December 12, 2013: The LaFontaines will play New York in April 2014 during Scotland Week after being crowned winners of The Big Apple Award competition.
New album release via Bandcamp… Werd – Welcome To Anywhere, includes City Of Stone (video here).
December 11, 2013: University project Once: A Scottish Rendition has been set up by UWS student David Bell, who is looking for singers to cover songs from the 2006 film Once. Musicians interested in contributing should email email@example.com for more information.
New song stream via Soundcloud… Julia And The Doogans – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
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.
This is the third anniversary edition of the Music Alliance Pact, the inter-blogging project I started in October 2008 to showcase the best of the globe’s music on the 15th of every month and tell the world about some of the finest up-and-coming artists Scotland has to offer. You can investigate the previous 36 selections via the MAP Archive on the right-hand sidebar – most of the free mp3s are still downloadable either individually or collectively.
This month’s pick is Panda Su. Raised in the Highlands but now living in St Andrews, the 24-year-old is a talent to cherish. Both Panda Su and I Begin were recently featured in an STV profile (from which the photo above is taken) – watch the 60-second clip here and be sure to buy some Panda Su merch.
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 34-track compilation via MediaFire.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Panda Su – I Begin
The title track of Panda Su’s second EP illustrates her appeal: dark, intelligent pop with all sense of vulnerability left intact. Apart from her occasional on-stage face paint, the Panda Su package is never black and white. Her music often draws on experimental sounds, but never at the expense of melody. Her lyrics, both fragile and cryptic, demand attention – I Begin finds Su repeating the poignant lines, “I should try to remember/I should try to forget”. It’s apt that Su Shaw named the outlet for her music after an endangered creature – songs of this quality really are rather rare.
November 13, The Tunnels, Aberdeen (tickets)
Flopa/Minimal – Atolondrón
A couple of months ago, the indie supergroup formed by Flopa Lestani, Mariano “Manza” Esaín and Ariel Minimal reunited for several sold-out concerts in Buenos Aires. The experience was so positive that Flopa and Minimal decided to step into the studio to record some songs, and the result is an EP called Reducción de Daños. Atolondrón was written by Flopa and is our favorite track from it, but you can download the whole EP for free from their website.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Option Command – Break Even
Option Command (who has previously released gorgeous music under the name Broken Chip) hails from the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney. Where his former project often focused on texture and mood, Option Command is a more beat-oriented project. Break Even sounds like playing Atari in a canyon, and is a good blend of the two musical personas. Both are worth checking out.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Lirinha – Adebayor
Jose de Paes Lira, best known as Lirinha, is the former vocalist of Brazilian group Cordel do Fogo Encantado, who have produced some of the most consistent works in terms of updating regional sounds from Brazil’s northeast. In Lirinha’s first solo album, the results are somewhere between alternative rock and a new take on mangue beat. His excellent CD is available for free download at his website.
Sound Of Lions – Enders
Yes, Sound Of Lions borrow somewhat liberally from 90s trip-hop generally, and Portishead in particular. However, as Enders – and the rest of their debut, 11:44 – demonstrates, they’re so good at making the old genre sound fresh and new, it’s easy to overlook a little thievery when the end results are so incredibly listenable.
CHILE: Super 45
Nuevacosta – Todo Fácil
Four-piece outfit Nuevacosta released their debut offering, Costa Brava EP (available for free at their website) this year under the Casa Joven and Espacio Cellar labels. Through these six songs, the band explores new wave sounds and early 90s Chilean pop, creating dark, lo-fi, atmospheric soundscapes.
Eat Alien’s Brain – Sick Body Dance
Eat Alien’s Brain are an electro duo from Chengdu, who formed in August 2010. Loco and Umar, both in their early 20s, use music to express their attitude towards freedom. Their sound is hard to define – electro/dance with a bit of Nintendocore/chiptune/crunk. They were highly recommended by the NME, who described them as “Crystal Castle bound up with Burial and Sepultura”.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Laura Drescher – I Do I Will
I can’t really tell you much about Laura Drescher other than she was born in Spain, raised in Denmark, and that she released both an EP (Polyest) and an album (Hallucinations Of A Good Life) last year. Oh, and she’s not sore on the eyes either. It’s gloomy and groovy electronica – here represented by I Do I Will from Hallucinations Of A Good Life – and if you like what you hear, head for SoundCloud where you can download both album and EP for free.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Daley – Smoking Gun
A new blue-eyed soul boy from Manchester, Gareth “Daley” Daley looks set to be the first genuinely interesting British artist to operate in that area since David McAlmont or Lewis Taylor. He was a nominee on this year’s BBC Sound of 2011 poll, has already tasted chart success, having sung on Long Way Home from Wretch 32′s top-5 debut album as well as on the Gorillaz track Doncamatic, which he co-wrote with Damon Albarn. Now he’s signed to A&M and working on his own debut album, due out in 2012, with Suede guitarist and Duffy producer Bernard Butler as well as Dre of Dre & Vidal (Alicia Keys, Usher) and Shea Taylor (Ne-Yo, Beyoncé).
Koria Kitten Riot – An Anthem From The 80′s
Koria Kitten Riot is the project of singer-songwriter Antti Reikko and it brings well-crafted pop songs, full of detail and ambitious instrumentation. It puts together the intimacy of the songwriter and grandiose arrangements in a manner that reminds us of Bright Eyes. An Anthem From The 80′s is a melancholic song about long-gone happy times and is taken from Koria Kitten Riot’s second album, The Lows & The Highs, out this month.
BOY – This Is The Beginning
BOY are a little hyped in Germany right now. Valeska and Sonja just released their debut Mutual Friends via Groenland Records, which features warm and cosy folk-pop songs. They are written and sung so well that you instantly forget summer was awful this year and start enjoying the Indian summer.
The You And What Army Faction – I Used A Blade To Carve Me A New Smile
The You And What Army Faction set their distortion pedals on stun and amplify each strummed string to produce a crushing, absorbing and raw wall-of-sound repetition where chaos and beauty ravish each other within the same song. Their artful contrasts and angular arrangements are imbued with instrumental dexterity and coherent ideas and balanced between formlessness and structure, melody and cacophony. Here’s a vibrating preview from their upcoming sophomore album.
ICELAND: Icelandic Music Maffia
Ruddinn – Cover The Distance
Ruddinn is one guy, Bertel Ólafsson from Hafnarfjörður, who has released three albums to date. Ruddinn works primarily alone but receives a helping hand occasionally. He mixes electro pop with indie guitar and a dash of 80s shoegaze. Cover The Distance, a track from his third album I Need A Vacation, features Heiða Eiríksdóttir of the band Hellvar on vocals.
BRNDLS – Start Bleeding
BRNDLS have helped shape today’s Indonesian garage rock scene with their harsh sound, raw attitude and foul-mouthed frontman. Also known as The Brandals, they have just brought out their latest album that stole the XTRMNTR concept and delivered their most well-produced release to date.
Tieranniesaur – In The Sargasso
Strutting disco-infused funky indie tunes that recall the experimental new wave pop visions of ESG and Tom Tom Club don’t come by every day. So Tieranniesaur standout. This Irish six-piece revel in fun, old-school danceable thrills and their self-titled debut album is one of the best releases Ireland has to offer this year.
A Classic Education – Forever Boy
Produced by Jarvis Taveniere of Woods, Call It Blazing is undoubtedly the most eagerly-awaited indie rock album in Italy this year, but not only in Italy. A Classic Education have released two EPs and a single, traveled the US, Canada and UK, played SXSW and CMJ, and are touring Europe with British Sea Power right now. They are definitely one of the best things to have happened to the music in my country in the past decade. Their sound is magnificent, warm, ambitious and timeless.
JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Canopies And Drapes – Sleeping Under The Bed
Sleeping Under The Bed twinkles from the get-go, Tokyo solo artist Canopies And Drapes setting up a glowing dream of a song about hearts melting like ice cream and perfect lovers. Yet this, the highlight off her debut EP, conceals some darkness around the corners. The minimalist structure allows for some chilly synths to stand out, and then she steps back from all the gooey love talk for a frank final line: “Where should I go? I got lost.” It sounds gorgeous from the start, but grows more complicated with time.
MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Beangrowers – The Priest
Beangrowers are a rare and delicate breed of band – managing to be intelligent without being ponderous, fun without being silly, outrageously poppy without being cheesy, and rocking without being clichéd or predictable. This female-fronted three-piece are Malta’s biggest music exports, with a following on both sides of the Atlantic. This track is from their album Dance Dance Baby, which has just been re-released digitally.
MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Robota – Troqueladora
Dystopian scenarios are inherent to industrial music, with narratives and textures well explored by artists on the Mute roster – from Throbbing Gristle and The Normal, to Suicide and Add (N) to X. Mexico City trio Robota particularly share Add (N) to X’s aesthetic based on a vintage electronic junk sado-fetishism. Troqueladora is taken from their “vibrant” second album, Vulgar Display Of Power. No, there’s no relation with Pantera other than pure cyber-punk irony.
NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Chris Kok – Sounds Of Sirens
Since studying ‘pop’ at the Amsterdam Conservatory, Chris Kok has spent the past couple of years working on songcraft and stepping out to play live at every opportunity – be it contests, open mic nights, festivals or art openings – all while freely distributing his music online. The graft seems to be paying off, and now working with a full band, even his most intimate acoustic troubadour pieces are taking epic turns. Sounds Of Sirens is the kind of atmospheric pop Snow Patrol should be making, and that’s merely one template from his sonic arsenal. Look out for a full album from Kok and his band Civil Union later this year, plus listen to his new self-titled acoustic EP (including a version of Sounds Of Sirens) on Bandcamp.
NEW ZEALAND: Einstein Music Journal
St. Rupertsberg – In Albania
Wellington octet St Rupertsberg began in 2009 when Kate Whelen assembled a group of female musicians to start a rather unique band. Now, after gaining rave reviews from critics and audience members at this year’s Campus A Low Hum festival, word of the group’s musical prowess has spread. Performing together like a multi-talented musical circus, the band members take turns playing various instruments, including trumpets, clarinets, trombones, synthesisers and percussion. But the main highlight is an all-inclusive vocal chorus. Their debut EP is available now from Bandcamp.
NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Autonomia – Steiner Å Stå På
Autonomia are a great and hidden gem from the large underground of Norwegian music, with members from veteran bands such as Freeshine, Dunderhonning and Far From Tellus. Singing in Norwegian, their music is eclectic and it can shift from sweet and rough indie-pop with Hüsker Dü guitars to long, slow and heavy post-rock/post-hardcore anthems reminiscent of bands like Envy and Neurosis.
Royalvalet – Escorpio y Rimel
Royalvalet is a project formed by musicians who had their beginnings in other bands. When it comes to composing a song, each member gives his contribution with full freedom, there are no creative limitations. Led by Salim Vera, Royalvalet began in March 2010 and have released three highly creative rock singles to date.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
The Klinton Kings – Rulin’
The Klinton Kings is the project of Lewis M, a recent graduate of Oporto College of Arts and Music. He has just a few songs available online. However, his most promising single, Rulin’, which was recently available on a CD of new Portuguese acts, transmits a maturity and creativity rarely heard in most first singles. A debut album is expected in 2012.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Moonlight Breakfast – Still
Self-characterized as a retro electro band, Moonlight Breakfast is one of the freshest presences on the Romanian alternative music stage. In only a couple of months after getting together for this project, they reached the top position in Romania’s alternative radio charts.
RUSSIA: Big Echo
InWhite – Sea
One of the cutest Russian indie-pop bands, InWhite is looking forward to their upcoming album. Sea is a beautiful piano-driven song that can carry you away from a seaside to the storm.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Etc – Big Girl’s Blouse
Etc is truly one of Singapore’s best-kept secrets. There are no fancy fashions or trends associated with the duo of Ben Harrison and Harvey Chamberlain, just well-written guitar-rock to a steady beat. Harrison’s jangle-raggedy guitar work is exciting and tasteful enough to balance perfectly atop Chamberlain’s near-primal approach to the beat, yet also easy enough for that slacker sway. They have an album in the works, but we’ll make do with their generous online singles in the meantime.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
140 – Say It Better
Meet your new favourite power-pop, tongue-in-cheek, somewhat satirical band. Meet 140. They recently released their debut single Say It Better, a synth-drenched pop song. But not to be stereotyped or confined, the band’s next single could range from indie-rock to anything they feel their listeners would like. With a unique, zany and out-there approach, 140 is band whose mantra is to do things differently. In fact, it’s experimentation that will keep everyone engaged and interested in this provoking new set of creatives.
SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Mighty Coala – Seoul
Indie-pop band Mighty Coala has been around for many years, but it wasn’t until this month that their first album For Bright And Healthy Mornings, mixed by Yeol Park of August MAP band Pigibit5, was released. With a preference for short songs that are both fun to play and listen to, Mighty Coala offer a rich sound with plenty of curiosities. Seoul is an uplifting tune dedicated to the city where they live and the city they love.
Las Tocayas – Hombres
Las Tocayas, despite their name, are not an all-girl band; they’re actually two girls and a boy who met through an internet forum dedicated to Spanish indie band Los Planetas. If we said that their influences include The Flaming Lips, Surfin’ Bichos, Nacho Vegas and The National, you wouldn’t believe us, but, yes, we mean it. Their music can be described as hedonistic and their lyrics are rather irreverent and joyful. Maybe, as they confess, they’re more inspired by everyday life, television, their gossiping neighbours and Jon Secada. Hombres is a hilarious ode to men and what we can and cannot expect from them.
Poor Lifestyle – These Times
Hardcore and punk should be immediate and Poor Lifestyle certainly is. You may argue that this song is breaking no new ground and I’d say you’re right – that’s the beauty of it. This song will be coming out in Sweden on a split 7″ with friends The Wallrides sometime soon.
Evelinn Trouble – I’m On Fire
Evelinn Trouble has, in her still very young career, gone through some major changes. The Zurich resident started off as an 18-year-old releasing a very intimate singer-songwriter record, alone in her bedroom. She was soon discovered and heartened by the Swiss indie scene and last month brought out her sophomore record Television Religion, which presents her as a ‘femme fatale’. It’s great pleasure seeing her grow.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Young Man – Enough
The compositions of Colin Caulfield, playing under the moniker Young Man, have come full circle on his latest LP titled Ideas Of Distance. An achingly beautiful album with more layers than an Arctic explorer, Enough is a track that boils up slowly like water left on the stove. Except each rising bubble is a different sonic explosion and instead of bursting on the surface in watery, translucent explosion, you can see the melodic colors dispersing in swirls of steam.
VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Limpiacabezales – Mérida
Limpiacabezales was formed in 1998 by Claudio Sanchez, Orlando Toro and Carlos Eljuri. After a few shows in several cities across Venezuela, they released their first EP this year, which features five songs that serve as a teaser for their album, expected to come out later this year.