December 10, 2013: New video via YouTube… We Were Hunted – Settle Down.
New video via YouTube… A Fight You Can’t Win – Jerusalem Crickets.
The Last Battle have set up an Indiegogo campaign with various incentives and goodies on sale to help crowdfund the release of their second album Lay Your Burden Down.
Edinburgh’s Electric Circus is recruiting for a live manager – interested candidates should email email@example.com with a CV.
December 9, 2013: Lost Map Records will host their first Howlin’ Fling! festival on the isle of Eigg on July 18-20. Johnny Lynch (The Pictish Trail) previously organised Away Game on the island in 2010 and 2012 through Fence Records. Tickets, which include ferry transportation to and from the mainland, will go on general sale on December 15.
Free song download via The Skinny… The Twilight Sad & RSNO – The Wrong Car (live at Paisley Abbey) (video here).
New EP release via Bandcamp… Over The Wall – This Is How We Did It.
December 8, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Kith & Kin – Someone I Love.
New mini-album release via Bandcamp… Ballboy – Merry Christmas To The Drunks, Merry Christmas To The Lovers.
New video via YouTube… Angus Munro – Shooting First, taken from Shooting First EP.
Free album download via Bandcamp… Lovers Turn To Monsters – Now That’s What I Call Slit Yr Wrist Christmas.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Jack James – Florence, taken from fifth album Stopping Distance, out on February 3.
December 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… Prides – Messiah.
New video via YouTube… Rachel Sermanni – Everything Changes, taken from Everything Changes EP, out on January 27.
Free mini-album download via Bandcamp… We See Lights – Every Autumn, Every Winter.
New gigs… Kid Canaveral at Glasgow’s Stereo on February 14, Aberdeen’s Tunnels on March 7 and Dundee’s Beat Generator on March 8.
December 5, 2013: Fatherson, The LaFontaines, Cairn String Quartet, Garden Of Elks and The Holy Ghosts have been announced as The Big Apple Award competition finalists. All five acts play free sets at Glasgow’s G2 on December 11, with an all-expenses-paid trip to play New York City in April 2014 up for grabs for the winners.
New gigs… Silibil N’ Brains (stars of The Great Hip Hop Hoax film) play Dundee’s Buskers on December 27 and Glasgow’s Pivo Pivo on December 28.
December 4, 2013: Mick Cooke has left Belle & Sebastian. The band made the announcement in their latest mailshot, stating: “We wish him all the best with any future projects and hope to work alongside him again in the future.” The multi-instrumentalist, who had been a full-time member of Belle & Sebastian since 1998, will now focus on his work as a composer and arranger.
New gig… Song, by Toad Records’ 5th Birthday Party at Edinburgh’s Henry’s Cellar Bar on December 21 featuring PAWsault, Tom Collins Shatner and assorted label friends and guests.
December 3, 2013: Budding musicians aged between 14-19 can register for Hit The Road, a project that offers workshops, seminars and information sessions about performing live, before they are given the opportunity to tour across Scotland. The next set of tours will launch in January, with each one taking three acts on the road.
New video via YouTube… Red Sands – Too Short A Season, taken from debut album Red Sands, out on December 9.
New video via YouTube… Mickey 9s – Ammunition.
New EP release via Bandcamp… Jo Mango – When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree.
December 2, 2013: New video via YouTube… Mogwai – The Lord Is Out Of Control, taken from their forthcoming album Rave Tapes, out on January 20.
New album release via iTunes… Cold Crows Dead – I Fear A New World, featuring The Xcerts’ Murray Macleod.
Free album download via Bandcamp… Kobi Onyame – Glory.
November 29, 2013: Brew at the Bog have announced the first 25 acts for its festival in Inverness on May 3. The line-up includes Kid Canaveral, Stanley Odd, Friends In America, Fake Major, Randolph’s Leap, Call To Mind, Beerjacket, Campfires In Winter, Shambles Miller, The Little Kicks, This Silent Forest, Woodenbox, Jo Mango and Atom Tree.
The Holy Ghosts have set up a Kickstarter page for pre-orders of their debut album Ride Them Down, due out in April.
November 28, 2013: New video via YouTube… Over The Wall – Radiator.
New video via YouTube… Book Group – Victory Lap, taken from Victory Lap / The Lowdown Of A LOUD Sound single.
New album release via Bandcamp… Scott McWatt – A Ceíst Amá.
November 27, 2013: New song streams via SoundCloud… King Creosote – Dial C For Cradle; Meddling Gut Wrenches; Impossible To Resist.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Rachel Sermanni – Everything Changes.
Findlay Napier has set up a PledgeMusic page to fund the recording of VIP: Very Interesting Persons, an album of songs co-written with Boo Hewerdine.
November 26, 2013: Free album download via Bandcamp… Olive Grove Records Sampler featuring Call To Mind, The State Broadcasters, Randolph’s Leap, The Moth & The Mirror, The Son(s), Woodenbox, Jo Mango and Pensioner.
Free album download via Bandcamp… Mini50 Records Winter Sampler 2013.
New song release via iTunes… Withered Hand – Black Tambourine. Dan Willson will play solo gigs at Glasgow’s Glad Cafe on November 27 and Aberdeen’s Tunnels on November 28 as well as Glasgow’s Platform on January 24 for Celtic Connections.
New video via YouTube… Kid Canaveral – A Compromise, taken from A Compromise EP.
November 25, 2013: New album release… There Will Be Fireworks – The Dark, Dark Bright on CD and download.
Detour will hold their fourth Wee Jaunt in Glasgow on December 7, and the allocation of free places has already been snapped up. Email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the reserve list.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Sparrow And The Workshop – One Brush.
Blindfolds have split up after three years together – they bow out with the release of new video Lucid.
November 22, 2013: New video via YouTube… Young Aviators – We’ve Got Names For Folk Like You.
New video via YouTube… The Pastels – Kicking Leaves.
New video via YouTube… Conscious Route feat Werd & Jordan Butler – Friends Til The End.
New gig… The Xcerts at Aberdeen’s Downstairs on December 21.
New gig… Glasgow’s Dirty Weekender across five venues on February 28-March 1 featuring Mark Morriss (The Bluetones), Mark Gardener (Ride), Bombskare, etc.
November 21, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Withered Hand – Black Tambourine.
New video via YouTube… Jo Mango – When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree, taken from When We Lived In The Crook Of A Tree EP, out on December 2.
CHVRCHES’ gig for TYCI’s Christmas Party on December 21 has been moved to Glasgow’s SWG3 due to a delay in the reopening of The Vic venue at The Art School.
New gig… The Jezabels at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on February 26, plus ticket bundles with new album The Brink.
November 20, 2013: Arctic Monkeys have been announced as the one of headliners at next year’s T in the Park on July 11-13. Tickets go on sale on November 22.
New gig… The Christmas Songwriters’ Club at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall on December 22 featuring Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison, Kid Canaveral, Broken Records, Miaoux Miaoux, Siobhan Wilson, TeenCanteen with Eugene Kelly, Karine Polwart & Findlay Napier, We See Lights and Very Well.
New song stream via SoundCloud… SOS – Fake Hallelujah.
November 19, 2013: New video via YouTube… Franz Ferdinand – Bullet.
Free EP download via Bandcamp… King Post Kitsch – The Silver Screen.
New video via YouTube… The Amazing Snakeheads – Flatlining.
November 18, 2013: CHVRCHES have been confirmed as the live band for TYCI’s Christmas Party at Glasgow’s Art School on December 21.
New album trailer via YouTube… Withered Hand – New Gods, due out in February.
New Beerjacket album Darling Darkness will be released on January 27.
New tour… The Winter Tradition at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on February 6, Stirling’s Tolbooth on February 7, Aberdeen’s Cafe Drummond on February 8, Inverness’ Mad Hatters on February 9, Galashiels’ Heriot-Watt Student Union on February 10, Dundee’s Duke’s Corner on February 11 and Perth’s Twa Tams on February 15.
November 17, 2013: Glasgow venue King Tut’s has unveiled it line-up for the fourth annual King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution on January 3-16, with the likes of Campfires In Winter, Cherri Fosphate, Book Group, Garden Of Elks, Saint Max And The Fanatics and Quinny featuring on all-local bills.
Labels, musicians and fans are being invited to register albums released by Scottish artists in 2013 for consideration for next year’s SAY Award.
November 15, 2013: French Wives will play their last ever gig at Glasgow’s Mono on December 19 after announcing they are splitting up.
New video via YouTube… There Will Be Fireworks – Youngblood.
New album release via iTunes… Ministry Of Stories – Share More Air, an album of children’s lyrics set to original music including Rachel Sermanni’s Love Story.
New song stream via Bandcamp… Water Of Life – Sources And Springs / Abercrombie, 1949, an art-science collaboration between Tommy Perman and Rob St. John exploring flows of water through Edinburgh.
November 14, 2013: New gig… The Wee Chill Festive Weekender at Glasgow’s SWG3 on December 22, featuring Admiral Fallow, Washington Irving, The Little Kicks, Call To Mind and Atom Tree.
The Big Apple Award has launched its annual competition, with an all-expenses-paid trip to play New York City in April 2014 up for grabs. The deadline for applications is December 2, before the winner is picked from a shortlist of five Scottish performers at Glasgow’s Garage on December 11. The last two victors were Stanley Odd and Song Of Return.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Mike Nisbet – Traveling Blues (demo)
November 13, 2013: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations will incorporate an afternoon of free live music on January 1. Starting at the National Museum of Scotland at noon, the guest-curated SCOT:LANDS event will feature performances across nine Old Town venues by the likes of King Creosote, Withered Hand, RM Hubbert, Lau and FOUND as well as a production of Whatever Gets You Through The Night.
New video via YouTube… Washington Irving – Palomides , director James Houston claims it’s the world’s first autostereogram music video.
New video via YouTube… Nightmare Boy – Paranoid (Black Sabbath cover).
New video via Vevo… KT Tunstall – Made Of Glass.
November 12, 2013: New album release via Bandcamp… Medals – Disguises, new project of Sucioperro’s JP Reid.
New event… Vic Galloway – Songs In The Key Of Fife book reading + Withered Hand + Kid Canaveral at Glenrothes’ Rothes Halls on November 29.
New album stream via SoundCloud… Kobi Onyame – Glory, available to buy on iTunes.
November 11, 2013: Next year’s MTV Europe Music Awards will be held at Glasgow’s Hydro on November 9.
Arches singer Michael Rice has left the band, with guitarist Barry Morrell taking over vocal duties.
New EP release via SoundCloud…. Casual Sex – The Bastard Beat, streaming on SoundCloud.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Mike Nisbet – What Will Be Will Be (demo).
November 8, 2013: BBC ALBA programme Buskers has returned for a second series, with the first two episodes available to watch on iPlayer. Episode 2′s spotlight on Glasgow features Donald Macdonald, Alan Tennie, Anna Shields and Holly Wilson.
November 7, 2013: New gigs… Fireside Acoustic Sessions (organised by Comets & Cartwheels) at Glasgow’s Drake Bar featuring free stripped-back sets from Friends In America + Prehistoric Friends on November 7, Finn LeMarinel on November 14, Randolph’s Leap on November 21 and Honeyblood + LightGuides on November 28.
New gig… There Will Be Fireworks + Friends In America + The Youth And Young at Strathaven’s Old Mill Studios on December 7.
November 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… Prides – Roar (Katy Perry cover for Vic Galloway session).
New song stream via YouTube… Fridge Magnets – Chase The Sun.
Rachel Sermanni has set up a PledgeMusic page for pre-orders of her Everything Changes EP.
Free song download via SoundCloud… This Silent Forest – Root To The Seed, taken from debut album Indivision.
New song stream via Gold Flake Paint… Book Group – The Lowdown of A LOUD Sound, taken from Victory Lap / The Lowdown Of A LOUD Sound single, out on November 25.
New video via YouTube… The Button Men – Man With A Plan.
November 5, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud (today only)… There Will Be Fireworks – Elder And Oak.
New video via YouTube… CHVRCHES – Lies.
The Birthday Suit have a PledgeMusic campaign featuring various incentives and packages to go with pre-orders of their third album A Hollow Hole Of Riches, out in April.
BrewDog Records has been set up by the Scottish craft beer company with its first official release being The Shiverin’ Sheiks single Guided Missiles, taken from the band’s debut album A Curious Case Of…, out on November 20.
November 4, 2013: New album release via Bandcamp… Washington Irving – Palomides: Volume II.
New album release via iTunes… Kobi Onyame – Glory.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Over The Wall – Radiator, taken from This Is How We Did It EP, out on December 9.
November 1, 2013: New gig… There Will Be Fireworks + Friends In America + Kevin Harper at Glasgow’s SWG3 on November 22.
Arctic Monkeys have rescheduled tonight’s show at Glasgow’s Hydro to November 21 as singer Alex Turner has laryngitis. All original tickets remain valid.
New video via YouTube… Michael Cassidy – Everybody’s Scared. He plays with Beerjacket + Julia And The Doogans at Glasgow’s Mono on December 5.
October 31, 2013: New video via YouTube… Nightmare Boy – Mary (first solo offering of ex-Kassidy member Barrie-James O’Neill).
New video via YouTube… Frightened Rabbit – Holy.
A fan-led campaign to boycott all of Idlewild’s side-projects in the hope of spurring them to make new music has been attacked by band member Rod Jones. The guitarist, who also fronts The Birthday Suit, wrote: “If anything this just has the opposite effect in that it made me really consider whether I wanted to make music anymore. My other band The Birthday Suit and its touring and releasing records has absolutely no bearing or influence on whether and when an Idlewild tour or album might happen.”
October 30, 2013: New gigs… The Reflektors (Arcade Fire) at Glasgow’s Barrowland on November 15 and November 16 – general sale from November 1; presale passwords are available to those who pre-ordered the band’s new album from their official website.
New album release via iTunes… Cairn String Quartet – One (streaming on SoundCloud) featuring orchestral covers of Lana Del Rey, Coldplay, Oasis, The Stone Roses, Ocean Colour Scene etc.
October 29, 2013: Free song download via official website… Mogwai – Remurdered (streaming on SoundCloud), taken from eighth album Rave Tapes, out on January 20.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Pinact – Brew.
New video via YouTube… The LaFontaines – All She Knows.
Free song download via SoundCloud… SOS – ROCK N ROLL.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Madison – Mending, taken from Mending EP, out now.
Gig venue change…. Katie Sutherland plays Glasgow’s Faktory instead of Mackintosh Church on November 2.
October 28, 2013: New album release via Comets & Cartwheels… Blood Relatives – Deerheart.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Call To Mind – A Family Sketch.
New album release via Lost Map… Monoganon – F A M I L Y, streaming in full on Gold Flake Paint.
October 25, 2013: Born To Be Wide will host a seminar on record shops at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on November 7. Panelists include Rose Norton (Coda), Sandy McLean (Love Music) and Darren Yeates (VoxBox).
New gig… Blood Relatives album launch at Glasgow’s Bar & Fly on October 26.
New gig… Scottish Fiction presents Beerjacket & Friends + Julia And The Doogans at Glasgow’s Mono on December 5.
New song stream via SoundCloud… The LaFontaines – All She Knows (Prides remix).
The 1975, Nina Nesbitt and The 10:04s have been added to the Concert in the Gardens bill at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay alongside Pet Shop Boys. Other stages feature CHVRCHES, Django Django and King Creosote.
October 24, 2013: New gig… TYCI Christmas Party featuring secret live act plus DJ sets from CHVRCHES + Pretty Ugly + Adele Bethel at Glasgow’s Art School on December 21.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Honeyblood – Kissing On You.
New gig… Starz In Their Eyes featuring RM Hubbert + Eagleowl + The Pictish Trail + Kid Canaveral + Two Wings (each covering a female artist of their choice) at Edinburgh’s Pilrig St Paul’s Church on November 23.
October 23, 2013: New video via YouTube… Siobhan Wilson – All Dressed Up.
New video via YouTube… TeenCanteen – Honey.
New video via YouTube… Young Fathers – Low, taken from forthcoming album Dead, out on February 3.
New video via YouTube… Biffy Clyro – Sounds Like Balloons.
New EP release via Bandcamp… End Of Neil – Less.
October 22, 2013: Local Natives’ Nik Ewing had his Fender Coronado bass guitar stolen during their gig at The Arches in Glasgow last night – contact police if you spot it.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Michael Cassidy – Everybody’s Scared, out on November 28.
October 21, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… TeenCanteen – Honey, out on October 28. They play Edinburgh’s Summerhall on October 25, Glasgow’s Rio Cafe on October 26 (free) and Aberfeldy Festival on November 3.
New album release via Bandcamp… Saint Max & The Fanatics – Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead.
New video via YouTube… Kobi Onyame – Goodbye World, Hello, taken from new album Glory, out on November 4.
Free download via official website… Plum – Death Comes With A Bow, taken from Betsy Thunder EP, out now.
October 18, 2013: Dumfries Music Conference has announced its upcoming four-day programme of free events in the town.
October 30: Screening of LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits at Robert Burns Centre.
October 31: Music Industry Experts seminar featuring The Pop Cop and others at The Stove (ticketed).
November 1: Songwriting Workshops featuring Findlay Napier + Finding Albert’s Robert Shields at The Stove.
November 1: Live showcase featuring Hector Bizerk + Honeyblood + Barstow Bats at The Stove (ticketed).
November 2: Record Fair featuring Rebecca Vasmant (Ministry Of Sound) + Jason Reid (Sub Club) at The Stove.
October 17, 2013: New song stream via SoundCloud… Washington Irving – Babble. Their track Palomides is also available for free download. Both are taken from Palomides: Volume II album, out on November 4.
New video via Clash… The Birthday Suit – A Bigger World, out on November 4.
New video via YouTube… Atom Tree – Die For Your Love, taken from Tide Of Thorns EP, out on October 18.
Free gig… Rachel Sermanni at Glasgow’s Love Music on October 21 (5pm).
October 16, 2013: New video via YouTube… Colin Macleod – Devil Pavement (Live from the Green Bus), taken from The Anchor EP, out on October 21. On the same day he will play instore sets at Edinburgh’s Coda Music (1pm) and Glasgow’s Love Music (5.30pm).
57ᵒ North have published their Guide To DIY Gig Promotion – a useful resource for anyone venturing into this side of the music business.
Michael Cassidy will play at the opening night party for Glasgow’s The Bar & Fly on October 19.
Free gig… French Wives + Randolph’s Leap + Laki Mera + The Graveyard Band + Donald Macdonald And The Islands + The Mademoiselle for 1st Birthday Bash at Glasgow’s Broadcast on October 25 (RSVP required).
October 15, 2013: New video via YouTube… Travis – Mother.
New video via YouTube…. Casual Sex – Nothing On Earth, taken from The Bastard Beat EP, out on October 28.
October 14, 2013: Anna Sweeney, who spoke out on The Pop Cop about her mental health issues after quitting her solo career, has started a new project with Maeve McCrorie called The Scarlings. They play their first gig at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on October 31.
October 12, 2013: New documentary via BBC iPlayer… The Great Hip Hop Hoax.
New song stream via Clash… Washington Irving – Palomides, taken from Palomides: Volume II album, out on November 4.
Free download via SoundCloud… Beerjacket – Glow (demo).
Free album download via Bandcamp… Louie & Bigg Taj – Paranoise.
October 11, 2013: New gig… Withered Hand at Edinburgh’s Whale Arts Centre on October 19 (free tickets) with free return coach travel from Waterloo Place as part of Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival.
New tour… Travis at Edinburgh’s Picture House on November 17, Inverness’ Ironworks on November 18, Aberdeen’s Music Hall on November 19 and Glasgow’s Barrowland on December 20.
October 10, 2013: The venue splits and stage times for Haddowfest in Edinburgh on October 11-12 have been released.
New video via YouTube… Honeyblood – Bud. The band play Glasgow’s Broadcast on October 29 and Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on October 30.
New video via YouTube… Camera Obscura – Troublemaker. The band’s Break It To You Gently double 7″ single is out now.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Saint Max & The Fanatics – Soul Surrender, taken from debut album Saint Max Is Missing And The Fanatics Are Dead, out on October 21.
October 9, 2013: New video via YouTube… Katie Sutherland – Canvas. She plays Glasgow’s Mackintosh Church on November 2.
New gig… Rachel Sermanni + Bwani Junction + Vigo Thieves at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on November 23 (for War Child). Rachel’s The Boatshed Sessions EP is out on October 21.
The Great Hip Hop Hoax will be broadcast on BBC Two Scotland on October 11 at 9pm.
LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits will be shown for free at Dumfries’ Robert Burns Centre on October 30 as part of Dumfries Music Conference which runs from October 30 to November 2.
October 8, 2013: CHVRCHES, Django Django, King Creosote, The Rezillos, Treacherous Orchestra and Fiddlers’ Bid have been announced to play Edinburgh’s Hogmanay street party alongside headliners Pet Shop Boys.
New song stream via SoundCloud… SOS – ROCK N ROLL.
October 7, 2013: New song stream via YouTube… The LaFontaines – All She Knows, out on October 27; B-side My Yo-Yo available now on iTunes.
New album release via iTunes… The Fratellis – We Need Medicine.
New album release via Bandcamp… The Grand Gestures – Second.
New album release via Fortuna POP!… The Spook School – Dress Up.
October 6, 2013: New video via YouTube… De Rosa – Spectres. The band play their first gig in four years as part of Kid Canaveral’s Xmas Baubles IV at Edinburgh’s Portobello Town Hall on December 14.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Beerjacket – Androgynous (The Replacements cover).
New album stream via SoundCloud… L.Pierre – Neverland Transmission, A Disney Mix (tracklist on Dazed and Confused).
October 4, 2013: 57º North will run a free music journalism training course at Aberdeen’s Seventeen every Wednesday for four weeks from October 23. Email email@example.com to apply for one of six spaces.
New song stream via SoundCloud… Katie Sutherland – Canvas, out on November 18.
New gigs via Ticketmaster… The Twilight Sad performing debut album Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on December 20 and December 21.
New album release via Bandcamp… The Little Kicks – Put Your Love In Front Of Me.
New video via BBC iPlayer… Rapal – Series 7, Episode 8, featuring Vukovi, Donald Macdonald And The Islands, The Velveteen Saints, The River 68′s and Conquering Animal Sound.
October 3, 2013: The Glasgow venue formerly known as The Barfly, which shut in February 2009, will reopen as The Bar & Fly at the same location on Clyde Street on October 18.
New video via YouTube… The Deep Red Sky – Kids (MGMT cover), out on October 7.
New song via YouTube… Finn LeMarinel – Love Is Waves (demo).
October 2, 2013: Free album download via UK Rock Radio… Free Sample Issue #03 featuring songs by The Xcerts, Sparrow And The Workshop, Admiral Fallow, A Band Called Quinn, Mull Historical Society and Unkle Bob.
Meursault frontman Neil Pennycook will be a guest speaker at Born To Be Wide’s seminar on promoting gigs, which takes place at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on October 3.
New video via YouTube… We Were Hunted – You Know Me Now.
What The Blood Revealed have announced they are splitting up.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Lorraine McCauley & The Borderlands – Belong.
October 1, 2013: Free song download via iTunes… CHVRCHES – Tether. Singer Lauren Mayberry has written a Guardian article about the online misogyny she has been suffering, it’s well worth a read.
Free song download via SoundCloud… Julia & The Doogans – Love At First Sight (Kylie Minogue cover).
New song stream via SoundCloud… Cold Crows Dead – Ghost That Burned Your House Down, taken from debut album I Fear A New World, out on December 2. The band is a collaboration between The Xcerts’ Murray Macleod and Brighton songwriter Paul Steel. They play Aberdeen’s Tunnels on December 10 and Glasgow’s King Tut’s on December 11.
Three Blind Wolves already have a healthily plentiful back catalogue to call their own. In 2011, they brought out the seven-song Sound Of The Storm, officially branded a mini-album, then followed it up a mere seven months later with the all-acoustic, recorded-in-a-day, eight-song The Maybe Forest.
But there’s no doubt that 2013 is going to be the most significant year in the band’s existence thus far, with the release of their new record in the spring, which many will regard as their debut album proper. So here’s a free taster of what’s to come, along with the rest of the blogging world’s recommendations in this month’s Music Alliance Pact.
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 full 39-track compilation through Ge.tt here.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Three Blind Wolves – Parade
Three Blind Wolves may be from Glasgow, but it’s the American Deep South that resonates most emphatically in their music. They are a little bit country, a little bit hillbilly rock ‘n’ roll, yet their versatility means they’re equally at home in indie and folk circles. Their new album Sing Hallelujah For The Old Machine comes out in April, with the coil-sprung standout track Parade released as a single in October (alongside this promo video), but here it is as an exclusive free download.
December 19, Bloc, Glasgow (Ross Clark solo show) (free)
February 2, ABC, Glasgow (supporting Roddy Hart) (tickets)
February 26, Picture House, Edinburgh (supporting Frightened Rabbit) (sold out)
February 27, Music Hall, Aberdeen (supporting Frightened Rabbit) (tickets)
February 28, Barrowland, Glasgow (supporting Frightened Rabbit) (sold out)
Olga – Dolor De Nuevo
Before you ask, Olga is not a solo artist but a band led by Roger Delahaye with Florencia Zavadivker and Luciano Lasca. Together they deliver electronic pop songs that near perfection, so it was hard to pick just one for MAP. Olor De Nuevo is our favorite from their new album, Gracias Tonales, which you can stream and buy from Bandcamp.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Sunk Junk – Jr
If Sunk Junk represent the calibre of young bands coming out of Oz, no-one can justify not being able to find decent new music ever again. Sunk Junk have only released one home recorded EP, but it’s definitely the most impressive thing we’ve heard all month. The elaborate percussion in Jr only feeds this assertion – weaving its labyrinthine way around intricate guitar lines and a hypnotic croon that could be easily mistaken for Jeff Buckley’s ghost. A sprawling track which teeters on the stark side of melody and mania, Jr is definitely a marker of good things to come from this band.
Clara Luzia – Morning Light
Morning Light contains some of my favourite lyrics: “We held hands and cried until the morning light”. Isn’t the idea of sharing one’s sadness with someone else just such a beautiful thought? After four successful records in Austria, singer-songwriter Clara Luzia recently released her international debut album The Range, a compilation of songs from her previous albums.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Metá Metá – Man Feriman
Ethno math-rock could be a way to try to explain the sound of Man Feriman, a song from the album MetaL MetaL from Paulistan project Metá Metá. Sung in Yoruba (a West African language), it has elements of African liturgical music, free jazz and alternative rock, with a three-verse lyric that is repeated over the song to create an experimental, dark mantra.
CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Elephant Stone – Heavy Moon
Montreal “Hindi rockers” Elephant Stone defy easy categorization. Echoes of The Stone Roses, The Kinks, Sloan and Big Star abound, but in the end the band crafts their own unique sound. Their sophomore self-titled LP is due early in 2013, but Elephant Stone have been teasing Canadian fans for the past few weeks with Heavy Moon.
CHILE: Super 45
Protistas – Granada
In just a few years, Protistas has become one of the most active bands in the Chilean indie rock scene. They frequently perform in Santiago, with appearances on blogs’ multimedia shows and local festivals (Primavera Fauna, Pulsar), along with tours across Chile and Argentina. They have released two albums and an EP since 2009. Their melodies combine the poignancy of Sebadoh with the urgent impact of Guided By Voices, in a style they’ve named “wild pop” – bittersweet songs with an explosive, intense guitar sound.
Rainbow Danger Club – The Gathering Of Fools
As one of Shanghai’s most talented new bands, Rainbow Danger Club has been wowing music fans since 2010. Their theatrical live shows, fantastical lyrics and lush arrangements have drawn comparisons to Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Hector Berlioz. Last month they released their new 12-track Into The Cellar EP.
COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Lucrecia Dalt – Conversa
Lucrecia Dalt’s musical journey has taken her from the city of Pereira to Barcelona, Spain, where she currently lives. With guitar and drum machine she makes introspective music with many layers that stirs the imagination of the listener. She has traveled the road of independence and now with Conversa, from her 2012 album Commotus, she grabs our attention again.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
The Woken Trees – Orders
I know December is supposed to be all about lights and happy times, but here’s a MAP exclusive track and a band that is almost exactly the opposite. There are six of them, they call themselves The Woken Trees and they’ve recorded an awesomely bleak and hard-hitting post-punk debut album which is sure to make waves everywhere when released on January 28.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Juango Dávalos – 6PM
Juango Dávalos borrows his musical inspiration from the 80s, but the songs he composes are surprisingly fresh and modern. 6PM is part of his most recent album, Réplica, which is also available as a free download.
ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Swing Original Monks – Tucán
Swing Original Monks broke into the musical scene in early 2010. The band offers a proposal that is both visual and aural, feminine and masculine, provocative and subtle. The inventiveness of these musicians extracts the essence of popular music with the picturesque landscapes and absurdities of our society. Swing Original Monks is not a fusion band, it’s an infusion band.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Swiss Lips – Carolyn
Swiss Lips are a five-piece from Manchester who are more Delphic than Courteeners. Carolyn is part of the city’s electronic history rather than its less illustrious trad-rock one. They use the fizzy electro-pop medium to express feelings of longing for better days. “Most of the songs we’ve written seem to be about looking back on being a teenager and that wide-eyed optimism about the world,” they say, which might explain the giddy chorus to Carolyn – “Hey, hey, Carolyn, get into my car/Keep your feet up on the dashboard” – and its memory of illicit abandon.
Murmansk – Mercury
Helsinki band Murmansk play loud noise-rock built from powerful guitars and upfront bass and drum beats. Their songs are notable for their propensity for melody and the energetic performance of vocalist Laura Soininen. Mercury is part of the band’s recently released third full-length album Rüütli.
FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Lescop – La Forêt
Mathieu Lescop, singer for the rock band Asyl, recently started a solo project and released an eponymous album in October under the name Lescop. Heavily influenced by the French (Étienne Daho, Daniel Darc) and British (Joy Division, New Order) coldwave and new-wave, he achieved much success in France with his single La Forêt, and consequently is the most talked-about artist in the country.
Binoculers – Monsters
Binoculers is an artist you might easily overlook, given the reserved attitude of Nadja Ruedebusch. But you would miss some of the most thoughtful folk music Germany can currently offer. This is the kind of thing you might like to hear on a foggy winter’s day or a sparkling spring afternoon when you lay down in the grass for the first time that year. Binoculers’ third album, There Is Not Enough Space In The Dark, has just been released.
Manolis Aggelakis – Apoleipein o Theos Antonion
Manolis Aggelakis’ fourth album, O Anthropos Vomva (“The Bomb Man”), is yet another sensational landmark on his long, well-traveled path. Guitars, tightly tied drums, dirty electronic sounds and noises gently form otherworldly landscapes. Along with his distinctive voice and disarming performance, the lyrical themes portray an authentic troubadour recording signs of difficult times with a gloomy nostalgia for bygone eras. Apoleipein o Theos Antonion (“The God Abandons Antony”) is a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy.
Pojke – Black Eye
Sindri Már Sigfússon, singer and songwriter for bands such as Seabear and Sin Fang, has recently been exploring his electronic side through a side-project titled Pojke. So far he has released two songs as Pojke on his SoundCloud page which can be downloaded and remixed freely.
Funny Little Dream – Be With You
This is the latest single from Funny Little Dream, aka Ganesh and Peppy, whose cute indie-pop songs have received a great response from fans around the world.
IRELAND: Harmless Noise
Windings – This Is A Conversation
A five-piece band from Limerick, Windings released This Is A Conversation as a single in September. Introduced with a clean guitar and racy keys, the light pop intentions go slightly awry when Steve Ryan starts belting out the vocals, repeating nine lines of lyrics in chorus-like bursts. There comes a mighty bass riff that lays down the heavy element, and a few light taps of cymbal domes mark time for the band to gather up and go all-out towards a hugely satisfying rock crescendo.
Life & Limb – Before The Flame And The Flood
Andrea Mangia comes from Lecce; Mike McGuire comes from New York. They have both released solo albums on the prestigious German label Morr Music, which is how they met in 2006 and started collaborating. They are now releasing their self-titled third album, and it is gorgeous as always: uplifting electronic sounds full of lush synths, fat downtempo beats and ultrasweet melodies. If you like M83 or The Postal Service, you’ll be carried away by Life & Limb.
JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
HNC – I Will Make You Sad
HNC (short for Hazel Nuts Chocolate) has been in the Japanese music scene for more than a decade, originally operating as a hyperactive pop maker. Now, though, she is making music grounded in reality, shaped by actually living through the ups and downs of time. I Will Make You Sad is a sparse meditation on inevitable disappointment, HNC and her music sounding melancholy but all the while aware that she is the one who is going to let someone down.
MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Claire Tonna – Age Of No Age
Singer-songwriter Claire Tonna is known for her profound, exceptional voice and awe-inspiring performances. Tonna’s innovative acoustic debut studio album The Port, which contains collaborations with acclaimed writer Maria Mar, gets its first international release in New Zealand this month.
MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Verano Peligroso – Culpable
Verano Peligroso (translated as “Dangerous Summer”) is the boy-girl pet project of an omnivorous studio-rat and a gorgeous radio presenter for a Mexico City indie-rock station. They just released their debut EP on which Culpable stands as a naive call-and-response song that, in contrast to its twee-pop sound, tells a story about a crime of passion. This pair really spend their time in a peculiar way!
Kleinindustrie – Repetition
Kleinindustrie emerged from out of nowhere in 2010, wowing live audiences and winning two big music competitions in Utrecht, the band’s hometown. After this sudden burst to the surface, the band shrouded itself in a veil of mystery. Although some said they emigrated to Norway to live off the prize money, 2011 turned out to be the quiet before the storm. Since February 2012, Kleinindustrie has released three EPs and toured all over the Netherlands. Repetition stems from their latest release, Hit It!, which meanders loosely between no-wave and straightforward noise-rock. With a relentless drummer, menacing singer and a bass player and guitarist in one, Kleinindustrie have created a huge sound that’s naturally fit for repetition.
Sergio Cubas – Ruteando
Ruteando is taken from Sergio Cubas’ debut album Revolución Caliente. For this album, Sergio performs a mix of different musical styles such as dub, lounge, jazz and reggae linked to various Peruvian influences such as Afro-Peruvian music and Festejo. Revolución Caliente (listen on SoundCloud) features 11 songs that are an invitation to relax.
POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
Afro Kolektyw – Czasem Pada Śnieg w Styczniu (Zakazane Warzywo)
Afro Kolektyw is one of Poland’s most distinguished bands, with a music career spanning nearly 14 years, from organic hip hop, jazz and funk origins to electronic elements in more recent tunes. Although Afro Kolektyw have never been tied to only one style, their latest album, Piosenki Po Polsku, shocked listeners. With songwriting inspired by 80s Polish pop and sarcastic lyrics, this journey seems to be Afro’s most risky and ambitious one yet.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
A Jigsaw – Let It Snow!
A Jigsaw, who were on the Music Alliance Pact in March 2012 with their fantastic song The Strangest Friend, have been kind enough to let us share their exquisite cover of the classic Let It Snow!, which was on a very limited edition benefit CD for a children’s hospital in Coimbra. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to them and all of you.
PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Alegría Rampante – Hotel Puercoespín
When Puerto Rico’s indie darlings Superaquello disbanded in 2011, they left behind four remarkable LPs and a disappointed fanbase not ready to miss them. A year later, fans can breathe easier thanks to vocalist, composer and dramatist Eduardo Alegría, who has emerged with a new musical project – Alegría Rampante. Eduardo and his group of skilled collaborators from the local indie scene have quietly built an arsenal of melodic earworms to be released over the next few months as the digital singles collection Se Nos Fue La Mano. Hotel Puercoespín is the second song from the cycle, an upbeat baroque pop-rocker full of Eduardo’s trademark playful lyrics and sincere delivery. Alegría Rampante is Latin Alternative’s best kept secret – but not for long, so get in first.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Stonebox – Welcome To My World
Stonebox are an alternative band from Bucharest with 90s rock influences, in particular grunge. Thanks to their mesmerizing live performances and energy they have played at the major festivals in Romania and gathered an impressive number of fans.
RUSSIA: Big Echo
Astrocowboys – We Give Blood
Using a Soviet LEL DR-8 drum machine, cheap synthesizer and jangly guitar, Astrocowboys from Saint Petersburg create their familiar, yet distinctive sound. Their deep, sweet-sounding lo-fi album Olympic has an unusual combination of influences from New Order-esque synthpop to old school hip hop and early electro.
SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
.gif – Diatribe
.gif embodies the illusion of data passing off as real-life moving images by giving us an electronic amalgamation of observatory life with shades of melancholy, hope and resolution. While usually accompanied by ukulele, Weish finds the embrace of warm textures courtesy of Din, with synthesizers and beat arrangements assembling base emotions into the soul of a machine.
SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Sasquatch – Mannequin
Sasquatch emerged this year with a retro synth sound reminiscent of the very best of K-pop of the 80s and the 90s, bound to charm even those with no knowledge of Korean music prior to Gangnam Style. Debut album Utopia was released last month, with lead track Mannequin and its addictive harmonies and melody lines serving as the perfect introduction to the band.
NITCH – Bon Dia, Capità
NITCH are a three-piece rock/shoegaze act based in Barcelona. They started in 2007 and so far they have played in almost every (cool) venue in town and supported important underground local bands. Now it’s their turn to be in the spotlight, and this month they played at the Primavera Club festival, Primavera Sound’s little brother.
SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
VED – Din Egen Spegelbild
VED is a five-piece project from southern Sweden inspired by old film scores, obscure audio recordings, progressive rock and folk music. A collection of their experimental, epic creations was recently released through the ever-reliable label Adrian Recordings, and Din Egen Spegelbild (translated as “Your Own Reflection”) is the latest track to be shared from VED’s self-titled album.
Mama Rosin – Sorry Ti Monde
The Cajun/folk/garage trio released their new album Bye Bye Bayou in October, which was produced by Jon Spencer from the legendary Blues Explosion. Cyril, Robin and Xavier from Mama Rosin are consistently entertaining on stage and entirely passionate about their art. Plus they are good at a party!
Meriva – Hepberaberyalnız
Meriva formed with five close friends in 2007. They get their musical inspiration from people’s struggle to win back their self-esteem and therefore reflect urban life complications in their alternative rock sound, which is often danceable and catchy. Meriva hope to progress their career with the release of their debut album in 2013.
UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Teen Mom – I Wanna Go Out
Washington DC trio Teen Mom are the type of band that act as a reminder that simple music can pack a punch. Staying away from flash or gimmicks, they focus on a splashy guitar, rattling bass and fast-paced drums to craft Mean Tom, one of the most infectious EPs of 2012.
VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Planeador – Al Diablo
Planeador returns to the Music Alliance Pact, this time with a track from Barcelona 10C, certainly one of the best albums released this year in Venezuela. Its deeper lyrics and more elaborate melodies reflect the musical maturity of the band.