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.
The delicate, precious sounds of Mike Nisbet represent Scotland in this month’s Music Alliance Pact – he truly is an outstanding prospect.
The Pop Cop’s counterparts in Colombia, El Parlante Amarillo, made a neat video about this project which features an interview with our Mexican MAP blogger. Check it out here, señoras y señores:
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 38-track compilation here.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Mike Nisbet – Not Long
Originally from Oban, Mike Nisbet possesses an enchanting backstory that could give Justin Vernon a run for his money. Living a genuine nomadic existence, acoustic guitar in hand, this wandering troubadour has a Dylan-esque timeless quality to his songwriting, a voice that soothes and shatters hearts, and a gorgeous debut album, Vagrant, that could/should earn this remarkable 23-year-old talent devotees in any continent, any generation, any decade.
March 16, Roxy 171, Glasgow
March 24, The Captain’s Rest, Glasgow (tickets)
April 8, The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow
May 5, Brew At The Bog, Inverness (tickets)
June 2, Dirty Weekender, Kilmarnock
Yataians – What A Man’s Got To Do
Yataians is a Buenos Aires-based band with a rocksteady sound heavily influenced by Jamaican artists from the 60s and 70s, such as The Ethiopians, The Gaylads, The Heptones and The Paragons. It’s also a product of global age, with members from France, Colombia, New Caledonia and, of course, Argentina. This song is from their first album, Ô Tulop, which came out a couple of months ago, courtesy of the independent label Estamos Felices.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Shady Lane – Dumb Hope
Dumb Hope is the gorgeous lead single of Shady Lane’s forthcoming album, Built Guilt. Once the solo guise under which Sydneysider Jordy Lane put out a diverse range of odds and ends, Shady Lane has grown into a four-piece (officially?) with more hooks, vocals and a nostalgic pop sensibility not unlike fellow New South Welshmen Belles Will Ring.
Giantree – Communicate
With past major label experience, the founding members of what is now Giantree found a new home on an indie label, but without denying that what they are doing is pop in capital letters. Their debut album We All Yell comes with synthesizers and catchy hooks. Communicate, a song about fragile beginnings, was a radio hit in Austria.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
DJ Cremoso – Say It Ain’t So
In the film Be Kind Rewind, Jack Black and Mos Def produce their own lo-fi version of movies, which they call “sweded” versions. What DJ Cremoso makes is like that, “bregalizing” songs – turning international hits into tecnobrega rhythms (a popular style from northern Brazil). There’s almost always the same beat and silly synths are its trademark, as we can hear in this tecnobrega of Weezer’s 90s hit Say It Ain’t So. DJ Cremoso’s identity is unknown – all he has is a profile on 4shared with his remixes.
CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Bronx Cheerleader – Camelot
Bronx Cheerleader have been a regional treasure in and around their hometown of St. Catharines, Ontario, for years now but their new album, Real Punks Don’t Sing About Girls, deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Camelot is a deliciously dirty lo-fi anthem-in-waiting, and one of the stand-out moments on this record, of which there are many.
CHILE: Super 45
Matías Cena & Los Fictions – Raíz
Matías Cena used to be a solo artist from the folk scene in Santiago, and he made himself relatively known via an acoustic guitar and MySpace. Gradually, Ryan Adams and Conor Oberst’s influence diverted him to the ensemble format, which has developed into this six-piece that shines in a land not used to country-like rock. Raíz is a taster of Matías Cena & Los Fictions’ second album Arauco Cajún.
Modern Children – Mongolia
Modern Children is a six-piece band based in Hong Kong that formed in 2006. “Colorful” is the best word to describe them. They play music in different styles, from indie-pop to post-rock. Their songs are filled with all kinds of sounds by using a wide range of instruments, from guitars and bass to rainbow bells and erhu. The band released their self-titled debut album in January.
COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
1280 Almas – Antipatriota
1280 Almas is the biggest cult band from Bogotá. More than 18 years of history, six albums and a life of independence on the underground make them local legends. Now, they present a new song called Antipatriota (“Unpatriotic”), a declaration of national nonconformity.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Ring Them Bells – When I Hear That Whistle Blow
A MAP exclusive, When I Hear That Whistle Blow by Ring Them Bells is only the second great taste of the quartet’s loud combination of 90s noise-rock and 60s psych-pop in circulation. The other, titled Technicolor, is also available for free at the band’s website, and both will most likely be part of Ring Them Bells’ debut album slated for release later this spring.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Submerse – Love You Down
Rob Orme alias Submerse is a 23-year-old DJ and producer from Runcorn, now living in Tokyo, who happens to be making some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful (dance) music anywhere on the planet. Influenced equally by 2000-era UK garage and Japanese pop (J-pop), it combines the skittering rhythms of 2-step with sad female vocals and wan melody to make J-garage. If you thought Rustie was a maximalist, try this ADHD pop. It’s like bubblegum Burial, Orme filling every second of space with infinitesimal bursts, droplets, clicks, spasms and lovelorn cries, dubstep given a sugary coating.
Lack Of Eoins – Sudden Death Mode
Lack Of Eoins came together in late 2005 and recorded their first demos the following year. In 2008, they won a garage band contest in Estonia and recorded their debut album, which was mastered at Abbey Road Studios. They’re back now with the single Sudden Death Mode, which was released along with three remixes as a free download on the first day of 2012.
Cats On Fire – A Few Empty Waves
Many argue that Cats On Fire are the best indie-pop band in Finland at the moment. This bold statement may easily be true thanks to well-crafted pop songs with a melancholic and dreamy twist, solid lyrics and distinctive vocals. This month, Cats On Fire release their third album All Blackshirts To Me. It is their best yet. So good, in fact, that the band can afford a terrific outtake like A Few Empty Waves.
FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Rhum For Pauline – I Can Reach The Top
Rhum For Pauline are an indie-pop band formed in Nantes in 2009 who released their first mini-album, Miami, in 2010, and their first EP, Can Reach The Top, in January. Their upbeat songs are incredibly enjoyable, the kind you like immediately after the first listen, the kind you’ll put on repeat for days. Be sure to check out the very cool video for I Can Reach The Top, directed by The Incredible Kids.
Juli Kapelle – Treiber
Juli Kapelle is a collective from lovely Aschaffenburg, built around mastermind Achim “AS” Sauer. They are guitar-driven, reminiscent of a laid-back and bit krauty Dire Straits. All in all, music for a sophisticated afternoon.
Playground Noise – This World
Playground Noise’s new single, Swinging Lowdown, is a delicate combination of finely arranged brooding melancholy and redemption. The two indie-pop songs infuse soaring guitars with a tense, literate sense of foreboding, adding strings and brass to strike the perfect balance between moody, underground noise and melody. They are built on restraint, tinged by poignancy and wrapped up in poetic human emotion that sticks with you long after the final note. Their sophomore album is set to be released later this year.
1860 – For You, Forever
For You, Forever is the third single from 1860′s self-released debut album Sagan. Drawing inspiration from bands such as Fanfarlo and The Avett Brothers, the song has a modern folkish vibe to it, with small-town sentiments featuring heavily in the lyrics. The song was recently included in the short documentary Íslander by Grasshopper Films.
Young Wonder – Tumbling Backwards
Ian Ring and Rachel Koeman recently teamed up as a producer/vocal duo under the name Young Wonder. Their sound is hard to define as any one genre but is recognisable by its big beats, euphoric synth rushes, pitched vocal samples and emotive lead vocals from Koeman. Yet another excellent new Irish band to watch. A debut EP drops on April 14.
Man On Wire – A Thousand Legs
The name of the band is a reference to Philippe Petit, the French acrobat who walked on a rope between the Twin Towers, but their sound is definitely Americana. Man On Wire play that kind of warm and emotional folk-rock that you can find in certain songs by Arcade Fire, Wilco or The National. Their debut album is a rope from the music to your heart. And they are walking on it.
JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Occult You – Psychic Feelings
Tokyo artist Occult You loves to explore new sounds, each new release from this moniker and his other alias Taquwami (Google it, totally worth it) sounding like a new artistic swerve. Psychic Feelings is one of the newest tracks from the young producer, an irresistibly funky jam recalling the synth-heavy songs created by Ford & Lopatin and the Beverly Hills Cop theme tune. This is not needless nostalgia, though, rather a great song from a promising contemporary artist.
MALTA: Stagedive Malta
The Shh – So Over
The Shh’s music emerges, in secret, from a place in between the city of Paris and the island of Malta. Their debut EP, The Burning Love, evokes surf-rock sounds with warm Summer Of Love-esque vocal melodies.
MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Descartes a Kant – Convince Me
Descartes a Kant is about to release their sophomore album Il Visore Lunatique, a lovingly crafted treat of madness from this exquisite riot grrrl band. While their music speaks for itself, Descartes a Kant has brought to the surface a collection of fears and obsessions through very tight and twisted imagery filled with schizoid violent punk episodes, cabaret, electronic glimpses and a disturbing cheerleading attitude embraced in a well-accomplished match between roughness, eroticism and femininity.
NETHERLANDS: Unfold Amsterdam
Kim Janssen – Tors
Singer-songwriter Kim Janssen has had plenty of international experiences to date. He has recorded and performed around the world with The Black Atlantic (a previous MAP tip), he has followed his parents around Asia as a youngster, and even experienced English boarding school life. It’s the latter that most influences his lush and gentle new album Ancient Crime. He describes it as “a concept album that takes place in an old idyllic school, in a remote village in north-west England during the winter”. Like traditional folk, it’s a mixture of history, myth, memories, old and new verses. Along the way he’s aided by Marla Hansen’s Oriel Quartet and a 100-piece choir, resulting in ambitious, delightful arrangements.
NORWAY: Birds Sometimes Dance
The Avalanche – Throw Away The Rest
The Avalanche play noisy pop with both feet firmly planted in a classic shoegaze tradition. Catchy melodies hidden beneath endless layers of distorted guitar, driving drums and fuzz bass paired with the wonderful sound of dying synths throws the listener back and forth between waves of delicious pop and dirty noise. Their debut album will be released this autumn.
I Am Genko – Bobblehead Sphynx
I Am Genko is a live electronica act from Lima consisting of one person and some machines. They all get along pretty well. Bobblehead Sphynx, from Awkward Teenage Years EP, is a really fun, exciting song – a succession of catchy beats that take us back to our youth or childhood.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
A Jigsaw – The Strangest Friend
A Jigsaw, named after a dEUS song, are from Coimbra and have already won an honorable mention in the 2009 International Songwriting Contest. The Strangest Friend is the first single from their third album, Drunken Sailors & Happy Pirates. They have received enthusiastic reviews in Les Inrockuptibles (France) and Heaven Magazine (Holland) and will gather many more fans after this month’s MAP.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Lights Out! – Origin
Lights Out! are a bunch of high school kids from Cluj (the heart of Transylvania). In the past two years, since existing as a band, they have kept growing, managing to make a name for themselves among Romania’s alternative/indie bands. The start of this year found them in the studio, recording their first material – Patience EP – which is about to come out. With the smooth combination of psychedelia, dreamy guitars and indie sounds, topped with Teo’s amazing voice, Lights Out! could be one of the best musical products Romania has to offer.
RUSSIA: Big Echo
Human Tetris – Silver Tears
Moscow-based post-bunk band Human Tetris have just finished their debut LP, Happy Way In The Maze Of Rebirth, and a European tour that covered Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and France. As cold and raw as the Russian winter, Silver Tears cuts right to the bone.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Shelves – Star Alright
The much-anticipated debut album by Shelves was released this month on both vinyl and digital, resurrecting not just the choicest cuts of Britpop and college rock, but the very essence of the 90s Singapore scene. Yet the record sounds anything but dated, with its clever balance of crisp melodies and generous distortion pointing the way forward for indie rock today. That vision is epitomised in Star Alright, a song that rides above the crackle and feedback to poke fun at the studded-leather ironies of pop stardom.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Sterling EQ – Bach’s Kittens At Play
Sterling Electric Quartet, affectionately known as Sterling EQ, burst on to the scene with their genre-defying musical style and sensational live performance. What started out in 2007 exploded into a musical phenomenon that has continued to take the South African entertainment industry by storm. Bach’s Kittens At Play shows off their eclectic stylings and versatile influences. It takes you on a lovely journey. With a twist. Simply delightful.
SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
No Control – Time
Noise-rock band No Control started out making loud punk explosions, but have since learned the importance of harmony. Influenced by Sonic Youth and with some post-rock and shoegaze thrown into the mix, their first studio-recorded release will be out this month, but already we can savor the captivating sound of Time.
Kokoshca – La Fuerza
If there’s a band that can show off the creation of a hymn for those Spaniards who usually party like there’s no tomorrow, that band is Kokoshca. They are a three-piece from Pamplona and they have already released five records (some demos, a live album and EPs). Heirs of the biggest Spanish pop bands of the 60s but with an irreverent, garage spirit, Kokoshca have recently re-released their well-known single, La Fuerza, via Elefant Records, an indie-pop institution in Spain.
Fucking Werewolf Asso – Keep My Adresse To Yourself, Cause We Need Secrets
Honestly, I think I’m mainly posting this for the shock value. Both the band’s name and their odd amalgam of genres are, to say the least, unusual. Have you ever wondered what 8bit electronica and punk might sound like as a mash-up? Well, wonder no more. Here’s a new song from Fucking Werewolf Asso.
Castling Queen’s Side – Rise And Fail
The starting point for six-piece Castling Queen’s Side was an Arcade Fire gig in Zurich in 2005. There they got to know each other and decided to form an indie band. Now, seven years later, they have their debut record Cinema ready with 11 splendid songs full of depth, melancholy and catchy crankiness.
The Away Days – Dressing Room
The Away Days carries influences from Northern music sounds and actually presents an unfamiliar style for us in this terrain, which is indie-rock. What distinguishes them from other bands in Turkey may be their desire and aim to make themselves known in Europe. While The Away Days is preparing to release their first EP in a couple of months, we can also see the band perform in various festivals during the summer. Dressing Room has an exceptional unity of quality structure, lyrics and music that can’t be ignored.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Hundred Waters – Me & Anodyne
There’s not really much you can say about Hundred Waters that will do justice to their brand of experimental dream-pop. You’ve really just got to hear it for yourself. Me & Anodyne is from Hundred Waters’ self-titled debut, an early album-of-the-year contender.
VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Buenaparte – Con Lucy In The Sky
Buenaparte formed in mid-2010 and released their debut album, La Caída De Lucy, in 2011. Third single Con Lucy In The Sky is a love song with lyrics inviting us to get lost with the person we desire.