December 10, 2013: New video via YouTube… We Were Hunted – Settle Down.
New video via YouTube… A Fight You Can’t Win – Jerusalem Crickets.
The Last Battle have set up an Indiegogo campaign with various incentives and goodies on sale to help crowdfund the release of their second album Lay Your Burden Down.
Edinburgh’s Electric Circus is recruiting for a live manager – interested candidates should email firstname.lastname@example.org with a CV.
December 9, 2013: Lost Map Records will host their first Howlin’ Fling! festival on the isle of Eigg on July 18-20. Johnny Lynch (The Pictish Trail) previously organised Away Game on the island in 2010 and 2012 through Fence Records. Tickets, which include ferry transportation to and from the mainland, will go on general sale on December 15.
Free song download via The Skinny… The Twilight Sad & RSNO – The Wrong Car (live at Paisley Abbey) (video here).
New EP release via Bandcamp… Over The Wall – This Is How We Did It.
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.
I’ve been trying to get a Pearl And The Puppets song on MAP since January, but the politics involved in obtaining permission to share a track by an artist signed to a major label meant my request went unresolved for most of the year.
While getting dropped by Universal Republic/Island Records this summer was obviously a bummer for Katie Sutherland, the good news is that it has allowed me to let you hear and exclusively download this recording of Little Diamonds, which she self-financed. Every cloud, eh?
Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a .zip file of the whole 35-track compilation via MediaFire.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Pearl And The Puppets – Little Diamonds
We join Pearl And The Puppets at a career crossroads, with Katie Sutherland having split from her record label this summer before she had the chance to release a debut album. While the Glasgow-based singer is better known for her radio-pleasing acoustic pop, Little Diamonds takes an altogether more refined approach, with Katie whispering her lyrics over gentle piano notes and subtle string work. The best is yet to come from this lass.
September 16, Abertay Union, Dundee
December 1, Oran Mor, Glasgow (tickets)
Hernán Martínez y Las Estrellas – Revolución En Verano
Hernán Martínez was the man behind Voltura, a magnificent but rather unkown indie-pop band from Buenos Aires’s underground music scene (they only recorded two EPs, which are free to download from here and here). Revolución De Verano is Martínez’s first solo album, released by Perinola Discos and recorded with his band Las Estrellas. As with previous EPs by Martinez and Voltura, his songs are both catchy and melancholic. Revolución En Verano is the first single from the album.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Royal Headache – Down The Lane
After a couple of years of drip-feeding 7″, CD-R and cassette releases, the time has arrived for the release of Royal Headache’s debut album. Down The Lane is a great introduction to Royal Headache and shows exactly why people are so excited about them.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
4instrumental – Não Mais
4instrumental is a band whose sound is influenced by the history of Sabará, a city founded 400 years ago, while permeated by that kind of constant search for renewal typical of rock and roll. They’re prog rockers, but also funky, jazzy and experimental, as you can hear in Não Mais, from their first EP, released two months ago. The quartet are activists of a way of life that believes culture is a means of social transformation. They travel through the country expanding this idea while making people feel some catharsis with their instrumental music.
Zoo Legacy – Shockwave
Is it hip-hop? Rock? R&B? I don’t know. What I do know, though, is that Zoo Legacy create music that’s a genre-bending mish-mash, and they do it extremely well.
CHILE: Super 45
Fakuta – Aeropuerto
Fakuta is one of the best bets in the current Chilean musical scene. Behind that moniker, architect Pamela Sepúlveda builds introspective synth-pop songs filled with detailed soundscapes and warm textures. Aeropuerto (“Airport”) is the second single from her debut album Al Vuelo, available for free at her website.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Siamese Fighting Fish – A Liar Cried Wolf
In early 2011, alternative metal six-piece Siamese Fighting Fish released their grand debut album We Are The Sound, which this site’s metalhead, Thomas Brunstrøm, suggested you check out if you’d like to know “what it would sound like if Muse, System Of A Down and Incubus went on stage in a metal club in Sarajevo and tried to out-weird each other. Featuring a guy playing the violin.” At the end of August, the gang released epic new single A Liar Cried Wolf, which is a MAP download exclusive.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Spotlight Kid – Haunting Me
Twenty years ago, there was grunge, and there was shoegazing, and that was pretty much it for the alternative rock scene. Spotlight Kid wonderfully evoke that era when My Bloody Valentine meant more than the Beatles and the Stones combined, and every young band was in thrall to the sound of MBV’s Isn’t Anything album and wanted to be signed to Creation – that is, Creation B.O. (Before Oasis), when it was all radiant guitars and ethereal, billowing, androgynous boy/girl harmonies. Spotlight Kid don’t come from the Thames Valley like their forebears (they’re from Nottingham) but everything else about them screams – or rather, sighs and shimmers – shoegaze.
Taavi Peterson & Üdi – Tibet Ocean
Singer Taavi Peterson got his first taste of fame in 2007 from the first series of the Estonian version of Pop Idol, coming third, but he decided to turn his back on the shiny pop world. The band Üdi (“bone marrow”) was formed in 2008 and their plan is to keep their hearts in the 60s but minds in the present day and make helluva good music. Is it possible for one band to change something? That’s what they are trying to find out.
The New Tigers – Pocketful Of Sand
From the west coast of Finland, The New Tigers are a guitar-driven pop band that might remind you of Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth or Galaxie 500. On their debut album, The New Tigers show an austere sound straight from the rehearsal room with no unnecessary embellishments. Loud guitars are all over the album and extend the songs with some good jams, but the band never forgets to include a good pop melody.
FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Pendentif – Riviera
These days you see “pop” in every review you read and, over time, it even had bad connotations, as if it was the simplest music you can create. In fact, we forgot we could be surprised by it, and Pendentif are here to remind us of how great pop is, not by reinventing it, but by offering highly enjoyable pop songs, using the best the genre has to offer. Signed to the same label as previous MAP band Young Michelin, Bulle Sonore Records, they are just as great and sing in French as well.
Dear Reader – MONKEY (You Can Go Home)
Dear Reader’s debut was subtle in a folky way; the second album, Idealistic Animals, continues this promising cachet in a more janiform way. South African Cherilyn Macneil decided after some soul-searching about conscience and religion that she needed a change and now lives in Berlin, continuing Dear Reader as a solo project. Although her lyrics are very intense and profound, the music seems breezy and effortless, which makes a great and lasting combination.
Your Hand In Mine – A Boy And The Birds
Your Hand In Mine present a deeply personal sense of chamber music and an emotive, atmospheric dreamworld through intricate arrangements, waltzing rhythms, fluttering accordions, mandolins, delicate glockenspiels, woozy laments and beautiful, melancholic melodies that conjure a cinematic romanticism. Their second album, The Garden Novels, is a testament to the versatility and adventurousness of their sound, where nine sonic novels, nine small stories told in a fictional garden, are transcribed into warm and intimate musical notes.
ICELAND: Icelandic Music Maffia
Samaris – Hljóma Þú
Samaris consist of singer Jófríður Ákadóttir, computer programmer Þórður Kári Steinþórsson and clarinet player Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir, three students from Reykjavík aged 17-18 who came together in January 2011. The trio plays a mixture of trip-hop, dubstep and downtempo beats. This year they won the Icelandic battle-of-the-bands competition Músíktilraunir. Hljóma Þú is the title track of their first EP.
Jirapah – Crime
Jirapah duo Ken Jenie and Mar Galo are lovers, both Indonesian students who stayed in Brooklyn. But Ken is currently living in Jakarta, partly because of the good reception their music has received in the capital’s indie scene, where he has started playing live with several other musicians. Their music can be described as something dreamy, layered and lo-fi.
Alarmist – Giraffe Centre
Intricate melodies intertwine and search for ears in Dublin band Alarmist’s Giraffe Centre, taken from their brilliant self-titled five-track EP. Like Tortoise and Battles, this band are all about turbo-charged but beautiful instrumentation.
Three In One Gentleman Suit – Green Riots
Pure is the fourth album by Three In One Gentleman Suit, a band that keeps getting better and better. Moving from post-rock and math beginnings, TIOGS developed their own style – a kind of Modest Mouse epicness with more synth and samples, and with an incredibly strong live impact. You can download Pure for free from the band’s website.
JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Miila And The Geeks – New Age
Miila And The Geeks grab familiar elements of rock music and contort them into slightly disturbing shapes. New Age, the title track to their recently released debut, uses simple repetition and jittery drumming to turn what could have been a by-the-numbers garage rock song into a captivating, no-wave-inspired number. Yet it is the saxophone popping up at various moments, seemingly blessed with a mind of its own, which really cements New Age as a fascinating listen.
MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Hunters Palace – Tal-Metall
Hunters Palace was initially an indie-folk outfit with a tendency to lay on some psychedelic improvisational grooves, but has recently evolved into a power trio playing abrasive free rock. Its core membership has always comprised two people, Peter Sant and Alex Vella Gera, but over the years others have contributed to the band’s sound including Adolf Formosa and Vinicius Duarte. The track on offer, Tal-Metall, is a krautrock-ish assault meaning to be a dance anthem.
MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Juan Cirerol – Corrido Chicalor
Storytelling and improvisation are two qualities rarely seen among musicians nowadays, since abstract compositions and studio over-productions rule the landscape. Enter Juan Cirerol, a twenty-something guitar-yielding cantina troubadour from the desertic Mexico-U.S. frontier city of Mexicali, all-stereotyped with pointy boots, worn-out cowboy shirt and a Johnny Cash square-jawed grin. With a carefree, nomadic take on the music business, Juan is kind of an outlaw riding a black horse into the shy, dusty streets of the Mexican indie scene. Nobody saw him coming and now everybody is talking about this charming youngster. If you feel attracted to this stranger, download his debut from the Vale Vergas Discos site.
NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
houses – Walk Away
This young Amsterdam-based quintet share in an unashamed love of North American indie guitar pop, spending the past decade absorbing the melodies and atmospherics of bands like Death Cab For Cutie, Stars and Broken Social Scene. It’s most noticeable in how their guitarist and keyboardist duel over shimmering riffs, while their choruses naturally soar as Ella van der Woude’s sweet and airy Feist-esque voice is lifted by the urgency of the rhythm section. Following plenty of local gigging and a self-released EP in 2010 that perked up the ears of local radio, their debut album Clean Life is released on September 19.
NEW ZEALAND: Einstein Music Journal
Jon Lemmon – Exodus I
When asked to make a summery pop song for a compilation, US-born New Zealand-based artist Jon Lemmon set about writing a tune about the end of the world. Exodus I is a lush and enigmatic opus, boasting everything from honky-tonk piano to squelchy synth bass and an incredibly catchy wordless vocal singalong in the chorus. Lemmon shows his breakout potential with this huge song from his forthcoming album that he’s aiming to release by the end of October.
NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Mikhael Paskalev – I Spy
Mikhael Paskalev is an astonishing young talent from deep within the fjords of Norway. He makes joyful folk pop that sometimes resembles Port O’Brien, Slow Club and other indie folk acts, yet also with a certain regard for the old ones, like The Everly Brothers. We can’t wait for his debut album due out next year.
Moldes – Trés Malade
Among the noise, psychedelia and experimentation, Moldes, a quartet formed by two boys and two girls in 2008, released their first album in August 2010 to good reviews. Trés Malade is a song that comes from a French poem written by Katia De la Cruz.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Iconoclasts – Stranger In A Strange Land
Iconoclasts first appeared on MAP in 2009 and they keep on rocking. At last, the band’s debut album, Mt. Erikson, is released this month. Stranger In A Strange Land shows just why they are one of the most promising acts from Lisbon. Pump up the volume.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
We Singing Colors – There When You Sleep
We Singing Colors is the side project of Andrei Hațegan from indie band The Amsterdams. The boy/girl vocals, the exploration of simple sounds and everyday noise, and the melodic themes approached from a different angle create a very intimate pop atmosphere.
RUSSIA: Big Echo
Synecdoche Montauk – Infinitely Many Primes
Summer is almost gone and now it’s time for calm and beautiful melodies, so I guess Infinitely Many Primes suits the weather perfectly. Acoustic guitar, violin and abstract lyrics create a complicated mood that mixes calmness, nervous, sweetness and melancholy. Synecdoche Montauk say their album is nearly finished so hopefully it will be available before the end of the year.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Hanging Up The Moon – Water Under The Bridge
Hanging Up The Moon is the self-titled debut album and solo project of Sean Lam, best known for fronting Singaporean band Concave Scream. After an extended hiatus, Sean’s return to songwriting has been welcomed by many, especially for his minimalist and introspective approach. The songs in this album, which you can pay as you wish for at his website, were birthed in the stillness of the night before dawn breaks. You can just imagine the quiet corner where these carefully-crafted songs were committed to recording, without a squeak or whimper; and when each track is done, only a still air lingering.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
EJ Von Lyrik, Isaac Mutant and Teba – Goldmine (Shockwave Edit)
The sounds of funky Cape Town hip-hop artists EJ Von Lyrik, Isaac Mutant and Teba shine through this month as they combine their talents on Goldmine (Shockwave Edit). Each artist brings their own unique South African feel and musical style which reflects the melting pot that is Cape Town. It’s fun, fresh and has a funky feel that is sure to get heads nodding and feet tapping.
SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Ninesin – Arena
Although competition is tough, Ninesin is one of the best hardcore acts Korea has to offer. Following the remarkable The Death, We Will Face from 2009, their second full-length album comes out this month. Arena is the first track revealed from the self-titled release. It has a shotgun beat and shows Ninesin’s characteristic grasp of good melody.
The Suicide Of Western Culture – The Italian Chapel
The Suicide Of Western Culture have become one of the most successful Spanish electronic bands. They have, so far, supported Animal Collective in their last visit to Barcelona and played at the most important festivals in Spain and even in Berlin’s Popkomm. With a post-rock soul, as epic and ethereal as Explosions In The Sky but as intimate as Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, they have released an eponymous album filled with their thoughts and emotions; the final result is a highly visceral and passionate record.
Vampyramiden – Pyromanens Dotter
Vampyramiden are still serving up strangely appealing Swedish-language indie pop. The band’s new EP (which has a fantastic cover) is called Teenage Destiny and I can only guess the lyrics are some sort of combination of teenage angst, wizarding mythology and, of course, vampires.
San Marino – Strangers To Ourselves
Since there’s no music blog representing San Marino, we came across a nice substitute in the form of a Swiss band pleading the country’s music case. San Marino hail from Zurich and represent not only the small country in the heart of Italy, but do so as well for Switzerland’s surf-indie-pop conscience. Their debut album was released in May.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
THE-DRUM – Omar
Much like their Chicago brethren Supreme Cuts and How To Dress Well, THE-DRUM are catalysts for precognitive future-music, hybridizing molasses-slow R&B vocals against shockwaves of percussion and echoing synth melodies. The results are as vibrant and unique as they are compelling, and Omar, released just two weeks ago, is perhaps their best experiment yet.
VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Los Expresidentes – Te Rodeo En El Rodeo
It is impossible to listen to this band and not think of a film about the Old West and imagine American cowboys on their horses. Los Expresidentes make an interesting, enjoyable fusion of punk rock, country and rockabilly. Their debut album, Lanzados Al Rodeo, has fun lyrics and a really contagious rhythm.