December 5, 2013: Fatherson, The LaFontaines, Cairn String Quartet, Garden Of Elks, The Holy Ghosts and 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 gig… 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.
Exciting times, freeloading pop comrades. Not only is it the second birthday of the Music Alliance Pact, but I’ve roped in The Guardian Music Blog to be our new representatives for England.
The Guardian have been long-time supporters of the project (see here and here for are a couple of previous articles they’ve written about it) and were more than happy to be asked to take over the baton from The Daily Growl and publish the MAP posts on the 15th of every month.
This, of course, means that the songs each of the MAP bloggers pick is going to reach a heck of a lot more people, which is tremendous news for the bands and artists involved. And since my job it to identify a Scottish act deserving of reaching a wider audience, I don’t think there’s anyone worthier than Bear Bones. Take it away, guys and gals…
To download all 35 songs in one file click here
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Bear Bones – Oil & Lacquer
Islay-born singer Ben Harrison’s thick brogue and some inspired bursts of accordion make eight-strong Bear Bones an unmistakably Scottish proposition and Oil & Lacquer a heavenly way to spend four minutes. Fans of Belle & Sebastian won’t be disappointed. Since it’s exactly two years since the Music Alliance Pact was launched, as a bonus you can also download a free anniversary compilation here which contains mostly exclusive and rare tracks contributed by 23 previous MAP artists from Scotland.
Hamacas Al Rio – Sin Decir
Hamacas Al Rio is a six-piece acoustic pop band led by singer Laura Ciuffo. Sin Decir is one of our favorite tracks from their latest release, Al Final, El Parque, an amazing album dominated by hypnotic chamber music sounds and fine string arrangements, along with more conventional synthesizers and electric guitars.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Bleeding Knees Club – Bad Guys
Bleeding Knees Club only started in March and have already toured Australia’s east coast a bunch of times, recorded an EP and secured a label and distribution. Admittedly, BKC trade in a certain brand of music that doesn’t require/intentionally avoids precision, planning and cleanliness. Even though you can imagine these guys bashing out an EP within the amount of time it takes some bands to soundcheck, it still suggests potential radness in the near future.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Baiana System – Jah Jah Revolta
Baiana System is a new group from Bahia, a Brazilian state famous for its axé music – a style marked by lyrics full of ambiguous sexual overtones and simple dance rhythms. Their trump card is to raise the Bahian guitar to a new level, combining a typically Brazilian musical manifestation to elements of dub, contemporary electronic, rock and other genres, as observed in Jah Jah Revolta.
The Wilderness Of Manitoba – Sea Song
To fully appreciate The Wilderness Of Manitoba, you need to be in a calm, relaxed mood. So sit back. Clear your mind. Forget your worries for a moment. Ignore the phone, the internet, your pets, everything. Now start Sea Song and just let the gorgeous vocal harmonies and beautiful folky melodies wash over you. Wasn’t that pleasant? Now go and get a copy of their first full-length, When You Left The Fire, because it has 12 more tracks just like that one.
CHILE: Super 45
Dadalú – Gracias
Dadalú’s (Daniela Saldías) first steps in music were linked to the punk and hardcore scene. Later, she refined her ideas, got closer to hip-hop and took part in Colectivo Etéreo, Iris and Julia Rose. However, her solo work is strongly influenced by Phil Spector and Mark Ronson’s orchestrated pop. Gracias, the first single from her forthcoming debut album Período, to be released by netlabels Ponk and Michita Rex, is the best proof that differences between punk, rap and pop are dwindling.
Sun Ye – Strange Planet
With projects in rock, punk and post-rock bands under his belt, Shanghai-based Sun Ye is nowhere near finished with whatever he has planned for his music – fluid, dreamlike melodies that tinkle and slide smoothly in and out of your ears. His unpredictable yet continually enthralling tunes have landed him support slots for both Ólafur Arnalds and Émilie Simon this year. His latest album, Trash Can, was released on the Miniless label.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The Malpractice – Boss Stallion
October 25 will see the release of The Malpractice aka Johannes Gammelby’s (I Am Bones, Beta Satan) solo debut Tectonics on Crunchy Frog, an 11-song strong album of alternative rock aiming at minds, (pop) hearts and feet. Here’s the great Boss Stallion and if you dig it, make sure to check out the other album single Oh, The Irony streaming on MySpace.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
The Visitors – Hello Moon
Visitors frontman Karl Walsh used to head Factory Records folkies To Hell With Burgundy. The official bio says he has spent the time since the label’s demise “writing novels in the French countryside”. Hello Moon says different. It speaks of years spent orbiting Bowie’s legacy, drifting on the dark side of the Duke before taking a quantum leap into Wayne Coyne’s shoes. More years spent Waitin’ For A Superman to spin earth backwards, to rewind to a time when we were still wide-eyed about space, glam rock and the power of a good, solid tune.
Tallinn Daggers – Island Phi Ley
Tallinn Daggers is an electronic pop duo from Tallinn that consists of Ardo Kivi and Joosep Volk. Since they united in 2009 they have released one digital EP, The Last Escape, and a handful of singles. They are known for their very energetic live shows and listener-friendly habit of giving away their music.
Big Wave Riders – Big Sound
Formed just before the summer, Big Wave Riders aim to be the next big thing in Finnish indie music. While they ready their debut EP, we can enjoy a taste of their first recordings with Big Sound’s fast tropical beat and early 80s garage vibe.
Hutchinson – Oh My Lover
Hutchinson is an electro-rock duo featuring Olivier Deniaud and Eric Tanguy, who make their music in the very creative city of Nantes. It’s a hobby that doesn’t stop them being rather good. You might have had a hard time guessing they were French.
MIT – Pudong
German band of the moment is definitely MIT. With the advanced electronica of their second album Nanonotes, which was produced by Simian Mobile Disco member Jas Shaw, and especially with the video to Pudong, they have hit the spot in Germany’s blogosphere. MIT may rightly be seen as a concept for taking Kraftwerk’s legacy into the future.
go.quiet – Everyone I Ever Met
go.quiet is the project of Christina Kassesian and Ηousework. Everyone I Ever Met, the primary result of their collaboration, is soothing, compelling, heartbreaking, mysterious and gloomy. An enticing dip into melancholy that urges you to lean closer to the speakers to fully feel everything that is being played and sung. There’s a beauty in the melody that conjures up a cinematic romanticism with the soft-spoken, whispered, gentle vocals to amplify this emotion.
ICELAND: I Love Icelandic Music
Captain Fufanu – Lava
Captain Fufanu are two youngsters and probably the brightest hope of the Icelandic electronic music scene. Hrafnkell Flóki Einarsson and Guðlaugur Halldór Einarsson (sons of a different Einar, so not brothers) aka Kaktus and Gulli played their first gig at the age of 16 in 2008. The duo mix dub, techno, house and experimental electronica. The song Lava is unreleased.
Kaav – Daya
Kaav is an alt-prog trio from Kochi. The band’s expansive, instrumental soundscapes are based in an understanding of local Carnatic music, with the trappings of a more alternative Oceansize – think a dosa-eating Explosions In The Sky. Daya is taken from a recently-released eponymous three-track EP, which we highly recommend you download here for free.
Ghaust – Sleep And Release
With only two members, Ghaust, who hail from Jakarta, build an instrumental trip crossing through different genres, where post-rock/shoegaze influences and crushing sludge/doom tempo collide with hardcore punk and heavy rock. Sleep And Release explores a cumulative void, expressing emotions that can only be conveyed with music.
Sacred Animals – Chosen Seed
Sacred Animals is a solo project of Darragh Nolan. His debut release is the lush four-track EP Welcome Home and serves as a perfect introduction to his fanciful and feral, wild like nature ballads. The music recalls Radiohead, Bon Iver and Guillemots without ever really sounding too much like any of them.
ISRAEL: Metal Israel
ACE And The Deck – Mr. Grieves (Pixies cover)
ACE And The Deck take the Pixies’ Mr. Grieves, stir it up with reggae, shake it up with psychobilly, throw in some surf punk and cut it with a generous helping of arak. Their debut album is a veritable musical arsenal taking the best from all genres, and hits the market on December 13.
Havah – The Competition Dies
Michele Camorani was a member of La Quiete, one of the most important screamo hardcore bands of the past decade. This is his new solo project, and the sound is very different. Imagine a Blank Dogs song locked up in a dark basement all alone for 20 years – that’s how obscure and cursed Havah’s music can be. Sometimes, suddenly, pop melodies come to the surface, but soon they’re buried into the noise once again. It’s definitely worth downloading Havah’s first album for free via his MySpace.
JAPAN: JPOP Lover
Hotel Mexico – Its Twinkle
Hotel Mexico are not from Mexico, but are a glo-fi and chill electro band hailing from Kyoto. Its Twinkle is taken from the recently released His Jewelled Letter Box EP and is full of radiant guitar melodies, ambient bells, airy synths and more reverb than any respectable song has the right to use.
MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
Hello Seahorse! – Un Año Quebrado
Once a twee-pop band, Mexico City’s Hello Seahorse! morphed into a gloomy sounding beast on their third album, Bestia. Now they’ve delved deeper into their tormented souls and came out with their fourth album in four years, Lejos. No Tan Lejos. Produced by the legendary Money Mark in Los Angeles and by local wizard Yamil Rezc, the 11 songs lay a rich forest of synths where Lo Blondo’s banshee-like voice soars with operatic tropes. Say “Hola!” to this seamonster.
NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Space Siren – This Radar
Amsterdam quartet Space Siren have strong indie-rock pedigree behind them. Featuring members who previously made up the noisy, melancholic band Seesaw, who released a number of great albums on the reliable Transformed Dreams label early in the 2000s, Space Siren carry the torch on wonderfully. Thick layers of guitar distortion hark back to an era when Sonic Youth ruled the independent underground. The percussion drives every song. And, somehow, amidst the haze of overdrive, there’s room for the strong, moody vocals of Gwendolien.
NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
Secret Knives – The Northwest States
Secret Knives is the solo bedroom recording project of Ash Smith, who also plays in Over The Atlantic. The Northwest States begins with a pop melody and lyrics about lost love over programmed beats and a nice rumbling bass line. Then the layers of guitar start to build until the song soars into a shimmering shoegaze crescendo. The song is from Secret Knives’ new album Affection, available for free download from here.
Dunderhonning – Støv
Dunderhonning is a young quartet from Harstad in the north of Norway. They have just released their debut full-length album on Guano Recordings, Sakte Ut Av Fokus, where they play warm, poetic, dreamy and powerful pop/rock. They sing in their native language and dialect, which suits the songs and their expression well. People who have heard and loved the music of Kråkesølv may find these two close to each other in style. Their album is high on my list of the best Norwegian albums this year. Highly recommended.
LongPlayer – Chica A Go-Go
It’s time to welcome the debut of LongPlayer, a powerful quartet that formed in Lima in 2009 and is led by experienced Pipe Villarán. Their first single, Chica A Go-Go, carries a pleasant melancholy and is full of crunchy guitars and surprise trumpet appearances. Their self-titled debut album, which comes out on October 21, promises to deliver a classic rock lesson and will undoubtedly be one of the best of the year.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Noiserv – 06:00am – Mr. Carousel
Since his first presence in MAP a year ago, Noiserv (aka David Santos) has played internationally, recently in Scotland and Slovenia, and has shared the stage with Bill Callahan, Camera Obscura, Damon & Naomi, Perry Blake and The Swell among others. In July, he released a new EP, A Day In The Day Of The Days – a musical diary of one fictional day.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Minus – Hașdeu
Minus is Daniel Stanciu, a young man from Bucharest who combines massive mountains of bass with glitchy, twinkling Game Boy melodies and a healthy dose of synth funk. The EP from which Hașdeu was taken can be listen to and downloaded on Minus’ page at Local Records.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Typewriter – Cry So Well (The Suntan Mix)
Ten years and three line-up changes later, Typewriter have finally released their labor of love, Indian Head Massage. Their debut album is chock full of well-crafted power-pop tunes and guitar riffs, whimsical lyrics and one of the most dynamic rhythm sections in the country. As a live four-piece, Typewriter shed all inhibitions to deliver a spine-tingling dose of forgotten melodies to awaken the senses, but on record they take the time to flesh out the minute details that make each song stand out.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Goldfish – Fort Knox
Hailing from Cape Town, Goldfish is made up of Dominic Peters and David Poole, who are one of the hottest jazz/electro duos this side of the equator. A mix of “funky riffs, acid jazz melodies and instantly catchy dance floor songs” is what they are about and Fort Knox is the epitome of their unique sound. This duo have made their mark in the dance scene and world domination is in sight.
SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Go-yo – The Blue Devil
Singer-songwriter Go-yo writes songs about cynical self-consolation. After debuting with a self-titled single offering lo-fi piano pieces last year, he has begun a venture into the realm of trip-hop and electronica with the recent release of first full-length album I Came Alone. While songs such as Let The Little Bird Fly maintains Go-yo’s original, melancholic piano sound, The Blue Devil creates an atmosphere similar to that built by Air’s score for The Virgin Suicides.
Mother Of The Forest – Bränna Broar
This suddenly prolific artist has just released another EP, this time with guests such as Mattias Alkberg and Magnus Ekelund. Vocals are processed and distant in the mix, adding to both the spookiness of the tracks and the prominence of the staccato electronic bursts that punctuate and enliven each song.
The Legendary Lightness – Airplane
The Legendary Lightness is the side-project of the two drummers from Swiss indie outfits Schnitzer and Gabardine. The singer-songwriter duo hail from Zurich and has just released a splendid single called Airplane. It’s an airy piece of music, providing you with the musical layer for daydreaming. Airplane will be featured on an EP which will be sold at concerts and is limited to 100 copies. Their debut album is scheduled for release this winter.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Twin Shadow – Yellow Balloon
The description for this artist should be short and sweet: spin the track, buy the album and become very happy. Twin Shadow, the one-man project of Brooklynite George Lewis Jr, is full of smooth synths, dark vocals and compositions operating under the influence of 1980s music but not cheaply ripping it off like loads of chillwave acts. Simplicity and melody merge seamlessly in Yellow Balloon, like many of the tracks on debut LP Forget.
Los Mentas – El Kiosko
Los Mentas is a rockabilly band with a new and nostalgic proposal and a strong dose of punk-rock flavor. Other influences like tango and swing can also be found in their work. Richard “Chicha” Blanco, Carlos Aray, Hector “Lukas” Paredes and Juan Olmedillo are Los Mentas, and El Kiosko is included on their debut album.
Here’s the promo video for Bear Bones’ Oil & Lacquer…