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.
read.In case you missed it, last month The Guardian published a feature on this thing we do called the Music Alliance Pact, which is well worth a
Here’s how they explained the concept of MAP (for anyone who doesn’t already know what it is): “On the 15th day of each month, [the MAP bloggers] cross post an identical list of every member’s local band of the moment, accompanied by a description and sample mp3. MAP is a monthly global compilation tape from a not-for-profit musical cartel, one that exposes the bands (most untouched by A&R or PR people) to new audiences.”
This month we’ve recruited another new international blog, 78s, so if you’ve ever wondered what music from Switzerland sounds like then wonder no more.
The Pop Cop’s handpicked Scottish choice for the April 2010 edition is the excitable WASHINGTON IRVING, so scroll down and treat yourself to a free download of their song The Magician. You can also watch a high-quality live video of the band playing another of their excellent songs here.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Washington Irving – The Magician
Named after the American author who wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, the music of this Glasgow-based group isn’t as bookish as their moniker might suggest. Instead, they deliver irrepressibly wild, rambunctious folk-rock that taps into the raw energy of The Pogues, which explains why Washington Irving’s live shows never fail to win them new fans. The band have just finished recording a new EP which will be released this summer.
Ivana Berenstein – Ahora
The songs of young singer-songwriter Ivana Berenstein follow certain traditions from Argentine folk music, bossa nova and bolero, but add modern textures and harmonies to it. Ahora is the first single from her debut album No Te Duermas and has Coiffeur (check out MAP December 2009) as a guest vocalist.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Flight Facilities featuring Giselle Roselli – Crave You (Bxentric remix)
I don’t know much about Flight Facilities, and I don’t know much about 19-year-old Giselle Roselli either, except now that I’ve heard this song, I definitely want to know more. According to her MySpace, she has contributed vocals to Flight Facilities and Seekae and recorded her own material, some of which you can listen to on the site. As if that’s not cool enough, she has had a song featured on British TV series Skins. How she does it and remains unchampioned by the blogging world, I don’t know. But I hope you keep your ears out because we are going to hear more about this girl very soon no doubt.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Maquinado – SP
Maquinado is the side-project of Lucio Maia, guitarist of Nacao Zumbi (probably the most relevant band in Brazil in the ’90s that is still active). In this project he works with some artists from the country’s new music scene, especially the ones from Sao Paulo, the city where he lives and pays homage to in this song, SP. It is taken from his second album Mundialmente Anonimo – O Magnetico Sangramento Da Existencia, released last month, and features a heavy guitar sound that recalls the time when Lucio was a member of Soulfly (the band created by heavy metal singer Max Cavalera when he left Sepultura).
Old Crowns – Keep Calm
Old Crowns describe their sound as “stoner country”, and on this song – like the rest of their recently released debut – it’s easy to see why. Twangy vocals and folkie strumming sit comfortably alongside squalls of feedback and fuzzy guitars, with the end result being something that sounds familiar and comfortable and fresh and exciting all at once.
CHILE: Super 45
Los Mil Jinetes – Un Lugar Desconocido
Los Mil Jinetes (“A Thousand Horsemen”) is the band of Cristobal Briceno y Andres Zanetta, two guys plus some live assistance. They have released two records from which we can see a clear evolution in their talent when it comes to mixing several influences (folk, indie-rock, bolero and romantic ballads). Fortunately, they do this avoiding soulless pastiche, creating a unique style of colorful melodies and friendly lyrics. Un Lugar Desconocido is taken from their latest downloadable album, Reconoceronte.
Kamutang – Whirlpool
At the beginning of 2007, a group of young kids came together through their passion for rock music and formed Kamutang. It is their idea and emotion. Their songs have been compiled into Lighting Of Tomorrow, released by Pilot Records.
COLOMBIA: Colombia Urbana
Lil’ Poeta – Nina Estupida
A rude girl from the hood is probably the best way to describe Lil’ Poeta, a songwriter from Medellin. With no fear to speak the truth in her songs, Lil’ Poeta tries to offer an alternative lyrical sound in a saturated musical world.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Let Me Play Your Guitar – Beauty
At the turn of the last decade, Let Me Play Your Guitar self-released their debut EP Doing Rainbows (get it onBandcamp) with five 1960s-tinged folk-pop songs. Fronted by brothers Emil and Jeppe Davidsen, LMPYG excites with sweeping yet mellow and intimate pop arrangements from an enchanted land bordering Fleet Foxes and Simon & Garfunkel – one excellent example being the MAP exclusive Beauty.
ENGLAND: The Daily Growl
David Thomas Broughton – Walking Over You
This month’s entry is a song that’s five years old because recorded material from David Thomas Broughton is fairly hard to come by. Not that he’s lazy, it’s just that live performance is more his thing and that’s where he’s best experienced. Those of us who live in London are lucky because we get most chances to catch his unique shows, which have to be seen to be fully appreciated. My words here are not adequate. That said, he can write great songs too, as this one ably demonstrates.
QueeNNaive – My Soul
QueeNNaive are a lo-fi disco duo formed in 2007 by lead vocalist Sandra Z originally as an anti-pop movement. Now, ironically, with lo-fi becoming more mainstream, QueeNNaive have ended up wrapped in the world of pop music, still remaining somewhere between stand-up comedy and Italo disco. Their ear-cracking mono ’80s sound, easygoing lyrics, glam image and crazy performances have become their unique signature.
Kartsy – Round The Roundabout
For more than two decades, Kartsy Hatakka has been the leader of the experimental metal band Waltari, exploring anything from death to symphonic metal. But now it is time to fly solo and Kartsy has put together a new band to record a bunch of pop metal songs for his first solo album which will be released on May 26. Heavy guitar riffs with catchy melodies and sparkling piano in a cross between Foo Fighters and HIM.
Smooth – Friendly Yours
When listening to Smooth’s music you get the strange impression of meeting an old friend or a road companion. Their music draws on our own imagination where it moulds itself, each day, each rainy season, with pleasure or ecstasy. The trio borrow and mix sounds and rhythms from their forefathers, which they put back together with inventiveness, jubilation and sensuality. Friendly Yours starts off Smooth’s new album The Parade at a wild pace.
Like A Stuntman – MC Sensation
This four-piece from Hamburg is loaded with creativity. Like A Stuntman merges elements of playful ambient, psychedelia and sincere indie to a quite distinctive sound unmatched in Germany. Discreet but nethertheless catchy, MC Sensation is an outstanding song from their album Original Bedouin Culture.
Playground Noise – The Divers
Infusing melancholy with a tense, literate sense of foreboding, Playground Noise strikes the perfect balance between moody, underground noise and melody. Drama and dark dollops of synths, brass and strings swarm beautifully around the vocals, guitars soar into the stratosphere, and intense crescendos linger over delicate, breathy passages. They create a shadowy veil of sadness, shot through with hopeful transcendence. Playground Noise has crafted a statement of intent, one that hopefully suggests a continuingly bold future.
ICELAND: I Love Icelandic Music
Eliza - Hopeless Case
London-based Eliza Newman Geirsdottir was the lead singer of the all-girl band Bellatrix (Kolrassa Krokridandi) and the rock band Skandinavia. She’s a trained opera singer and also plays violin, guitar, ukulele and piano. In 2007, she released her first solo album Empire Fall on Lavaland Records. Hopeless Case is from her second solo album Pie In The Sky, released on the Smekkleysa label last year.
Bottlesmoker – Free Hugs
Bottlesmoker are an electronica-pop duo with a passion for glockenspiel, keyboard toys and other funny instruments to create humble compositions of simple orchestration. And even if they have not yet released any physical release, they have a fanbase that is growing steadily while the duo keep spreading free music.
Yes Cadets – Rufio
This Belfast quartet make sweet nuggets of danceable indie-pop that worms in your ears and stays there. Rufio is taken from their self-titled debut EP and has hooks galore. By the time the cascading female vocals come in, you’ll be sold.
ISRAEL: Metal Israel
Babylon Awaits – Primal
Industrial cyber-metal from the Holy Land introduces biotechnological talons into your nervous system with infectious beats and catchy melodies reminiscent of acts from Information Society to Nine Inch Nails and everything in between.
The Record’s – Rodolfo
If you agree that a perfect mixtape for the spring should include Vampire Weekend, some Britpop anthems and The Beatles then De Fauna Et Flora, the second album by The Record’s, is going to be the bright soundtrack you’ve been looking for.
JAPAN: JPOP Lover
NJ – La Sakura
Cherry blossom season is almost over here in Japan. Its beauty is too short for us. But we have one good J-pop song about it called La Sakura by Tokyo duo NJ, who consist of female singer Jun and guitarist Nori. It has an oriental melody and sound texture with a traditional Japanese flavor.
MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
Liber Teran – Lola
Even if Mexican ska gang Los de Abajo were heralded by BBC Radio 3 as the best artist of the Americas, back in 2003, frontman Liber Teran knew it was time to start his own path. With a fistful of pesos, the self-proclaimed gypsy-cowboy recorded his first solo album, Gitano Western, in 2008, clearly following Joe Strummer, David Byrne and Manu Chao’s steps with songs that evoked a rootsy and dusty atmosphere. This year, he decided to look for the origins of his own genealogical tree, hiring the horn section of a Sinaloa schoolband trained in polka and teaching them to play Mediterranean, Turkish and Slavic rhythms. Tambora Sound System is a dark collection of nine unza-unza vignettes.
NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam Event Guide
Tree House – Water And Pyramid
Delightfully experimental and blissfully tuneful at the same time, this Amsterdam-based act is just one of numerous Dutch groups that have drawn inspiration from the world around them, added electronic beats and tropical rhythms, rolled them about together, included a freaky live element to the performance and truly made musical art. If Holland needs a new musical direction, let it be this. Watch out for similar music on Cottage Industry Records.
NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
The Renderers – Deep Deep Sea
For two decades the husband and wife duo of Brian and Maryrose Crook have been creating music that brings together a country fragility like that of Bonnie Prince Billy (who they have have played backing band for) with an alternative guitar feedback maelstrom. From their latest album Monsters And Miasmas, the song Deep Deep Sea showcases both elements and is a return to the ocean theme the harbourside-residing band have visited throughout their career.
Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson – To Sit Down Or To Follow, So I Follow
Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson released their self-titled second album earlier this year on How Is Annie Records. It’s probably easiest to place them in the post-rock or dream-pop category – long, beautiful and atmospheric tracks with a strong focus on the melodies. On the new album, YPoFH have been working with producer Sjur Lyseid (Little Hands of Asphalt, Monzano), and if you know his own work, it’s easy to hear his influence. YPoFH is one of those rare bands who have been around for a long time but still manage to develop their sound.
Theremyn_4 – Milnueve84
Theremyn_4 are considered by the public and the critics as one of the most important electronic live acts from Peru in recent times, even with their 10-year career. Based in Lima, their style combines experimental textures, urban life, science fiction and the spectacular visual effects that accompany their concerts. Last year they released their sixth album, Inflamable, which recycles beats of previous works, making something completely new. It is made for the dancefloor so grab your partner and move.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Youthless - Golden Age
Youthless are Sebastiano Ferranti (vocals, bass) and Alex Klimovitsky (vocals, synths and drums), an American and a Brit who made Lisbon their homes. They have played in another band but it is with Youthless and its electro-garage rock sound that they have gathered more media attention and a faithful legion of fans. Telemachy is their debut EP and can be downloaded for free here.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Mono Jacks – Maria
Mono Jacks are an alternative rock band based in Bucharest. The vocals and the lyrics remind me of Snow Patrol or Placebo, and the strong bass lines have something of Interpol’s angst. Their roots are clearly in the last decade of indie-rock. Their frontman is a former member of AB4, a great Romanian alternative act in the 90s.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
B-Quartet – A Dull Taste On My Tongue
B-Quartet’s music is a graceful concoction of progressive rock and whimsical poetry. Homaging rock greats Radiohead with the odd influence or two, the sextet hold their own in a sea of soundalikes. Fresh out of the oven, A Dull Taste On My Tongue is a cascading spiral of polyrhythms laced with beautiful guitar work and Bani Haykal’s ever fleeting vocals until it comes crashing into a momentous clash of instruments before switching back effortlessly into a state of zen. With B-Quartet, there are no compartments, no defined roles of what should or shouldn’t be done in music, only what they choose to say, and what we choose to make as simple truth.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Wrestlerish - Bad News
Wrestlerish are a four-piece that blend rock, country and folk as if these genres should have always been one. Bad News, taken from their first full-length album The Rude Mechanical, is a sincere serenade that shows off their creativity. They have the ability to capture the listener after just one listen and are a band that is going to go far. Mark my words.
SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
National Pigeon Unity – Whan
National Pigeon Unity don’t just have a fantastic name, they have a fantastic sound to go with it. Mixing post-rock with emo, modern rock with hardcore, pop-punk with grunge – usually all at the same time – their first full-length album Empathy, released in March, has proven strong enough to withstand weeks of repeated listening. Whan is a wonderfully moving, primarily instrumental song on the post-rock side.
The Eyeshades – In The Basement
I don’t know how I stumbled upon The Eyeshades from but I’m glad I did. The band is an odd combination of pop and rock with a little electronica added to the mix. They play a wide assortment of instruments and it’s this diversity of sound as well as the (at times) unusual compositional structure that make the band interesting.
My Heart Belongs To Cecilia Winter – Eighteen
In the past two years, this Zurich-based trio gained the reputation of an irresistible live band and stepped up from being a local phenomenon to an international insider tip. The band’s catchy yet erratic indie-folk songwriting with a rock ‘n’ roll heart, combined with their intuition for atmosphere and glamour, soon led to comparisons with Arcade Fire and earned them an ever-growing fanbase. Scott Matthew and Rufus Wainwright like them, concert-goers sway in euphoria and their debut record Our Love Will Cut Through Everything is a masterpiece.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Avi Buffalo – What’s In It For?
Having recently watched Avi Buffalo perform for the first time at SXSW, I’ve since been unable to avoid spinning their material. The young group from the coastlines of California have an eclectic sound and a self-titled debut LP coming out at the end of April. All indications point toward it being quite the treat.
Karma Coma – Si Te Digo
Karma Coma is a musical concept that fuses electronic trends with instruments such as acoustic and electric guitars, bass, keyboards, cello and violin. The musical genres explored by the band go from downtempo and electro, passing through breakbeat and big beat, to jungle and drum and bass. And it is all spiced with a big dose of rock ‘n’ roll, some bossa, Venezuelan folklore and Far and Middle-Eastern sounds.
To download all 35 songs in one file click here