December 9, 2013: Lost Map Records will host their first Howlin’ Fling! festival on the isle of Eigg on July 18-20. Johnny Lynch (The Pictish Trail) previously organised Away Game on the island in 2010 and 2012 through Fence Records. Tickets, which include ferry transportation to and from the mainland, will go on general sale on December 15.
Free song download via The Skinny… The Twilight Sad & RSNO – The Wrong Car (live at Paisley Abbey) (video here).
New EP release via Bandcamp… Over The Wall – This Is How We Did It.
December 8, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Kith & Kin – Someone I Love.
New mini-album release via Bandcamp… Ballboy – Merry Christmas To The Drunks, Merry Christmas To The Lovers.
New video via YouTube… Angus Munro – Shooting First, taken from Shooting First EP.
Free album download via Bandcamp… Lovers Turn To Monsters – Now That’s What I Call Slit Yr Wrist Christmas.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Jack James – Florence, taken from fifth album Stopping Distance, out on February 3.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Here is this month’s Music Alliance Pact, which somehow managed to be the only regular feature on The Pop Cop which wasn’t a casualty of Googlegate.
If you’re a new reader, here’s how it works: each MAP blog picks a song from their own country which is then made available as a free mp3 download on all of our individual blogs. Since MAP’s inception in October 2008, it has been my job to take charge of the organising, editing and diplomacy, but because of youknowwhat, my colleagues in Romania, Babylon Noise, took over the reins.
We do this on the 15th of every month so have a helping of what we picked for July, starting with some very likeable Scottish pop upstarts…
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Kid Canaveral – Good Morning
Kid Canaveral offer a free return ticket to the mainstream indie-pop sound of the 90s, favouring the irrepressible joy of melody ahead of racking up cool points. The frantic chug of Good Morning takes in some typically Scottish themes – drinking and going out – to give a welcome indication of what to expect from KC’s forthcoming debut album Shouting At Wildlife, which is released on July 5.
Springlizard – Docks Of The Okinoh
Two guys with acoustic guitars, ancestral melodies and lyrics, and Dreams Of The Wolf, a record with a limited edition of just 297 hand-made copies (you can get a digital version for free, just check their MySpace). Oh, and to Blogpartei readers: Springlizard will be touring Germany next August, so you better check them out!
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
World’s End Press – Golden Child
Not the easiest band name to roll off the tongue, but World’s End Press have done very well with their disco jams meets the Stone Roses sound. The live show is a full-on party set, selling out parties in their hometown, Melbourne. Also check out their previous track, Only The Brave, on their MySpace. Their debut album is being produced by fellow Melbournian electronic whiz Qua.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Superguidis – Nao Fosse O Bom Humor
Nao Fosse O Bom Humor is the main song of the third album of southern Brazilian band Superguidis, released a few months ago. Its heavy riff and melodic lines remembers some of the best times of Foo Fighters, an impression that gets even stronger live.
Ghostkeeper – Don’t Come Knocking
If The Libertines had grown up somewhere in the Canadian Prairies, Ghostkeeper is probably how they would’ve sounded. The band’s self-titled debut is one of the most creative and exciting things to come out so far this year, and this song has ample evidence of why that is.
CHILE: Super 45
El Sueno De La Casa Propia – Voluntad De Oro
Sample-based artist El Sueno De La Casa Propia (ESDLCP) started his music career moulding his own electronic version from Chilean folk music. But in his new album, Historial De Caidas -available on July 15 on Chilean net label Pueblo Nuevo – Jose Manuel Cerda (ESDLCP’s real name) takes a giant leap by adding elements from R’n'B and rock music that converge on a dynamic pop album. An essential and long awaited album, introducing a stronger organic sound; a clear improvement from previous works.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Kellermensch – Black Dress (Live)
Kellermensch (who incidentally were also this blog’s very first MAP contribution) released their awesome debut album last year, which – apart from much praise – earned them invitations to do both an XFM and a BBC Radio 1 Live Session. At the end of July, a revamped version of the debut including four brand new songs will be released in the UK. First – and great – single, Army Ants, is out now but here’s a live version of Black Dress, recorded last November 21, to give you a sweet taste of the band’s supreme performances.
Junk Riot – Black Widow
Junk Riot is a four-piece garage/indie/experimental band from Tallinn. Their sound is built on high-pitched vocals and heavy usage of pitch-shifting/delay effects on guitar. Formed in late 2006, it took about a year to gain reputation as an exciting live band, a fresh breath of air in smoky clubs. Junk Riot was among one of the first Russian-speaking Estonian bands to be fully accepted by the Estonian indie scene.
Kim Curly Band – Passerby
With the alias of Kim Curly, singer Kimmo Numminen delivers sharp songwriting that combines intimate moments with full band Americana. Passerby, included in the Kim Curly Band debut album, is an uplifting rocker that reminds us of the most traditional Ryan Adams.
Sickcity – Julia
To name a constant insider’s tip, Sickcity is a good choice. This four-piece from Munich does manifold music, from danceable indietronics to waltz-rock. Although Julia has been around a while, it’s still one of my favourite songs. A tripping waltz accompanied by the intense voice of Daniel Shah, reminiscent of Marilyn Manson.
My Wet Calvin – Laps
My Wet Calvin is an experimental act with a DIY aesthetic that offers unconventional live performances and delivers a blend of shoegaze, pop, noise and intense drumming with shimmering guitars, synths, electronics and fragile vocals. All Great Events convincingly balances the scales of different sounds and textures, without sacrificing anything in terms of musical ideas or melody. Each song sounds like a distinct ray of light and although it’s packed into something both surprisingly subversive and cohesive, it’s the strength of each of them that makes the whole album stand out. Laps is a thrilling evidence of compelling, thoughtful craftsmanship. Just close your eyes and enjoy it. It’s even more satisfying.
ICELAND: I Love Icelandic Music
Feldberg – Dreamin
Feldberg was formed in January 2009 by Einar Tonsberg, better known as Eberg, and Rosa Birgitta Isfeld, the singer of the band Sometime. The duo decided to meet every Tuesday night for a couple of months and write some songs together. One of their songs, Don’t Be A Stranger, was used in an ad and later on released as a single. Debut album Don’t Be A Stranger was released by Icelandic label Cod Music last year. The song Dreamin was Song of the Year at the Icelandic Music Awards 2009.
Sunken Foal – Sailing Architrades
Signed to influential electronic label Planet Mu, Dunk aka Sunken Foal’s music is a compound of stringed instruments, analogue synthesizers and ambience, matched with a healthy dose of innovative beats. This once-off tune hasn’t found a home on a release yet, but if you like what you hear, check out his 2008 debut, Fallen Arches.
ISRAEL: Metal Israel
Spawn Of Evil – Screamager (Therapy Cover)
Spawn Of Evil is a rambunctious death/thrash Zionist metal band with straight up metal influences mixed with Middle Eastern groove and a sense of humor. This is a cover of Therapy?’s hit Screamager, approved by Therapy? themselves.
Les Mange-Tout – Weak Week
If you are invited for tea, just bring this album by Les Mange-Tout with you. One girl from Genova, one from Le Havre: they sure know how to rock the hell out of a tea party. Folk twee-pop with a magnificent attitude for weaved melodies, lovely choruses and nursery rhymes. Just add some glockenspiel and melodica, a double bass and a driver lent from the band The Calorifer Is Very Hot, too many super-cute vintage dresses and you’re done!
JAPAN: JPOP Lover
Kafuka – Tracer
Check the unreleased track from Hyogo’s underground electronica scene. Kafuka – just like the famous 20th century bohemian novelist – is an indie bedroom musician with ambient taste, playing lo-fi guitar. Deeply weird, but satisfying post-rock with synthwave jams.
MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
Torreblanca – Parece Navidad
Juan Manuel Torreblanca is a multi-instrumentalist (and illustrator) from Mexico City. His talents on the piano and accordion have been recruited by quite a few in the Mexican scene. His own compositions however are the real deal, as he fronts a full ensemble. Torreblanca counts on a quintet armed with a strong rhythm section and wind instruments. He and his fellow musicians recently released a debut titled Defensa, an astonishing first EP with just four songs full of great arrangements and confrontative, existentialist lyrics. Parece Navidad is the second and the most complex cut from this promising EP, after the homonymous first single.
NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
Thieves – Seizure
The first wave of iconic NZ label Flying Nun was the jangly indie-pop that became known around the world: bands like The Clean and The Chills. The second wave came in the 90s – the music was noisier and darker – and it was some of my favourite music of all time. It’s this second wave of Flying Nun that Thieves invoke on their excellent self-titled EP. Thieves’ brooding alternative guitar rock is showcased on the EP’s centrepiece, Seizure. They have two EPs available to download from http://thievesss.bandcamp.com
Suspicious For The Winter – Empty Streets
Suspicious For The Winter is a project formed from two of Oslo’s freshest indie bands, Casa Murilo and Like Spinning. The two bands joined as Suspicious For The Winter on EardrumsPop’s free compilation, Between Two Waves, where all songs are made as collaborations between bands. You can download the full 40 songs compilation on eardrumspop.com or listen on http://soundcloud.com/eardrumspop. Check out the two bands’ music on http://www.myspace.com/casamurilo and http://www.myspace.com/like_spinning.
Electro-Z – En Ficcion
Electro-Z was one of those strange flashes that sometimes happen in music. His self-titled album is 10 years old and is remembered as the glow of innovation that ended with the war of styles in the Peruvian music scene of the last decade. Electro-Z made his sound from the link created between the distortion of rock and the coolness of pop, and found his key in the unification of these genres. En Ficcion is a good example of all these. Although the style seemed unclassifiable at that time, it would be later known as indie.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Pop Dell Arte – Ritual Transdisco
We are proud to bring here one of the most important Portuguese alternative bands, celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. Led by Joao Peste, they have been exploring and composing lyrics and sounds that you never heard anywhere. Ritual Transdisco is their first single from the just released new album, Contra Mundum.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Butterflies In My Stomach – Another You
Butterflies In My Stomach started as a project in the spring of 2005. They are one of the few bands in the acid jazz/nu-jazz/trip-hop area in Romania. The name comes from the wonderful sensation that takes you by surprise and leaves its traces for a long time.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Elsa X – Baby Steps
On paper, Elsa X is a one-person experimental outfit that combines elements of post rock and electronica, under a pseudonym for a girl who suffers from mental disorders. Actually, it’s a project meant to raise awareness on mental illness. The music however was released as a two-sided EP written by one principal songwriter, Wang Wei Yang, who has deftly combined various emotional undertones based on research by his project mates. The air of bipolar emotions constantly flits through the soundscapes, hopeful and hopeless all at the same time. Elsa X is not real, and the music may not have been conceived from an artist’s vision, but in this schizophrenic world, who can truly say what is what?
SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Jambinai – Miro
All trained in traditional Korean music, the three members of Jambinai play piri, geomungo and haegeum, respectively. Currently performing musical experiments in the realm of post-rock, they are working their instruments to create a fresh and natural sound and hope to make their first official release later this summer. Starting out slowly before proceeding into a fascinating display of prowess, Miro is a sonic delicacy not to be missed.
De Montevert – High On You
De Montevert’s style is all over the place from indie-pop to indie-folk to experimental electronica and everything in between. I chose the song High On You because it has the most accessible sound and that indescribable indie-pop naivety and purity. I could honestly go on and on. But I’ll just ask to do yourself a favor and check out her MySpace page, listen to DKT, All Happy Endings, Both Human and/or Galpal.
Solange La Frange – Wakawak
To capture the special energy of a live show on a record is a complicated undertaking. For Vevey-based trio Solange La Frange, it was a piece of cake. The band got famous for their dynamic and powerful live performances and managed to put that atmosphere on a proper record. The special blend of electro and rock would make CSS and Karen O envious.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Oberhofer – I Could Go
Oberhofer started as the solo, lo-fi bedroom project of Brad Oberhofer in Tacoma, Washington, only to develop into a full band once he moved to eastward to Brooklyn, New York. I Could Go is a great song with catchy percussion, climatic melodies, and wonderful whistling.
To download all 28 songs in one file click here