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 firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the reserve list.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Sparrow And The Workshop – One Brush.
Blindfolds have split up after three years together – they bow out with the release of new video Lucid.
November 22, 2013: New video via YouTube… Young Aviators – We’ve Got Names For Folk Like You.
New video via YouTube… The Pastels – Kicking Leaves.
New video via YouTube… Conscious Route feat Werd & Jordan Butler – Friends Til The End.
New gig… The Xcerts at Aberdeen’s Downstairs on December 21.
New gig… Glasgow’s Dirty Weekender across five venues on February 28-March 1 featuring Mark Morriss (The Bluetones), Mark Gardener (Ride), Bombskare, etc.
November 21, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Withered Hand – Black Tambourine.
New video via YouTube… Jo Mango – When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree, taken from When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree EP, out on December 2.
CHVRCHES’ gig for TYCI’s Christmas Party on December 21 has been moved to Glasgow’s SWG3 due to a delay in the reopening of The Vic venue at The Art School.
New gig… The Jezabels at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on February 26, plus ticket bundles with new album The Brink.
November 20, 2013: Arctic Monkeys have been announced as the one of headliners at next year’s T in the Park on July 11-13. Tickets go on sale on November 22.
New gig… The Christmas Songwriters’ Club at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall on December 22 featuring Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison, Kid Canaveral, Broken Records, Miaoux Miaoux, Siobhan Wilson, TeenCanteen with Eugene Kelly, Karine Polwart & Findlay Napier, We See Lights and Very Well.
New song stream via SoundCloud… SOS – Fake Hallelujah.
November 19, 2013: New video via YouTube… Franz Ferdinand – Bullet.
Free EP download via Bandcamp… King Post Kitsch – The Silver Screen.
New video via YouTube… The Amazing Snakeheads – Flatlining.
November 18, 2013: CHVRCHES have been confirmed as the live band for TYCI’s Christmas Party at Glasgow’s Art School on December 21.
New album trailer via YouTube… Withered Hand – New Gods, due out in February.
New Beerjacket album Darling Darkness will be released on January 27.
New tour… The Winter Tradition at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on February 6, Stirling’s Tolbooth on February 7, Aberdeen’s Cafe Drummond on February 8, Inverness’ Mad Hatters on February 9, Galashiels’ Heriot-Watt Student Union on February 10, Dundee’s Duke’s Corner on February 11 and Perth’s Twa Tams on February 15.
November 17, 2013: Glasgow venue King Tut’s has unveiled it line-up for the fourth annual King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution on January 3-16, with the likes of Campfires In Winter, Cherri Fosphate, Book Group, Garden Of Elks, Saint Max And The Fanatics and Quinny featuring on all-local bills.
Labels, musicians and fans are being invited to register albums released by Scottish artists in 2013 for consideration for next year’s SAY Award.
November 15, 2013: French Wives will play their last ever gig at Glasgow’s Mono on December 19 after announcing they are splitting up.
New video via YouTube… There Will Be Fireworks – Youngblood.
New album release via iTunes… Ministry Of Stories – Share More Air, an album of children’s lyrics set to original music including Rachel Sermanni’s Love Story.
New song stream via Bandcamp… Water Of Life – Sources And Springs / Abercrombie, 1949, an art-science collaboration between Tommy Perman and Rob St. John exploring flows of water through Edinburgh.
November 14, 2013: New gig… The Wee Chill Festive Weekender at Glasgow’s SWG3 on December 22, featuring Admiral Fallow, Washington Irving, The Little Kicks, Call To Mind and Atom Tree.
The Big Apple Award has launched its annual competition, with an all-expenses-paid trip to play New York City in April 2014 up for grabs. The deadline for applications is December 2, before the winner is picked from a shortlist of five Scottish performers at Glasgow’s Garage on December 11. The last two victors were Stanley Odd and Song Of Return.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Mike Nisbet – Traveling Blues (demo)
November 13, 2013: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations will incorporate an afternoon of free live music on January 1. Starting at the National Museum of Scotland at noon, the guest-curated SCOT:LANDS event will feature performances across nine Old Town venues by the likes of King Creosote, Withered Hand, RM Hubbert, Lau and FOUND as well as a production of Whatever Gets You Through The Night.
New video via YouTube… Washington Irving – Palomides , director James Houston claims it’s the world’s first autostereogram music video.
New video via YouTube… Nightmare Boy – Paranoid (Black Sabbath cover).
New video via Vevo… KT Tunstall – Made Of Glass.
November 12, 2013: New album release via Bandcamp… Medals – Disguises, new project of Sucioperro’s JP Reid.
New event… Vic Galloway – Songs In The Key Of Fife book reading + Withered Hand + Kid Canaveral at Glenrothes’ Rothes Halls on November 29.
New album stream via SoundCloud… Kobi Onyame – Glory, available to buy on iTunes.
November 11, 2013: Next year’s MTV Europe Music Awards will be held at Glasgow’s Hydro on November 9.
Arches singer Michael Rice has left the band, with guitarist Barry Morrell taking over vocal duties.
New EP release via SoundCloud…. Casual Sex – The Bastard Beat, streaming on SoundCloud.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Mike Nisbet – What Will Be Will Be (demo).
November 8, 2013: BBC ALBA programme Buskers has returned for a second series, with the first two episodes available to watch on iPlayer. Episode 2′s spotlight on Glasgow features Donald Macdonald, Alan Tennie, Anna Shields and Holly Wilson.
November 7, 2013: New gigs… Fireside Acoustic Sessions (organised by Comets & Cartwheels) at Glasgow’s Drake Bar featuring free stripped-back sets from Friends In America + Prehistoric Friends on November 7, Finn LeMarinel on November 14, Randolph’s Leap on November 21 and Honeyblood + LightGuides on November 28.
New gig… There Will Be Fireworks + Friends In America + The Youth And Young at Strathaven’s Old Mill Studios on December 7.
November 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… Prides – Roar (Katy Perry cover for Vic Galloway session).
New song stream via YouTube… Fridge Magnets – Chase The Sun.
Rachel Sermanni has set up a PledgeMusic page for pre-orders of her Everything Changes EP.
Free song download via SoundCloud… This Silent Forest – Root To The Seed, taken from debut album Indivision.
New song stream via Gold Flake Paint… Book Group – The Lowdown of A LOUD Sound, taken from Victory Lap / The Lowdown Of A LOUD Sound single, out on November 25.
New video via YouTube… The Button Men – Man With A Plan.
November 5, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud (today only)… There Will Be Fireworks – Elder And Oak.
New video via YouTube… CHVRCHES – Lies.
The Birthday Suit have a PledgeMusic campaign featuring various incentives and packages to go with pre-orders of their third album A Hollow Hole Of Riches, out in April.
BrewDog Records has been set up by the Scottish craft beer company with its first official release being The Shiverin’ Sheiks single Guided Missiles, taken from the band’s debut album A Curious Case Of…, out on November 20.
November 4, 2013: New album release via Bandcamp… Washington Irving – Palomides: Volume II.
New album release via iTunes… Kobi Onyame – Glory.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Over The Wall – Radiator, taken from This Is How We Did It EP, out on December 9.
November 1, 2013: New gig… There Will Be Fireworks + Friends In America + Kevin Harper at Glasgow’s SWG3 on November 22.
Arctic Monkeys have rescheduled tonight’s show at Glasgow’s Hydro to November 21 as singer Alex Turner has laryngitis. All original tickets remain valid.
New video via YouTube… Michael Cassidy – Everybody’s Scared. He plays with Beerjacket + Julia And The Doogans at Glasgow’s Mono on December 5.
October 31, 2013: New video via YouTube… Nightmare Boy – Mary (first solo offering of ex-Kassidy member Barrie-James O’Neill).
New video via YouTube… Frightened Rabbit – Holy.
A fan-led campaign to boycott all of Idlewild’s side-projects in the hope of spurring them to make new music has been attacked by band member Rod Jones. The guitarist, who also fronts The Birthday Suit, wrote: “If anything this just has the opposite effect in that it made me really consider whether I wanted to make music anymore. My other band The Birthday Suit and its touring and releasing records has absolutely no bearing or influence on whether and when an Idlewild tour or album might happen.”
October 30, 2013: New gigs… The Reflektors (Arcade Fire) at Glasgow’s Barrowland on November 15 and November 16 – general sale from November 1; presale passwords are available to those who pre-ordered the band’s new album from their official website.
New album release via iTunes… Cairn String Quartet – One (streaming on SoundCloud) featuring orchestral covers of Lana Del Rey, Coldplay, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Ocean Colour Scene etc.
October 29, 2013: Free song download via official website… Mogwai – Remurdered (streaming on SoundCloud), taken from eighth album Rave Tapes, out on January 20.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Pinact – Brew.
New video via YouTube… The LaFontaines – All She Knows.
Free song download via SoundCloud… SOS – ROCK N ROLL.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Madison – Mending, taken from Mending EP, out now.
Gig venue change…. Katie Sutherland plays Glasgow’s Faktory instead of Mackintosh Church on November 2.
October 28, 2013: New album release via Comets & Cartwheels… Blood Relatives – Deerheart.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Call To Mind – A Family Sketch.
New album release via Lost Map… Monoganon – F A M I L Y, streaming in full on Gold Flake Paint.
October 25, 2013: Born To Be Wide will host a seminar on record shops at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on November 7. Panelists include Rose Norton (Coda), Sandy McLean (Love Music) and Darren Yeates (VoxBox).
New gig… Blood Relatives album launch at Glasgow’s Bar & Fly on October 26.
New gig… Scottish Fiction presents Beerjacket & Friends + Julia And The Doogans at Glasgow’s Mono on December 5.
New song stream via SoundCloud… The LaFontaines – All She Knows (Prides remix).
The 1975, Nina Nesbitt and The 10:04s have been added to the Concert in the Gardens bill at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay alongside Pet Shop Boys. Other stages feature CHVRCHES, Django Django and King Creosote.
October 24, 2013: New gig… TYCI Christmas Party featuring secret live act plus DJ sets from CHVRCHES + Pretty Ugly + Adele Bethel at Glasgow’s Art School on December 21.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Honeyblood – Kissing On You.
New gig… Starz In Their Eyes featuring RM Hubbert + Eagleowl + The Pictish Trail + Kid Canaveral + Two Wings (each covering a female artist of their choice) at Edinburgh’s Pilrig St Paul’s Church on November 23.
October 23, 2013: New video via YouTube… Siobhan Wilson – All Dressed Up.
New video via YouTube… TeenCanteen – Honey.
New video via YouTube… Young Fathers – Low, taken from forthcoming album Dead, out on February 3.
New video via YouTube… Biffy Clyro – Sounds Like Balloons.
New EP release via Bandcamp… End Of Neil – Less.
October 22, 2013: Local Natives’ Nik Ewing had his Fender Coronado bass guitar stolen during their gig at The Arches in Glasgow last night – contact police if you spot it.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Michael Cassidy – Everybody’s Scared, out on November 28.
October 21, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… TeenCanteen – Honey, out on October 28. They play Edinburgh’s Summerhall on October 25, Glasgow’s Rio Cafe on October 26 (free) and Aberfeldy Festival on November 3.
New album release via Bandcamp… Saint Max & The Fanatics – Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead.
New video via YouTube… Kobi Onyame – Goodbye World, Hello, taken from new album Glory, out on November 4.
Free download via official website… Plum – Death Comes With A Bow, taken from Betsy Thunder EP, out now.
October 18, 2013: Dumfries Music Conference has announced its upcoming four-day programme of free events in the town.
October 30: Screening of LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits at Robert Burns Centre.
October 31: Music Industry Experts seminar featuring The Pop Cop and others at The Stove (ticketed).
November 1: Songwriting Workshops featuring Findlay Napier + Finding Albert’s Robert Shields at The Stove.
November 1: Live showcase featuring Hector Bizerk + Honeyblood + Barstow Bats at The Stove (ticketed).
November 2: Record Fair featuring Rebecca Vasmant (Ministry Of Sound) + Jason Reid (Sub Club) at The Stove.
October 17, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Washington Irving – Babble. Their track Palomides is also available for free download. Both are taken from Palomides: Volume II album, out on November 4.
New video via Clash… The Birthday Suit – A Bigger World, out on November 4.
New video via YouTube… Atom Tree – Die For Your Love, taken from Tide Of Thorns EP, out on October 18.
Free gig… Rachel Sermanni at Glasgow’s Love Music on October 21 (5pm).
October 16, 2013: New video via YouTube… Colin Macleod – Devil Pavement (Live from the Green Bus), taken from The Anchor EP, out on October 21. On the same day he will play instore sets at Edinburgh’s Coda Music (1pm) and Glasgow’s Love Music (5.30pm).
57ᵒ North have published their Guide To DIY Gig Promotion – a useful resource for anyone venturing into this side of the music business.
Michael Cassidy will play at the opening night party for Glasgow’s The Bar & Fly on October 19.
Free gig… French Wives + Randolph’s Leap + Laki Mera + The Graveyard Band + Donald Macdonald And The Islands + The Mademoiselle for 1st Birthday Bash at Glasgow’s Broadcast on October 25 (RSVP required).
October 15, 2013: New video via YouTube… Travis – Mother.
New video via YouTube…. Casual Sex – Nothing On Earth, taken from The Bastard Beat EP, out on October 28.
October 14, 2013: Anna Sweeney, who spoke out on The Pop Cop about her mental health issues after quitting her solo career, has started a new project with Maeve McCrorie called The Scarlings. They play their first gig at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on October 31.
October 12, 2013: New documentary via BBC iPlayer… The Great Hip Hop Hoax.
New song stream via Clash… Washington Irving – Palomides, taken from Palomides: Volume II album, out on November 4.
Free download via SoundCloud… Beerjacket – Glow (demo).
Free album download via Bandcamp… Louie & Bigg Taj – Paranoise.
October 11, 2013: New gig… Withered Hand at Edinburgh’s Whale Arts Centre on October 19 (free tickets) with free return coach travel from Waterloo Place as part of Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival.
New tour… Travis at Edinburgh’s Picture House on November 17, Inverness’ Ironworks on November 18, Aberdeen’s Music Hall on November 19 and Glasgow’s Barrowland on December 20.
October 10, 2013: The venue splits and stage times for Haddowfest in Edinburgh on October 11-12 have been released.
New video via YouTube… Honeyblood – Bud. The band play Glasgow’s Broadcast on October 29 and Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on October 30.
New video via YouTube… Camera Obscura – Troublemaker. The band’s Break It To You Gently double 7″ single is out now.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Saint Max & The Fanatics – Soul Surrender, taken from debut album Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead, out on October 21.
October 9, 2013: New video via YouTube… Katie Sutherland – Canvas. She plays Glasgow’s Mackintosh Church on November 2.
New gig… Rachel Sermanni + Bwani Junction + Vigo Thieves at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on November 23 (for War Child). Rachel’s The Boatshed Sessions EP is out on October 21.
The Great Hip Hop Hoax will be broadcast on BBC Two Scotland on October 11 at 9pm.
LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits will be shown for free at Dumfries’ Robert Burns Centre on October 30 as part of Dumfries Music Conference which runs from October 30 to November 2.
October 8, 2013: CHVRCHES, Django Django, King Creosote, The Rezillos, Treacherous Orchestra and Fiddlers’ Bid have been announced to play Edinburgh’s Hogmanay street party alongside headliners Pet Shop Boys.
New song stream via SoundCloud… SOS – ROCK N ROLL.
October 7, 2013: New song stream via YouTube… The LaFontaines – All She Knows, out on October 27; B-side My Yo-Yo available now on iTunes.
New album release via iTunes… The Fratellis – We Need Medicine.
New album release via Bandcamp… The Grand Gestures – Second.
New album release via Fortuna POP!… The Spook School – Dress Up.
October 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… De Rosa – Spectres. The band play their first gig in four years as part of Kid Canaveral’s Xmas Baubles IV at Edinburgh’s Portobello Town Hall on December 14.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Beerjacket – Androgynous (The Replacements cover).
New album stream via SoundCloud… L.Pierre – Neverland Transmission, A Disney Mix (tracklist on Dazed and Confused).
October 4, 2013: 57º North will run a free music journalism training course at Aberdeen’s Seventeen every Wednesday for four weeks from October 23. Email email@example.com to apply for one of six spaces.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Katie Sutherland – Canvas, out on November 18.
New gigs via Ticketmaster… The Twilight Sad performing debut album Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on December 20 and December 21.
New album release via Bandcamp… The Little Kicks – Put Your Love In Front Of Me.
New video via BBC iPlayer… Rapal – Series 7, Episode 8, featuring Vukovi, Donald Macdonald And The Islands, The Velveteen Saints, The River 68′s and Conquering Animal Sound.
October 3, 2013: The Glasgow venue formerly known as The Barfly, which shut in February 2009, will reopen as The Bar & Fly at the same location on Clyde Street on October 18.
New video via YouTube… The Deep Red Sky – Kids (MGMT cover), out on October 7.
New song via YouTube… Finn LeMarinel – Love Is Waves (demo).
October 2, 2013: Free album download via UK Rock Radio… Free Sample Issue #03 featuring songs by The Xcerts, Sparrow And The Workshop, Admiral Fallow, A Band Called Quinn, Mull Historical Society and Unkle Bob.
Meursault frontman Neil Pennycook will be a guest speaker at Born To Be Wide’s seminar on promoting gigs, which takes place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on October 3.
New video via YouTube… We Were Hunted – You Know Me Now.
What The Blood Revealed have announced they are splitting up.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Lorraine McCauley & The Borderlands – Belong.
October 1, 2013: Free song download via iTunes… CHVRCHES – Tether. Singer Lauren Mayberry has written a Guardian article about the online misogyny she has been suffering, it’s well worth a read.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Julia & The Doogans – Love At First Sight (Kylie Minogue cover).
New song stream via SoundCloud… Cold Crows Dead – Ghost That Burned Your House Down, taken from debut album I Fear A New World, out on December 2. The band is a collaboration between The Xcerts’ Murray Macleod and Brighton songwriter Paul Steel. They play Aberdeen’s Tunnels on December 10 and Glasgow’s King Tut’s on December 11.
Welcome to the 30th edition of the Music Alliance Pact, which has been arriving on the 15th of every month without fail since October 2008.
As ever, bloggers around the world have vouched for one song from their respective home countries, all served up as free, legal mp3s -yours to download either individually (right-click on the song title) or collectively (via MediaFire).
The latest Scottish act on The Pop Cop’s list of must-hears goes by the name of LITTLE ESKIMOS, from Stirling. Hit it, boys…
To download all 36 songs in one file click here
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Little Eskimos – Start It Up
You’d never guess that Little Eskimos’ anthemic debut album Are You Still With Us? (available on Bandcamp) is the work of just one man – chief songwriter Kevin Harper played all the instruments and recorded it himself before getting a band together. Little Eskimos clearly owe a huge debt to the West Coast slacker rock sound, and the infectious Start It Up will leave you counting the days until their second album comes out in the summer. Keep up with them on Facebook in the meantime.
April 8, Captain’s Rest, Glasgow
Utopians – Pepe Le Pew
Utopians is a garage rock band led by singer Barbi Recanati. They usually sound like a wild rampage of 70s-like guitar riffs and distortions, especially on their new album Freak. This song is the exception – an intimate acoustic ballad with Spanish lyrics inspired by a cartoon character.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Seekae – Gnor
Seekae’s new album +Dome is out on March 25 and I’m super excited since their previous album, The Sound Of Trees Falling On People, is one of my favourite Australian albums of all time. When I say “I’m super excited”, I am talking on your behalf – I already have a copy of the album and can confirm that it is fantastic. Gnor, the first ‘official’ single from the album (presumably because 2010 single Blood Bank features an updated and better mix here), is one of the closest songs to the sound of their debut, making it a good jumping-off point for people looking to get enveloped by their ‘ghetto ambiance’ all over again.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Nuda – Maruimstad
Preparing to release their first album in the coming months, Nuda is a promising band that mixes regional Brazilian rhythms with alternative rock and experimentation. Maruimstad expresses the most exciting facet of the band and shows their ability to innovate while pleasing from the first listen.
Meligrove Band – Heart Attack
Looking for power-pop perfection? Then look no further than Meligrove Band’s Shimmering Lights. It’s one of those albums from which you could pick a song at random – be it Heart Attack, Bones Attack!!! or any of the other eight tracks without the word “Attack” in the title – and you’d be guaranteed to come away listening to one of catchiest tunes you’re ever likely to hear.
CHILE: Super 45
Prehistöricos – Como Las Piedras
Prehistöricos formed during the summer of 2010, when actors Tomäs Preuss and Jessica Romo merged their musical ideas to create a collection of acoustic songs about teenage love. Their debut album La Orquesta Ocúlta (“The Hidden Orchestra”) – released last October and available for free download here – received great reviews, focused mainly on the bright and naive nature of their repertoire. Mentioned in many Latin American media ‘best of the year’ lists, this duo are one of the highlights from a growing list of Chilean pop bands.
Omnipotent Youth Society – The Less Than Omnipotent Comedy
Formed in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, in the late 90s, Omnipotent Youth Society take their influences from the Blind Melon sort of alternative American bands in the 90s, as well as jazz, blues and psychedelic noise. They released their debut album last year, which has been highly praised by critics and fans.
COLOMBIA: Colombia Urbana
Two Flow – Como Te Llamas
Two Flow is a duo consisting of Charly and Fabio, singers from Barranquilla. Como Te Llamas is a collaboration with Punto G, a tropical band from the same city, and was named the No.1 song of the Barranquilla carnival. This combination of tropical and urban flavors have made Como Te Llamas a hit on the radio and in discothèques.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Powersolo – I Love You But I Hate You
It’s 10 years since the release of “donkey-punk” duo Powersolo’s debut album, Lemon Half Moon. To mark the occasion, Kim Kix and The Atomic Child (aka the Railthin Brothers aka Kim and Bo Jeppesen) have released their fifth album, Buzz Human. It’s a generally great and always entertaining mash of psychobilly, 60s garage rock, punk, psychedelia, utter madness and catchy hooks.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
AlunaGeorge – Disobey
Aluna Francis is the one with the impossibly high, breathy-girly vocals and George Reid is the one responsible for the electronic production that seems to be as steeped in pop mores as it is aware of dubstep and R&B techniques. Imagine a 21st century Dollar if they’d formed in the shadows of FWD>>, if you can picture such an exciting proposition. Disobey is a final mix exclusive, so now you can make your own minds up about the duo described variously in our New Band Of The Day column as “fabulous” and “itchily glitchy”.
Kosmofon – Kvasar
Kosmofon is a spaceship built in 2008 and commanded by Martin Laksberg, Rasmus Lill and Marten Kuningas. They listen in their secret laboratory to Sirius and examine neutron stars to open a new dimension to the music of outermost depths of space. Kosmofon’s works are the memoirs of heroic astronauts and announcements of thousands and millions of light years formatted into progressive electronic music.
Blackbird – Did I Say That I Loved You?
Captain Cougar’s Jussi Petäjä discovered Jenna-Miia Kaivosoja one night while watching TV singing competition Idols. Impressed by her performance of Dolly Parton’s Jolene, they started collaborating and making real music. Now with the addition of keyboardist Matias Tyni, they have formed Blackbird to create a surprising combination of folk and bubblegum pop. If this first song is a good indication, their debut album due out in the summer will be catchy, cheesy and fun.
FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Young Michelin – Les Copains
Young Michelin is a four-piece band led by Romain Guerret, an accomplished solo artist who made two albums under the name Dondolo. Signed to American label Holiday Records, they are trying to merge their 90s English indie-pop influences with the use of French language. Inspired by The Wake, The Field Mice and labels such as Sarah Records, they aim to make music that is simple and honest, and succeed brilliantly, as this instrumental shows.
Silent Portraits – Mama
Music recorded in one take always has the charm of authenticity. And music recorded with lo-fi equipment in a bedroom can have wonderful results. As you listen to Silent Portraits, you feel the raw energy behind these sketches. Imperfect, powerful and benign, Maxi’s voice and reverbed guitar create a warm and somewhat melancholic soundscape reminiscent of PJ Harvey or Becky Lee. You can download the other songs of this unsigned Berlin-based artist via MySpace or Bandcamp.
Zebra Tracks – Isabelle Creeps
Zebra Tracks collect their darkest impulses and put them on stark display. The single Bicycles / Isabelle Creeps brims with their vehement energy and constitutes an intriguing step in the evolution of their simple, yet oddly affecting, and certainly promising sound. A start-to-finish rush of invigorating riffs and pointed narratives that heightens with repeated exposure. A thrilling, incontrovertible evidence of their bright future.
ICELAND: Icelandic Music Maffia
Ikea Satan – The Wait
The trio Ikea Satan plays satanic blues-metal. Unnar Kolka drums, Pétur Úlfur plays guitar and sings, and Hannes Þór plays bass. The Wait is taken from their three-song Sound Of The Planet EP, released last year on Icelandic label Ching Ching Bling Bling.
Bombay Bassment – Hip-Hop [Never Be The Same]
Mumbai electro rockers Bombay Bassment have lofty ambitions. Their brand of hip-hop meets drum ‘n bass meets funk takes on established conventions of those genres – a careful mix of curated samples, some pro MC chops and an affinity to bass-driven melodies. Hip-Hop [Never Be The Same] puts those ambitions front and center. This is a band that’s sure-footed and ready to, as cliched as it may sound, “make it to the top”. We’re certain they have the chops to do just that.
Amazing In Bed – Circle
Amazing In Bed never stop growing as they keep making music with new approaches and refuse to take notice of critics. And now, even if we are able to trace the roots of their garage-punk songs, we still understand and recognize them as Amazing In Bed.
We Are Losers – Cheerleader
The brainchild of Gavin Elsted, who has been joined by members of Super Extra Bonus Party and Grand Pocket Orchestra, We Are Losers have been directing shafts of sunshine lo-fi indie-rock into ear canals for the past six months. Cheerleader is a fine example of what the band do best. Catchy choruses, a hint of 50s pop, handclaps and happy melodies.
ISRAEL: Metal Israel
Sonne Adam – We Who Worship The Black
Jens Prueter, head of A&R at Century Media Europe, puts it best: “We are proud to sign a young band from Tel Aviv, Israel that knows the meaning of death unfortunately better than most of us. Sonne Adam mix the old doom/death of early Paradise Lost and technical insanity of early Morbid Angel with a fresh passion and raw energy that reminds me of the hunger and dedication I heard 20 years ago, without sounding retro.” Black Sabbath dirges mix with rabid speed to create an aural monstrosity. Check them out.
Casa Del Mirto – Faces
Let’s put aside the obvious comparisons to Washed Out and Neon Indian. Yes, you can call Casa Del Mirto ‘chillwave’ or ‘glo-fi’, but I feel the songs have a different mood, something more intimate, melancholic and familiar. Not to mention those gorgeously brilliant sounds. Casa Del Mirto is the project of Marco Ricci, from Trento. His new album, 1979, is out now on Mashhh! Records.
MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
Toño Tranquilino – Candyflip
Hipekinetik is the solo album of Toño Tranquilino (drummer of stoner rock band Yokozuna), in which he explores many other forms of making music. Its sound tastefully blends 60s Brazilian psychedelia and heartfelt folk songs, led by a jazz-influenced piano. Candyflip stands out on the introspective 12-piece set, as a cathartic moment in his captivating relief which eventually becomes a self-discovery quest.
NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Blues Brother Castro – Walk In The Park
Few Amsterdam rock ‘n’ roll bands play with the same swagger and passion as Blues Brother Castro. Be it onstage or on record, their sound is typically raunchy guitars, waves of energy and savage calls. From beneath their well-worn 90s indie overcoat emerges elements reminiscent of Rob Tyner’s howl, Ron Asheton’s growl and even James Brown’s scowl. It’s been almost five years since they’ve had new songs to showcase, but their third album, Out On The Beach, will be released via Excelsior Recordings on April 4.
NEW ZEALAND: Einstein Music Journal
Orchestra Of Spheres – Boltzmann Brain
Otherworldly psych and alien trance unite in Orchestra Of Spheres’ hypnotic jams. The group has been entrancing audiences in their native Wellington and further afield for years, and never fail to leave jaws hanging at their free-spirited but tightly-wound motorik dance. Live, they’re a spectacle of concept costumes, handmade instruments including a cake tin guitar and rack of keyboard foot pedals played by hand, and look as though an alien troupe descended the stage. Boltzmann Brain will induce in you their contagious mystic madness.
NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Sandra Kolstad – The Devil
Sandra Kolstad is a young woman who will release her debut album, Crux, in the spring. There’s already quite a buzz around her here in Norway and this summer she’ll play one of our biggest festivals, Øya. Her music is characteristic, peculiar electro-pop with a finesse that many other artists lack. Maybe it’s her education in classical piano, maybe it’s her gift at writing. I don’t know, but I can hear hints of another great artist who masters both classical and indie, Owen Pallett, as well as traces of Fever Ray, Jenny Hval/Rockettothesky and maybe Dirty Projectors.
Futuro Incierto – Fue Ayer
Futuro Incierto is one of the most symbolic Peruvian hardcore bands. Fronted by Pedro Allemant, their 20 years of melodic punk are proof of the musical experience they have gained. For their most recent record, Ego, some problems arose that forced them to re-record the content, yet it resulted in the best album of their career. In this work, the songs delve deep into personal themes, mature feelings and the conflicts caused by ego.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Mazgani – Beggar’s Hands
Shahryar Mazgani was born in Iran but moved to Portugal when he was just five. In 2005, Mazgani was considered one of the 20 best new European acts by French magazine Les Inrockuptibles. He has three albums and 2010′s Song Of Distance, where this month’s track is taken from, was acclaimed by the Portuguese media as one of the best rock records of the year.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Robin And The Backstabbers – Soare Cu Dinti
Robin And The Backstabbers made their debut almost a year ago in Bucharest. The guys mix indie with what they call ‘melodramatic pop’ and the result is an upbeat nostalgic sound that gets to you in the best ways. They have released two singles, both very well received by the public and underground radio stations. This is their third one and, by the sound of it, I’m sure it’s going to be another success.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Caracal – Bears
Brazen smatterings of post-hardcore and hard rock are the name of Caracal’s game, something they do exceptionally well. There are shades of Underoath, Fugazi and mewithoutYou all over their straight-shooting, swashbuckler of an album, Bear. Shark. Wolf. Even if the music’s genre isn’t your cup of tea, one thing you can never fault this young band on is how proudly they wear their hearts on the sleeves, beating loudly for all the world to sit up and take notice.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
aKING – The Runaround
When aKING embarked on their new album in 2010, they were ready to explore and venture into new territory. The Runaround, the first single from the band’s third studio album The Red Blooded Years, shows off their formula of acoustic rock, distinctive vocals and riffs. There are also new sounds and influences that have crept in, with a distinct 80s feel shining through on many of the new tracks. The change has taken aKING to new heights.
SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
J Rabbit – aMorejo
Super-lovely duo J Rabbit has been gathering a bit of attention since November last year when they first started posting music on YouTube via friendz.net. In March, the two girls released their first album, It’s Spring, and they are now hoping it can provide their audience with delight and fresh energy. Supported by an acoustic guitar, aMorejo is a sweet song with lyrics that’ll stick even if you can’t understand the words.
Oso Leone – Rebellion
Formed in Majorca, Oso Leone started to make their name at Levi’s Unfamous Music Awards contest, in which they were finalists. They didn’t win, but they were chosen as the supporting band for These New Puritans’ Spanish tour and later signed to Foehn Records, home of Spanish indie acts such as Emilio José and Marina Gallardo. Using structures similar to Vic Chesnutt’s, echoes of Americana and contemporary folk go hand in hand on their music and show that the boys are just a breath away from success.
Cryptonites – Hey Kidz
The two blokes behind Cryptonites surely do not intend to diminish the power of any superheroes. On the contrary, their objective is to strengthen young kids with their electrifying sound. With their new EP Hey Kidz in stock, these two sound manipulators might just accomplish their mission because the four-track material is a bona fide crowd pleaser. The centerpiece Hey Kidz is the heart and soul of the release on Freakz Me Out.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Cloud Nothings – Understand At All
Cloud Nothings has it all: DIY bedroom charm, memorable melodies and
jangly guitar work lost somewhere in an era of grunge and punk rock.
This solo project from the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio, packs a punch
live too – something I plan on seeing for myself this month.
VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Planeador – El Regreso
Planeador is a rock band with influences of folk, country and blues formed in Anzoátegui in 2006. After playing at major festivals around the country, they finally released their first album in April 2010, which launched the single El Regreso. It has remained on the playlist of several radio stations with the video rotated on MTV Latin America. They are currently working on their second studio album.