So all credit to the T Break judges for coming up with a pretty decent shortlist of artists who will play at this summer’s T in the Park festival alongside (sort of, but not really) Beyoncé, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, The Foo Fighters, Pulp and The Strokes on July 8-10.
Here’s The Pop Cop’s guide to the runners and riders…
CV: Arcade Fire-infused orchestral bluster from the first T Break band ever to have previously played T in the Park (they were on the BBC Introducing Stage in 2010). One of their members – Debbie Morton (the blonde one) – also has a solo career under the name of Debbie Kate.
Audio: Aerials Up – All Your Mothers Daughters
CV: Feisty guitar-pop with champion cheekbones, Boycotts recently played their biggest gig to date, at a sell-out Glasgow Barrowland in March as support to Two Door Cinema Club.
Audio: Boycotts – Press Play
CANCEL THE ASTRONAUTS
CV: Old-fashioned indie-pop with more than its fair share of weedy synth sounds.
Audio: Cancel The Astronauts – Late In The City
CV: Big-riffed headbanging rock from two young men and one man who looks old enough to be their dad.
Audio: Carnivores – Black Rain / Purple Sabbath
CHURCH OF WHEN THE SHIT HITS THE FAN
CV: Politically-aware hip-hop with Harlequinade on vocal duty and beats from Asthmatic Astronaut (real name: Gareth).
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Harlequinade/159500400736973 and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Asthmatic-Astronaut/277314640405
Twitter: http://twitter.com/parsonharlequin and http://twitter.com/asthmatic_ast
Audio: Church Of When The Shit Hits The Fan – Locust Ritual
CONQUERING ANIMAL SOUND
CV: Intricate, ambient and otherworldy songcraft with Björk-esque vocals. Their debut album Kammerspiel came out in February.
Audio: Conquering Animal Sound – Wildthings
CV: Lovingly-crafted tropical pop melodies with a plentiful dollop of likeability.
Audio: Crayons – Belle Laide
CV: Slick, polished electro from the most talked-about new discovery from this year’s T Break submissions according to those I spoke to who were on the judging panel. Nobody is quite sure whether their named is pronounced Disco-Polis or as in the word that rhymes with necropolis.
Audio: Discopolis – Timber Merchants
CV: Fatherson make earnest, fairly derivative rock and aren’t too dissimilar to their Killie cousins Biffy Clyro. They used to go by the name of Energy!
Audio: Fatherson – Town For Tourists
CV: When the band had a singer, nobody paid them much attention. But since ditching him and going instrumental they’ve won plenty of admirers for their pretentious mathematical rock. I’m not one of them, to be honest. Guitarist Scott Bullen is also a member of Scottish supergroup Hairy Area.
Audio: Lady North – Ali, The Pig Opera And The Helicopter
MARRIK LAYDEN DEFT & SCATABRAINZ
CV: Confrontational, angry MCing backed by dark, sparse digital beats.
Audio: Marrik Layden Deft & Scatabrainz – I Show My Teeth
CV: Competent indie fare with tinges of Guided By Voices. Bassist Dave Reekie also plays in Song Of Return.
Audio: Otherpeople – Hello
CV: Fun, slacker garage-rock. Guitarist/vocalist Phillip Taylor is dating Stina Twee, the singer of fellow T Breakers Boycotts. Hang on a minute – a love story centred around two bands at T in the Park? They could make a crap movie about that…
Audio: PAWS – Violent Vicky Violet
CV: Behind the bashful exterior of Louise Connell lies a lyricist of rare fortitude and an acoustic guitarist with an acutely honed sense of melody, both of which make Get To Know Me the best song I’ve heard all year. The most talented artist in this year’s T Break. No contest.
Audio: Reverieme – Get To Know Me
CV: They’ve made a name for themselves parodying Biffy Clyro on YouTube and being ambushed by a stripper (NSFW!) during a gig organised by Detour. At long last, though, rap-rock combo The LaFontaines are finally writing songs to match their profile – Light Up The Background is the best thing they’ve done by some distance.
Audio: The LaFontaines – Light Up The Background
CV: Remember the fuzzy, whirlwind swagger of Trail of Dead’s early albums? That’s what this lot sound like.
Audio: United Fruit – Wrecking Ball