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.
Welcome to the 40th edition of the Music Alliance Pact, which takes a monthly snapshot of the world’s best new acts according to music blogs from their countries of origin.
For the first MAP of 2012, I’ve gone for Make Sparks, who have been getting stronger and stronger with every release and have a penchant for making attention-grabbing promo videos (see The Pop Cop feature here). Keep an eye out for their new Part Of The Masquerade EP which comes out on February 28.
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 here.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Make Sparks – Your Heart’s On Fire
Scotland’s rock scene is firmly in the spotlight thanks to the wildly successful exploits of Biffy Clyro and young pretenders Twin Atlantic. For those looking for the next band to follow in their footsteps, two contenders stand out: Make Sparks and LightGuides (featured in the July 2010 edition of MAP). Catchy choruses are fitted as standard on Make Sparks, who are making all the right noises with their relentless touring and recording ethic, slick promo videos and a vivacious pop sensibility.
Nubes En Mi Casa – Aceleremos
Nubes En Mi Casa is an indie-pop band led by singer Josefina Mac Loughlin. Aceleremos is a preview from their upcoming second studio album, Me Suelto y Vuelvo. The song sounds like an instant hit and we’re sure it will become one of our favorite tracks of 2012, so we can’t wait to hear the rest of it.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Sures – The Sun
The Sun is a short burst of sunshine from Sydney duo Sures. It sounds like a Beach Boys outtake, which might sound boring given the number of bands out there paying homage to Wilson and Co. Fortunately, The Sun is just two minutes of harmonising over a dull melody – it’s a catchy tune that will have those of us in the southern hemisphere pressing repeat throughout summer.
Diver – Illusions
Quiet is the new loud. Diver, a folky trio from various places in Austria and Germany and now based in Vienna, play beautifully melancholic songs with three acoustic guitars and lyrics that go “everyday reality is an illusion of possibilities”. Illusions is the opener of their first full-length album Kites, which will be out later this month. In the meantime you can listen to their self-titled debut EP on Bandcamp.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Bixiga 70 – Balboa Da Silva
Bixiga 70 is what happens when you combine African beats, jazz and Brazilian swing in a city as hectic as São Paulo, where they’re from. Their first CD was released last year and is available to download at the band’s website.
Honheehonhee – We Only Go
There’s more than a hint of early Arcade Fire to We Only Go but, as someone who misses early Arcade Fire, I don’t see why that’s a strike against Honheehonhee. Besides, this song (not to mention the rest of their debut, Shouts) is exuberant, unhinged fun, and the world can always use more music like that.
CHILE: Super 45
Los Embajadores – Peso
From all the tips made in the Chilean music scene for this year, Los Embajadores is one of the most interesting. Romantic goth-pop songs reminiscent of Cocteau Twins as well as the darkest hours of Miguel Bosé. Faisanes is the name of their soon-to-come new album, and Peso (“Weight”) is its first single.
Elenore – Psycho Man
Beijing-based Elenore formed in late 2009 and have developed a sound influenced by bands such as Oasis, Kasabian and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The single Psycho Man fuses 60s swing drum loops, fuzzy guitar riffs and a Middle Eastern instrumental chorus which became a hit on China’s popular site Douban. In February, Elenore will release their first EP both on CD and the band’s own digital distribution site.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Nelson Can – Apple Pie
Danish girl-trio Nelson Can release their eponymous debut EP this month as part of a triple EP release with The Freudian Slip and Echo Me. Punk aesthetics spoon with pop flair and hipster cool on their first single Apple Pie, which reaffirms that apples are indeed a good thing. Like the girls on Facebook and check out the video for Apple Pie on YouTube.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Money – Who’s Going To Love You Now
A four-piece based in Manchester, Money are part of that city’s tradition of earnest young men, “the weight on their shoulder”, as Ian Curtis once sang. They quote Austrian poet Rilke, while their Facebook features a “eulogy for the death of everything”. A recent Guardian New Band of the Day article contended that they “have a similar air of mystery and cerebral intensity to Wu Lyf, with a vocalist who can do enigmatically gruff as well as fervid and angelic”, positing them as the Mancunian Manic Street Preachers, with a shared sense of the sacred and intense.
Zebra Island – Falling Through
Mysterious Zebra Island rocketed into blogs and social networks at the very end of 2011 and everyone in Estonia seems to love them, although no-one knows much about the band. Zebra Island is led by Rasmus Lill from Kosmofon (featured in the March 2011 edition of MAP) and beautiful vocals are provided by Helina Risti. Falling Through, their first and only song so far, is a lovely, pulsating electro-pop masterpiece that keeps you wanting for much more Zebra Island.
Greymouth – The Boy
Singer and songwriter Elisa Husu founded Greymouth in the summer of 2011 to recreate her folky songs with a full band. The Boy is the first taster of this project and highlights Elisa’s beautiful voice on top of epic acoustic sounds with a marked Fleet Foxes influence.
FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Concrete Knives – Brand New Start
A perfect title for the first song of the year, Brand New Start is a highly enjoyable pop song, so good it’s featured in a commercial, and so fresh with its choir and upbeat sound, I would name it song of the year. Very good proof that the French indie scene is better than ever.
Apparat – Ash/Black Veil
This month we’ve got one of the most discussed German artists of last year. Apparat’s 2011 album The Devil’s Walk took the concept of Sascha Ring, the man behind the moniker, further. The soundscapes created feels like a cairn, carefully layered and poised, yet built to last; but Ring has decided to use his falsetto, which has caused controversy with reviewers. Decide for yourself if this concept works well on Ash/Black Veil. I think it does!
Hristos Lainas – H Thlipsi To Brady
Hristos Lainas’ first solo album, I Agapi Tha Lampsi (“Love Will Shine”) is stuffed to the brim with alluring pop melodies, drenched in skittering 12-bit samplers, filtered vocals, warm and luscious analog synths and infused with a pleasant aura of drowsiness. Lainas assembles an array of sounds and textures, adds sporadic splashes of static atmosphere and in the process creates a magnificent listening environment of rose-tinted optimism and disenchantment. H Thlipsi To Brady (“Sadness In The Night”) submerges a sense of intense feeling within its 80s fantasy electronic ether and instantly takes hold of your ears.
Toggi – Let Them Bleed
This catchy little song, taken from the Iceland king of pop’s second album Wonderful Secrets, should be the anthem for any self-respecting Occupy movement. Feeling a need to protest? Then let Toggi’s tune occupy your mind and fire you up.
Belkastrelka – Pujian Ekspatriat
Belkastrelka are an eccentric electronic duo who sample sounds from various sources – windows, the library, television, nature and everything else. Combined with the tiny but wild vocals of Asa Rahmana, they create feral dance music.
Collie Collins & Monto – How Does?!?
A collaboration indicative of Ireland’s growing insurgency against genre borders, Keep Her Lit is an EP which was released last year from Dublin rapper Collie Collins. Teaming up with producer Monto for four tracks of electronic-infused rap, the result is something wholly Irish yet globally progressive. It’s a free download too.
Esperanza – Aliante Giallo
Three skilled musicians and DJs put together a project devoted to an idea of music with no barriers. The sound ranges from chillwave to house, from trip-hop to psychedelia, and becomes a wide landscape. Featuring a collaboration with Banjo Or Freakout and released on the prestigious German label Gomma, this album works magic when the bpms slow down and the electronics becomes warmer and warmer.
JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Praha Depart – Portrait Man
Praha Depart demand attention, the Tokyo band mixing constantly morphing guitar with drum smashes to create mesmerizing tracks that reveal new sonic details with each new listen. All of those elements appear on Portrait Man, but the highlight of the song is lead singer Mai and her jittery voice. Over the course of Portrait Man, her vocals bring to mind Lydia Lunch before zigging towards a style reminiscent of Sue Tompkins of Life Without Buildings.
MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Dolls For Idols – Run
Dolls For Idols are an electronic band underpinned by indie and pop sensibilities. Their music embraces 80s-inspired synthesised sounds and the 90s rave generation, all served up with an attitude that is very much rooted in the here and now.
MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Los Mundos – Ni Un Segundo Más Sin Música
Los Mundos is a long-distance collaboration that perfectly speaks about musical memory and desertic solitude. The title of this lush pop-shoegaze song means “Not a second more without music”. Indeed, it’s the urgent need of a music lover: to spend all their time in a record store (how nostalgic), living their days wearing headphones with an obsession for everything that spins – very accurate for a band whose name in Spanish translates as “The Worlds”.
NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Hospital Bombers – Traditional Maori Fight Song #9
This self-proclaimed stadium-folk outfit have been in hiding for too long, sitting on a wealth of new material that they’ve struggled to shape into that ‘difficult second album’. Thankfully, this month they’ll finally release the sequel to 2008′s Footnotes – the grandly titled At Budokan. Their lovingly lo-fi folk-pop is always rougher and rawer in the live setting, but this new collection again shows them up to be masters of careful songcraft, albeit unashamedly quirky songcraft that’s emblazoned with handclaps and violins.
NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
Billie Van – On My Knees
Billie Van’s music makes me reminisce back to the 50s and the 60s, when country music was good and Nancy Sinatra was the one; when rock ‘n’ roll meant four chords and terrific songs; when guitar solos were mandatory and slapback echo came from the amps. Her music is all of this – great pop songs, tearful country ballads and hip-shaking rock ‘n’ roll, but it’s also new and done in a refreshing way.
Chico Unicornio – Triángulo
Once again, it is the independent scene that gives us another interesting musical proposal. Chico Unicornio is a one-man project that combines acoustic folk sounds with a nice Andean instrument called a charango. The music that this young man makes is new to our local sound, giving it a freshness and novelty.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
We Trust – Time (Better Not Stop)
We Trust is André Tentugal’s one-man band. In 2011, Time (Better Not Stop) was one of the most-played tracks by a new independent artist on Portuguese radio. We are proud to have it here, exclusively, for download for MAP readers. You can also find it on We Trust’s debut album, These New Countries, which was released in November.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Coughy – Precambrian
Coughy are an experimental duo residing in Bucharest, featuring former and current band members of The Amsterdams. Therefore it is regarded as a creative playground where everything is accepted as a form of expression without the self-censorship required when playing in a regular and quite popular indie-rock band.
RUSSIA: Big Echo
M A Y Г L E Y – Farfour
M A Y Г L E Y are getting ready to strike Russia’s cruel winter with an ancient God’s spell, drowned in a wall of sound. Religion, symbolism, adrenaline, isolated genres and the naked language of post-Stalin 60s influence this psychedelic shoegaze project, who have made a great record.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Riot !n Magenta – CTRL
Do androids dream of electric sheep? One thinks of such things when the contrast between the organic and inorganic meld together into a primordial blur of passion. Riot !n Magenta gently slip into the stream of your thoughts with Hayashida Ken’s dark, pulsing rhythms and Eugenia Yip’s wispful and forlorn vocal delivery. There’s tension in every stem as the words haze through: “I try to take it slow, you go faster…You need control…”. Definitely hoping to hear more from this special duo.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Jeremy Loops – The Gypsy Opera
Jeremy Loops is not a traditional band. He creates music on the spot with his gamut of loop pedals and impromptu collaborations. With The Gypsy Opera, he brings together his delicate mix of folk, hip-hop, bluegrass funk and blues all by using his guitar, ukelele, harmonica and beatboxing skills. It is something rather magical to behold.
SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Galaxy Express – As Time Passes, Always Been Good
Galaxy Express is one of the best rock bands in Korea and have been for quite some time. During their Wild 30 project in 2010, a 30-day quest during which they recorded a piece of music for their Wild Days album every day, they showed that they put on the best of performances, even just going to karaoke. In late 2011, Galaxy Express released split EP Naughty Boy with Korean punk pioneers Crying Nut, which contained a re-recording of the somewhat atypical but gorgeous and engaging As Time Passes, Always Been Good from those wild days. Look out for more from Galaxy Express in 2012 as they’re heading for a US tour in March and playing SXSW for the second time.
Dolores – Volcán
Dolores are four, they’re from Madrid and they are certainly one of the best hopes for noise-rock made in Spain. Post-punk and shoegaze are two of the genres Dolores mix for achieving their sound (which is also spiced up with a touch of good ol’ pop and loads of energy). A good bit of that power can be heard on Volcán (“Volcano”), whose stunning rhythm will invite you to dance the hell out of yourself. And you won’t be able to refuse.
Blanket – Hailey Fought The Law
Want to watch a video starring the runner-up of the figure roller-skating world championships dressed as a rabbit? Here you go. Given that Blanket’s accompanying song is a fragile and psychedelic piece of awesomeness, we obviously have a win-win situation.
Haossaa – Holgar Godoni
Last year, Ozan Aktuna, Enis Özbek and Tolga Güldallı, three-pieced avant garde noise band Haossaa, became legends in the indie scene of Istanbul, mostly for their extraordinary live performances. And when their debut LP came out last September, their reputation finally got crowned.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Fantasy Island – Avenue
One of 2012′s more promising American groups is Fantasy Island, a Los Angeles duo responsible for a pair of intriguing, soulful jams since their formation in late 2011. They’ve got a new single out on UK label Stroll On Records and a debut album on the horizon. With a song like Avenue (and the equally fantastic Breaking A Heart) it’s hard to keep wild expectations in check… guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the rest of the year cooks up.
VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Okills – Nube
Okills is a band that started in mid-2010 and fuses alternative indie-rock with other genres, resulting in some fun music. In September 2011, they released their Iniciando Transmisión EP for free via the web in a pack that includes six songs, illustrations and photos of the band.