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.
Help yourself to a song from their debut EP on this month’s MAP as well as the choices of the ROTW while counting down the days until the youthful quartet release their new single Tear as a free download on August 7.
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 37-track compilation through Ge.tt here.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Holy Esque – Rose
There’s a tangible buzz about the Glasgow music scene right now and part of that has to do with the emergence of Holy Esque. There’s a dark magic about their sound. The rasping, quivering vocals of Pat Hynes calls to mind The Undertones or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, while the squalls of guitar elicit comparisons with Joy Division or Glasvegas. The anthemic Rose, a MAP exclusive free download, is taken from their excellent debut EP.
July 20, King Tut’s, Glasgow (tickets)
July 21, Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh (tickets)
August 7, The Old Blue Last, London
August 13, Vic Galloway session, BBC Radio Scotland
Los Coming Soon – No Way
This is one of our favorite releases from 2012. We Are Family is Los Coming Soon’s first album, in which they deploy 10 great songs filled with electronic textures and a soft, minimalist funky-disco base, all played with real instruments (no programming whatsoever). It was hard to pick one song for MAP, but we think No Way is representative of the whole record (you can buy it here).
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Runner – Flaws
Flaws is an understated instrumental track that drives the emotive dream-pop at the heart of Runner. These guys originate from the west coast of Australia but their sound would sit perfectly with any shoegaze stoner melody coming out of 90s Melbourne. Flaws builds beautifully to a crescendo layered with harmony and a wall of hazy guitars.
Ogris Debris – Sexy Chair
This electronic duo is best known for their onomatopoetic track Miezekatze, a club and radio hit in 2010. Mixing such diverse genres as house, funk and soul, the tongue-in-cheek track Sexy Chair is taken from the Affine Records compilation What A Fine Mess We Made. The most recent Ogris Debris release, The Way feat. Ken Hayakawa (listen on Soundcloud), has a more Arabesque vibe to it.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
BNegão & Seletores de Frequência – Essa é Pra Tocar No Baile
It took almost 10 years for BNegão & Seletores de Frequência to release their second album, but now their music is even more influenced by black music and rhythms such as Afrobeat, soul and samba rock. Essa é Pra Tocar No Baile is one of the breakthrough tracks of the record.
CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Digits – Where Do You Belong?
My heart melts every time I hear Alt Altman – the one-man techno R&B band known as Digits – purr: “It’s just a broken heart/but you ain’t had a broken heart/like this,” on Where Do You Belong? A song this catchy and infectious should come with warning labels: “May induce repeated listens and become lodged in your head for weeks at a time.”
CHILE: Super 45
La Big Rabia – Nos Gusta Que Sea Así
Music abounds during times of crisis, and La Big Rabia is one of the symptoms of this social unrest we are living with in Chile. Their EP, La Bestia, and their shows begin with a disruptive speech made through a loudspeaker by singer Sebastián Orellana, a sort of tired and furious crooner. After this, a retro rock disposition is unleashed on songs like Para Todos Los Hijos De Puta, with its chorus: “Todos contra los poderosos / Todos contra los que tengan sed de poder” (“Everybody against the powerful ones / Everybody against those thirsty for power”).
Glow Curve – Brain Washer
Glow Curve formed in Beijing in 2011 and are influenced by post-rock and electronic music. The quartet absorb and explore new elements to blend complex instrumental sounds from contrasting emotions – manic or quiet, warm or cold.
COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Zalama Crew – No Hay Marcha Atrás
Zalama Crew is a collective based in Cali, a city very close to the Colombian Pacific coast. An excellent example of what is happening in these lands, their project mixes hip-hop, urban and world music. No Hay Marcha Atrás (“There’s No Turning Back”) is taken from their first album Zalama Lekum, which fuses African rhythm with electronic sounds.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Kúra – Anchor
With the amazing vocal of Fanney Ósk Þórisdóttir as a general highlight, Danish/Icelandic trio Kúra’s debut Halfway To The Moon is a dark, melancholic and rather enticing affair mixing electronica, trip hop, dub and (indie) rock. Here’s single Anchor, co-produced by acclaimed DJ and producer Buda (Lulu Rouge) and accompanied by this beautiful video by Kristian Touborg and Jesper Dalgaard.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Josephine – Pray That I Move
Manchester’s Josephine Oniyama is not another soul girl, even though some early breathless accounts of her work and voice are of the “you won’t believe this isn’t a classic lost R&B or blues recording” variety. Actually, as Pray That I Move shows, Josephine’s vocal delivery and idiosyncratic lyrical vision have more in common with Morrissey than Mahalia Jackson. She’s already made a big stir on the regional scene with Elbow’s Guy Garvey and singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt among her champions. Her debut album, Portrait, is out on October 8.
Minttu & Olli – Corduroy Boy
Minttu & Olli are a graceful couple homebrewing sweet pop songs. With great vocal harmonies, a gentle folky spirit and smooth melodica sounds, the duo is a Nordic version of She & Him that could have easily been featured in the soundtrack of (500) Days of Summer.
FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
The Lemon Queen – Sailing In A Wild Love
The Lemon Queen hails from Angers, east of France, where the music scene is flourishing at the moment, with everyone trying to play their cards right. The band makes a difference with their psychedelic pop-rock sound, reminiscent of Klaxons, a comparison particularly true on Sailing In A Wild Love. With catchy melodies and an undeniable energy, this quartet should be followed very closely.
Sandy Bird – Revoke
Little is known about this band from Berlin which formed in 2008 and have already experienced some member changes. Revoke is taken from their Bambaloo EP. Expect to hear more of this promising post-rock act soon.
Electric Litany – Sad Part
Bleak and broody music has never been quite so thrilling. Sad Part is an elaborately orchestrated, inherently dark, minimalist, piano dirge, like a sad dream scented with rain, with searingly compelling lyrical imagery, eerie vocals full of intuitive swells and fades, pauses that embrace some of the pious silence of a prayer and tremolo guitars that do an excellent job of creating a beguiling atmosphere. Electric Litany’s highly anticipated sophomore album is set to be released later this year.
Útidúr – Grasping For Air
This latest track from the ambitious chamber-pop 10-piece sees them entering almost disco-like realms. A new album should see the light of day in the coming months but those who want to get to know this joyous collective better should check out the band’s 2010 debut album This Mess We’ve Made.
Marcel Thee – Endless Heart
After more than 10 years channeling his creativity with the indie-rock band Sajama Cut, Marcel Thee is now the only original member left. Here he pursues his passion for lo-fi, layered sounds, gospel music and poetry. If you love W.B. Yeats, the album is a tribute to him.
No Spill Blood – Good Company
Formed from members of Adebisi Shank, Elk, Magic Pockets and Hands Up Who Wants To Die, No Spill Blood’s first EP is released this month on Sargent House, home to Fang Island, Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Les Butcherettes. If you’re familiar with any of the bands mentioned then it won’t surprise you to hear that No Spill Blood play it fast and furious, running on the noxious interplay between drums, effect-laden synth, low-end bass fuzz and bellowed vocals.
Cosmetic – La Fine Del Giorno
Cosmetic may sing in Italian but I’m sure their songs will speak to you anyway. Their rough and nervous shoegaze sound often drifts towards more muscular music as it makes way for an explosion of guitars. When I saw them live the first name that came to my mind was Dinosaur Jr. The motto on their Facebook page – “Noise and melodies that fight to get the better of each other” – pretty much sums up Cosmetic.
JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Cuushe – I Dreamt About Silence
Tokyo artist Cuushe last brought out an album three years ago, and it turns out she spent the stretch of time after it was released building her own world. I Dreamt About Silence sees her stretched-out vocals covered in hazy synths, every sound wrapping around one another to create a glowing track you want to be enveloped by. Cuushe shows the best way to escape the rush of the modern world is to construct your own dreamy universe.
MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Bark Bark Disco – Let’s Do This
Bark Bark Disco is a lo-fi pop band fronted by former inventor Morris Woodcock (great-grandson of Manfred von Richthofen aka The Red Baron). Their songs have a raw immediacy with catchiness befitting a Broadway musical. Let’s Do This is from their latest EP of the same name.
MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Sonido Gallo Negro – Leticia
Chicha is a psychedelic mixture of cumbia with rock ‘n’ roll elements, originating in Peru during the 70s. Mexico City’s Sonido Gallo Negro have unearthed the genre and hybridized it with local surf and rockabilly. Supplemented by the spooky visuals of design wizard Dr Alderete, their live shows are an intoxicating display of collective hypnosis. Throughout July 2012, this song and 13 more will be available for free download from Red Bull Panamérika as part of our fourth birthday compilation.
EARTH CONTROL – Mijn Nieuwe Steekkar
Art-school punks Bert and Marcel met at Groningen’s local venue Vera. Every week they formed a brand new band, recorded an album and played one show. But with EARTH CONTROL, things didn’t go exactly as planned; the duo decided to continue under this capitalized moniker. Though barely audible due to their lo-fi production and sub-par electronic equipment, EARTH CONTROL sing in their native Dutch tongue. Their sardonic lyrics deal with everyday subjects such as cell phones, sweaters or, in this case, the online purchase of a new trolley.
Grita Lobos – Mr Danger
Grita Lobos is a musician who hides behind an Ethiopian mask, his sound influenced by New Order and Depeche Mode in mesmerizing electronic songs that suggest dark stories. Mr Danger is taken from his debut self-titled album which features vocals from actress and singer Anahí de Cárdenas.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Micro Audio Waves – Cartoon Real
Micro Audio Waves, who made history in 2004 by becoming the first Portuguese band to have a John Peel session, have released four albums and a fifth is due soon. Cartoon Real is a MAP exclusive free download, taken from their Zoetrope concept album, developed with choreographer Rui Horta and released with a DVD featuring one of their unique multimedia and performance live shows.
PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
El Medio – Hasta Caer
El Medio is the solo project of Leonardo Balasques (Oscilador 4, Balún). Since 2004, Balasques has used this outlet to release very personal songs about life, friendships and love. Using his bedroom (and subsequently his living room) as a recording studio, Leo has crafted an expansive discography that experiments with the confrontation of synths and traditional instruments to create a folk/pop hybrid that warms the heart and stimulates the brain. El Medio has just released the album No Le Tengas Miedo Al Amor, on which you’ll find Hasta Caer, featuring strings by Balún’s Angélica Negrón and an unexpected, yet much welcomed, dose of blistering guitar noise and distortion.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Subcarpați – Underground Folclor
Subcarpați is an explosive mixture of old and new. It’s an eclectic combination that brings together melancholy Romanian folk songs, Romanian unity songs, traditional instruments and the rhythms of trip-hop, dubstep, hip-hop and dancehall.
RUSSIA: Big Echo
Lomovolokno – 22
On this short preview from his upcoming album, beatmaker Lomovolokno moves to the next level of romantic harmonies, leaving us excited for a full-length release. He is one of those people who needs time and space to make music, so you need to wait patiently. But when the tracks are finally out, there is nothing as beautiful to compare.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Kiat – Riding Past Draco (feat. Klose)
Exciting times are looming in the urban jungle of Singapore as audio-visual super-collective Syndicate turns up the heat, dropping influential honcho Kiat’s new album like an A-bomb of intricate beats and samples that warp you into the inner workings of string theory. Featuring stellar collaborations with artists such as Vandetta, Klose, Digital and Isaac Aiesili, the album – titled The Inner Galaxy – decisively proclaims that electronic music from Singapore has come of age and is a force to be reckoned with. Evolution never happened this fast.
SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Fire Through The Window – Hey!
Meet Fire Through The Window. They have the ability to take a simple melody, add their very own quirky styling and turn it into something truly infectious and endearing, all while maintaining a fun pop sensibility. That is wholly true with their song Hey! – it is fun, funky and best shows off the band.
SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Wagwak – Arabian Night
Loud indie-folk duo Wagwak have been around for a few years and made themselves a name at home. They recently left Korea to travel through Europe, playing gigs where they can, and having sung in English all along they’re well prepared to bring their sound to an international audience. Before moving from their native Seoul, Wagwak released EP The Way To Drive Into The Arabian Sunset, opening with the slightly psychedelic Arabian Night.
Stand Up Against Heart Crime – I Can’t Stand Myself Sober
Stand Up Against Heart Crime are five desolate souls whose lives have been touched by unease and unhappiness, five romantics who create the soundtrack of a loser who has grown up through the years. They are from Barcelona, and they have played in one of the most important festivals in Spain, Sónar. I Can’t Stand Myself Sober is a pitiful fable of lack of self-esteem.
SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
Hanna – Lioness
Hanna is Gothenburg-based Hanna Göransson, formerly known as Hanna Lovisa and one half of Cat5. As Hanna, she has teamed up with acclaimed Swedish producer Dan Lissvik (of Studio) and Canada’s Young Galaxy to record her new EP Lioness, where feisty pop á la a certain Robyn meets Lissvik’s characteristic grooves. The Lioness EP is out now via Sunshower Records and a first full-length is in the works.
Marochine – Braunvieh Express
Marochine is an instrumental band from Lucerne which alternates its style skilfully between jazz and noise to create beautiful soundscapes. They have released a four-song EP that can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp.
Soaked – Groove On
Soaked is a synth-pop band based in Istanbul. They formed in 2003 but their first EP only came out in 2010. With the success of it they recorded the Aftermath album at the end of 2011. In their own words, they describe themselves as “not only a musical ensemble but also a creative artistic platform, determined to provide the quality performance and art that Turkish audiences crave”. It might sound pretty pretentious but it sure is true.
UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Poolside – Slow Down
New-to-the-scene DJ duo Poolside, from Los Angeles, couldn’t have found a better way to jump into the public consciousness than funky superjam Slow Down. Sounding like a sublime mix of Sebastien Tellier and LCD Soundsystem, the track glows and shimmers in every way – and now it’s perfectly positioned to dominate summer mixtapes across the world.
VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Tomates Fritos – Eterna Soledad
Tomates Fritos returns to the Music Alliance Pact after first appearing in July 2010. This time they have released their fourth studio album, Hotel Miramar (free to download on Bandcamp), in which they dare to show a “purest” side to the band – a slight departure from the folk sound that featured in previous records.