December 20, 2013: The Cairn String Quartet have unveiled orchestral versions of Biffy Clyro’s Bodies In Flight and The Darien Venture’s 1.21 Gigawatts – voted fourth and fifth in The Pop Cop readers’ poll to choose five songs for them to cover.
December 19, 2013: Broken Records are taking pre-orders for their third album, due for release in April/May, as well as a new EP out in February, through PledgeMusic, where there also offers of exclusive merchandise and other incentives.
Free song download via SoundCloud… IndianRedLopez – Tinseltown In The Rain (The Blue Nile cover).
Free single download via Bandcamp… The State Broadcasters – Wounded Waxwing.
December 18, 2013: Tickets are on sale for the annual Wide Days music convention, which will be held in Edinburgh’s Teviot Row House on April 9-10.
More than 20 MSPs have backed a Scottish Parliament motion urging JD Wetherspoon to “preserve the place of live music in its plans for the Picture House” in Edinburgh, stating that “the loss of the capacity to host musical performances would be a cultural and economic loss to the city”. It follows a petition launched by The Winter Tradition drummer Callum Mouat that has attracted more than 10,000 signatures in less than a week.
December 17, 2013: New video via YouTube… We Were Promised Jetpacks – trailer for E Rey: Live in Philadelphia live album, out on February 24.
New video via NME… Bwani Junction – Caveman.
The now-defunct blog Kowalskiy has made all 30 of their EP compilations featuring Scottish acts free to download via Bandcamp.
New song stream via SoundCloud… The New Mendicants – A Very Sorry Christmas, taken from debut album Into The Lime, out on January 20.
New video via YouTube… Bear Arms – Empty Vessels.
December 16, 2013: New video via YouTube… Chvrches – Stay Another Day (East 17 cover for BBC Radio 1′s Live Lounge).
New EP release via Bandcamp… Randolph’s Leap – Christmas EP.
Free EP download via SoundCloud… The Psuedos – Indulgence.
New video via YouTube… Turning Plates – Falling Lives.
December 13, 2013: The Picture House in Edinburgh will close following its Mardi Gras At Midnite event on December 31. London-based owners MAMA & Company have sold the venue it acquired in 2008 to the JD Wetherspoon pub chain. Promoters are trying to relocate gigs already scheduled for 2014 and will make ticket holders aware of any new arrangements.
New gig… Mogwai + The Pastels + Remember Remember at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on March 8 (seated/standing).
Free song download via Bandcamp… Stanley Odd – Her Name Was Hip-Hop, taken from the group’s Oddvent Calendar of freebies.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the reserve list.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Sparrow And The Workshop – One Brush.
Blindfolds have split up after three years together – they bow out with the release of new video Lucid.
November 22, 2013: New video via YouTube… Young Aviators – We’ve Got Names For Folk Like You.
New video via YouTube… The Pastels – Kicking Leaves.
New video via YouTube… Conscious Route feat Werd & Jordan Butler – Friends Til The End.
New gig… The Xcerts at Aberdeen’s Downstairs on December 21.
New gig… Glasgow’s Dirty Weekender across five venues on February 28-March 1 featuring Mark Morriss (The Bluetones), Mark Gardener (Ride), Bombskare, etc.
November 21, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Withered Hand – Black Tambourine.
New video via YouTube… Jo Mango – When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree, taken from When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree EP, out on December 2.
CHVRCHES’ gig for TYCI’s Christmas Party on December 21 has been moved to Glasgow’s SWG3 due to a delay in the reopening of The Vic venue at The Art School.
New gig… The Jezabels at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on February 26, plus ticket bundles with new album The Brink.
November 20, 2013: Arctic Monkeys have been announced as the one of headliners at next year’s T in the Park on July 11-13. Tickets go on sale on November 22.
New gig… The Christmas Songwriters’ Club at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall on December 22 featuring Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison, Kid Canaveral, Broken Records, Miaoux Miaoux, Siobhan Wilson, TeenCanteen with Eugene Kelly, Karine Polwart & Findlay Napier, We See Lights and Very Well.
New song stream via SoundCloud… SOS – Fake Hallelujah.
November 19, 2013: New video via YouTube… Franz Ferdinand – Bullet.
Free EP download via Bandcamp… King Post Kitsch – The Silver Screen.
New video via YouTube… The Amazing Snakeheads – Flatlining.
November 18, 2013: CHVRCHES have been confirmed as the live band for TYCI’s Christmas Party at Glasgow’s Art School on December 21.
New album trailer via YouTube… Withered Hand – New Gods, due out in February.
New Beerjacket album Darling Darkness will be released on January 27.
New tour… The Winter Tradition at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on February 6, Stirling’s Tolbooth on February 7, Aberdeen’s Cafe Drummond on February 8, Inverness’ Mad Hatters on February 9, Galashiels’ Heriot-Watt Student Union on February 10, Dundee’s Duke’s Corner on February 11 and Perth’s Twa Tams on February 15.
November 17, 2013: Glasgow venue King Tut’s has unveiled it line-up for the fourth annual King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution on January 3-16, with the likes of Campfires In Winter, Cherri Fosphate, Book Group, Garden Of Elks, Saint Max And The Fanatics and Quinny featuring on all-local bills.
Labels, musicians and fans are being invited to register albums released by Scottish artists in 2013 for consideration for next year’s SAY Award.
November 15, 2013: French Wives will play their last ever gig at Glasgow’s Mono on December 19 after announcing they are splitting up.
New video via YouTube… There Will Be Fireworks – Youngblood.
New album release via iTunes… Ministry Of Stories – Share More Air, an album of children’s lyrics set to original music including Rachel Sermanni’s Love Story.
New song stream via Bandcamp… Water Of Life – Sources And Springs / Abercrombie, 1949, an art-science collaboration between Tommy Perman and Rob St. John exploring flows of water through Edinburgh.
November 14, 2013: New gig… The Wee Chill Festive Weekender at Glasgow’s SWG3 on December 22, featuring Admiral Fallow, Washington Irving, The Little Kicks, Call To Mind and Atom Tree.
The Big Apple Award has launched its annual competition, with an all-expenses-paid trip to play New York City in April 2014 up for grabs. The deadline for applications is December 2, before the winner is picked from a shortlist of five Scottish performers at Glasgow’s Garage on December 11. The last two victors were Stanley Odd and Song Of Return.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Mike Nisbet – Traveling Blues (demo)
November 13, 2013: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations will incorporate an afternoon of free live music on January 1. Starting at the National Museum of Scotland at noon, the guest-curated SCOT:LANDS event will feature performances across nine Old Town venues by the likes of King Creosote, Withered Hand, RM Hubbert, Lau and FOUND as well as a production of Whatever Gets You Through The Night.
New video via YouTube… Washington Irving – Palomides , director James Houston claims it’s the world’s first autostereogram music video.
New video via YouTube… Nightmare Boy – Paranoid (Black Sabbath cover).
New video via Vevo… KT Tunstall – Made Of Glass.
November 12, 2013: New album release via Bandcamp… Medals – Disguises, new project of Sucioperro’s JP Reid.
New event… Vic Galloway – Songs In The Key Of Fife book reading + Withered Hand + Kid Canaveral at Glenrothes’ Rothes Halls on November 29.
New album stream via SoundCloud… Kobi Onyame – Glory, available to buy on iTunes.
November 11, 2013: Next year’s MTV Europe Music Awards will be held at Glasgow’s Hydro on November 9.
Arches singer Michael Rice has left the band, with guitarist Barry Morrell taking over vocal duties.
New EP release via SoundCloud…. Casual Sex – The Bastard Beat, streaming on SoundCloud.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Mike Nisbet – What Will Be Will Be (demo).
November 8, 2013: BBC ALBA programme Buskers has returned for a second series, with the first two episodes available to watch on iPlayer. Episode 2′s spotlight on Glasgow features Donald Macdonald, Alan Tennie, Anna Shields and Holly Wilson.
November 7, 2013: New gigs… Fireside Acoustic Sessions (organised by Comets & Cartwheels) at Glasgow’s Drake Bar featuring free stripped-back sets from Friends In America + Prehistoric Friends on November 7, Finn LeMarinel on November 14, Randolph’s Leap on November 21 and Honeyblood + LightGuides on November 28.
New gig… There Will Be Fireworks + Friends In America + The Youth And Young at Strathaven’s Old Mill Studios on December 7.
November 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… Prides – Roar (Katy Perry cover for Vic Galloway session).
New song stream via YouTube… Fridge Magnets – Chase The Sun.
Rachel Sermanni has set up a PledgeMusic page for pre-orders of her Everything Changes EP.
Free song download via SoundCloud… This Silent Forest – Root To The Seed, taken from debut album Indivision.
New song stream via Gold Flake Paint… Book Group – The Lowdown of A LOUD Sound, taken from Victory Lap / The Lowdown Of A LOUD Sound single, out on November 25.
New video via YouTube… The Button Men – Man With A Plan.
November 5, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud (today only)… There Will Be Fireworks – Elder And Oak.
New video via YouTube… CHVRCHES – Lies.
The Birthday Suit have a PledgeMusic campaign featuring various incentives and packages to go with pre-orders of their third album A Hollow Hole Of Riches, out in April.
BrewDog Records has been set up by the Scottish craft beer company with its first official release being The Shiverin’ Sheiks single Guided Missiles, taken from the band’s debut album A Curious Case Of…, out on November 20.
November 4, 2013: New album release via Bandcamp… Washington Irving – Palomides: Volume II.
New album release via iTunes… Kobi Onyame – Glory.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Over The Wall – Radiator, taken from This Is How We Did It EP, out on December 9.
November 1, 2013: New gig… There Will Be Fireworks + Friends In America + Kevin Harper at Glasgow’s SWG3 on November 22.
Arctic Monkeys have rescheduled tonight’s show at Glasgow’s Hydro to November 21 as singer Alex Turner has laryngitis. All original tickets remain valid.
New video via YouTube… Michael Cassidy – Everybody’s Scared. He plays with Beerjacket + Julia And The Doogans at Glasgow’s Mono on December 5.
October 31, 2013: New video via YouTube… Nightmare Boy – Mary (first solo offering of ex-Kassidy member Barrie-James O’Neill).
New video via YouTube… Frightened Rabbit – Holy.
A fan-led campaign to boycott all of Idlewild’s side-projects in the hope of spurring them to make new music has been attacked by band member Rod Jones. The guitarist, who also fronts The Birthday Suit, wrote: “If anything this just has the opposite effect in that it made me really consider whether I wanted to make music anymore. My other band The Birthday Suit and its touring and releasing records has absolutely no bearing or influence on whether and when an Idlewild tour or album might happen.”
October 30, 2013: New gigs… The Reflektors (Arcade Fire) at Glasgow’s Barrowland on November 15 and November 16 – general sale from November 1; presale passwords are available to those who pre-ordered the band’s new album from their official website.
New album release via iTunes… Cairn String Quartet – One (streaming on SoundCloud) featuring orchestral covers of Lana Del Rey, Coldplay, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Ocean Colour Scene etc.
October 29, 2013: Free song download via official website… Mogwai – Remurdered (streaming on SoundCloud), taken from eighth album Rave Tapes, out on January 20.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Pinact – Brew.
New video via YouTube… The LaFontaines – All She Knows.
Free song download via SoundCloud… SOS – ROCK N ROLL.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Madison – Mending, taken from Mending EP, out now.
Gig venue change…. Katie Sutherland plays Glasgow’s Faktory instead of Mackintosh Church on November 2.
October 28, 2013: New album release via Comets & Cartwheels… Blood Relatives – Deerheart.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Call To Mind – A Family Sketch.
New album release via Lost Map… Monoganon – F A M I L Y, streaming in full on Gold Flake Paint.
October 25, 2013: Born To Be Wide will host a seminar on record shops at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on November 7. Panelists include Rose Norton (Coda), Sandy McLean (Love Music) and Darren Yeates (VoxBox).
New gig… Blood Relatives album launch at Glasgow’s Bar & Fly on October 26.
New gig… Scottish Fiction presents Beerjacket & Friends + Julia And The Doogans at Glasgow’s Mono on December 5.
New song stream via SoundCloud… The LaFontaines – All She Knows (Prides remix).
The 1975, Nina Nesbitt and The 10:04s have been added to the Concert in the Gardens bill at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay alongside Pet Shop Boys. Other stages feature CHVRCHES, Django Django and King Creosote.
October 24, 2013: New gig… TYCI Christmas Party featuring secret live act plus DJ sets from CHVRCHES + Pretty Ugly + Adele Bethel at Glasgow’s Art School on December 21.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Honeyblood – Kissing On You.
New gig… Starz In Their Eyes featuring RM Hubbert + Eagleowl + The Pictish Trail + Kid Canaveral + Two Wings (each covering a female artist of their choice) at Edinburgh’s Pilrig St Paul’s Church on November 23.
October 23, 2013: New video via YouTube… Siobhan Wilson – All Dressed Up.
New video via YouTube… TeenCanteen – Honey.
New video via YouTube… Young Fathers – Low, taken from forthcoming album Dead, out on February 3.
New video via YouTube… Biffy Clyro – Sounds Like Balloons.
New EP release via Bandcamp… End Of Neil – Less.
October 22, 2013: Local Natives’ Nik Ewing had his Fender Coronado bass guitar stolen during their gig at The Arches in Glasgow last night – contact police if you spot it.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Michael Cassidy – Everybody’s Scared, out on November 28.
October 21, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… TeenCanteen – Honey, out on October 28. They play Edinburgh’s Summerhall on October 25, Glasgow’s Rio Cafe on October 26 (free) and Aberfeldy Festival on November 3.
New album release via Bandcamp… Saint Max & The Fanatics – Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead.
New video via YouTube… Kobi Onyame – Goodbye World, Hello, taken from new album Glory, out on November 4.
Free download via official website… Plum – Death Comes With A Bow, taken from Betsy Thunder EP, out now.
October 18, 2013: Dumfries Music Conference has announced its upcoming four-day programme of free events in the town.
October 30: Screening of LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits at Robert Burns Centre.
October 31: Music Industry Experts seminar featuring The Pop Cop and others at The Stove (ticketed).
November 1: Songwriting Workshops featuring Findlay Napier + Finding Albert’s Robert Shields at The Stove.
November 1: Live showcase featuring Hector Bizerk + Honeyblood + Barstow Bats at The Stove (ticketed).
November 2: Record Fair featuring Rebecca Vasmant (Ministry Of Sound) + Jason Reid (Sub Club) at The Stove.
October 17, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Washington Irving – Babble. Their track Palomides is also available for free download. Both are taken from Palomides: Volume II album, out on November 4.
New video via Clash… The Birthday Suit – A Bigger World, out on November 4.
New video via YouTube… Atom Tree – Die For Your Love, taken from Tide Of Thorns EP, out on October 18.
Free gig… Rachel Sermanni at Glasgow’s Love Music on October 21 (5pm).
October 16, 2013: New video via YouTube… Colin Macleod – Devil Pavement (Live from the Green Bus), taken from The Anchor EP, out on October 21. On the same day he will play instore sets at Edinburgh’s Coda Music (1pm) and Glasgow’s Love Music (5.30pm).
57ᵒ North have published their Guide To DIY Gig Promotion – a useful resource for anyone venturing into this side of the music business.
Michael Cassidy will play at the opening night party for Glasgow’s The Bar & Fly on October 19.
Free gig… French Wives + Randolph’s Leap + Laki Mera + The Graveyard Band + Donald Macdonald And The Islands + The Mademoiselle for 1st Birthday Bash at Glasgow’s Broadcast on October 25 (RSVP required).
October 15, 2013: New video via YouTube… Travis – Mother.
New video via YouTube…. Casual Sex – Nothing On Earth, taken from The Bastard Beat EP, out on October 28.
October 14, 2013: Anna Sweeney, who spoke out on The Pop Cop about her mental health issues after quitting her solo career, has started a new project with Maeve McCrorie called The Scarlings. They play their first gig at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on October 31.
October 12, 2013: New documentary via BBC iPlayer… The Great Hip Hop Hoax.
New song stream via Clash… Washington Irving – Palomides, taken from Palomides: Volume II album, out on November 4.
Free download via SoundCloud… Beerjacket – Glow (demo).
Free album download via Bandcamp… Louie & Bigg Taj – Paranoise.
October 11, 2013: New gig… Withered Hand at Edinburgh’s Whale Arts Centre on October 19 (free tickets) with free return coach travel from Waterloo Place as part of Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival.
New tour… Travis at Edinburgh’s Picture House on November 17, Inverness’ Ironworks on November 18, Aberdeen’s Music Hall on November 19 and Glasgow’s Barrowland on December 20.
October 10, 2013: The venue splits and stage times for Haddowfest in Edinburgh on October 11-12 have been released.
New video via YouTube… Honeyblood – Bud. The band play Glasgow’s Broadcast on October 29 and Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on October 30.
New video via YouTube… Camera Obscura – Troublemaker. The band’s Break It To You Gently double 7″ single is out now.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Saint Max & The Fanatics – Soul Surrender, taken from debut album Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead, out on October 21.
October 9, 2013: New video via YouTube… Katie Sutherland – Canvas. She plays Glasgow’s Mackintosh Church on November 2.
New gig… Rachel Sermanni + Bwani Junction + Vigo Thieves at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on November 23 (for War Child). Rachel’s The Boatshed Sessions EP is out on October 21.
The Great Hip Hop Hoax will be broadcast on BBC Two Scotland on October 11 at 9pm.
LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits will be shown for free at Dumfries’ Robert Burns Centre on October 30 as part of Dumfries Music Conference which runs from October 30 to November 2.
October 8, 2013: CHVRCHES, Django Django, King Creosote, The Rezillos, Treacherous Orchestra and Fiddlers’ Bid have been announced to play Edinburgh’s Hogmanay street party alongside headliners Pet Shop Boys.
New song stream via SoundCloud… SOS – ROCK N ROLL.
October 7, 2013: New song stream via YouTube… The LaFontaines – All She Knows, out on October 27; B-side My Yo-Yo available now on iTunes.
New album release via iTunes… The Fratellis – We Need Medicine.
New album release via Bandcamp… The Grand Gestures – Second.
New album release via Fortuna POP!… The Spook School – Dress Up.
October 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… De Rosa – Spectres. The band play their first gig in four years as part of Kid Canaveral’s Xmas Baubles IV at Edinburgh’s Portobello Town Hall on December 14.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Beerjacket – Androgynous (The Replacements cover).
New album stream via SoundCloud… L.Pierre – Neverland Transmission, A Disney Mix (tracklist on Dazed and Confused).
October 4, 2013: 57º North will run a free music journalism training course at Aberdeen’s Seventeen every Wednesday for four weeks from October 23. Email email@example.com to apply for one of six spaces.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Katie Sutherland – Canvas, out on November 18.
New gigs via Ticketmaster… The Twilight Sad performing debut album Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on December 20 and December 21.
New album release via Bandcamp… The Little Kicks – Put Your Love In Front Of Me.
New video via BBC iPlayer… Rapal – Series 7, Episode 8, featuring Vukovi, Donald Macdonald And The Islands, The Velveteen Saints, The River 68′s and Conquering Animal Sound.
October 3, 2013: The Glasgow venue formerly known as The Barfly, which shut in February 2009, will reopen as The Bar & Fly at the same location on Clyde Street on October 18.
New video via YouTube… The Deep Red Sky – Kids (MGMT cover), out on October 7.
New song via YouTube… Finn LeMarinel – Love Is Waves (demo).
October 2, 2013: Free album download via UK Rock Radio… Free Sample Issue #03 featuring songs by The Xcerts, Sparrow And The Workshop, Admiral Fallow, A Band Called Quinn, Mull Historical Society and Unkle Bob.
Meursault frontman Neil Pennycook will be a guest speaker at Born To Be Wide’s seminar on promoting gigs, which takes place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on October 3.
New video via YouTube… We Were Hunted – You Know Me Now.
What The Blood Revealed have announced they are splitting up.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Lorraine McCauley & The Borderlands – Belong.
October 1, 2013: Free song download via iTunes… CHVRCHES – Tether. Singer Lauren Mayberry has written a Guardian article about the online misogyny she has been suffering, it’s well worth a read.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Julia & The Doogans – Love At First Sight (Kylie Minogue cover).
New song stream via SoundCloud… Cold Crows Dead – Ghost That Burned Your House Down, taken from debut album I Fear A New World, out on December 2. The band is a collaboration between The Xcerts’ Murray Macleod and Brighton songwriter Paul Steel. They play Aberdeen’s Tunnels on December 10 and Glasgow’s King Tut’s on December 11.
I didn’t know what to get you for Christmas… so I came up with an idea.
The Jukebox player on the right-hand side of this blog was launched 17 months ago and, since then, 39 people have paid £5 each to get a track on it for a month, raising a total of £180.06 (after PayPal took their cut).
I pledged to use every donation “to support grassroots music” and now you’re about to find out what I blew the budget on…
I’ve been a huge fan of Café Disco’s song Terra Nova from hearing it played live, so I decided to take the Jimmy Eat World-loving band (featured on The Pop Cop in July) to the Old Mill Studios in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire to record it.
To be honest, I got a bit over-excited and ended up breaking open my own piggy bank to fund a promo video to go with it, made by much-revered Glasgow specialists Shootback Productions.
So sit back, put your feet up, enjoy the ace video (filmed one afternoon in Nice ‘n’ Sleazy) and help yourself to a free download of Terra Nova plus 35 other songs chosen by my fellow Music Alliance Pact bloggers from around the world.
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 36-track compilation via MediaFire.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Café Disco – Terra Nova
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Terra Nova by Glasgow-based newcomers Café Disco. It was on a shaky YouTube clip filmed in June 2011 during one of the band’s earliest gigs. “Contains the peachiest guitar riff I’ve heard in ages” is how I described the song on my blog back then – and that verdict hasn’t changed with this studio recording, which was funded by The Pop Cop for the sole purpose of giving it away through the Music Alliance Pact, together with this rather fun promo video.
December 15, Nice n Sleazy, Glasgow (info)
January 15, King Tut’s, Glasgow (free in downstairs bar)
May 5, Brew At The Bog festival, Inverness (tickets)
The Empire Of The Moon – Transition
The Empire Of The Moon is the new project of Juan Sábato, a former member of Brian Storming, a band that was featured in the first edition of MAP (and, by the way, the grandson of writer Ernesto Sábato). Transition is the first single from The Empire Of The Moon’s just-released debut EP, Saturday Children, for which he wrote all the music, lyrics and beautiful pop arrangements.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Tim Fitz – The Line
Tim Fitz is a 21-year-old producer/instrumentalist/singer from Sydney. He put out his first EP, Infinite Space, in March but his latest release, Beforetime, is definitely a rich picking. Some might hear genre spanning and others will hear indecisiveness, but there’s a great feel to this collection of tracks. The Line is a good example of Fitz’s kaleido-instrumentals. Just as the flouncy percussion gets into the proper swing of things, we get bombarded by drive-high fuzz around the one-minute mark. Fitz’s sound is original, but the way he has put his sounds together is still familiar enough to catch on to.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Nana Rizinni – Nice Figure, Dangerous Heart
It’s almost 2012, but listening to this song from singer/drummer Nana Rizinni can take you back to the 90s with an awesome “sounds like The Breeders feeling”. Nice Figure, Dangerous Heart is from her first album, I Said, which is available to download from her website.
Fevers – Passion Is Dead (Long Live Fashion)
Fevers’ debut full-length (which is currently free via Bandcamp) is a wonderful blend of disco-pop and ambient Stars/Young Galaxy-style space-rock. This song, the title track from the album, falls firmly into the former category. It’s five and a half minutes of a glorious, life-affirming, wave-your-arms-in-the-air anthem, and it sets the stage for one of the best albums of the year.
CHILE: Super 45
Tio Lucho – Ilusión Rebelde
Even though Tio Lucho had an aggressive, non-conformist punk sound when they started, it has developed into a more danceable and, clearly, more passive format. Produced by Chalo González, their new album Innombrable, released through Cazador, has a strong new wave influence. Ilusión Rebelde is its first single.
Mini Train Heart – Just This Feeling
Formed in 2009, Mini Train Heart is a peculiar band based in Wuhan. The band is noted for their unpredictable drumbeats and manic vocals. Also, you can’t easily tell who their influences are. We recommend you just drown in the lo-fi atmosphere and enjoy their uniquely dry humor in how they see this generation.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Anchorless – A Step Too Steep
Comprising members of bands such as Lack, The River Phoenix and The Fashion, indie-rock six-piece Anchorless are currently finishing their debut album, which I assume will be released early-ish next year. Until then dive in, dig and download A Step Too Steep from their six-song eponymous 2010 debut EP, which you can in fact download in full through this link.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Citizens! – True Romance (Populette remix)
This is an exclusive remix of the debut single, True Romance, by a London-based five-piece who have just signed to French electronic/indie label Kitsuné. Their debut album, due early next year, has been produced by Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand. The video to the single was directed by LA’s High5Collective, the team behind shorts for The Weeknd and Odd Future. And they believe that “pop is not a dirty word. It’s a holy one”. For Citizens!, pop is something David Bowie did in the 70s – they conflate glam-era Bowie and Bowie in Berlin with some of the tart arrogance of Suede and louche energy of Franz.
Shelton San – Well-Behaved
Noise-rock band Shelton San started rocking the small Estonian indie scene in 2002 and, almost 10 years later, they are stronger than ever, creating massive, raw, hypnotic atmospheres, always polished, but never sterile. In 2006, they received the Estonian Music Award for the best punk/metal artist. Shelton San’s second LP was released on December 12.
Zebra And Snake – Burden
Matti and Tapio, best known as Zebra And Snake, positioned themselves as the next big thing in Finnish electro-pop in 2010 and since then, the duo has been carefully crafting their debut album while playing anywhere from Iceland to Indonesia. Burden, the first single off Healing Music (out in spring 2012), is an epic pop song with a Blood On The Dance Floor beat, analogue electronic hooks and powerful Bowie-esque vocals.
FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Marauders – Galley-Slave
Marauders formed in the late 80s in Strasbourg, and have been making garage rock ever since, before it was cool and re-popularized by The Black Keys. The quartet, who have released two LPs and appeared in various compilations, play short, edgy songs and are pretty awesome live. Galley-Slave is a sweet, soft-rock ballad that deserves some attention.
Kraków Loves Adana – Silver Screen
The Black Forest, a myth. Since Kraków Loves Adana come from Freiburg, we can all speculate whether the forest has its influence or not. Hence, the sound of this duo is outstanding. The voice of Deniz Cicek is remarkably dark and complex, the use of the instruments is deliberate, creating deep and slightly ominous songs. Silver Screen is a MAP exclusive from their upcoming second album, which will be released in early 2012.
2L8 – Let It Go
A collective led by K the Clown and comprised of talented Greek musicians, 2L8 is a bold and electrifying project that has come to be categorized by their radical stylistic shifts between albums. New Battles, Without Honor And Humanity is packed with feverous instrumental intensity and florid arrangements based on bursting guitars, pounding drums, subtle and luminous climaxes, dramatic strings and brass, hypnotically simple melodies, inner monologues and trembling, frantically passionate vocals, desperate and bleak lyrics about resistance, equity, freedom, love and equality coupled with a sense of hope.
Low Roar – Friends Make Garbage, Good Friends Take It Out
Low Roar is the personal project of Ryan Karazija who, almost two years ago, moved from San Francisco to Reykjavík to follow the love of his life. His self-titled debut chronicles the challenges of starting anew in a foreign land and the struggles to acclimatize, find work and support his family in the Icelandic winter. Friends Make Garbage, Good Friends Take It Out, one of the highlights of the album, is a haunting, emotive and slightly melancholic song with a melody that will undoubtedly keep playing in your head long after the song is over.
Stars And Rabbit – Worth It
Stars And Rabbit are probably one of this country’s most promising indie acts. The duo mix some soul from Joan Baez, the cuteness of Lisa Mitchell and the playful touch of Björk to produce catchy, beautiful pop songs.
Come On Live Long – Elephants And Time
Formed last year, Come On Live Long have picked up a steady pace in no time as evident on the release of their latest EP entitled Mender. They make far-reaching alternative songs with considerable melodies, synths and a strong singular sound. Production by Nouveaunoise electronic maestro Conor Gaffney helps too. Ones to watch.
Distanti – Astronomie
Distanti sing in Italian, but even if you don’t speak our old and praiseworthy language, I’m sure you’ll understand – in fact, you will totally feel the way Distanti tear up their post-punk sound. Visceral. Urgent. Clever. They just released a new EP, Mamba Nero, which you can get at To Lose La Track. And try to catch Distanti live, they’re amazing.
JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Love And Hates – Party Trash
Love And Hates is a collaboration between Yuppa and Moe, two of the best indie artists in Japan today, from HNC and Miila And The Geeks respectively. Love And Hates finds them teaming up to make rap music with indie-pop touches, or kindergarten hip-hop as they dubbed it. Party Trash, with its cutesy chopped-and-screwed intro and solid structure, is not a lame dorm-room joke but rather a fun, appreciative stab at the genre. UGK they are not, but they still feel like a blast.
MALTA: Stagedive Malta
nosnow/noalps – Far Into The Night (Without You)
nosnow/noalps began its journey over mountainous terrain in early 2007 with their poppy indie-rock seasoned with punk, reggae and ska. Soon after, the quartet hit the live circuit with an energy and force comparable to an avalanche at a Swiss ski resort. The band’s first EP, Just Rock, came out in 2008 and they released their debut album, Romantikpolitik, this August.
MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
3Ball MTY – Ritmo Alterado
The city of Monterrey, in northern Mexico, is struggling in a war against drug-mafias: despite the violent context, a new musical genre is rising thanks to 3Ball MTY. Led by veteran electro-cumbia DJ Toy Selectah and a crew of skillful producers in their early 20s, the collective have created a new sound by merging polka, reggaeton and acid-tribal-techno. But the most peculiar thing about this trend is the style of dancing – like dodging bullets – while wearing ultra-long pointy boots. Curious? Just google ‘Pointy Mexican Boots’.
NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Spoelstra – Pallets
An alternative to the schmaltz of typical Christmas sounds, enjoy a dose of Spoelstra. He’s a collaborator with Dutch experimental label Narrominded, which specialises in all sorts of fantastic non-profitable sounds, from full-on noise rock to electronic warbles. And Spoelstra is a perfect fit, as he’s proven capable of both. His latest album Pallets was released earlier in the year. Packaged as a cassette and a book about everything you can imagine about pallets, it showcases a full rack of effects and a wonky mind. Part chip tune, part drunken country improv, part toy noise, this uneasiness is how Santa feels come Boxing Day.
NEW ZEALAND: Einstein Music Journal
The Eversons – I’m A Conservative
Fronted by Mark Turner (ex-Little Pictures) and with Chris Young (Insurgents, No Aloha), Tim Shann and Blair Everson, The Eversons have a crisp, clear garage-rock vibe that strongly recalls Art Brut and American college rock with its undeniable catchiness and the immediate satisfaction this brings. With classic guitar riffs and day-in-the-life-style lyrics, their debut five-song EP is instantly likeable. This is one of those bands that doesn’t muck around, delivering a top-class release very early in their career, which makes us excited about future things to come from them.
NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Sunturns – Hallelujah (Christmas Is Here!)
Sunturns can perhaps be labeled an indie supergroup – or not just an indie super group, but a Christmas indie supergroup. It’s something as rare as a full-time Christmas band and is comprised of some of the best musicians from the Oslo indie scene, with members from bands such as mylittlepony, Monzano and The Little Hands of Asphalt. They sing about both the nice and the more melancholic sides of Christmas. Their debut album, cleverly titled Christmas, is out now.
Gris Volta – You Go Behind The Truth
Formed at the beginning of 2008, Gris Volta have too many influences to place the band into one genre – you can find anything from indie-rock to jazz themes and experimental music in their songs. Their debut record Monochrome is without doubt one of the best Peruvian albums released this year.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Julie & The Carjackers – Mr Williams
One year ago, Julie & The Carjackers released their debut EP. Now the first album by João Correia (vocals, guitar, percussion) and Bruno Pernadas (guitar), with the help of some friends (none of them called Julie), is available. Parasol has been warmly welcomed by Portuguese press and blogs as a surprising and refreshing debut in the local indie scene.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Absurdcus – Puppy Slippers
Absurdcus is the solo project of Transylvanian bass player/multi-instrumentalist Laszlo Demeter. His music has been a continuous work in progress since 2003, when he first started recording bits and pieces under this pseudonym. His music stylistically ranges from alternative rock and funk to electronica and even metal. You can download his debut album here.
RUSSIA: Big Echo
Arktor – Pier ft. Didjelirium
Just like the original story by Philip K. Dick, Arktor’s album Retreat Syndrome recreates the atmosphere of madness and insanity, combining truth and despair with the skills of his mate, jazz pianist Ilz. Pier is recorded with a special guest, Shanghai rapper Didjelirium.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Sonicbrat – Bed Of Forty Winks
Sonicbrat is the enduring moniker of sound artist Darren Ng, whose work is characterised by an intricate tapestry of field recordings and found sounds, strung together by subtly processed acoustic instrumentation with a classical bent. Gentle, stirring and complex, Ng’s music is the sort that invites itself into and comfortably inhabits one’s imagination. His latest release, Hana, is his musing on the life of a flowering plant and is available as a free download on the Totokoko label.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
The Frown – The National (Yesterday’s Pupil remix)
The Frown makes a curious mixture of folk and electronica. With their song The National, Yesterday’s Pupil’s remix adds a special touch to it, with a heady mix of soaring strings and orchestration, low tempo colliding beats, dark and menacing basslines and the fragile yet commanding vocals of Eve Rakow. Ethereal and enigmatic, it’s one of the year’s most exciting songs.
SOUTH KOREA: Indieful ROK
Kim Mok In – Scene
Kim Mok In started out as the guitarist of playful lo-fi folk quartet Cabinet Singalongs over a decade ago. This month he released his first solo album, Song Of Musician’s-self, with an updated sound and better production that still shouldn’t leave any old fan disappointed. Scene is a song about the Korean music scene which finds Kim Mok In’s voice and guitar accompanied by a sturdy piano.
Doble Pletina – Cruzo Los Dedos
Doble Pletina, a five-piece from Barcelona, were born from the ashes of Abrevadero (a one-of-a-kind cover band that would play songs of almost any genre). Thanks to their simple yet carefully crafted melodies and everyday life-inspired emotional lyrics – as in their latest single Cruzo Los Dedos – they have broken into the city’s local independent scene. They are, basically, what we would expect from a good indie-pop band.
Let’s Say We Did – Galaxies
If your idea of Swedish music is something exotic like Lykki Li, First Aid Kit, Little Dragon and/or Jens Lekman, the music of Let’s Say We Did might surprise you. On the whole, the new record hews closer to Big Star meets Wilco dad-rock than the drum and bass electronica music coming out of Sweden of late. Sebastian Fors is one of the main men behind the band. He has been contributing to the Swedish music scene for a few years in multiple projects. Let’s Say We Did’s new self-titled album, though, is some of the best stuff I’ve heard from him.
Alejandro Jiménez – Die Fragestellung In Frage Stellen
Alejandro Jiménez is actually more poetry slam than singer-songwriting. He also had the honour of playing in the most famous theater in Switzerland for cabaret artists. On his second record, Nabelschau, he recorded 11 songs which have one thing in common: they’re raw and personal.
Toz Ve Toz – Kara Mamba
Founded in November 2007, Toz Ve Toz make experimental songs that combine elements of jazz, surf, punk and Turkish classical music. The trio use guitar, synthesizer, drums, harmonica and bağlama – a Turkish instrument with three double strings. They have released two albums – the first featured music for a theatre play called Sahici İnsanlar Plastik Ölümler (“Real People Plastic Deaths”) in 2009; the second is a home recording called Ev/Home. Their third album will be released from their own record label soon.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Gracie – Sisters
Philadelphia’s Gracie is an intriguing project to say the least. There is bedroom pop and garage rock, but the vibes coming from Gracie match more of a bomb shelter banger sound. Haunting, effervescent, glitchy, mesmerizing echoes, and driving beats that propel your ears forward straight through tangles of sonic cobwebs. Can’t wait to snag this unique release via Small Plates soon.