrig St Paul’s Church on November 23.
October 23, 2013: New video via YouTube… Siobhan Wilson – All Dressed Up.
New video via YouTube… TeenCanteen – Honey.
New video via YouTube… Young Fathers – Low, taken from forthcoming album Dead, out on February 3.
New video via YouTube… Biffy Clyro – Sounds Like Balloons.
New EP release via Bandcamp… End Of Neil – Less.
October 22, 2013: Local Natives’ Nik Ewing had his Fender Coronado bass guitar stolen during their gig at The Arches in Glasgow last night – contact police if you spot it.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Michael Cassidy – Everybody’s Scared, out on November 28.
October 21, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… TeenCanteen – Honey, out on October 28. They play Edinburgh’s Summerhall on October 25, Glasgow’s Rio Cafe on October 26 (free) and Aberfeldy Festival on November 3.
New album release via Bandcamp… Saint Max & The Fanatics – Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead.
New video via YouTube… Kobi Onyame – Goodbye World, Hello, taken from new album Glory, out on November 4.
Free download via official website… Plum – Death Comes With A Bow, taken from Betsy Thunder EP, out now.
October 18, 2013: Dumfries Music Conference has announced its upcoming four-day programme of free events in the town.
October 30: Screening of LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits at Robert Burns Centre.
October 31: Music Industry Experts seminar featuring The Pop Cop and others at The Stove (ticketed).
November 1: Songwriting Workshops featuring Findlay Napier + Finding Albert’s Robert Shields at The Stove.
November 1: Live showcase featuring Hector Bizerk + Honeyblood + Barstow Bats at The Stove (ticketed).
November 2: Record Fair featuring Rebecca Vasmant (Ministry Of Sound) + Jason Reid (Sub Club) at The Stove.
October 17, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Washington Irving – Babble. Their track Palomides is also available for free download. Both are taken from Palomides: Volume II album, out on November 4.
New video via Clash… The Birthday Suit – A Bigger World, out on November 4.
New video via YouTube… Atom Tree – Die For Your Love, taken from Tide Of Thorns EP, out on October 18.
Free gig… Rachel Sermanni at Glasgow’s Love Music on October 21 (5pm).
October 16, 2013: New video via YouTube… Colin Macleod – Devil Pavement (Live from the Green Bus), taken from The Anchor EP, out on October 21. On the same day he will play instore sets at Edinburgh’s Coda Music (1pm) and Glasgow’s Love Music (5.30pm).
57ᵒ North have published their Guide To DIY Gig Promotion – a useful resource for anyone venturing into this side of the music business.
Michael Cassidy will play at the opening night party for Glasgow’s The Bar & Fly on October 19.
Free gig… French Wives + Randolph’s Leap + Laki Mera + The Graveyard Band + Donald Macdonald And The Islands + The Mademoiselle for 1st Birthday Bash at Glasgow’s Broadcast on October 25 (RSVP required).
October 15, 2013: New video via YouTube… Travis – Mother.
New video via YouTube…. Casual Sex – Nothing On Earth, taken from The Bastard Beat EP, out on October 28.
October 14, 2013: Anna Sweeney, who spoke out on The Pop Cop about her mental health issues after quitting her solo career, has started a new project with Maeve McCrorie called The Scarlings. They play their first gig at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on October 31.
October 12, 2013: New documentary via BBC iPlayer… The Great Hip Hop Hoax.
New song stream via Clash… Washington Irving – Palomides, taken from Palomides: Volume II album, out on November 4.
Free download via SoundCloud… Beerjacket – Glow (demo).
Free album download via Bandcamp… Louie & Bigg Taj – Paranoise.
October 11, 2013: New gig… Withered Hand at Edinburgh’s Whale Arts Centre on October 19 (free tickets) with free return coach travel from Waterloo Place as part of Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival.
New tour… Travis at Edinburgh’s Picture House on November 17, Inverness’ Ironworks on November 18, Aberdeen’s Music Hall on November 19 and Glasgow’s Barrowland on December 20.
October 10, 2013: The venue splits and stage times for Haddowfest in Edinburgh on October 11-12 have been released.
New video via YouTube… Honeyblood – Bud. The band play Glasgow’s Broadcast on October 29 and Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on October 30.
New video via YouTube… Camera Obscura – Troublemaker. The band’s Break It To You Gently double 7″ single is out now.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Saint Max & The Fanatics – Soul Surrender, taken from debut album Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead, out on October 21.
October 9, 2013: New video via YouTube… Katie Sutherland – Canvas. She plays Glasgow’s Mackintosh Church on November 2.
New gig… Rachel Sermanni + Bwani Junction + Vigo Thieves at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on November 23 (for War Child). Rachel’s The Boatshed Sessions EP is out on October 21.
The Great Hip Hop Hoax will be broadcast on BBC Two Scotland on October 11 at 9pm.
LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits will be shown for free at Dumfries’ Robert Burns Centre on October 30 as part of Dumfries Music Conference which runs from October 30 to November 2.
October 8, 2013: CHVRCHES, Django Django, King Creosote, The Rezillos, Treacherous Orchestra and Fiddlers’ Bid have been announced to play Edinburgh’s Hogmanay street party alongside headliners Pet Shop Boys.
New song stream via SoundCloud… SOS – ROCK N ROLL.
October 7, 2013: New song stream via YouTube… The LaFontaines – All She Knows, out on October 27; B-side My Yo-Yo available now on iTunes.
New album release via iTunes… The Fratellis – We Need Medicine.
New album release via Bandcamp… The Grand Gestures – Second.
New album release via Fortuna POP!… The Spook School – Dress Up.
October 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… De Rosa – Spectres. The band play their first gig in four years as part of Kid Canaveral’s Xmas Baubles IV at Edinburgh’s Portobello Town Hall on December 14.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Beerjacket – Androgynous (The Replacements cover).
New album stream via SoundCloud… L.Pierre – Neverland Transmission, A Disney Mix (tracklist on Dazed and Confused).
October 4, 2013: 57º North will run a free music journalism training course at Aberdeen’s Seventeen every Wednesday for four weeks from October 23. Email email@example.com to apply for one of six spaces.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Katie Sutherland – Canvas, out on November 18.
New gigs via Ticketmaster… The Twilight Sad performing debut album Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on December 20 and December 21.
New album release via Bandcamp… The Little Kicks – Put Your Love In Front Of Me.
New video via BBC iPlayer… Rapal – Series 7, Episode 8, featuring Vukovi, Donald Macdonald And The Islands, The Velveteen Saints, The River 68′s and Conquering Animal Sound.
October 3, 2013: The Glasgow venue formerly known as The Barfly, which shut in February 2009, will reopen as The Bar & Fly at the same location on Clyde Street on October 18.
New video via YouTube… The Deep Red Sky – Kids (MGMT cover), out on October 7.
New song via YouTube… Finn LeMarinel – Love Is Waves (demo).
October 2, 2013: Free album download via UK Rock Radio… Free Sample Issue #03 featuring songs by The Xcerts, Sparrow And The Workshop, Admiral Fallow, A Band Called Quinn, Mull Historical Society and Unkle Bob.
Meursault frontman Neil Pennycook will be a guest speaker at Born To Be Wide’s seminar on promoting gigs, which takes place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on October 3.
New video via YouTube… We Were Hunted – You Know Me Now.
What The Blood Revealed have announced they are splitting up.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Lorraine McCauley & The Borderlands – Belong.
October 1, 2013: Free song download via iTunes… CHVRCHES – Tether. Singer Lauren Mayberry has written a Guardian article about the online misogyny she has been suffering, it’s well worth a read.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Julia & The Doogans – Love At First Sight (Kylie Minogue cover).
New song stream via SoundCloud… Cold Crows Dead – Ghost That Burned Your House Down, taken from debut album I Fear A New World, out on December 2. The band is a collaboration between The Xcerts’ Murray Macleod and Brighton songwriter Paul Steel. They play Aberdeen’s Tunnels on December 10 and Glasgow’s King Tut’s on December 11.
We’re so excited about this month’s Music Alliance Pact we could explode since it gives us the exclusive privilege of inviting the world to download an incredible song by Scotland’s best new band of 2010 and makes us want to use exclamation marks in a frenzied fashion!!!
As ever, each country’s mp3 selection and the words that go with them come courtesy of the individual blogs, who simultaneously post the entire collection you see below on their own sites. Here for your pleasure then is the world’s greatest monthly mixtape…
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
The Unwinding Hours – Knut
The Unwinding Hours have quietly risen from the ashes of the much-loved Aereogramme and the early evidence suggests they’re going to be every bit as wondrous as their former guise. All the ingredients are there – the gorgeously gentle pacing, the elegant orchestration, Craig B’s yearning vocals. Knut, taken from their self-titled debut album due out early next year on Chemikal Underground, is a MAP exclusive sanctioned by the band and their record label.
January 31, ABC 1, Glasgow (tickets)
Entre Ríos – Frontera
Finally we get the chance to showcase this great indie-pop band from Buenos Aires on MAP. Entre Ríos is a musical project led by Sebastian Carreras (vocals, keyboards, guitar) that has been around since 1998. Their first albums were recorded with Isol as the main singer, but since her departure in 2005 they’ve featured different guest vocalists live and in the studio. Frontera is a MAP-exclusive premiere from their brand new EP that will be released in a couple of weeks, with Josefina Mac Loughlin on vocals.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Boy & Bear – Mexican Mavis
Sydney singer-songwriter Dave Hosking has taken a slight change of direction with his new outfit Boy & Bear. Releasing his first EP Marmalade Hill late last year, Hosking has decided to abandon the songs from the album (which I was still rather fond of) and start fresh, writing towards a more mature and original sound. Producer of the first EP, Andrew Macken, has proven to be a great collaborator with his intricate and almost narrative-based approach to the arrangement and production.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
The Name – Come Out Tonite
If I had to bet which Brazilian band could repeat the success of CSS on foreign lands it would be The Name. Assonance, their new well-produced EP, presents songs that could put them side by side with some of the greatest names of the post-punk revival of the 00s or the major bands of nu-rave scene. Come Out Tonite is here to prove it.
Magneta Lane – Love And Greed
Magneta Lane were on the verge of world (well, Canadian) domination a few years ago, and then they suddenly vanished. They’re back now with a new album, Gambling With God, but you wouldn’t know it from the total lack of support the album is getting from both the band and their label. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty outstanding release, and as songs like Love And Greed show, Magneta Lane could still conquer the world… assuming, that is, they want to.
CHILE: Super 45
Astro – Raifilter
Alongside electro-poppers Moustache, Astro (Andrés Nusser and Octavio Cavieres) is one of those noble bands cultivating the sound of acts such as MGMT or The Knife – just on the verge of the night spectrum of pop – acquiring a good combination of simplicity and a good dose of highly contagious fun for their debut album Le Disc Du Astrou. Following this trail, Raifilter is a song with a very special melody, the result of very intense arrangements as well excellent vocals courtesy of Nusser, who shapes a beach-like tune to give us a perfect excuse to have a neverending sound party.
Loudspeaker – I Will Be Back
Established in 1999, Loudspeaker is the hardcore pioneer in Shanghai. This song is from the I Will Be Back EP released in September. You can download the whole EP here. Loudspeaker’s new album will be ready at the beginning of 2010.
COLOMBIA: Colombia Urbana
Hety And Zambo – Proud
Hety And Zambo are a duo with the capacity to get you on your feet and dance. The Kings of Creole, as everyone knows them in the dancehall underground scene, came together six years ago in the island of San Andres with one objective – to create good music with their own rhythms, writings and language.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The Kites – Play
I stumbled across these guys on a MySpace cruise recently and was immediately charmed by their quite British-sounding pop-rock. The Kites may not be revolutionizing music, but less has been known to do it. Not least when it’s this infectious. Get Play exclusively via MAP and then head to their MySpace page and check out the equally excellent Balloons.
ENGLAND: The Daily Growl
Jeremy Warmsley – Dancing With The Enemy
Rather than something new this month, here’s an old favourite from one of my favourite British singer-songwriters, Jeremy Warmsley. It’s from his How We Became album of last year. If you like this, he’s got a free acoustic EP available via his MySpace and he’s also fronting a new band Acres, Acres. Watch out for them.
Antonina – Itsuyorimo
When Helene Vetik started to write music, she played on the streets to get some pocket money, started a high school punk-band that didn’t last long and sang at cheesy corporate parties. However, it was when she began to record her old songs into lo-fi electro-pop that she teamed up with Zanduro (keyboard) and Mihkel Masso (guitar) to form Antonina.
Cleaning Women – Across The Void
From planet Clinus 1 robots CW01, CW03 and CW04 (subbing for CW02 who was lost in action) create industrial avant garde music using a wide array of instruments, some rock lines, a few jazzy beats and a lot of funky grooves. The trio has just released its third album, U, which includes some futuristic tracks that could form the soundtrack of a Philip K Dick novel. One of them is the instrumental Across The Void, a good example of the spooky atmospheric music these hygienic robots make.
Kitsch Device – Is This Home Now?
Kitsch Device is a group straight out of the Parisian scene who take us on a high. They first started playing as a hobby but they now scour concert rooms in Paris and are always a blast to watch for their style and professionalism. Is This Home Now? carries a folk-rock melody which will make you shake your head and tap the floor with your foot to the beat.
Candelilla – #13
Candelilla is a female four-piece based in Munich. Their impulsive sound fits into no existing scheme – it varies from Dresden Dolls to Sonic Youth, from punky grunge to vanguard indie. Straight drums accompany the piano, a whetted guitar accents murky basslines, all highlighted by the staccato voices. #13 is the first single from their debut reasonreasonreasonreason.
Giannis Aggelakas – Volta Sto Dasos
Psyhi Vathia is the soundtrack for a movie directed by Pantelis Voulgaris. It takes place in 1949 and tells the story of two brothers who fight in two different camps during the Greek civil war. Giannis Aggelakas, who was singer and songwriter of the legendary rock band Trypes, composes an emotionally compelling score drawing on traditional musical heritage. Sad, evocative instrumental melodies rich with contemporary elements coalesce with ethnic nuance that depict the era and echo the film’s mood. Volta Sto Dasos (“Walk In The Woods”) is a marvelous track that reflects the two elements of the movie – pain and hope – through the lament of violin and the serenity of the guitar.
ICELAND: I Love Icelandic Music
Kimono – Black
Kimono is an experimental rock trio hailing from Reykjavik and Halifax, Canada. They have released three full-length albums, the last one in collaboration with Icelandic producer Curver (of Ghostigital). Black will be on their upcoming fourth album, Easy Music For Difficult People.
Pinknoise – Dream Dream
Pinknoise is an experimental rock act from Kolkata that takes nu-jazz sensibilities and combines them with angular, guitar-driven rock. Dream Dream comes from a soon-to-be-released live DVD. It’s the quintessential spacious, open jam that frontlady Jayashree Singh orchestrates with this band. With mid-song tempo changes and lazy atmospherics, it’s a fun five minutes through slacker town.
Santamonica – Bobsessed
Santamonica’s album Curiouser And Curiouser was praised by the media as an eclectic mixture of pop, bossa nova, electronic and classic waltz drawing influences from Astrud Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim and My Bloody Valentine to classic Disney soundtracks.
Band On An Island – Back Disco
The debut release from Kildare’s Band On An Island, The Sound Sweep, revels in the details of hometown life, taking in nights by the campfire, love, drinking, getting into trouble, picking yourself up again and this cute nightclub-themed song featuring the vocals of Claire Prendergast. Combine these myriad of issues with the music – a mix of country, folk, raucous guitar music and heartfelt ballads – and you’ve got the essence of Band On An Island.
Annie Hall – Morning News
It would be too easy to describe the sound of the Annie Hall as a Beatles influence revised through a folk sensibility. But this way you would overlook the simple fact that these songs are truly touching in such an immediate way. Annie Hall just released their second album and are now ready to spend the next months touring the country non-stop, as they usually do.
JAPAN: JPOP Lover
Sebastian X – Tour Star People
Sebastian X are an impressive Tokyo-based outfit with indie-pop and punkish leanings. Their brilliant debut album Wonderful World was finally released last week. The band, who don’t use guitars, have catchy melodies driven by the cute pop vocal of Manatsu Nagahara.
MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
Pepepe (feat. Cyane) – Sleep With You
Here is a track from Pepepe’s latest album, Roba Orgón de Plantas y Animales, released on the Poni Republic label. Pepepe is one of the monikers of Pesina Siller, a 21-year-old electronic musician and visual artist who was ranked among the top 50 in Radiohead’s Reckoner remix contest. He’s the kid behind various projects that show the multiple faces to his mystic persona, with sounds that go from dubstep to psychedelic folk. This song is full of clicks, cuts, lots of aleatory processing and a beautiful collaboration with Guadalajara’s vocalist Cyane.
NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
Psychic Powers – Wellington
Psychic Powers are an international duo – Nik Brinkman is a New Zealander and Alejandro Cohen is from Los Angeles. The two collaborate on songwriting from opposite sides of the world via the internet. This piece of very 80s sounding synth-pop is about Nik’s home town, New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington – bringing together the local and the global in a way that seems purpose made for the Music Alliance Pact. The song has been released on 7″ vinyl by US label Geographic North.
Kråkesølv – Privat Regn
Kråkesølv is a quartet from Bodø, a town in the north of Norway. They sing in their dialect and their music can be put somewhere between pop, indie and post-rock. The band have received much acclaim for their lyrics and the reviews of their recently released debut, Trådnøsting, have been very positive.
Los Protones – Swinging Lima
Los Protones are an instrumental band formed in Lima in 2007 who play in a style that combines psychedelia, surf and garage-rock. Their self-titled debut CD was released in February 2009 by the Peruvian label Discos Gordos. It is an album where there are no words, although they’re not necessary – the guitar solos are the universal language and the titles of songs such as El Desvío paint pictures that could easily relate to the soundtrack of our experiences.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Casino Royal – Casino Royal Deluxe
Led by Pedro Janela, Casino Royal are a quintet from Figueira da Foz, a town known for its sandy beaches and its casino built in the 19th century. Casino Royal create music that takes us back to a certain living by the post-war European jetset. Would you like your cocktail shaken or stirred?
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Silent Strike – 27
Silent Strike (Ioan Titu) is a 27-year-old electronic music composer and sound designer from Bacau. He is influenced by Aphex Twin, Future Sound Of London, Orbital and opened for Faithless and Bonobo. 27 is a little gem of electronic sounds arranged in an acoustic manner and it was released for his birthday.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Lunarin – Ariel (File Under Easy Listening remix)
Singapore is a small country, so we’ve formed a rather close-knit bunch of musicians and friends. One such collaboration between friends happens to be The Lard Brothers’ remix of Lunarin’s Ariel. While a relatively new group, The Lard Brothers have been busy making waves spinning as a DJ group and religiously reworking many classic songs by Singaporean bands. Their efforts don’t go unrecognised with this trip-hop laced remix of Ariel by the melodic rock band, Lunarin, perfect for the monsoon season that’s hitting our shores just about now.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Die Heuwels Fantasties – Our Heritage
Die Heuwels Fantasties are an Afrikaans group, incorporating elements of many genres, from hip-hop beats, flat out dance beats, to rap and rock sounds. Die Heuwels Fantasties teamed up with The Soweto Gospel Choir, HHP and JR to produce a song for Heritage Day. The song is called Our Heritage and features Pierre Greeff of Die Heuwels Fantasties singing in English. All in all, it’s a song with the message to celebrate our heritage and our unity as South Africans – artfully combining the many different cultural spheres into a feelgood track.
SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Playgirl – Happy Mania
Female trio Playgirl emerged in September with a retro pop sound from a time when James Bond was still played by Sean Connery. Inspired by The Pipettes, equipped with identical outfits and cute dance moves, Playgirl is currently the most adorable act to come out of Korea.
Madamm – Örnen
There’s very little info online about this mostly all-girl group from Gothenburg. I was struck by the band’s wanton energy and the loose nature of their songs. Örnen is a demo so who knows what its final shape may be, but I hope they retain the song’s raw energy.
Bon Mod – Chocolate Cheesecake
Chemistry is all there is to a band. After meeting about a year ago, the duo started working together instantly as Bon Mod. They take their love of partying and a reckless attitude to make indie, electro and disco-flavored songs. They are possibly the most exciting new band for the season ahead.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
People Eating People – All The Hospitals
People Eating People is the solo work of Nouela Johnston, previously known for her work with Pacific Northwestern act Mon Frere. Her self-titled debut LP is a blending of Fiona Apple’s emotion with Regina Spektor’s penchant for melody. All The Hospitals is a catchy tune – we’ll see if Johnston can separate herself from the crowded female pack.
VENEZUELA: Barquisimeto Musical
Amigos Invisibles – Mentiras
Amigos Invisibles (“Invisible Friends”) has been around the alternative/funk/pop local scene for many years. Their groovy rhythms and funny lyrics, filled with Venezuelan pop culture, made them legends in their country and finally got the attention of music lovers worlwide, touring Latin America, USA and Australia. They signed with David Byrne’s Luaka Pop label in 1996. To celebrate their Latin Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album, I have selected a song from that record, Comercial, called Mentiras.
To download all 34 songs in one file click here