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.
40 countries, 40 blogs, 40 tracks, in all latitudes and longitudes, in all languages and in all styles: the Music Alliance Pact offers a free monthly selection of the best up-and-coming talent that each nation has to offer.
The number of individual downloads for The Pop Cop’s song choice last month, courtesy of Siobhan Wilson, has already crashed past 20,000, making us very proud indeed. And don’t forget we’re running a competition to find an act to represent Scotland in the 50th anniversary edition, November 2012.
Before then, though, here’s one of the most delightfully addictive singles of the year, by the ever-so-fetching Kitty The Lion, together with the rest of MAP’s global mixtape.
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 compilation through Ge.tt here.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Kitty The Lion – Duck!
There’s cute and then there’s Kitty The Lion cute, and the promo video for Duck! really does take this Glasgow band to unsurpassable levels of adorability. Frontwoman Anna Meldrum seems to set herself a personal challenge of writing songs about subject matters that are as mundane as possible, but first impressions can be deceiving. Closer inspection of her lyrics reveals exceptionally clever wordplay and crafty double entendres. What isn’t ambiguous is Kitty The Lion’s pop heart, with a near-flawless grasp of melody flowing through their indie-folk veins.
Trebian – Modernidad
Trebian is a folk trio from Buenos Aires. Their songs are acoustic-driven with wood percussion and, above it all, the beautiful voice of lead singer Sofía Galarce. Modernidad is a preview from their upcoming second album, which will be released later this year.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Mansion, Alaska – Steps
If a ‘best of’ compilation was made featuring the top American indie tunes of the last four years or so, this track would probably sum them all up. Mansion, Alaska may be channelling a sound similar to Local Natives, Grizzly Bear or even Volcano Choir’s debut at times, but comparisons aside – what an impressive track from this young Melbourne band. Steps is seamless: beautiful harmonies, flowing piano arpeggios, sharp percussion and some dreamy guitar work gravitating around stratosphere level.
B. Fleischmann – I’m Not Ready For The Grave Yet
Working in a bookshop and on various musical projects as well as composing scores for TV series, electronica veteran Bernhard Fleischmann is a busy bee. On his new album I’m Not Ready For The Grave Yet, he uses his own voice for the first time instead of inviting guest singers. Occasionally he also adds film snippets, such as in the album’s title track.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Abayomy Afrobeat Orquestra – Afrodisíaco
Afrobeat is the sound of the moment in Brazil. Bands such as Bixiga70 and Iconili are presenting the genre to a new generation and in Rio de Janeiro the main representative of this trend is the Abayomy Afrobeat Orquestra. Afrodisíaco is an example of the band’s trippy music.
CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
The Wilderness Of Manitoba – White Woods
Like their namesake, The Wilderness Of Manitoba is a Canadian national treasure, and one of our best kept secrets. Their lush harmonies, delicate melodies and sparkling arrangements seem to always be attuned to their environment, creating music that sounds like it’s sprung from fertile patches in the Canadian Shield, blooming against all odds. White Woods is taken from their new album, Island Of Echoes, which introduces electric guitars to give their music a whole new pulse and feel.
CHILE: Super 45
Shogún – Unciónextrema
Cristián Heyne, a producer whose output ranges from mainstream (Enrique Iglesias, La Ley) to indie (Javiera Mena, Gepe), has always kept his own musical project, Shogún, under a discrete, hermetic cover. With only a few limited edition records and a handful of shows, he has attained a faithful cult following that has endured the last 15 years. His complete recordings were recently released via iTunes, giving a new life to his previously hard-to-find and unavailable works. Unciónextrema is El Brujo’s opening track.
The Gar – Love Will Lost Your Love
One of China’s most beloved cult indie bands, The Gar is without equal in both substance and acclaim. Wholly unconcerned with the trappings of stardom, they arrive, play their hearts out and exit stage left, blending seamlessly back into the crowds. On stage, however, the band transports audience members to a sonic wonderland coloured with soaring harmonies and unforgettable lyrics. The Gar just released their new EP, The City Of Burning Identities.
COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Ondatrópica – 3 Reyes De La Terapia
This is what we call a supergroup. The union between Colombian musician Mario Galeano, from Frente Cumbiero, and English producer Will Holland, aka Quantic, resulted in Ondatrópica – a musical research project through Colombian tropical sounds. Both Galeano and Quantic, scholars of Colombian and electronic rhythms, were given the task of recreating traditional sounds with vintage equipment and old recording techniques, but searching for its contemporaneity. Proof of this is 3 Reyes de la Terapia (“3 Kings Of Therapy”), featuring Juan Carlos Puello, which was made using a marimba, accordion and beatbox.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Kjartan Bue – Rosen And Danny
Half Norwegian, half Danish and raised in Denmark, Kjartan Bue debuts his five-track alt-country EP Man Riding Backwards on November 15 (I’ve heard it and it’s great). Here’s Rosen And Danny as a MAP exclusive download, and do make sure you also check out the title track and closing ballad Old Woman here – the latter is also up for free download.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
El Gran Poder De Diosa – Moriviví
A Moriviví is a minuscule tropical plant that has an unusual reaction when touched: it folds up and “dies” then “comes back to life” after several minutes. This song by reggae/Caribbean-influenced band El Gran Poder De Diosa reflects that internal debate between life and death, good and evil, through soothing tunes and clever wordplay.
ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Clo Sismico – Cassette Pirata
Clo Sismico is a renowned musician, producer and MC. He is founder of two important bands in the local independent music scene, 38 Que No Juega (hip hop) and Punto De Encaje (hardcore). This year Clo Sismico released his second album, Cassette Pirata, which blends rap, funk and Latin music with explosive, direct lyrics.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Nadine Shah – Aching Bones
Straight out of Whitburn comes this singer and pianist-guitarist of Norwegian and Pakistani parentage who actually sounds more like the love child of Nick Cave and Polly Harvey. Shah’s tales of lust and loss, revenge and regret are female takes on Trent Reznor’s industrial blues, her voice redolent of the battle-worn Marianne Faithfull circa Broken English. The title track of her EP is vengefully dark business as usual for Shah as she roars over an insistent clang that provides the rhythm for the song. Her debut album Love Your Dumb And Mad, due early next year, should be a fiery, passionate hoot.
Paperfangs – Everyday
Paperfangs is a dream-pop trio that draws inspiration from old movies, visual arts, geometric shapes, late-night biking trips, vintage girl groups, chamber pop and shoegaze as well as the latest indie gems. A debut album will not be ready until next year, but in the meantime we can enjoy the band’s take on one of the greatest melody makers ever as the trio covers Buddy Holly’s Everyday.
FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Total Warr – xxx Hate xxx
Total Warr are not complete unknowns in the blogosphere, having been widely praised for their sweet electro-pop. Stereogum premiered xxx HATE xxx back in May and now that the Corbay EP is out, you don’t have any more excuses not to listen to it.
VIMES – UpStairs
It’s getting cold really fast these days so let’s turn to some music which may give us comfort. Cologne newcomers VIMES is a duo with a penchant for vibrant electronic music. The voice of Azhar Syed gives the electronics of Julian Stetter a melancholic and yearning touch, thereby making VIMES recognisable. Live they are accompanied by VJ Till Beutling for a complete audiovisual experience. They are currently recording their debut album.
Circassian – Eastern Patterns
Circassian is a quartet formed in Athens in 2008. Their music demonstrates their traditions and habits, while their philosophy is based on bringing together experimental, neo-psychedelic patterns and forms of atonality along with ethnic melodies drawn from parts of Asia and Northern Africa. They create an eerie yet intimate atmosphere with a distinctive sound. Their second EP, Procrastinational, is available on Bandcamp.
Borko – Born To Be Free
Born To Be Free is Borko’s first single from his long-awaited sophomore album, also named Born To Be Free, released in Iceland this month through Kimi Records and on November 2 through Sound Of A Handshake for the rest of the world. Borko’s first LP, Celebrating Life, was released to rave reviews.
Rock N Roll Mafia – Never Give Up
Indonesia’s finest electro band is back with their new album Prodigal, produced by Widi Puradiredja. Their sound is so fresh, optimistic and definitely danceable.
Lar Kaye – Effector
While his main band Adebisi Shank are between things, guitarist Lar Kaye has been at his musical toy box and that bout of activity has resulted in a dizzying five-track solo EP. Effector is a hyperactive child of a song featuring pounding drum crashes, 8-bit melodies, cartoon samples, R&B female vocals and spiralling guitar notes. The sound of one man having a lot of fun and dishing it out for free. Infectious.
Montgomery – Refrigerator
It was very hard to choose just one song from the split EP by Montgomery and ED (available for free download on Bandcamp). Every track captures a perfect moment of acoustic pop, both light and moving, so my advice is to check out both acts. I picked Refrigerator by Montgomery because it’s the best ‘goodnight’ song I’ve heard in a long time. Montgomery is a promising new group from Verona with members from the bands Canadians and Le Man Avec Les Lunettes.
JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
mus.hiba – Magical Fizzy Drink
Magical Fizzy Drink features vocals courtesy of Yufu Sekka. Thing is, Yufu Sekka is not a real person but rather a character tied to something called Vocaloid software, a singing synthesizer program. Tokyo-based artist mus.hiba uses this program in a way few in Japan have – instead of using the digital singing as a diva stand-in, Yufu Sekka gets turned into an electronic ghost haunting the background of this gorgeous, heady production.
MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Brikkuni – Fil-Gallinar Tas-Sultan
Torn between their arty pretensions and a morbid fascination with kitsch, Brikkuni (“scoundrels”) try to have a stab at both. With Fil-Gallinar Tas-Sultan, the band leaves no stone unturned in its determined quest to marry reluctant bedfellows. The lyrics, sung in Maltese, recount a particularly tense day in a chicken coop owned by the titular Sultan. Riffs rise and ebb and rise again, leading to an an epic conclusion underscored by horns, strings and a pulsating bass line, all strung together by an insistent keyboard motif and… a purple chicken struggling to take flight. The song is taken from Brikkuni’s sophomore album Trabokk.
MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Los Macuanos – Sangre, Bandera, Cruz
Like a reveille amidst times of war against drug trafficking, Tijuana’s Los Macuanos have released what may well be the curfew at the sunset of president Felipe Calderón’s administration, with his six years of futile strategies having left more than 70,000 human losses. Sangre, Bandera, Cruz (translated as “Blood, Flag, Cross”, written with witchcraft-associated symbols) is an ironic testimony that pictures the zeitgeist of Mexico during 2006-2012.
WOLVON – Unicorny
This summer, Dutch bands WOLVON and Neon Rainbows set off on tour through the Balkans, playing in four countries of the former Yugoslavia. Whilst battling the blistering heat, bored/corrupt border police, broken vehicles, stray dogs and their own preconceptions about Southeastern Europe, it was decided they’d release a split 7″ to commemorate the experience. Unicorny is WOLVON’s side of the record, launched during the independent culture festival Incubate last month. This noisy dream-pop trio has made a name for itself while touring the Dutch underground, thanks in part to their maniacal live antics. They’re currently recording their debut full-length, which will be released through Subroutine Records in spring 2013.
Pamela Rodríguez – Re-conozco
Pamela Rodríguez is one of the best female voices in Peru, and recently received a Latin Grammy nomination for her third album Reconocer, which is both fresh and intense with a lot of pop inclination. The truth is that when her music starts to play, something magical happens in the ears of the listener. No matter what style she chooses, the true protagonist of her songs will always be her voice – sweet, free, sincere and perfect. Re-conozco is a beautiful and exciting piano song like few others.
POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
KAMP! – Cairo
It’s no exaggeration to say that KAMP! is the most popular band in Poland without an album to their name (although their debut record is due in November). Their elegant pop songs and fantastic live shows, which has included SXSW in Texas, have created a great buzz around this trio. Cairo was originally released as a single on Portuguese label Discotexas.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
The Weatherman – Proper Goodbye
Alexandre Monteiro (aka The Weatherman), after his presence on MAP in January 2009, is back with a new single which opens the way for his new album, Weatherman. A more intimate and autobiographical set of pure pop songs than his previous two albums, it’s a sort of trip to outer space with plenty of time to think about life, where one can be viewed but can’t view the observers.
PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Fantasmes – Redness Moon
Mario Negron and Dario Morales have been working together in psychedelic ensemble Fantasmes since 2007. For their third release, Redness Moon, Fantasmes required a space where they could compose, rehearse and record at their own pace, free from external pressures. And so a house in Santurce – San Juan’s vibrant arts mecca – became Casa Fantasmes, where the duo worked tirelessly for months. The outstanding result of these sessions is their first release for New York indie label Last Bummer Records – a trippy, sci-fi, end-of-days dystopian video for first single Redness Moon was directed by Danilo Parra and is well worth your time.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Manfellow – Why
Manfellow are an alternative rock band founded in Bucharest in 2011. They are known for their energetic and extravagant live performances and their fusion of many genres, including post-rock, progressive rock, alternative rock and electronic music. In December, they will represent Romania at The Global Battle Of Bands world final in London.
RUSSIA: Big Echo
Anton Malinen – Rain Song
After his successful debut Cape Of Good Hope, Anton Malinen from Saint Petersburg has released several songs through social networks. His impressive guitar and piano-based folk music continues to charm an online audience, but if Anton wants nothing more than some nice green tea for his songs, let it be the best supply for a few years at least!
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Galactica – Saul’s Tighs
In a little-known recess in Singapore’s music scene, there existed a group of science fiction aficionados with a common love for the space odyssey Battlestar Galactica. They went on to write some dreamily-inspired shoegaze with titles such as Saul’s Tighs and Gaius Is Crying… Again, referencing series characters Colonel Saul Tigh and Dr Gaius Baltar. While the concept is an inside joke, the music is anything but. Their songcraft and taste in melodies evoke an immense sense of loss in the immeasurable vastness of space. It takes you back to the heyday of science fiction when the music was sprawling and searching, as opposed to present-day equivalents of over-budgeted pyrotechnics.
SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
404 – Water
Two-piece band 404 comes from the most interesting part of Korea’s indie music scene. Not looking to put a label to their music, they say it’s simply “what a guitar/drum two-piece band would sound like in Korea in the year 2012″. They recently released their first album, aptly titled 1, featuring their take on post-punk, modern rock, noise, folk-pop and a hint of blues in a surprisingly coherent mix. Water progresses playfully in a way that makes it impossible to sit entirely still while listening.
Wilhelm & The Dancing Animals – Elephant
Wilhelm & The Dancing Animals are from Pamplona, home town of a new wave of indie bands. Their sound can be described as folk with punk/rock influences and the animal kingdom is a feature that is often repeated in their work. They’re certainly a band to follow, as we can tell from listening to their first album.
SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
Thus:Owls – White Night
Thus:Owls is a Swedish/Canadian five-piece led by singer and composer Erika Angell. Together they craft carefully arranged, moving and melancholic pop with cinematic elements that’s just simply beautiful. Their widely and rightfully praised sophomore album Harbours is out now via Avalanche (North America) and Hoob Records (Sweden), and will be released in the rest of Europe next year on Kytopia.
Monotales – It’s Alright
Velvet Underground, country, Americana, college-indie-rock, hair metal… you name it, Monotales have got it. They’ve just released their sophomore album Hidden Thrills. Anything other than a lot of fun would have been a disappointment. And we looked anything other than disappointed after hearing it for the first time.
Surrender! – Conflicted
Surrender! is one of the newest, emerging electronic music producers in the Turkish dance scene. Conflicted is one of his older tracks, but we are already excited about the upcoming album which will definitely be worth checking out.
UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
The Cairo Gang – Everybody Knows
The Cairo Gang make drifting seem like the only way to go about life. Their music hovers slightly above, moving at its own pace and coming down in a soft swoop at all the right moments. Hailing from Kentucky, The Cairo Gang bring warmth and introspection to the harshest country winters.
VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Sincrónica – EsCupido
Sincrónica is a power trio formed in Caracas in 2001 when they participated in a college rock festival. Between 2002 and 2010 they recorded several EPs, before finally releasing their first album, Todo Lo Que No Sabes, in 2011. From this, we present the simple song EsCupido, which is also being included in the video game Rock Band.