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 gig… Kid Canaveral at Glasgow’s Stereo on February 14.
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.
As events in Dusseldorf last night proved, there’s something truly magic about the annual aural violation that is Eurovision – it makes you realise just how monotonous the white-boys-with-guitars live spectacle is when they’re not sharing the stage with someone drawing in sand or, at the very least, a unicycling fairy.
In some subconscious level it must have inspired me to set up the Music Alliance Pact, which strives to identify the best new songs from around the globe and offers them to you for free consumption in a monthly mixtape.
Each of the 36 blogs in MAP has chosen a song by an artist from their own country, and collectively we share the entire lot on all of our sites on the 15th of the month. As Scotland’s representative, it gives me great pleasure to bring you WE SEE LIGHTS.
To download all 36 songs in one file click here
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
We See Lights – My Oh My Oh My
Let’s see if you can guess what We See Lights sound like before you listen to them. The group hosted an event this month called The Twee Jamboree in their native Edinburgh with live music and home baking, while their new Twee Love Pop EP features a song entitled I Hope You Like The Smiths. I think you get the picture. My Oh My Oh My is by far their finest moment to date – it’s an utterly adorable anthem for the lovestruck and has some delightful banjo playing. Check out Bandcamp or iTunes for more of their music.
May 26, Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh (tickets)
Pablo Krantz – Et C’est Ainsi Que Tu T’en Vas
Pablo Krantz is a well-established musician and writer born in Buenos Aires. After making a name for himself in the local alternative scene with two great albums, he moved to Paris for several years, where he released an album in which he sings entirely in French. Démonos Cita En Una Autopista (Para Volvernos A Estrellar) is his fifth record, and the first one since he returned to Argentina. A mix between these two stages in Krantz’s career, Et C’est Ainsi Que Tu T’en Vas is a great song to start digging into his work.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Chet Faker – No Diggity
Chet Faker is a new electronic artist on the Melbourne scene. His tie-dye facial hair + wifebeater singlet + smoooooooth cover of a bangin’ 90s anthem has definitely brought him some attention. TOP THIS. No, this isn’t a (total) joke – it’s a sweet 2011 treatment for a song that many people probably didn’t think was worth a revisit.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Lise – Parece Constantina
Parece Constantina is a preview of Qualquer Frágil Fio de Fantasia, the new album from Lise, which is the side-project of multi-instrumentalist Daniel Nunes (drummer of the band Constantina, who played at this year’s SXSW). The name of the song means “sounds like Constantina”, in reference to his main band. Despite being a very experimental post-rock/electronic project, this track dialogues with hip hop through the vocals from members of Zimun and increases the musical spectrum of the genre.
The Guest Bedroom – Tough Luck
Buzzing guitars, thundering drums, impassioned female vocals… Sleater-Kinney and their grrrl-y ilk may be gone, but The Guest Bedroom show they’re not forgotten. For three albums now – up to their most recent, A Year’s Supply Of Rabbit’s Feet – TGB have shown that there’s plenty of life in a genre too many people thought died at the turn of the century and, as songs like Tough Luck show, they know how to make that old music sound as fresh and as vital as ever.
CHILE: Super 45
Megajoy – Rainbow Drama
“Techno sudaka sci-fi from the information age” – that’s how Megajoy (alias for Hector Llanquín) defines his peculiar musical view. Nervous beats, insane samples and a million pop references per second are the raw materials which Megajoy works with. His debut album Avidya (self-released, 2011), available for free download on his website, is a collection of twisted dance songs with a strong sense of humor and a subversive spirit, making this record one of this year’s essentials.
Shanren – Thirty Years
Yunnan folk-rock phenomenon Shanren fuse Yunnan/Guizhou indigenous music with various modern styles to produce a fresh sound as accessible as it is unique. They aim to promote and preserve the combined and diverse heritage of Yunnan and Guizhou’s many ethnic minority groups through their own original compositions and reworkings of local folk melodies.
COLOMBIA: Colombia Urbana
Katamaran – Ella No Es Como Tu
Katamaran is a ska band from Bucaramanga. Their most recent album, Imparable, mixes horns with others styles including rap. This single, Ella No Es Como Tu, is in the Colombian indie chart.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Mescalin, Baby – She’s Near, She’s Near, She’s Here
Mescalin, Baby release their full-length debut, Air Air, on May 23, following up on 2009′s debut EP, No Time For The Old In-Out Love, which earned the quintet both praise and airplay. The retro-orientated rock with splashes of folk on the forthcoming album stands a good chance of repeating the success, and I’m happy to be able to share She’s Near, She’s Near, She’s Here with you as a MAP exclusive.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Ben Howard – Empty Corridors (Live)
Male British singer-songwriters are hardly thin on the ground and yet, even given the crowded market, Ben Howard stands out. A 24-year-old Devon boy with a penchant for surfing, he’s just released an EP on the Mumford-affiliated Communion label and has signed thereafter to Island – he apparently inked the deal because of their history with Nick Drake and John Martyn. And that’s Howard all over: folk-pop with substance and class. On this, a live version of Empty Corridors, he showcases, as a recent New Band of the Day article put it, a “guitar sound that recalls Drake’s complex tunings, while every so often you expect his gently gruff tones to start warbling Martyn’s Bless The Weather”. Marvellous.
Kali Briis – Home Alone
After releasing some EPs, two of them available for free here, Kali Briis is finally bringing out his full-length debut album Homewrecker on May 16. Kali doesn’t care much about borders of genres, feeling equally comfortable in R’n'B, electro, hip-hop or any other style he feels like trying. MAP exclusive Home Alone from the new album is a full-on handmade electro track featuring synths, guitars, bass and drums all played by Kali himself.
Mummypowder – A House
After a few years struggling with the precarious stability of an indie band, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Janne Lehtinen got his mummies together and this month he is finally publishing Mummypowder’s long-awaited fourth album. The first single, A House, is a melodic power-pop ballad with Janne’s vocals upfront accompanied by layers of guitars to build up an intense momentum.
FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Porco Rosso – 10.000 Lieues À La Ronde
Singing pop in French is not easy, and not every band gives it a try, but some brilliantly succeed, as Porco Rosso show. Formed in 2002, the three members have found their own style – a balance between their influences and their personality. After releasing two EPs (2004, 2006), they dropped their LP, La Vie Sans Moi (“Life Without Me”), last year. You might not understand the lyrics of 10.000 Lieues À La Ronde, but you don’t have to – the rhythm and the vocals are too catchy not to appreciate.
Angela Aux – Smells Like Screen Spirit
Angela Aux is the solo project of Heiner Hendrix aka Flo from last year’s MAP featured L’egojazz. He calls the style of his recently released debut, Whatever You Guess It’s Not, weird Kraut-folk. Smells Like Screen Spirit is a fine mélange of groovy, catchy bass, scratchy sound effects and melancholic vocals. It will fit perfectly with a summer sunset at your local lake when you’re cheerful as well as blue.
May Roosevelt – Dark The Night
May Roosevelt’s sophomore, self-released album harnesses a spectrum of emotions unveiling a dark and reclusive universe defined by motion and dance. Rhythms rich with contemporary elements weaved on theremin sounds, electronic beats and synthesizers coalesce with evocative melodies drawing on Greek traditional musical heritage. Every note is considered and played with care and a sense of craft. The more you listen to it, the more it falls into place and traps you under its spell.
ICELAND: Icelandic Music Maffia
Nolo – Pretty Face
Nolo is a young, very promising band from Reykjavik. They are two 18-year-old guys, Nonnji Lorange and Ivör Björnsson, who had already played together in different bands for some years before they deceided to work together as Nolo. They record all their music with lo-fi equipment in Ivör’s basement, using two guitars (electric and acoustic) and an organ.
Peter Cat Recording Co – Love Demons
Peter Cat Recording Co is one of the newest, freshest young talents to emerge out of the growing Indian indie music scene. The quartet from New Delhi create orchestral soundscapes that throw Neutral Milk Hotel and disco Bollywood in a washing machine with cabaret Tide. Love Demons represents this musical laundry cycle perfectly. The song, one of the highlights of the band’s wholly refreshing debut album Sinema, channels Quincy Jones and Bappi Lahiri for five minutes of an exciting car chase through the crowded streets of Delhi.
Swimming Elephants – Sarah
Swimming Elephants are a collective of young people who write complex arrangements of pop music pieces using simple chords. They are one of the best newcomers in the Indonesian indie scene.
Le Galaxie – Midnight Midnight
Dublin-based mischievous visualists Le Galaxie release their debut album Laserdisc Nights II on June 10 after a few years honing their astral night-time music. Midnight Midnight is a perfect indicator of the four-piece band thus far: thumping electro, sci-fi synths, big 80s drum drops and vocals that make you go “woooooooo”. TUNE.
ISRAEL: Metal Israel
Spawn Of Evil – First Stone
Spawn Of Evil is an iconic death metal band that’s been on the Israeli scene for 13 years. Guitarist Miko Haronian describes First Stone as not “so political as it looks – more reality. Some leaders say ‘Destroy Israel’ all day long and the world is silent… so this is our answer to this – come on, try!” Spawn Of Evil mixes rambunctious gleeful energy release with quality meat and potatoes death metal. They are seeking a label for their latest album, Ecstatic Aggressive Behavior. Check them out.
Quakers And Mormons – New York Town
Maolo and Mancho are from the band My Awesome Mixtape, which was featured in the June 2009 edition of MAP. Now they’ve started a new project, more hip-hop oriented. Think of a sound influenced by Anticon and Antipop Consortium, and mixed with some of the sumptuous TV On The Radio arrangements. Add dark lyrics delivered with an apocalyptical strain and, bang, you have this killer debut album, aptly named Evolvotron.
MEXICO: Red Bull PanameriKa
Aeiou – Vivimos In L.A.
Aeiou’s album Space Hymn is the unexpected joint venture between elfin vocalist Juan Son and Simone Pace (Blonde Redhead’s drummer), with some surprising collaborations with Kelley Deal (The Breeders) and an unnamed, mysterious character. Vivimos In L.A. (“We Live In L.A.”), reflects the city-hopping lifestyle experienced by the members: Simone has lived in Milan, Montreal, Boston and New York; while Juan, born in Guadalajara, has also had L.A. and the Big Apple as homes. Irrespective of the passports, the song and album show touches of ethereal, androgynous space-beauty.
NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Aux Raus – Oh No, It’s Them!
You can technically get away with calling this Amsterdam duo’s music ‘electro punk’, but whereas most bands courting such a label want to fuse those two elements, Aux Raus come across like a drunken punch-up between them – the wiry punk riffs and roars virtually taunting the techno and gabba-spewing drum machines. And that’s just the start of a series of contrasts which include: songs channelling equal measures of political fury and silliness; that they’re part anonymous anarcho-freaks and part leaders of style cool; and that they’re at their best wreaking havoc in a club with 300 moshing kids but can easily transfer such energy to headlining festivals. This track is from their newly released third album, All Creeping Things Stopped Creeping.
NEW ZEALAND: Einstein Music Journal
Sheep,Dog&Wolf – Not Aquatic
A MAP premiere – former Bandicoot drummer Daniel McBride presents his solo project Sheep,Dog&Wolf, leaving behind his punk roots to weave a complex fusion of Motown, jazz and pop music. After months recording in his bedroom, the 17-year-old multi-instrumentalist’s music resembles a young Sufjan Stevens, layered with strings, horns and percussion, while curious time signatures and his beautifully incandescent voice balance an unusual amalgamation of whimsically flirtatious styles.
NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Burning God Little – Notes On Being Snowblind
Martin Hartgren aka Burning God Little has been played quite a lot on Norwegian radio lately. Call it chillwave, call it dreampop, bedroom electronic, samplertronica, even shoegaze – whatever it is, it’s great. You can easily hear inspiration from Neon Indian, Washed Out, Panda Bear and Gold Panda, but he’s never a dull copy. He has his own way of mixing heavy backbeat drumbeats, samples and sometimes hauntingly beautiful harmonies and melodies.
Pilotocopiloto – Infante
Pilotocopiloto is an instrumental rock duo consisting of Carlos Freyre and Juan Pablo Aragon. Their music can be described as a powerful fusion of guitar and drums, with their interest in experimentation allowing them to dabble in minimalist ambient sounds and psychedelic effects. This mixture fills their instrumental songs with freshness. They recently released their self-titled debut album which is just as well because Infante definitely makes you want more.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Norton – Two Points
Norton is a band from a city in the center of Portugal with a considerable fanbase and three albums to their name. Their latest one, Layers Of Love United, is a turning point for the band after their lead singer left and was replaced by one of the members who used to be on backing vocals. They have toured Europe and have had quite favorable international reviews.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Blue Nipple Boy – Bear Comes Naked
Blue Nipple Boy are actually four boys from Bucharest, ready to conquer the music scene with an indie/alternative approach. Although new to it, they are rapidly increasing their fanbase with each single. And how could people not like the smooth rhythms, catchy lyrics and good vibes their songs have? The guys are working on their first album, but till then, I give you their freshly released third single, Bear Comes Naked, which will soon have a video as well.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Monster Cat – Mannequins
It intertwines like a ball of yarn unraveling as feline claws playfully pounce upon their five-track debut EP Mannequins. The guilty party is collectively known as Monster Cat, who at first mention do not hint at their psycho-folk-rock tendencies. Yet, as you sink deeper into their depravity, it starts to make perfect sense. Mannequins is a bold debut that bares all and holds nothing back, along with all the vulnerability of a gentle kitten. You can download their EP for free via their website during the month of May and pledge your allegiance.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
The Pretty Blue Guns – Shed Your Skin
The Pretty Blue Guns are four best friends who love making a noise. With their second album, Shed Your Skin, they abandoned any expectations people might have had and the result is a record that is deeply personal and shows the band’s growth. The first single, Shed Your Skin, is an introspective look at life and people around them aptly showing off their self-described sound – a mix of “blues, rock ‘n’ roll, country, soul – all put together in a little wooden box, doused in gasoline, set alight”.
SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Paryumchiakdan – A Night Of Wine
Paryumchiakdan, which translates as “The Infamous Orchestra”, was formed three years ago with the vision of making music based on 70s punk-rock with an East Asian pop sound, playing it as if they were a 60s garage rock band. The sound has changed a bit since, but the members still cite GO!GO!7188 and Korean psychedelic musicians of the 70s such as Kim Jung Mi as influences. The band recently self-released their first EP, A Night Of Wine, and the title track has an awesome modern retro sound that invites foot-tapping.
El Estudiante Larry – Mejor Que Yo
Formed in Murcia, a city renowned for its hot indie music scene, El Estudiante Larry is frontman Larry Sandoval and fellow musicians Víctor, Seka and Porras. After releasing three CD-Rs (available for free download), they collaborated with #Fo – side-project of Klaus & Kinski’s Álex Martínez – to release a split EP, Gulag Split, which can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp. El Estudiante Larry songs can be made from psychedelic beats, a classic indie sound or even a Nashville rock taste, which is the case with Mejor Que Yo, the last but not least track on the EP.
Masquer – Happiness
Super lo-fi indie-rock that reminds one of 1/3 Cure, 1/3 Siouxsie Sioux and 1/3 Madonna. Count me in! Masquer is the new side-project of Kiki from Lowood/Idora and Pelle of Idora. The new song is called Happiness and continues to play to the band’s strengths – mainly its 80s retro indie-rock sound and the spellbinding vocals of Kiki. Lyrically, its anti-establishment lyrics and chorus of “I’ll never conform” would be a perfect addition to the soundtracks of any John Hughes films from that period.
We Love Machines – Carpentizer (feat. Orlando Menthol)
The two Swiss guys from We Love Machines nailed our attention a year ago. They caused a big stir with Ed Banger-influenced sounds that totally hit it. Now they’ve released their debut, which is actually full of hits and some surprises. One of them is the Balkan-esque electro tune Carpentizer which features another Swiss electronic genius, Orlando Menthol, and some Swiss-German singing parts.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Auditorium – Sunday
Auditorium (formerly Field) is the work of Spencer Berger, whose debut album Be Brave was released in January. Berger specializes in ‘glam-folk’, whereby theatrical, multi-layered vocal harmonies shine throughout the album, telling stories of love, nature, cities and people in a remarkably engaging way. Auditorium is beginning to make waves in LA and beyond – get on board now before your friends are barking at you about it in a few months.
VENEZUELA: Música y Más
La Abuela Disco – 4.30
La Abuela Disco is an alternative rock, post-grunge and electronic-influenced band formed in Acarigua (Portuguesa) in mid-2009. In late April, they finally released their first studio album Polvo Lunar, a name that fits perfectly with its sound. It can be downloaded for free at the band’s website.