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.
It’s the last Music Alliance Pact of the year so feast your senses on these free, downloadable treats from around the world. All of the 35 artists below have been hand-picked and written about by the blog representing that country, with the entire list simultaneously posted on all of the websites.
This month, The Pop Cop invites you to love the angelic, Carrbridge-dwelling, gravity-defying, SXSW-bound, genuinely sweet RACHEL SERMANNI.
To download all 35 songs in one file click here
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Rachel Sermanni – Eggshells
Rachel Sermanni is a talent worth swooning over. The 19-year-old from the Highlands cites her idols as Joni Mitchell and Eva Cassidy, which makes perfect sense when you find yourself enchanted by her pure, fragile vocals and poetic lyrics. A star in the making for sure.
January 16, ABC2, Glasgow (tickets)
January 23, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (tickets)
January 27, Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow (tickets)
Nairobi – Minerals
Nairobi is a dub band based in Buenos Aires. Approaching dub from a diverse perspective, they create vibrant climates and fresh interpretations of the genre. This song is the first single from their second album, Wet, which was mixed at Mad Professor’s studio in London and features Roberto Pettinato on saxophone.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Miracle – A Big Jet Plane
I recently discovered this 18-year-old rapper born in Ghana but now residing in western Sydney. The word is that he got signed to his label based on a song sampling Pete Murray’s Better Days, a track he made for his high school music assignment and eventually became his first single. Personally, I liked his version of Angus And Julia Stone’s hit Big Jet Plane better.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Diego e O Sindicato – Amigo
Influenced by 70s Brazilian rock and tropicalism, amongst other musical styles such as psychedelic rock and even samba, Amigo is a great taster of Parte De Nós (“Part Of Us”), the first full-length record by Diego e O Sindicato, released last month. The album is available to download for free at Compacto.REC, a netlabel focused on independent Brazilian music.
Olenka & The Autumn Lovers – Sparrow
Olenka & The Autumn Lovers’ newest album, And Now We Sing, is just about the finest folk-pop album you could ever ask for. It brilliantly blends together Eastern European-tinged folk, smoky jazz, country and a variety of other elements to create an album that’s easily one of the best to come out in 2010. Sparrow showcases Olenka’s Eastern European roots.
CHILE: Super 45
Los Nadieh – Lisa y llanamente
Los Nadieh are members of Potoco Discos, the independent label that houses Como Asesinar a Felipes (an excellent jazz trio with a DJ and MC), who proclaim to play “the other kind of rap”. That claim also defines the approach of this band from Valparaíso, homesickly looking at the harbour city but showing their feelings by experimenting with the formal structures of hip hop. This scorn for risk is reflected on Desde El Último Lugar, their debut, backed up by local heavyweight Foex (ex-member of FDA and a contributor to the increasingly successful Ana Tijoux).
Rainbow Danger Club – Neighbors On The Rooftops
With riveting, epic melodies that soar and patter along majestically, the Rainbow Danger Club manage to effortlessly skirt the line between beauty and ugliness, light and dark, innocence and depravity. One of the greatest bands to emerge from the Shanghai music scene lately, they never cease to amaze audiences with their grandiose musicality and adeptness at crafting songs that don’t seem to leave your head. Their debut EP, The New Atlantis, is not to be missed.
COLOMBIA: Colombia Urbana
Capzula – Lo Dejamos Asi
Capzula have been the surprise of 2010 in the pop/rock scene of Colombia thanks to their popular single Rock. Big things are expected of them in 2011 and their new single Lo Dejamos Asi clearly shows they can rise to that responsibility.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Sleep Party People – A Dark God Heart
In late November, Danish label Vuf released the sixth in their renowned series of compilations titled The Vuf Compilation #6 – Back To Nature, sporting 12 tracks by established and upcoming Danish and Swedish artists, half working in alternative pop/rock and half in electronica. Among them is critically acclaimed one-man dreampop act Sleep Party People aka Brian Batz, whose hauntingly beautiful B-side A Dark God Heart is the final Danish MAP track of 2010. If you crave more, the compilation is available for free download here.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Fantastic Mr Fox – Brandy – Angel In Disguise (Fantastic Mr Fox’s Nature Boy Rerub)
Stephen Gomberg alias Fantastic Mr Fox is one of the most in-demand dubstep producers and musicians around – The xx took him on tour with them to the States and Warpaint commissioned him to remix one of their tracks. His songs have been described as “digital symphonies” and result from painstakingly chopping up pieces of pre-existing music – sounds, melodies, handclaps and so on from his favourite urban tracks such as R&B queen Brandy’s Angel In Disguise, as featured here – and reassembling them in new shapes. In the Guardian’s New Band Of The Day column, Paul Lester hailed this as “abstract R&B arranged with a Cubist disregard for form”. Sheer futurist invention.
Multiphonic Rodent – Printsess & Page
Multiphonic Rodent is the nom de plume of multi-instrumentalist composer Erkki Hõbe. Mainly known as the founder member of Opium Flirt, he has been doing home recordings since 2005 and playing live as a one-man big band on guitars, percussion, keys and wind instruments since 2008. His multi-layered style is influenced by classical minimalism, avant-garde jazz and psychedelic rock, to name a few stylistic origins.
The Friend – New Berlin Wall
The Friend play melodic indie-rock music to make people dance, or, in their own words, they play “songs that are brisk, atmospheric, playful, three-and-a-half-minutes-long compact packages”. Take a listen to their first single, New Berlin Wall, while we wait for their first full-length to be released early next year.
Dizzy Errol – Pride
Dizzy Errol is the one and only Turkish beatnik in Germany. His name perfectly describes his fuzzy, straightforward sound. Pride is the most powerful song on the album Motherlamp from 2010. Dizzy Errol is part of the artist collective Kamerakino, who recently released a compilation named Infant Munich Hits Rock Bottom, which is quite a nice sample of the city’s underground music.
Abbie Gale – Terry Torry A List
Abbie Gale’s third studio album, No Inspiration, an impressive addition to their catalogue, showcases a sweeping collection of 11 songs that are at once riveting, dreamy and sonically lush, swelling and tranquil. Gripping melodies are embellished with whirling arrangements, spirited outbursts and Evira’s wide-ranging, emotive, splendidly affecting vocals. Terry Torry A List feels simultaneously familiar and challenging. It’s a compelling, intricate song in which to lose yourself. It gets under the skin and unfurls its majesty from the first play.
ICELAND: Icelandic Music Maffia
Nóra – Opin Fyrir Morði
Nóra started in a dark garage on the west side of Reykjavík. In 2006, brother and sister Egill and Auður, along with their friend Hrafn, started as a trio. In 2008, the band became a quintet when Bragi and Frank joined. They play honey-glazed indie-pop influenced by Radiohead, Bob Dylan, TV On The Radio, The Mars Volta, The Pixies, Roy Orbison and Neil Young. Opin Fyrir Morði is taken from their debut album, Er Einhver Að Hlusta? (“Is Anyone Listening?”), which was released in early summer.
Tempo Tantrick – Psychoblabber
Tempo Tantrick is a trip hop duo from Bangalore. Their sound palette ranges from downtempo to pulsing EDM that finds a likely home in clubs open to both electronica and experimental. Psychoblabber falls squarely in the latter end of the Tempo Tantrick soundscape. The track features an irresistible, throbbing refrain reminiscent of Shiny Toy Guns.
Kelelawar Malam – Suara Kegelapan
Kelelawar Malam means “Night Bat”; Suara Kegelapan means “Voice of Darkness”. The band name and song title already set a hint of horror, and their lyrics were written as though they were intended for horror B-movie scripts, with old Indonesian villages as the setting. The music is heavily influenced by The Misfits.
James Vincent McMorrow – If I Had A Boat
Having captivated Ireland with his falsetto folk ballads, McMorrow has signed to Vagrant Records in the US. A self-titled EP is currently acquainting itself with international ears and here’s your chance to do the same. If I Had A Boat is the first song from the EP and a perfect introduction to McMorrow’s oaky timbre.
ISRAEL: Metal Israel
Winterhorde – The Tenth Wave
Winterhorde is a blacker than the blackest black metal band from the north of Israel. Unfortunately, Israel’s north is pretty black right now itself with hundreds of acres of forest destroyed by the largest fire in the country’s history with a death toll of over 40. In any case, Winterhorde’s sonic path twists from symphonic melodies to sheer straight-up metal intensity, melding these two extremes with elegance and professionalism. Winterhorde will freeze your soul with its echoes of longing, darkness and unrelenting desperation. Good stuff created in a classic vein.
(m+a) – (we)
Michele and Alessandro (hence the name of the band) are two young, talented boys from the town of Forlì. That’s more or less all I know about this project. But then there are these amazing sounds: gloomy glitch electronica with a warm acoustic heart and a cool touch of fresh pop which goes from Radiohead to Plaid via Hot Chip, if you need some kind of weird recipe. This is a song from their incoming second album but you can download their first one for free at their website.
MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
Troker – Planeta Terror
Guadalajara-based ‘jazz vinyl’ band Troker was formed in 2005 by six conservative musicians and has developed into a powerful, danceable and naughty funk-rock sound – a groovy horn section, violent drums, a sexy piano and spicy scratches that make the turntables work as a roll ‘n’ roll instrument through a jazz-based structure. Planeta Terror is one of the delightfully sour tracks from their second album El Rey Del Camino.
NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
The Benelux – Pet Needs Friends (Bear remix)
This Amsterdam indie quartet are fresh, frisky and dancefloor flammable. There are certainly retro guitar-pop elements at play here, such as their saucy bursts of swaggering guitar jangle. But any hints of classic garage rock are mixed with quirky synths and fun, big beat grooves. So much so that their Girl Singer EP is topped off with remixes by NON Records labelmates Palmbomen and Bear. The tracks lend themselves perfectly to dance-friendly interpretations – Soulwax come to mind in this sense – which is why we’ve chosen the Bear remix of Pet Needs Friends as a party-starting introduction.
NEW ZEALAND: Counting The Beat
Pikachunes – Nervous
Miles Loveless’ commanding baritone strides atop his lofty synth lines and unrepentant drum machine tracks, riding a dance wave like that of LCD Soundsystem. On the bedroom producer’s song Nervous, a Knight Rider-esque bassline cavorts with a floating, flutey synth that comes in with Loveless’s emotionless, almost monotone voice providing a laconic environment for his social awkwardness to shine. Pikachunes released his debut self-titled album on Lil’ Chief Records last month, and he has a great video for the song Shout It Out.
NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Uno Møller – Your Quiet Little House
Singer-songwriter Uno Møller plays beautiful minimalistic pop with just the sound of his fragile voice coupled with the playful tones of an acoustic guitar. His debut album was released a few months ago on the British label Lazy Acre Records. He’s also a part of Team Me, a promising band that has been praised both in and outside Norway. They’ve been booked to play at Øyafestivalen and by:Larm next year, but let’s hope Uno has more time for his solo project too.
Kid Solano – Solano Swing
Think of a perfect party in a place where night is eternal and the collective dancing turns everyone into a jumping mass. Now imagine the perfect song to accompany those moments and the result would be something like Solano Swing. Make space in your record collection for the amazing lounge/breakbeat of Kid Solano.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Minta & The Brook Trout – Large Amounts
Minta is Francisca Cortesão – a talented singer, musician and composer who has been in other bands and works as a session and live musician. The Brook Trout are Mariana Ricardo, Manuel Dordio and José Vilão, friends of Minta who collaborated on her first album, Minta & The Brook Trout. Minta’s sound will please fans of the likes of Beth Orton or Belle & Sebastian.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Makunouchi Bento – Anchorshaped Siren
Makunouchi Bento is an experimental project with influences from musique concrète to IDM. Their lunchbox has many more surprises than anyone could imagine. There are two main directions in their sound – the use of electronic gadgets (Spectrum, C64, Amiga, Atari) and sampling as the key for a haunting cinematic atmosphere. This could easily be the soundtrack of a David Lynch film or a rainy, gray Romanian December afternoon. Their album, Swimé, can be downloaded for free from Bandcamp.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
The Lard Brothers – Wish You’ll Never Leave Time (Ownself Remix)
The Lard Brothers have carved a niche for themselves remixing and reworking songs by other Singaporean bands, sometimes roping in outside collaborators in the process. Their approach ensures their work isn’t so much a rehash of existing material as it is a means of bringing the music community together, and giving us a fresh take on Singaporean music. Their latest release, the Bonsai Warriors EP, stays on the same track but fittingly leaves room at the end for a remix of themselves, a glorious uplifting on their 2008 original.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Reburn – Outta My Mind
Reburn is a five-piece alternative rock band whose mix of catchy beats and a quirky feel has seen them rise to the forefront of the local scene. Outta My Mind encompasses the band’s sound, which is distinctly British-influenced with its polished tone and a slight indie edge. Reburn’s motto is that the band was brought to life for no reason other than to make “music for pleasure” and that they do. Stylishly so.
SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Image – Empty Universe
Female singer-songwriter Image has already been active for more than a decade, but it wasn’t until fall this year that she presented her first digital EP, Metaphoricalizing. Determined to make music of veracity, Image combines both acoustic and electronic elements when giving life to the folk ethos she wishes to express. Empty Universe is the main track off Metaphoricalizing and will be recorded in an English version for her upcoming first CD album.
Odio París – Ya No Existes
We don’t have any reason to hate Paris, but apparently this five-piece band from Barcelona does. Odio París, who have supported The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, are influenced by shoegaze legends The Jesus And Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, but they also take inspiration from Spain’s biggest indie band, Los Planetas. Ya No Existes, their first single, is living proof of that as it recreates the characteristic distortion of the Andalusians’ early releases.
Le Days – Ring Baby Ring
Le Days aka Daniel Hedin has announced the upcoming release of a debut album titled Dead People On Tape. The predominant instrument may be an acoustic guitar but this is by no means folk music. It’s a disturbing blend of over the top emo and confessional rock à la Jeff Buckely. The first single in all its tormented glory namedrops Judas, curses violently and lays its heart on its proverbial sleeve.
The Bianca Story – Coming Home
You thought Switzerland was neutral? It’s not. We’re totally asking you to take sides with our quest to bring better music to the world. Our weapon of mass seduction: The Bianca Story, a five-piece from Basel. Their sound is best described as “pop taken seriously” – you get the catchy tunes but with added layers of depth. Their latest single, Coming Home, is an appetizer to their second album due for release in 2011.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Painted Palms – All Of Us
San Francisco’s Painted Palms aren’t the first experimental pop band to take cues from Animal Collective, but they’re perhaps the most unique of the bunch. Combining a wild assortment of genres from Afro-pop to krautrock to electro-pop, the tracks on their debut Canopy EP (free download here) are equally addictive as they are artful, bringing a smile to even the most jaded of listeners.
Viniloversus – Ruleta Rusa
Viniloversus started rocking Caracas in 2004, both live and on record. One of the many reasons for their unique sound is the presence of two bassists in the band. Impeccable performances and sharp, strong notes hit the audience like thunder in their shows. Ruleta Rusa is taken from their Latin Grammy-nominated latest album Si No Nos Mata.