May 18, 2013: The 16-strong T Break line-up for T in the Park on July 12-14 has been unveiled - Arches, Blindfolds, DARC, Fake Major, Hector Bizerk, Honeyblood, Machines In Heaven, Michael Cassidy, Poor Things, Pronto Mama, Seams, Sunshine Social, The Merrylees, The Velveteen Saints, Vasa, Waiting For Go.
Anna Sweeney has announced she is taking a full break from music and has cancelled her scheduled appearance at Wickerman in July as she relocates to Reading for work in June. Another musician swapping Scotland for England is Plum, who is moving to Brighton in July.
May 17, 2013: The stage times have been released for the 35 acts playing Stag & Dagger across seven Glasgow venues on May 18.
Franz Ferdinand’s fourth album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action will be released on August 26 – check out this brief trailer.
Frightened Rabbit recorded a cover of Best Coast’s The Only Place for Australian radio show Triple J. The band release their Late March, Death March EP on June 2.
The Mouse That Ate The Cat song When I Wake Up is available for free in exchange for your email address.
The title track of Adam Stafford’s forthcoming second album Imaginary Walls Collapse is streaming here.
May 16, 2013: The Discopolis remix of Bwani Junction single Civil War is available to download for free from SoundCloud.
Born To Be Wide’s next seminar at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on May 30 is on the topic of goNORTH, with a panel featuring broadcaster Vic Galloway, goNORTH duo Amanda Millen and Alex Smith and Chasing Owls frontman Ben Sunderland explaining how musicians and delegates can get the most out of the annual Inverness convention. Tickets are free.
AC/DC have backed a campaign to erect a bronze statue of their former frontman Bon Scott in his hometown of Kirriemuir in Angus. Community music group DD8 Music hope to raise £50,000 via Kickstarter by June 5.
Kite And The Crane’s debut EP, Found In The End, is out on Bandcamp.
May 15, 2013: Biffy Clyro have a video for their new single Opposite.
The View are playing a one-off show at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on June 12 for the Sunday Mail Centenary Fund.
Adam Stafford is launching his second album Imaginary Walls Collapse with a gig at Glasgow’s Glad Cafe on July 5 with support from Siobhan Wilson and Robbie Lesiuk.
May 14, 2013: The Wee Chill will mark its 10th anniversary with a two-stage bill at Glasgow’s SWG3 on June 29 for the West End Festival. The line-up features Malcolm Middleton, James Yorkston with Sparrow & The Workshop (collaborative debut), Aidan Moffat (spoken word), Three Blind Wolves, Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, Miaoux Miaoux, Fake Major.
Tommy Perman, who recently left FOUND, has unveiled his new solo project ComputerScheisse – check out These Beautiful Minds, the title track of his debut EP, out on July 15 through Phuturelabs.
RockNess have announced more acts for the festival on June 7-9 including Fenech-Soler, Fatherson, Public Service Broadcasting, The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, Niteworks and Jemma Tweedie.
Too Many Fireworks Records will donate all profits from sales of Variations Of Chopin, an album of contemporary interpretations of the composer’s music, to the fundraising campaign for drummer Robbie Cooper, whose cancer fight was documented on The Pop Cop.
May 13, 2013: New releases out now include Young Aviators’ debut album Self Help, Eagleowl’s debut album This Silent Year, and Cherri Fosphate’s new Burning Youth EP.
May 10, 2013: The live schedule for goNORTH in Inverness on June 5-6 has been unveiled – it includes a Scottish Bloggers Showcase hosted by The Pop Cop, Peenko and Song, by Toad featuring a four-band bill of Garden Of Elks, Friends In America, The Yawns and Flutes.
May 9, 2013: The documentary Hunting For Remoteness details The Magnetic North’s visit to Orkney – where frontman Erland Cooper is from – for the making of their debut album. It will be released on June 24 alongside a reissue of that record, Orkney: Symphony Of The Magnetic North. You can watch the trailer here.
Alphabetical Order Orchestra are streaming their first song, The Architect. The band is made up of My Latest Novel members Chris Deveney, Gary Deveney and Ryan King.
A Band Called Quinn have launched a crowdfunding campaign to support performances of their multimedia show Biding Time (remix) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.
May 8, 2013: Three Blind Wolves have released their new album, Sing Hallelujah For The Old Machine.
May 7, 2013: Adam Stafford’s new single Please is streaming online – it’s taken from his second album Imaginary Walls Collapse, out in July.
May 6, 2013: The T in the Park Roadshow is bringing free live music to Scottish towns this month – it stops at Glasgow today for The View at Kelvingrove Park (1pm) and Buchanan Street (3.30pm); Edinburgh on May 10 for Vigo Thieves at Queen Margaret University’s Student Union (noon), Dundee on May 11 for The LaFontaines at Overgate Centre (noon); Aberdeen on May 12 for Sienna at Aberdeen University (noon); and Ayr on May 18 for The Redettes at Ayr Railway Station (noon).
Fake Major have a video for Fiction, a song on their Have Plenty Of Fun EP. Fellow Comets & Cartwheels artist Finn LeMarinel has a new video for Garden, taken from his debut album Violence.
Capitals have released a sampler of all the tracks on their debut album A National Service, out on June 3.
May 3, 2013: Episode 11 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Cara Mitchell, Brown Bear & The Bandits, Three Blind Wolves and Anna Sweeney.
Steve Mason has accused Samsung of plagiarising the video for The Beta Band’s 2004 single Assessment for their new television advert. Both show historical figures running down a beach and helicopters circling overhead.
May 2, 2013: Young Aviators’ debut album Self Help is streaming on Electric Honey’s SoundCloud ahead of its release on May 13.
May 1, 2013: Travis have a video for Where You Stand, the first single and title track of the band’s seventh album, out on August 19.
Fake Major’s debut EP, Have Plenty Of Fun, is available for download.
My Latest Novel have gone on hiatus, with three of the members forming Alphabetical Order Orchestra - look out for music from them next week.
Kobi Onyame has a video for his new single The Real Part 2.
Trapped In Kansas have unveiled new song Collapse Rebuild.
Rob St John’s new AA single Charcoal Black And The Bonny Grey/Shallow Brown is out now.
April 30, 2013: Boards Of Canada will release Tomorrow’s Harvest, their first new album in eight years, on June 10.
Quickbeam song Immersed is available to download for free from DIY – you can also listen to snippets from every track of the band’s self-titled debut album, out on June 3.
Discopolis have unveiled the video for their new song Falling (Committed To Sparkle Motion), out on May 5.
April 29, 2013: The SAY Award will stream each of the 20 longlisted albums for 24 hours through their app, starting today with Miaoux Miaoux’s Light Of The North. You can read The Pop Cop’s feature here.
Panda Su’s new song MAPS is available to buy now on Amazon, while Bwani Junction’s new single Civil War is on iTunes.
The Boy Who Trapped The Sun has a video for new song California ahead of his May tour in Scotland.
The Pastels have a video for Check My Heart, taken from their forthcoming new album Slow Summits, out on May 27.
Frank Turner covered Frightened Rabbit’s The Modern Leper for Jim Gellatly’s In:Demand Uncut session.
April 27, 2013: Episode 10 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features two fantastic unreleased songs by Beerjacket as well as The Holy Ghosts, The Merrylees and Ray McCartney.
Travis, Johnny Marr, Hurts, James Skelly, Jack Savoretti, Willy Mason, Foy Vance, Steve Mason, Milo Greene and DIIV have been added to the T in the Park line-up, which has now been separated into day-by-day splits.
Edinburgh venue The Forest Cafe, which has been banned from hosting live music due to council restrictions, are looking for acts to play their new monthly event, the Forest Big Night Out at Old St Paul’s, which launches on May 23. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
April 26, 2013: The Burns an’ a’ that! Festival will feature live music as part of Weekend in the Park at Ayr’s Belleisle Park on May 25-26. Rose Parade, Little Fire, Pronto Mama and The Bluebells are among the free acts; Justin Currie + Rachel Sermanni play a ticketed gig on May 26.
Other newly-announced concerts on sale include Lana Del Rey + Kassidy at Glasgow’s SECC on May 16 (replacing her two dates at the Academy on May 15/16) Bombay Bicycle Club at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on June 7, Belle & Sebastian at Inverness’ Ironworks on July 1, We Are Scientists at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on July 29, Kid Canaveral + Ballboy at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on August 10.
Kid Canaveral + The Last Battle + Adam Ross (Randolph’s Leap) also play a free show at Edinburgh’s Caves on May 23 with 300 tickets on the door on a first come, first served basis as part of a Dewar’s event.
April 25, 2013: Seasick Steve, The Pigeon Detectives, Julie Fowlis, Meursault, Washington Irving, PAWS and The LaFontaines have been added to the Belladrum Festival line-up on August 2-3.
Washington Irving have released Palomides Volume 1, the first half of their debut album.
The View are streaming Kill Kyle, one of two new songs on their compilation album Seven Year Setlist, out on June 17.
April 24, 2013: The showcase list of artists picked to play goNORTH in Inverness on June 5-6 has been announced. For the third consecutive year there will be a bloggers’ showcase stage hosted by The Pop Cop, Peenko and Song, by Toad. More details to follow soon.
Kilmarnock’s Dirty Weekender will feature 45 acts over three venues on May 31 to June 2 including Fridge Magnets, Bwani Junction, The Ok Social Club, Ross Leighton (Fatherson) and Chris Helme.
Poor Things’ new single Morgan is free to download – it’s taken from their Hurricane Poor Things EP, out on June 10.
Similarly, Cherri Fosphate are giving away Wool from their Burning Youth EP, out on May 11.
April 23, 2013: Glasvegas will play Aberdeen’s Garage on June 27, Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on June 28 and Glasgow’s ABC on June 29.
Reverieme’s second album With Up So Floating is out now.
Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire have announced they will release their self-titled new album through Middle Of Nowhere Records in July.
Herculean have a video for Red Weather, taken from The Falling Thunder EP, out on June 7.
April 22, 2013: Stag & Dagger have added Phosphorescent, Rachel Sermanni, Randolph’s Leap, French Wives, Fake Major, Prides, Chris Devotion & The Expectations and Donald Macdonald & The Islands to the Glasgow festival’s line-up on May 18.
Episode 9 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Brown Bear & The Bandits, Cara Mitchell, The Open Day Rotation and John Wean.
Texas have unveiled a video for The Conversation, the title track from their first album in eight years, out on May 20.
Bronagh & The Boys have released their debut single Green, taken from A Young Heart EP, out on May 19.
April 19, 2013: Kassidy’s Barrie-James O’Neill and his girlfriend Lana Del Rey have recorded a cover of Summer Wine (made famous by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood), backed with a video featuring handheld footage of the pair in Los Angeles.
My Bloody Valentine, Trash Talk, Fidlar and The VirginMarys have been added to the T in the Park line-up.
April 18, 2013: Pre-sale tickets are available for Regina Spektor at Glasgow’s Academy on August 20 and Kings Of Leon at the ciry’s Bellahouston Park on August 15, the latter being part of the Glasgow Summer Sessions.
The Mirror Trap have unveiled a video for Westminster Ghost Story, the first track to be taken from their second album Stay Young, due out this autumn.
April 17, 2013: Midnight Lion have changed their name to Prides and expanded to a trio with the addition of Kitty The Lion’s Callum Wiseman on guitar and vocals. To coincide with the announcement, they have unveiled wonderfully addictive new song Out Of The Blue.
T in the Park have added Local Natives, Lucy Rose, Swim Deep, Theme Park, Lewis Watson and Sons & Lovers to the festival on July 12-14.
April 16, 2013: Doune The Rabbit Hole have announced that this year’s festival will take place at the new location of Cardross Estate at Port of Menteith in Stirlingshire on August 22-25. The line-up features Clinic, Meursault, Rachel Sermanni, Alasdair Roberts, Washington Irving, The Pastels, PAWS, Beerjacket, Rick Redbeard, We Are The Physics, Randolph’s Leap, Siobhan Wilson, Panda Su, Shambles Miller, Jo Mango and TeenCanteen. See here for full day-by-day splits.
April 15, 2013: James and Twin Atlantic will headline the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival on August 2-3. Other acts on the bill include Admiral Fallow, Fatherson, Rick Redbeard, Noisettes, The Horrors and King Charles.
April 13, 2013: Edinburgh’s live music scene has suffered yet another setback with Forest Cafe having its live music licence reviewed, causing the immediate postponement of gigs there, starting with the Solas Showcase scheduled for today.
Newsnight Scotland featured a report on the music industry on April 10, prompted by the Wide Days convention in Edinburgh. Watch the segment on BBC iPlayer, with contributions from Stanley Odd’s Dave Hook, Plum’s Shona Maguire, Chemikal Underground’s Stewart Henderson, Wide Days organiser Olaf Furniss and journalist Nicola Meighan. The interviews were conducted by Galleries drummer Andrew Black.
April 12, 2013: Episode 8 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Niteworks, The Holy Ghosts, Miaoux Miaoux and The Merrylees.
Eagleowl have unveiled Not Over, the first offering from debut album This Silent Year, which will come out through Fence Records on May 13.
Dear Lara, aka David Lan, has released his debut EP Plans as a free download.
April 11, 2013: Capitals’ debut album A National Service will come out on June 3, with those who pre-order it (from just £5) getting an immediate download of any of the record’s 11 tracks, one of which is Reliever.
The View will release singles compilation Seven Year Setlist on June 17 – the album features two new songs, Dirty Magazine and Kill Kyle.
Several Scottish acts have posted tracks from forthcoming new albums – check out Washington Irving – Wandering Wits, United Fruit – Taste I Can’t Give Up and Hector Bizerk – Orchestrated Madness.
April 10, 2013: Promoters Cry Parrot will host their 6th Birthday Party at Glasgow’s Glue Factory on April 26 with a gig featuring Sacred Paws, Hector Bizerk, Tut Vu Vu, Ultimate Thrush, Ela Orleans and Sad City.
Three Blind Wolves are previewing Slow Summer Deer, taken from their Sing Hallelujah For The Old Machine album, released on May 6.
Where We Lay Our Heads single Keanu Leaves is out now.
Great Cop are giving away new song Stop Hiding as a free download.
April 9, 2013: Mogwai guitarist John Cummings uploaded a photo of himself at Glasgow’s George Square yesterday where more than 300 people gathered, inspired by his band’s 2011 song George Square Thatcher Death Party.
Hi-Arts, which promotes arts in the Highlands and Islands, has issued notices of redundancies to all 10 of its staff in the wake of funding cuts.
April 8, 2013: Fridge Magnets will play a ‘silent gig’ at a secret outdoor location in Glasgow on May 15 (6pm) – tickets can be won through organisers Deezer. The band will perform inside a mobile perspex box with the 300-capacity audience able to hear them through headphones.
Kassidy have released new mini-album People Like Me.
April 7, 2013: Song Of Return have launched their Singles Club project on Bandcamp through which they’ll be selling unreleased tracks. Month 1 contains Torn Between The Tides (see video) and Enough.
Cairn String Quartet, who were profiled on The Pop Cop in March, have unveiled their orchestral cover of Kid Canaveral’s Low Winter Sun.
Travis have made new song Another Guy available to download for free through their website. It also has a video.
April 6, 2013: The following 16 HMV and Fopp stores in Scotland will remain open following Hilco’s takeover – HMV: Aberdeen, Ayr, Dundee, East Kilbride, Edinburgh Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh Princes St, Glasgow Argyle St, Glasgow Buchanan St, Glasgow Fort, Inverness, Livingston, Stirling; Fopp: Edinburgh; Glasgow Union St; Glasgow Byres Rd.
Bwani Junction have a video for new single Civil War, out on April 29.
Rachel Sermanni and Emma’s Imagination are among the acts playing the Kintyre Songwriters Festival in Campbeltown on May 24-26.
Quickbeam will launch their debut album with a gig at the disused Govanhill Baths in Glasgow on May 31. They will be supported by Fake Major whose debut Have Plenty Of Fun EP comes out on May 1.
April 5, 2013: Spotify director Mark Williamson will give the keynote speech at next week’s Wide Days event in Edinburgh as part of a session on the business of streaming. The full running order is here.
Episode 7 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Anna Sweeney, Cara Mitchell, Discopolis and Paul McGranaghan.
Dot JR has uploaded new song Waterfalls to SoundCloud.
April 4, 2013: The Tiree Music Festival will take place in An Talla on July 20-21 with a bill that includes Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, Washington Irving, The Youth And Young and Brown Bear & The Bandits.
Galleries’ fantastic new single Midnight Rush is out now.
Casual Sex have made a video for their debut single Stroh 80. They play Glasgow’s Nice ‘n’ Sleazy on April 5 and Oran Mor on April 7.
April 3, 2013: Comlongon Rocks have added a third day of live music to its line-up at Comlongon Castle in Dumfries & Galloway on May 17-19. The festival’s line-up features Three Blind Wolves, Emma’s Imagination, The OK Social Club and Saint Max.
Chem 19 are offering three days of free recording time to five Scottish acts through their Creative Scotland Demo Fund. To apply, musicians (under-25s only) should email a link to some demos and a bio to email@example.com with the subject Chem19 Demo Fund Enquiry before April 26. Chosen acts will also take part in a live showcase.
Siobhan Wilson + Julia And The Doogans + Jo Mango will play Glasgow’s Roxy 171 on June 26 as part of the Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes vs Peenko night at the West End Festival.
April 2, 2013: Acts confirmed for The Insider Festival in Aviemore on June 21-23 include Rachel Sermanni, Karine Polwart, Hector Bizerk, Urstan, David Thomas Broughton, Miaoux Miaoux, Pete Roe, Jonnie Common, Adam Holmes And The Embers and Sparrow And The Workshop.
Up-and-coming acts can apply to play the Hebridean Celtic Festival in Stornoway on July 17-20 through their One Step Further competition which is open to musicians aged 18-25. To enter, artists need to email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject HebCelt New Talent Submissions and include links to three songs, a biog and high-res photo. Closing date is April 12.
April 1, 2013: Quickbeam’s self-titled debut album will be released through Comets & Cartwheels on June 3 – check out the video for lead track Immersed which will be available as a free download on April 29.
We Were Promised Jetpacks will headline the second night of the three-day Solas Festival in Perthshire on June 22.
Minor Delilah will be giving away copies of their new EP, Only Dust Can Hear You, to anyone who attends their launch gig at Glasgow’s Classic Grand on May 3.
As much as this blog tries to add a bit of colour to Scotland’s music scene, there’s really only one day each month that is devoted to singling out a new Scottish artist for your listening pleasure… and it’s today.
On the 15th of every month, The Pop Cop’s favourite new Scottish discovery is served up on the Music Alliance Pact – a global project which sees music blogs from six continents collaborate to share one song from each our native lands before posting the full list on all of our sites, thereby maximising the exposure of every handpicked MAP artist.
The mp3s below are free to download so take a listen to our choices, starting with the exquisite sounds of Endor.
To download all 35 songs in one file click here
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Endor – Chapel Doors
Modern technology has made it easier than ever before to make and distribute music. This is most definitely a bad thing. The deserving are being drowned out by a tidal wave of bands and bedroom musicians, and the din of mediocrity is deafening. One of this year’s finest albums came out in July and I never even saw it coming. At times it sounds like the missing link between Pavement and REM. It is engrossing, unpretentious and displays a real understanding of how to write a song that people will actually want to hear more than once. The band is Endor, the album is called Endor, and you can buy it here.
Mompox – Feel Alright
This is one of our favorite tracks from Mompox’s debut album, Mompox & The Big Umbrella. The recording process took almost two years and if you listen to the album it’s easy to understand why – it contains 16 songs with more than 30 musicians playing all kinds of instruments. The sound is a mixture of American pop from the 50s, with a bit of psychedelic rock and experimental sounds. It’s a very eclectic record, so start with Feel Alright and then visit their MySpace for more songs if you like them.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Fishing – OOOO
For a pair of low-key beat-makers from Sydney, Fishing have seen an impressive ascent from small Tumblrs through to Pitchfork’s Playlist with barely an official release behind them. Without wanting to reduce them to a fad, Fishing capitalise on the chillwave trend and infuse their summery vibe with an heavy dose of limping glitch-hop. Heard it before? You may have heard something similar, but Fishing really do have the skills that leave the other bros with their blunts and laptops in the dust.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Neon Night Riders – South Travelling
Echoes from bands such as M83, Arab Strap and The Jesus And Mary Chain can be felt in South Travelling by duo Neon Night Riders. The song infuses the synthpop, Britpop and shoegaze influences that are the hallmark of their work. Their first full-length, The Neon Album, is available to download at the band’s Last.fm page.
The Love Machine – Be A Path
Once upon a time (that is, their first two EPs), The Love Machine were a fairly generic emo-pop band, albeit one that knew how to bring it live. With the release of their first full-length, Sweater Weather, however, TLM have transformed. They’re still a great live band but, for the first time, they’re equally great on record. This song captures that growth as well as anything. It’s dark, heavy and, best of all, impossible to forget.
CHILE: Super 45
Denver – Lo Que Quieras
With straightforward pop their main goal, the songs of Denver – comprising Mariana Montenegro and Milton Mahan – evoke the sound of bands such as Abba, Electric Light Orchestra and those from the golden years of Motown Records. Their new single, Lo Que Quieras (“What You Want”), is one of the finest songs of the year. It is full of youthful promises and an epic mixture of string arrangements and sweet choirs.
The Fallacy – As I Leave
Up-and-coming post-punk rockers The Fallacy have a unique blend of grungy badassness, noise and harmony that puts them right at the crest of China’s post-punk wave, in which PK-14 and Re-tros have already gained a serious fanbase, both local and worldwide. Formed just two years ago in Xinjiang, Henan Province, their songs have a distinctly quelled energy brewing under a thin quilt of funk, punk, nefarious riffs and crooning vocals that are sure to secure many fans from all sorts of musical preferences.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Plok – Kleenex Exposition
Following three EPs, Danish math-rock (or, as they call it, mathbeat synthpunk) quartet Plok finally have a full-length debut out titled Sing Us Yr Guillotine Gospel. Through 12 mind-bending trips to places at least one step beyond, they stick it to the Man and the numbed masses. Exclusively for the Music Alliance Pact here’s the awesome Kleenex Exposition.
Iiris – Astronaut
Iiris is a young singer-songwriter with ambitious dreams. At the moment she is crafting her debut album with mad scientist, producer and co-writer Sethh. Aspiring to create something special, they have ventured into a secret dimension where pop, rock, innovation, synthesizers, classical piano, electronic soundscapes, catchy melodies, random madness, senseless beauty, zombies, cats and unicorns all become one.
Hi-Horse – 7th Street Ninjas
The sound of Hi-Horse is mostly based on the modern blues guitar of Jani Kamppi, but the band opens up its sound to the most surprising, and danceable, arrangements and textures. Their soon-to-be-released album, Concrete Clouds, is full of imaginative guitar-based pop tunes.
Smooth – Music
When listening to Smooth’s music you get the strange impression of finding an old friend, a road companion, because their music draws on our own imagination where it moulds itself, each day, each rainy season, with pleasure or ecstasy. The trio borrows and mixes sounds and rhythms from their forefathers, displayed and put back together with inventiveness, jubilation and sensuality.
Tuo – Walk With Me
It’s quite uncommon to see two 16-year-old girls making folk music as relaxed as Tuo do. Tasmin and Oda create soundscapes with soft voices and two acoustic guitars which make you feel like walking barefoot on mossy ground. Walk With Me is a MAP exclusive from their debut album Walk On Silence, recently released on aspiring FlowerStreet Records.
Chris Nemmo – Half Human (feat. Etten)
After experimenting with different electronic dance genres and releasing material in several record labels worldwide, Chris Nemmo has just brought out his sophomore album, The Nautilus Project. It consists of several different aspects of the scene, employing dirty funky basslines, vintage melodies and atmospheric vocals in an effort to simulate a warm analog perception of the disco groove and aesthetics. This is Etten’s second collaboration with Chris and she again provides a unique touch. Much of Half Human’s seductive allure is owed to her lyrics and passionate vocal performance, which is as technically stunning as it is expressive.
ICELAND: I Love Icelandic Music
Barujarn – Skuggasorf
The band Barujarn, Icelandic for “corrugated iron”, started in the fall of 2008. They play gloomy surf garage rock flavoured with metal or disco. The band members are Oddur on bass, Sindri on guitar, Leifur on drums, and Hekla on theremin. Barujarn has recorded an EP that features the song Skuggasorf and will record a full album soon.
Rosemary – Golden Trees
Rosemary is a three-piece post-grunge band from Mumbai. This young act has been making waves in the Indian indie scene over the past couple of years on the back of some major competition victories and regular gigging. Golden Trees is the product of post-Nirvana youthful exuberance. Distortion heavy and moshpit ready, this four-and-a-half minute track is an ode to Seattle ’90s. Listen loud.
Komunal – Pasukan Perang Dari Rawa
Pasukan Perang Dari Rawa means “combat troops from the swamp”. With heavy distortion, pre-historic barbaric drums stomping, deadly bass, deep vocals and a good attitude they’re currently my favorite stoner band.
Groom – A Music Lesson
Groom’s finest hour (well 50 minutes) arrived this month in the form of their third album Marriage. It’s a slightly sardonic examination of relationships and life set to an earnest indie-pop backing. It’s lovely stuff and only five euros from their Bandcamp site where you can also stream it. Go pop!
ISRAEL: Metal Israel
GodWrath – Heart vs. Mind
Vocalists using scream techniques are a dime a dozen but Godwrath boasts a female screamer with more cojones than most of the guys out there, topping their aggressive metal groove with a hardcore edge.
A Classic Education – Gone To Sea
A Classic Education recently described their sound as “night music for lazy afternoons”, but I think there’s more to it than that. Dreamy and strong at the same time, vibrant and uplifting, Gone To Sea is a lush pop gem, a perfect example of their amazing songwriting skills. It’s taken from their new Hey There Stranger EP, out this month on US label Lefse Records (Neon Indian, Dominant Legs).
JAPAN: JPOP Lover
World’s End Girlfriend – Les Enfants du Paradis
World’s End Girlfriend is the orchestral post-rock and experimental electronica project of Katsuhiko Maeda. He has just launched his own label, Virgin Babylon Records, and released an irregular pop album, Seven Idiots, on September 14.
MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
Chikita Violenta – Roni
This is the story of a Mexican band flirting with a Canadian sound. On their second album The Stars And Suns Sessions (2007), the four-piece settled for some months in a studio on the countryside outside Toronto to make a record guided by Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene). For their third album TRE3S (2010), Chikita Violenta went back to Ontario to explore deeper into that particular sound reigning on the Arts & Crafts label: a maple leaf wall of sound vined with many layers of guitars, bittersweet-abstract choirs and a happy-go-lucky vibe.
NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Apneu – Daydream
Apneu are lo-fi in their garage-pop approach, but high fidelity isn’t essential when you can round off songs so succinctly. At times they employ the basic chord structures and slacker pace of Pavement, focussing on the purity of the melody. At others, they lose themselves in the groove, knocking out energetic garage-rock jams. A hugely entertaining live band in the Amsterdam scene, they’re now learning to commit their raw pop harmonies and sense of fun to tape.
NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
Sharpie Crows – Fifteen Golden Balls Pt.2
Thumping drums provide the foundation for this fantastic song that starts with the drums, vocals and keyboard before going instrumental, adding post-punk guitar chords and then, remarkably, at around the two-thirds mark, brass (or at least brass samples). The song is so well constructed I keep coming back to it to just listen to how they put it together. Sharpie Crows, from Wellington but currently living in Australia, have two EPs available on their Bandcamp.
Drivan – Hart i Ögat
This month’s Norwegian MAP artist may as well be called a Nordic band because half of them are Swedes and the other two are from Finland and Norway. The Norwegian member is Kim Hiorthöy, well known as an electronic musician, graphic designer, illustrator, filmmaker and writer. Unlike his other recordings, Drivan’s debut Disko is mostly acoustic and has a very organic sound. It’s very much a pop record, but a weird and wonderful one, full of field recordings, strange lo-fi sounds and partial conversations. The vocals are sung in Swedish by Lisa Östberg, Louise Peterhoff and Kristiina Viiala, who also have taken part in composing the songs together with Hiorthoy. Disko is released on Smalltown Supersound.
Pastizal – Apoxon You
Pastizal are an innovative band that almost came out of nowhere. Based in Lima, their music comfortably delves into psychedelia, shoegaze and experimental beats, but essentially rock is at its core. Apoxon You was first included in a free compilation released by Peruvian label Dorog Records.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Triplet – Like It’s Going Out Of Fashion
The band Triplet have been around for eight years and have played all over Europe, but they only released their debut album, A Fight For Your Heart, in 2007. Their new EP, Noise, Noise, Noise, is being distributed freely here. Even though they are called Triplet they have four members – vocalist Jasmin Jones was our guest in February’s MAP with her solo record.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Alternativ Quartet – Insemnari La Intamplare
This month, for the first time, we have a band singing in Romanian. Alternativ Quartet are rather new on the Romanian scene: four young men from a small town – now living, studying and making music in Cluj. They are about to release their debut album, Linistea Astupa Goluri, which is a combination of experimental, post-rock, prog and other styles perfectly mixed. They sing about dreams and monsters, revelations and silence.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Lunarin – Zero Point Red
Lunarin sound bigger than what you would expect for a three-piece band. They’ve played music for almost 15 years together, although they’ve only ventured down the path of a grungier, more progressive metal sound in the last five or so years. The culmination of all this is the brazenly self-recorded and produced Duae, which sees them embracing the path they’ve carved for themselves, with their influences of Tool, A Perfect Circle and Tori Amos firmly etched on their sleeves, like tattoos burned into skin. Lunarin take a familiar sound from the late 90s and with blistering conviction, spit a Molotov of poetic metaphors and bone-crushing riffs, all laced with Linda’s “love ‘em or leave ‘em” vocals to slow crush your skull with.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Dance, You’re On Fire – Little War
Dance, You’re On Fire make music “for the love of music as a form of art”. Their sound is a smooth slice of indie progressive rock mixed in with a slight alternative edge. Their single, Little War, off their new album, shows their ability to write rock songs with catchy hooks and also showcases a new, more polished sound that they have cultivated since the release of their EP. Dance, You’re On Fire have all that is needed to succeed – with a catchy name and an even catchier sound, they are certainly a band to keep an eye on.
SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
The Quip – Custard Pie
The five members of The Quip may all be a little heavy on the drinking, but that hasn’t kept them from making some really good music. Their self-released debut EP Almost The Same offers plenty of variety with a psychedelic-grunge-experimental sound base. It came out this summer and was mixed and mastered by Apollo 18 bassist Jelly Boy. With the sound of a djembe setting a haunting mood, Custard Pie is an addictive, largely slow-paced tune with a finale that sees all of the band’s rock energy unleashed.
Ed Greene – Love (She Tells Me There’s A God Above)
I’m a big fan of the band Ed Greene. In fact, if you were to twist my arm I might say they’re the best unsigned band in Sweden. At one time Ed Greene used to be a solo outfit but of late the band has been filled in and fleshed out. They readily admit a history of missteps and false starts but now they’re back with an album of 11 new songs. Love (She Tells Me There’s A God Above) may be one of the catchiest but there are presumably more where this came from.
Choo Choo – It’s A Good Thing
Choo Choo is steam-powered indie-pop from Bern, the capital of Switzerland. The band has just released new track It’s A Good Thing from their forthcoming as-yet untitled record which will be released in January. They recorded it in the Svenska Grammofon Studion together with producer Kalle Gustafsson (Jose Gonzalez, Junip, Shout Out Louds, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, El Perro Del Mar, Mando Diao, Jens Lekman and many more). Definitely a big promise for 2011.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Marnie Stern – Transparency Is The New Mystery
Marnie Stern hails from New York City and is a thirty-something female rocker with guitar chops and stellar songwriting skills. After the success of her 2008 release This Is It, I wondered how Stern would build upon it, but her upcoming self-titled LP looks to be just as solid. New single Transparency Is The New Mystery is an awesome jam, from heart-pounding drums and shrilling vocals to the shreddable guitar – Stern’s doing edgy rock and roll right.
Kuartzo – No Estas Aqui
Kuartzo is a band from Barquisimeto that started in 1998 playing mostly covers. In 2000, they ventured into writing their own material and recorded Cabalgando Mariposas, their first CD. They put their previous music experiences in the mix, developing the band’s original sound of refreshing rock ballads. They are now working on their third album, Victima de la Moda (“Fashion Victim”), from which this song, No Estas Aqui, is taken.
As a wee bonus treat, here’s a video of Endor performing Chapel Doors: