A festival renowned for its focus on new music and emerging talent, Tenement Trail has always provided an excellent platform for our nation’s most exciting up and coming artists. With a seemingly endless pool of talent at our disposal, Scotland’s music scene is flourishing more than ever and it continues to produce bands and solo acts of all different genres, styles and disciplines.
Alongside an incredible bunch of touring acts from all over the UK and further afield, this year’s first lineup announcement also featured a strong Scottish contingent. From formidable rock & rollers to electronic masterminds to uniquely talented singer-songwriters, here’s a rundown of the local acts you need to get acquainted with.
Raw, powerful and unflinchingly brazen; Glaswegian quartet Tijuana Bibles are a live force to be reckoned with. No strangers to Tenement Trail, the gritty rock & rollers return to the festival this September with an array of propulsive new material under their belt. Theirs is a set not to be missed.
Man of Moon
After a prolonged period away from the spotlight in order to work on new music and to hone in on their sound, it is particularly exciting to welcome Edinburgh duo Man Of Moon to this year’s Tenement Trail lineup. The band made their live return earlier this year with two memorable headline gigs at Edinburgh’s Sneaky Pete’s and Glasgow’s Broadcast before heading out on tour with Django Django. Known for their inventive and hugely enthralling approach to songwriting aswell as their visually compelling live shows, Trail will be a chance to catch some of the new material in action.
Acrylic released their debut EP All I Am earlier this year on Scottish Fiction and followed it up with their biggest headline show to date at Glasgow’s King Tut’s. Devising their own take on the poignant alt-rock sound that Scotland has long excelled in, the quintet shift from emotionally charged choruses to more complex, interweaving melodies with captivating style and grace.
The Van T’s
Two years on from their now renowned midnight show at Flat 0/1 at Tenement Trail 2016, The Van T’s are back to unleash more chaos at this year’s festival. A band who continue to get better with each incendiary live show, they have played to crowds all over the UK this year with impressive showings at London’s Community Festival, XPO North, Live at Leeds and Meet the North. Known for their loud, grungy tunes full of bloodthirsty drums, bewitching harmonies and wailing guitars, the four-piece are certain to receive a rapturous response for their hometown return.
An outfit who seized our attention from the moment they first burst onto the scene with their scintillating debut single ‘I Think I’m Melting’, Dundee’s Beta Waves started the year playing to crowds made up mostly of pals to a summer packed full of live dates all over the country. Fledgling descendants of modern psych bands such as Jagwar Ma, MGMT and Tame Impala, the duo have exuded masses of potential and raw ingenuity in their short time together. Bringing together elements of vibrant psychedelia and synthpop, the transfixing nature of their material is more than indicative of a bright future ahead.
The winners of last year’s inaugural T Break Tenement Trail competition return to this year’s festival in September. Since opening Trail last year to a jam-packed Broadcast, the band have played up and down the UK and spent a significant amount of time behind the scenes working on new material that is said to be darker and more creatively ambitious. An outfit who won us over with a few demos, Cheap Teeth may not have any tracks out there but their potential is massive and Trail 2018 could be a chance to bear witness to the fruits of their labour.
The uniquely talented Zoe Graham seized hearts and minds when she performed in front of a host of music fans and industry insiders at Wide Days back in April. With a number of high profile support slots already under her belt with the likes of Rae Morris and Brooks Matthews, the young singer-songwriter is starting to receive the attention she so rightly deserves for her deft songwriting skills and vivid lyricism.
Loud, fuzzy and melodic, Edinburgh-based trio Fabric Bear re-emerged from the studio at the tail end of 2017 with a renewed sense of purpose and vitality. Brimming with youthful exuberance and irrepressible ambition, the band have managed to lay their fierce live energy down on record with three stomping singles full of seismic riffs, crunching rhythms and gritty attitude.
With a seemingly endless array of hook-laden indie-pop anthems in their arsenal, Vistas have risen to the forefront of the Scottish music scene with one hit after another. Racking up an enviable amount of streams on Spotify, their live show is also known to pack a punch; as they’ve proven on their recent Scottish tour and on big support slots with the likes of Circa Waves and Marsicans.
A band who continuously impress with each captivating live show, Walt Disco recently joined the impressive roster at X-Ray touring. Brimming with just as much style as substance, the quartet are starting to make their mark outwith Glasgow and it’s safe to say that their potential knows no bounds. Combining glittering indie-pop melodies with an eighties new-wave vibe to devise a sound that is uniquely their own, Walt Disco are a band on the rise and it’s time to tune in.
Harry & the Hendersons
After unveiling one of our favourite debut albums of 2017 in Method of the Matchstick Men, Harry & the Hendersons have continued to win over fans all over Scotland with their equally lavish and nuanced material. A band who simply cannot be pigeonholed, they ooze originality in their taut tempose, impeccable harmonies and rich, varied instrumentation; seamlessly shifting from gentle, delicate moments to roaring crescendos while weaving their way through elements of Americana, country, folk and blues.
Another outfit making their return to Tenement Trail this year, Indigo Velvet are near veterans of Scotland’s live scene. With a sizeable following from their hometown Edinburgh and further afield, they are set to bring some tropical-pop vibes to the festival this September. With the news that they are on the verge of unleashing some brand new material later this month, Trail could be the place to see some of it in action.
Singer-songwriter Aaron Smith first caught our eye at Ignite Scotland’s showcase event at the start of the year. Known to busk in and around Glasgow’s city centre, he was able to hold Saint Luke’s to a standstill with his deeply affecting vocals. Known to perform covers alongside his own engrossing original material, Trail will be the perfect opportunity for him to showcase his skills in front of a new captive audience.
With three sold-out headline shows in a row, including one at King Tut’s, Luna the Professor are proof that word-of-mouth is still just as important as any other form of marketing these days. Fuelled by an irrepressible work-rate and driving ambition, the young indie-rockers may not have any recorded material out there but it hasn’t stopped them making a striking impact on the local live circuit.
This enigmatic Scot has become known for his off-kilter alternative anthems which combine dance-floor rhythms, distorted guitars and euphoric refrains. Following a prolific run of singles over the last year, recent track ‘Love In Suburbia’ revealed an even more ambitious side to his songwriting with stadium-sized intentions. It’s no surprise that his meticulously crafted tunes have seized the attention of new music fans and tastemakers alike.
Building a sizeable audience around Scotland, Perth outfit Parliamo have proven they have what it takes to stand out from the rabble. Bursting with youthful exuberance and a rock’n’roll spirit, the young five-piece pen defiant anthems about growing up and being immersed Scotland’s modern day youth; a feeling fuelled by punky rebellion and an underlying optimism. Their two singles ‘Weekend’ and ‘Lucy’ are good starting points for new listeners.
Wojtek the Bear
There’s something quintessentially Scottish about Wojtek the Bear who have been gradually perfecting the art of melancholic indie-pop with each release. The band followed up on their early promise by unveiling their debut album A Talent For Being Unreasonable earlier this year; a deft exercise in wistful melancholy and shimmering pop melodies, it’s a record that is disarming as it is emotionally rousing.