May 23, 2013: A Music Open Day is being held at Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree on May 26 with a programme that includes three music industry panels, a soundcheck workshop and live music from Revere, Uniform, Leanne Smith and Marionettes. Free tickets to the evening show will be available to anyone who attends the free seminars during the day.
The Wickerman Festival has added Admiral Fallow, Chic ft Nile Rodgers, Dreadzone, Waylayers and Greg Wilson to its line-up on July 26-27.
Algernon Doll’s track Anti-them is available for free download – it’s taken from second album Citalo-pop, due for release on June 10.
May 22, 2013: The Basement Coffee House in Ayr has been shortlisted by NME as Scotland’s representative in a public vote to find the best small venue in Britain. The 80-capacity venue opened eight months ago.
Tomorrow’s second instalment of the Dewar House Experimental Batch series sees Edinburgh’s Caves host free live music from Kid Canaveral, The Last Battle and Adam Ross (Randolph’s Leap). There will be 550 tickets available on the door on a first come, first served basis.
May 21, 2013: Camera Obscura song Fifth In Line To The Throne is available for free download in exchange for an email address. It’s taken from the band’s fifth album Desire Lines, out on June 3, and pre-ordering it will get you another track, Do It Again.
Book Group have released their debut EP, Homeward Sound.
Sparrow And The Workshop’s third album Murderopolis, out on May 27, is streaming in full via DIY - one of the songs, The Faster You Spin, is also available for free download.
May 20, 2013: Garden Of Elks’ debut EP, Extended Play, is available to buy and stream.
The Clock have a video for their excellent song Everything’s Eventual, which is released on May 28. They have Glasgow gigs lined up at Broadcast on June 1 and Roxy 171 on June 20.
May 18, 2013: The 16-strong T Break line-up for T in the Park on July 12-14 has been unveiled - Arches, Blindfolds, DARC, Fake Major, Hector Bizerk, Honeyblood, Machines In Heaven, Michael Cassidy, Poor Things, Pronto Mama, Seams, Sunshine Social, The Merrylees, The Velveteen Saints, Vasa, Waiting For Go.
Anna Sweeney has announced she is taking a full break from music and has cancelled her scheduled appearance at Wickerman in July as she relocates to Reading for work in June. Another musician swapping Scotland for England is Plum, who is moving to Brighton in July.
May 17, 2013: The stage times have been released for the 35 acts playing Stag & Dagger across seven Glasgow venues on May 18.
Franz Ferdinand’s fourth album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action will be released on August 26 – check out this brief trailer.
Frightened Rabbit recorded a cover of Best Coast’s The Only Place for Australian radio show Triple J. The band release their Late March, Death March EP on June 2.
The Mouse That Ate The Cat song When I Wake Up is available for free in exchange for your email address.
The title track of Adam Stafford’s forthcoming second album Imaginary Walls Collapse is streaming here.
May 16, 2013: The Discopolis remix of Bwani Junction single Civil War is available to download for free from SoundCloud.
Born To Be Wide’s next seminar at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus on May 30 is on the topic of goNORTH, with a panel featuring broadcaster Vic Galloway, goNORTH duo Amanda Millen and Alex Smith and Chasing Owls frontman Ben Sunderland explaining how musicians and delegates can get the most out of the annual Inverness convention. Tickets are free.
AC/DC have backed a campaign to erect a bronze statue of their former frontman Bon Scott in his hometown of Kirriemuir in Angus. Community music group DD8 Music hope to raise £50,000 via Kickstarter by June 5.
Kite And The Crane’s debut EP, Found In The End, is out on Bandcamp.
May 15, 2013: Biffy Clyro have a video for their new single Opposite.
The View are playing a one-off show at Glasgow’s King Tut’s on June 12 for the Sunday Mail Centenary Fund.
Adam Stafford is launching his second album Imaginary Walls Collapse with a gig at Glasgow’s Glad Cafe on July 5 with support from Siobhan Wilson and Robbie Lesiuk.
May 14, 2013: The Wee Chill will mark its 10th anniversary with a two-stage bill at Glasgow’s SWG3 on June 29 for the West End Festival. The line-up features Malcolm Middleton, James Yorkston with Sparrow & The Workshop (collaborative debut), Aidan Moffat (spoken word), Three Blind Wolves, Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, Miaoux Miaoux, Fake Major.
Tommy Perman, who recently left FOUND, has unveiled his new solo project ComputerScheisse – check out These Beautiful Minds, the title track of his debut EP, out on July 15 through Phuturelabs.
RockNess have announced more acts for the festival on June 7-9 including Fenech-Soler, Fatherson, Public Service Broadcasting, The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, Niteworks and Jemma Tweedie.
Too Many Fireworks Records will donate all profits from sales of Variations Of Chopin, an album of contemporary interpretations of the composer’s music, to the fundraising campaign for drummer Robbie Cooper, whose cancer fight was documented on The Pop Cop.
May 13, 2013: New releases out now include Young Aviators’ debut album Self Help, Eagleowl’s debut album This Silent Year, and Cherri Fosphate’s new Burning Youth EP.
May 10, 2013: The live schedule for goNORTH in Inverness on June 5-6 has been unveiled – it includes a Scottish Bloggers Showcase hosted by The Pop Cop, Peenko and Song, by Toad featuring a four-band bill of Garden Of Elks, Friends In America, The Yawns and Flutes.
May 9, 2013: The documentary Hunting For Remoteness details The Magnetic North’s visit to Orkney – where frontman Erland Cooper is from – for the making of their debut album. It will be released on June 24 alongside a reissue of that record, Orkney: Symphony Of The Magnetic North. You can watch the trailer here.
Alphabetical Order Orchestra are streaming their first song, The Architect. The band is made up of My Latest Novel members Chris Deveney, Gary Deveney and Ryan King.
A Band Called Quinn have launched a crowdfunding campaign to support performances of their multimedia show Biding Time (remix) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.
May 8, 2013: Three Blind Wolves have released their new album, Sing Hallelujah For The Old Machine.
May 7, 2013: Adam Stafford’s new single Please is streaming online – it’s taken from his second album Imaginary Walls Collapse, out in July.
May 6, 2013: The T in the Park Roadshow is bringing free live music to Scottish towns this month – it stops at Glasgow today for The View at Kelvingrove Park (1pm) and Buchanan Street (3.30pm); Edinburgh on May 10 for Vigo Thieves at Queen Margaret University’s Student Union (noon), Dundee on May 11 for The LaFontaines at Overgate Centre (noon); Aberdeen on May 12 for Sienna at Aberdeen University (noon); and Ayr on May 18 for The Redettes at Ayr Railway Station (noon).
Fake Major have a video for Fiction, a song on their Have Plenty Of Fun EP. Fellow Comets & Cartwheels artist Finn LeMarinel has a new video for Garden, taken from his debut album Violence.
Capitals have released a sampler of all the tracks on their debut album A National Service, out on June 3.
May 3, 2013: Episode 11 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Cara Mitchell, Brown Bear & The Bandits, Three Blind Wolves and Anna Sweeney.
Steve Mason has accused Samsung of plagiarising the video for The Beta Band’s 2004 single Assessment for their new television advert. Both show historical figures running down a beach and helicopters circling overhead.
May 2, 2013: Young Aviators’ debut album Self Help is streaming on Electric Honey’s SoundCloud ahead of its release on May 13.
May 1, 2013: Travis have a video for Where You Stand, the first single and title track of the band’s seventh album, out on August 19.
Fake Major’s debut EP, Have Plenty Of Fun, is available for download.
My Latest Novel have gone on hiatus, with three of the members forming Alphabetical Order Orchestra - look out for music from them next week.
Kobi Onyame has a video for his new single The Real Part 2.
Trapped In Kansas have unveiled new song Collapse Rebuild.
Rob St John’s new AA single Charcoal Black And The Bonny Grey/Shallow Brown is out now.
April 30, 2013: Boards Of Canada will release Tomorrow’s Harvest, their first new album in eight years, on June 10.
Quickbeam song Immersed is available to download for free from DIY – you can also listen to snippets from every track of the band’s self-titled debut album, out on June 3.
Discopolis have unveiled the video for their new song Falling (Committed To Sparkle Motion), out on May 5.
April 29, 2013: The SAY Award will stream each of the 20 longlisted albums for 24 hours through their app, starting today with Miaoux Miaoux’s Light Of The North. You can read The Pop Cop’s feature here.
Panda Su’s new song MAPS is available to buy now on Amazon, while Bwani Junction’s new single Civil War is on iTunes.
The Boy Who Trapped The Sun has a video for new song California ahead of his May tour in Scotland.
The Pastels have a video for Check My Heart, taken from their forthcoming new album Slow Summits, out on May 27.
Frank Turner covered Frightened Rabbit’s The Modern Leper for Jim Gellatly’s In:Demand Uncut session.
April 27, 2013: Episode 10 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features two fantastic unreleased songs by Beerjacket as well as The Holy Ghosts, The Merrylees and Ray McCartney.
Travis, Johnny Marr, Hurts, James Skelly, Jack Savoretti, Willy Mason, Foy Vance, Steve Mason, Milo Greene and DIIV have been added to the T in the Park line-up, which has now been separated into day-by-day splits.
Edinburgh venue The Forest Cafe, which has been banned from hosting live music due to council restrictions, are looking for acts to play their new monthly event, the Forest Big Night Out at Old St Paul’s, which launches on May 23. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
April 26, 2013: The Burns an’ a’ that! Festival will feature live music as part of Weekend in the Park at Ayr’s Belleisle Park on May 25-26. Rose Parade, Little Fire, Pronto Mama and The Bluebells are among the free acts; Justin Currie + Rachel Sermanni play a ticketed gig on May 26.
Other newly-announced concerts on sale include Lana Del Rey + Kassidy at Glasgow’s SECC on May 16 (replacing her two dates at the Academy on May 15/16) Bombay Bicycle Club at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on June 7, Belle & Sebastian at Inverness’ Ironworks on July 1, We Are Scientists at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on July 29, Kid Canaveral + Ballboy at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on August 10.
Kid Canaveral + The Last Battle + Adam Ross (Randolph’s Leap) also play a free show at Edinburgh’s Caves on May 23 with 300 tickets on the door on a first come, first served basis as part of a Dewar’s event.
April 25, 2013: Seasick Steve, The Pigeon Detectives, Julie Fowlis, Meursault, Washington Irving, PAWS and The LaFontaines have been added to the Belladrum Festival line-up on August 2-3.
Washington Irving have released Palomides Volume 1, the first half of their debut album.
The View are streaming Kill Kyle, one of two new songs on their compilation album Seven Year Setlist, out on June 17.
April 24, 2013: The showcase list of artists picked to play goNORTH in Inverness on June 5-6 has been announced. For the third consecutive year there will be a bloggers’ showcase stage hosted by The Pop Cop, Peenko and Song, by Toad. More details to follow soon.
Kilmarnock’s Dirty Weekender will feature 45 acts over three venues on May 31 to June 2 including Fridge Magnets, Bwani Junction, The Ok Social Club, Ross Leighton (Fatherson) and Chris Helme.
Poor Things’ new single Morgan is free to download – it’s taken from their Hurricane Poor Things EP, out on June 10.
Similarly, Cherri Fosphate are giving away Wool from their Burning Youth EP, out on May 11.
April 23, 2013: Glasvegas will play Aberdeen’s Garage on June 27, Edinburgh’s Liquid Room on June 28 and Glasgow’s ABC on June 29.
Reverieme’s second album With Up So Floating is out now.
Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire have announced they will release their self-titled new album through Middle Of Nowhere Records in July.
Herculean have a video for Red Weather, taken from The Falling Thunder EP, out on June 7.
April 22, 2013: Stag & Dagger have added Phosphorescent, Rachel Sermanni, Randolph’s Leap, French Wives, Fake Major, Prides, Chris Devotion & The Expectations and Donald Macdonald & The Islands to the Glasgow festival’s line-up on May 18.
Episode 9 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Brown Bear & The Bandits, Cara Mitchell, The Open Day Rotation and John Wean.
Texas have unveiled a video for The Conversation, the title track from their first album in eight years, out on May 20.
Bronagh & The Boys have released their debut single Green, taken from A Young Heart EP, out on May 19.
April 19, 2013: Kassidy’s Barrie-James O’Neill and his girlfriend Lana Del Rey have recorded a cover of Summer Wine (made famous by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood), backed with a video featuring handheld footage of the pair in Los Angeles.
My Bloody Valentine, Trash Talk, Fidlar and The VirginMarys have been added to the T in the Park line-up.
April 18, 2013: Pre-sale tickets are available for Regina Spektor at Glasgow’s Academy on August 20 and Kings Of Leon at the ciry’s Bellahouston Park on August 15, the latter being part of the Glasgow Summer Sessions.
The Mirror Trap have unveiled a video for Westminster Ghost Story, the first track to be taken from their second album Stay Young, due out this autumn.
April 17, 2013: Midnight Lion have changed their name to Prides and expanded to a trio with the addition of Kitty The Lion’s Callum Wiseman on guitar and vocals. To coincide with the announcement, they have unveiled wonderfully addictive new song Out Of The Blue.
T in the Park have added Local Natives, Lucy Rose, Swim Deep, Theme Park, Lewis Watson and Sons & Lovers to the festival on July 12-14.
April 16, 2013: Doune The Rabbit Hole have announced that this year’s festival will take place at the new location of Cardross Estate at Port of Menteith in Stirlingshire on August 22-25. The line-up features Clinic, Meursault, Rachel Sermanni, Alasdair Roberts, Washington Irving, The Pastels, PAWS, Beerjacket, Rick Redbeard, We Are The Physics, Randolph’s Leap, Siobhan Wilson, Panda Su, Shambles Miller, Jo Mango and TeenCanteen. See here for full day-by-day splits.
April 15, 2013: James and Twin Atlantic will headline the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival on August 2-3. Other acts on the bill include Admiral Fallow, Fatherson, Rick Redbeard, Noisettes, The Horrors and King Charles.
April 13, 2013: Edinburgh’s live music scene has suffered yet another setback with Forest Cafe having its live music licence reviewed, causing the immediate postponement of gigs there, starting with the Solas Showcase scheduled for today.
Newsnight Scotland featured a report on the music industry on April 10, prompted by the Wide Days convention in Edinburgh. Watch the segment on BBC iPlayer, with contributions from Stanley Odd’s Dave Hook, Plum’s Shona Maguire, Chemikal Underground’s Stewart Henderson, Wide Days organiser Olaf Furniss and journalist Nicola Meighan. The interviews were conducted by Galleries drummer Andrew Black.
April 12, 2013: Episode 8 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Niteworks, The Holy Ghosts, Miaoux Miaoux and The Merrylees.
Eagleowl have unveiled Not Over, the first offering from debut album This Silent Year, which will come out through Fence Records on May 13.
Dear Lara, aka David Lan, has released his debut EP Plans as a free download.
April 11, 2013: Capitals’ debut album A National Service will come out on June 3, with those who pre-order it (from just £5) getting an immediate download of any of the record’s 11 tracks, one of which is Reliever.
The View will release singles compilation Seven Year Setlist on June 17 – the album features two new songs, Dirty Magazine and Kill Kyle.
Several Scottish acts have posted tracks from forthcoming new albums – check out Washington Irving – Wandering Wits, United Fruit – Taste I Can’t Give Up and Hector Bizerk – Orchestrated Madness.
April 10, 2013: Promoters Cry Parrot will host their 6th Birthday Party at Glasgow’s Glue Factory on April 26 with a gig featuring Sacred Paws, Hector Bizerk, Tut Vu Vu, Ultimate Thrush, Ela Orleans and Sad City.
Three Blind Wolves are previewing Slow Summer Deer, taken from their Sing Hallelujah For The Old Machine album, released on May 6.
Where We Lay Our Heads single Keanu Leaves is out now.
Great Cop are giving away new song Stop Hiding as a free download.
April 9, 2013: Mogwai guitarist John Cummings uploaded a photo of himself at Glasgow’s George Square yesterday where more than 300 people gathered, inspired by his band’s 2011 song George Square Thatcher Death Party.
Hi-Arts, which promotes arts in the Highlands and Islands, has issued notices of redundancies to all 10 of its staff in the wake of funding cuts.
April 8, 2013: Fridge Magnets will play a ‘silent gig’ at a secret outdoor location in Glasgow on May 15 (6pm) – tickets can be won through organisers Deezer. The band will perform inside a mobile perspex box with the 300-capacity audience able to hear them through headphones.
Kassidy have released new mini-album People Like Me.
April 7, 2013: Song Of Return have launched their Singles Club project on Bandcamp through which they’ll be selling unreleased tracks. Month 1 contains Torn Between The Tides (see video) and Enough.
Cairn String Quartet, who were profiled on The Pop Cop in March, have unveiled their orchestral cover of Kid Canaveral’s Low Winter Sun.
Travis have made new song Another Guy available to download for free through their website. It also has a video.
April 6, 2013: The following 16 HMV and Fopp stores in Scotland will remain open following Hilco’s takeover – HMV: Aberdeen, Ayr, Dundee, East Kilbride, Edinburgh Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh Princes St, Glasgow Argyle St, Glasgow Buchanan St, Glasgow Fort, Inverness, Livingston, Stirling; Fopp: Edinburgh; Glasgow Union St; Glasgow Byres Rd.
Bwani Junction have a video for new single Civil War, out on April 29.
Rachel Sermanni and Emma’s Imagination are among the acts playing the Kintyre Songwriters Festival in Campbeltown on May 24-26.
Quickbeam will launch their debut album with a gig at the disused Govanhill Baths in Glasgow on May 31. They will be supported by Fake Major whose debut Have Plenty Of Fun EP comes out on May 1.
April 5, 2013: Spotify director Mark Williamson will give the keynote speech at next week’s Wide Days event in Edinburgh as part of a session on the business of streaming. The full running order is here.
Episode 7 of BBC ALBA’s Rapal music TV programme is on iPlayer and features Anna Sweeney, Cara Mitchell, Discopolis and Paul McGranaghan.
Dot JR has uploaded new song Waterfalls to SoundCloud.
April 4, 2013: The Tiree Music Festival will take place in An Talla on July 20-21 with a bill that includes Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire, Washington Irving, The Youth And Young and Brown Bear & The Bandits.
Galleries’ fantastic new single Midnight Rush is out now.
Casual Sex have made a video for their debut single Stroh 80. They play Glasgow’s Nice ‘n’ Sleazy on April 5 and Oran Mor on April 7.
April 3, 2013: Comlongon Rocks have added a third day of live music to its line-up at Comlongon Castle in Dumfries & Galloway on May 17-19. The festival’s line-up features Three Blind Wolves, Emma’s Imagination, The OK Social Club and Saint Max.
Chem 19 are offering three days of free recording time to five Scottish acts through their Creative Scotland Demo Fund. To apply, musicians (under-25s only) should email a link to some demos and a bio to email@example.com with the subject Chem19 Demo Fund Enquiry before April 26. Chosen acts will also take part in a live showcase.
Siobhan Wilson + Julia And The Doogans + Jo Mango will play Glasgow’s Roxy 171 on June 26 as part of the Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes vs Peenko night at the West End Festival.
April 2, 2013: Acts confirmed for The Insider Festival in Aviemore on June 21-23 include Rachel Sermanni, Karine Polwart, Hector Bizerk, Urstan, David Thomas Broughton, Miaoux Miaoux, Pete Roe, Jonnie Common, Adam Holmes And The Embers and Sparrow And The Workshop.
Up-and-coming acts can apply to play the Hebridean Celtic Festival in Stornoway on July 17-20 through their One Step Further competition which is open to musicians aged 18-25. To enter, artists need to email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject HebCelt New Talent Submissions and include links to three songs, a biog and high-res photo. Closing date is April 12.
April 1, 2013: Quickbeam’s self-titled debut album will be released through Comets & Cartwheels on June 3 – check out the video for lead track Immersed which will be available as a free download on April 29.
We Were Promised Jetpacks will headline the second night of the three-day Solas Festival in Perthshire on June 22.
Minor Delilah will be giving away copies of their new EP, Only Dust Can Hear You, to anyone who attends their launch gig at Glasgow’s Classic Grand on May 3.
The start of the year heralds reams of ones to watch lists (like this, perhaps?) and new music tips, so you can think of the first Music Alliance Pact compilation of 2013 as a global version of that tradition, all with free samples.
My pick for this month is one of the most hard-working, energetic and fun-to-watch acts in Scotland - The LaFontaines.
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 35-track compilation through Ge.tt here.
SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
The LaFontaines – Light Up The Background
You can’t help but wonder if The LaFontaines would be famous by now had they been from, say, Miami and not Motherwell. Combining Kerr Okan’s rap dexterity with a surprisingly accessible rock/pop sound, the band owe much of their reputation and loyal following to their invigorating, electric live performances. Light Up The Background proves beyond doubt The LaFontaines know how to write a knockout chorus – the video, with its freerunning, is a must-see too. They are currently recording their debut album which should hopefully be out this summer.
January 30, Dundee University Union, Dundee (info/tickets)
February 20, The Tunnels, Aberdeen (tickets)
El Festival De Los Viajes – Los Altos
El Festival De Los Viajes is a psychedelic rock band with a sound that has an epic atmosphere and lyrics that play with your imagination. Los Altos is our favorite track from La Reserva De Los Lieros, their third album.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
D.D Dumbo – Tropical Oceans
Oliver Hugh Perry is D.D Dumbo. Perry makes music from his house in Castlemaine, a small rural town 120km from Melbourne. Tropical Oceans is a perfect cue to his unique brand of technicolour lo-fi that spans genres, blues hooks, African folk – and a sound that no one else from anywhere is really making at the moment. Sometimes the best releases never receive as much credit as they deserve, and this is one of them. If music is supposed to make you feel goddamn otherworldly, 2013 is going to be a good year for D.D Dumbo.
Nowhere Train – Ashes
Nowhere Train is a project of seven folk musicians from different bands. After a train tour through the country and a documentary about it, the supergroup’s first album, aptly named Station, recently saw the light of day. It was featured on national television and Austria’s most popular website. Ashes, a song about a perfect moment, was written on tour by globetrotter Ian Fisher (Missouri/Berlin).
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Tulipa Ruiz – Cada Voz
Tulipa Ruiz is one of the major new Brazilian singers and is acclaimed by critics and the public alike. Cada Voz is the track that closes second album Tudo Tanto, available for free download on her website, and has its instrumental performed by the experimental band São Paulo Underground.
CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Daniel Romano – Middle Child
Get out yer hankies, ‘cuz this one’s gonna make you ball like a baby. Daniel Romano’s transformation into the reincarnated George Jones is now complete, right down to the leisure suit he wears on the cover of Come Cry With Me, his third solo album in as many years. The former Attack In Black frontman has become an impeccable storyteller, and this tale of an estranged son trying to make sense of the senseless will break your heart by the time he gets to the first chorus.
CHILE: Super 45
Motivado – Ferrer
For lack of a better label, the music of Motivado (Mario Martínez) could be classified as ‘space Latin house’. After the praise he got for Bobby Fischer, his debut EP, Motivado delivered his second EP, Stasi, just as the past year ended and it exceeds what he accomplished on his first work. Yes, this is experimental music, but extremely danceable. Ferrer is one of three tracks on Stasi EP, a free download from the Discos Pegaos netlabel.
Summer Fades Away – Thank You
Summer Fades Away is an instrumental/post-rock band from Changsha. They released their second album We Meet The Last Time, Then Departure through 1724 Records last November, which features more classical elements. Though the band announced they were going on hiatus, fans still hope they could be back soon to make more beautiful music.
DENMARK: All Scandinavian
North Fall – Curve
Originally a one-man project by singer-songwriter and guitarist Anders Belling, North Fall turned into a full indie-rock ‘n’ alt-folk band in 2011 and released their first EP late last year, from which Curve is taken. The whole, excellent thing is yours to download on SoundCloud along with seven tracks from Belling’s time as a lone rider.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Dkano – El Bolo Bolo
Rapper Dkano mocks the rise and fall of a fictitious dembow artist nicknamed Bolo Bolo, in reference to so many one-hit-wonders that this local genre produces, as opposed to true hip-hop. El Bolo Bolo is taken from Dkano’s upcoming album Señales.
ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
Fabrikante – Chanteoma
Making songs only with the voice is a risk that can produce impressive results. Francisco Valdivieso, better known as Fabrikante, is an artist who uses the flexibility of his voice to create unique compositions based on a powerful beatbox and original vocal loops. Chanteoma is the first single from his debut album, which will be out early this year.
ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Public Service Broadcasting – If War Should Come
Public Service Broadcasting is the operations name of one J Willgoose Esq and his cohort Wrigglesworth. Imagine the Pet Shop Boys if they were obsessed with the war. They’re an electronic duo from London who use samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material from WW2 and ally them to a variety of beats and backing from krautrock to drum ‘n’ bass. If War Should Come, from The War Room EP, is typical of their approach, with its found voices and sense of looming menace as the broadcaster warns of impending battle.
July 26-27, The Wickerman Festival, Dumfries & Galloway (tickets)
The Fundamics – Role Of The Soul
Guitars, Rhodes piano, Hammond organ, dub vibes and rap merge to create some of the grooviest music. The Fundamics combine 70s funk and soul with straightforward 90s hip-hop plus the addition of some up-and-coming rappers. Role Of The Soul is an instrumental track from the band’s forthcoming album We All Have Our Roots.
FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
Spiders Everywhere – Swing Loops
Spiders Everywhere are a young band who released their appropriately titled The First EP last May. With a sense of rhythm as precocious as it is unique, some catchy melodies and soft vocals, this is just what we’d like to hear more often on the French indie-pop scene.
Fraktus – Pogomania
Maybe Fraktus found the best way to jump on the bandwagon of krautrock and neo New German Wave: Say you were one of the most influential bands of that time and a founder of techno but were forgotten about; create a brilliant mockumentary in the style of This Is Spinal Tap and record a “comeback” album. Fraktus’ Millenium Edition is in both senses contemporary. The influence of producer Erobique is clearly audible: deconstruction of common patterns, reconstruction to catchy and danceable songs which oscillate between all mentioned electronic music styles.
Victory Collapse – She Is More An Idea Than A Girl
Whether Victory Collapse experiment with different tones, volumes or styles, they’re always exuding an intensity that never fails to astound. Their debut album Convenience Has Poisoned Our Souls is an exciting mix of audacious post-punk stammering, noisy punk-funk sound and a barrage of buzzing, stinging guitars, chunky bass lines and clockwork beats littered with passionate, sharp vocals held together by such disparate art-rock tendencies as saxophone bits and cowbells with spastic, jagged grooves that are powerful enough to inspire a sea of awkward punk-rock dances.
Rumah Sakit – Bernyanyi Menunggu
Rumah Sakit helped shaped the foundation of Indonesia’s indie-pop scene. The band are back after a very long hiatus with a new album that sparked an all-night party on its release date of 12/12/12. If you love Blueboy you’ll probably love this music too.
IRELAND: Harmless Noise
mynameisjOhn – Don’t Mind Me feat. God Knows
Irish hip hop grew steadily more promising in 2012, and not just in the densely-populated urban areas. The internet having pretty much quashed the pervading sense of isolation that separated more remote artists from sharing their work, some of the most exciting sounds came from outside Dublin. Releasing two EPs last year, producer mynameisjOhn is setting out pathways from his base in Ennis, rural County Clare. Collaborating with Shannon MC God Knows, whose delivery exacerbates the keen sense of neglect in Don’t Mind Me, with its strains of sad string samples, it fits a certain disenfranchised mood in austerity-hobbled Ireland.
Paisley Reich – Margot
Their name makes me think of a parallel universe, where history took a weird and ultrasnob turn. These young kids from Rome really know how to mix psychedelia, shoegaze and indie-pop. From Deerhunter to C86, from Syd Barrett to Captured Tracks, Paisley Reich seem to have listened to a lot of different records. I wonder what will ever stop them. Download a free EP from their Bandcamp and expect beautiful things from them in the future.
JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
OKLobby – Fireworks
2012 saw a surge in the number of bedroom-based producers in Japan, as SoundCloud and Bandcamp became flooded with new EPs and albums from artists working from the comfort of their homes. Tokyo-based OKLobby popped up at the end of the year, and his skittery Fireworks (off the recently released Resort album, get it at the link above) ended up as one of the finest home-produced tracks of the last 12 months.
MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Dapuntobeat – Necesito Cambiar feat. Javiera Mena
Disco-funk has been the trademark sound of this Mexico City band for more than a decade, spawning international festivals, an inclusion on the FIFA 11 soundtrack and three – very slowly cooked – albums. Always in need of a female voice to be the cherry on top of their dancey instrumentals, Necesito Cambiar sees the all-male quintet join forces with Chilean indie-pop princess Javiera Mena, whom they have backed whenever she tours Mexico.
Herrek – Rain
There’s an array of awesome Dutch underground bands planning to release new material in 2013 and that’s why we’re kicking off the year with an exclusive track from Herrek’s upcoming album Waktu Dulu, to be released via Snowstar Records on February 15. Herrek revolves around Gerrit van der Scheer (known as a member of the now-defunct but still legendary post-noise bands Bonne Aparte and Adept) and has seen some different incarnations over the past year. Finding inspiration in childhood years spent in a small, secluded village in Papua, Indonesia, Gerrit (pronounced Herrek by the Papuans) has now delivered a hypnotic and somewhat dark record, lamenting monsoons whilst combining tribal clapping, lulling guitars and mesmerising vocals.
Dolores Delirio – A Cualquier Lugar
Dolores Delirio formed in 1994. Throughout their career, the sound of the band has shifted from 80s darkwave to gothic rock to hard rock and now simply rock. A Cualquier Lugar is from their first album Cero. This is an essential song in Peruvian rock history.
POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
kIRk – Pies Zdechł
In kIRk’s music it’s all about the meeting of electronic and acoustic, mixing free jazz trumpet sounds, frightening beats, vocal samples and sometimes scratches, with plenty of scope for improvisation. Although the trio have been around for a decade, they are gathering praise from listeners all over the world now. Pies Zdechł is kIRk’s first single from Zła Krew, the follow-up album of the critically acclaimed Msza Święta w Brąswałdzie.
PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Anarchicks – Restraining Order
Anarchicks are four women (Playgirl, Synthetique Red, Katari and JD) full of energy with different musical tastes and experiences. Following on from their Look What You Made Me Do EP, released in 2012, their debut album Really?! is out this month. From this record, we are privileged to share their first single, Restraining Order. Whether you like CSS, Sleater-Kinney or Pat Benatar, there is something for you in Anarchicks’ grrreat music.
PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Fofé y Los Fetiches – Barquito De Papel
José Luis Abreu aka Fofé is a seasoned veteran of the Puerto Rican music scene. El Manjar De Los Dioses and Circo are two of the most recognized rock ventures in part thanks to his iconic voice and powerful stage presence. When Fofé announced he was forming a brand new band expectations were high. On Christmas Day, Fofé and Los Fetiches presented themselves at seminal music venue La Respuesta and unleashed their debut album Lujo Eterno, which opens with Barquito De Papel. Taking elements from New Wave and La Movida Madrileña, their sound is polished but playful and totally danceable.
ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Kaleidonescu – Upperfields
We welcome 2013 with a MAP exclusive download of a brand new project on the Romanian market. Kaleidonescu manage to bring us exactly the kind of music we were missing. If you’re into electronic, neopsychedelic and the like then you will surely want to keep your ears on this band. Make sure you check out the video, it definitely matches the sound.
RUSSIA: Big Echo
Muc J – lagrng.pnts
Diligently following traditions, Muc J creates lounge-friendly abstract hip hop with wonky jazz elements. Dmitry Fedorov, from Saint-Petersburg, has an enviable flair for melody and turns his inner world towards to the listener. It’s a nice example of an album that is better than the sum of its tracks.
SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Jowall – Night Night
Jowall is a member of creative collective Byul.org, the Korean artist featured in April 2012′s MAP, but he did most of the work himself before releasing his second solo album Clean & Clear earlier this month. It hosts a variety of styles ranging from post-punk to dirty folktronica. Taken from the record is Night Night, with its convincing melody line and a warm, fuzzy sound.
Brunetto – License To Beat
Brunetto is from Sevilla but currently lives in Barcelona. We could call him a true electronic explorer as he doesn’t hesitate to discover a new world in the music he makes through layers of sounds, chosen fearlessly. Brunetto has remixed some well-known electronic acts such as The Suicide Of Western Culture (featured in September 2011′s MAP) and is set to release his fourth album later this year.
SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja
Simian Ghost – Autumn Slowmo (For The Dejected Realist)
Stockholm-based three-piece Simian Ghost is no stranger to the average lover of Swedish music – or any music for that matter – as last year saw them go from talented to fully-fledged, very much thanks to their magnificent second album Youth. To crown 2012, they released a limited time free EP for Christmas called Autumn Slowmo (For The Dejected Realist), and we’ve been given the go-ahead to share its truly epic title track once more.
The Fridge – Pilot
On their new album Draw The Plot, The Fridge create a fragile sketch of indie-pop meets chamber folk from horns, piano, guitars, bass, percussion, chimes, choral music and different electronic equipment. They offer an intimate yet powerful album.
Böbrek Soundsystem – Mantarların İçinde (Üzüntüden Uzakta)
Böbrek Soundsystem is an incognito producer/DJ who likes to combine incongruous Turkish sounds from trash movies, forgotten arabesque songs and anonymous Anatolian stuff with all kinds of improbability. Until we saw him live recently, we thought he was fooling around with us, but his show delivered an outstanding, ear-bleeding performance. Superbly creepy but catchy as hell.
UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
Dragon Inn 3 – Rocket Launcher
Dragon Inn 3 is the side-project of Philip Dickey (Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin). The music plays like Beach House if the band existed right when the disco era was melting away. Bubbling synths, glamorous productions and smooth vocals create a soundtrack for the more introspective moments on and off the dance floor.
VENEZUELA: Música y Más
12″ Ninjazz – Caracas
12″ Ninjazz is a hip hop trio formed by Dantes, DDA and DJ Threz. Their first album Boombap Mercenaries was released for free download in August 2012 and by the end of the year was listed as one of the best in the country. Boombap Mercenaries was mixed and mastered by musician Pedro Laprea in collaboration with well-known producers of the underground scene.