FESTIVAL season may be well underway but much to our delight, there’s no shortage of exciting new music making its way into our ears. As bands and artists prepare to descend on some of the biggest stages around the UK and Europe, the past few weeks have seen the return of some of our favourite artists while others have taken giant steps forward in their fledgling careers. Following a brief hiatus, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite tracks to come out of Scotland and further afield.
Lewis Capaldi ‘Tough’
Undoubtedly one of the biggest stars to come out Scotland in the last twelve months, Lewis Capaldi has taken the next step towards pop superstardom with the release of his latest single ‘Tough’. Every bit as rousing and deeply moving as the tracks that have come before it, his breathtaking vocals are backed by a rhythmic drumbeat this time around as he pores over the wreckage of a relationship in typically raw and heart-wrenching fashion. Having already shared a stage with the likes of Sam Smith this year, it’s no surprise that the track has received Radio 1 airplay from Greg James in the last week and will likely go down a storm when he takes to the Main Stage at this year’s TRNSMT Festival.
Declan Welsh & the Decadent West ‘Good Person, Bad Things’
From solo acoustic beginnings to the fierce punk-fuelled indie rockers they are today, it’s been a pleasure for the team at TTV to witness the growth of Declan Welsh & the Decadent West over the past couple of years. Not only a deeply thought-provoking and articulate lyricist, Welsh has emerged from Glasgow’s music scene as one of its most formidable frontmen; driven by an unbridled passion, charisma and fiery social consciousness. Officially unveiled last month, the band’s long-awaited debut EP All My Dreams Are Dull is testament to their hard work, renewed focus and vitality; and while many of the tracks will be familiar to his listeners already, the previously unheard opening number ‘Good Person, Bad Things’ effectively sets the tone for the rest of the EP with its spitfire delivery, propulsive drums and seething guitars.
ST.MARTiiNS ‘No It’s All Over’
With more than a few pop gems under their belt already, a sense of anticipation seems to wrap itself around each new release from Dundee duo ST.MARTiiNS these days. Their latest effort ‘No It’s All Over’ may have arrived back in May but it is still ringing around our ears with its dreamy, echo-laden vocals and jittering guitar-work. Very much staying true to their penchant for hazy, sun-drenched alt-pop, it’s another deeply alluring track to add to their repertoire.
Holy Esque ‘I Am The Truth’
After over a year of radio silence, Holy Esque announced their long-awaited return last month with the release of this powerful new track ‘I Am The Truth’. Initially unveiled as a tantalising preview of second album Television/Sweet, the record’s lead single features all the qualities that made us love the band in the first place; Pat Hynes’ distinctively gruff tones are delivered over a rousing combination of emotionally charged melodies and intense synth basslines. Having released one of 2016’s best debut albums in At Hope’s Ravine, the band have followed it up with Television/Sweet which came out just last week and it’s every bit as good as we’d hoped.
Slaves ‘Cut and Run’
Slaves are back and they’re in blistering form. Following two ferociously abrasive albums full of crunching riffs, earworm choruses and short, snappy punk anthems, the popular duo have announced their return with one of their sharpest offerings to date. Laurie Vincent’s scuzzy guitar lines are still there and the track is fuelled by that same relentless beat we’ve come to know and love from the outfit; however, there’s subtle development here in its Blur-esque middle 8 section and dual vocal dynamic that suggests there’s plenty more exciting things to come from Slaves.
The LaFontaines ‘Up’
Presently in the midst of a busy summer touring schedule which includes a number of big festival appearances and enviable support slots, Motherwell’s very own cult heroes The LaFontaines surprised fans last week with the release of a brand new single called ‘Up’. Clearly inspired and rejuvenated following the release of their second record Common Problem last year, the four-piece have picked up where they left off with this emphatic show of strength and resilience. Anchored by a massive chorus and driven by Jamie Keenan’s fierce command of the drum kit, ‘Up’ is an anthem fuelled by ambition with its eyes firmly set on the big stages.
IDLES ‘Danny Nedelko’
Currently forging a reputation as one of the most vital and incendiary live acts in the UK right now, Bristol punks IDLES have just announced details of their eagerly anticipated second album Joy As An Act of Resistance. Along with news of its release date on 31st August, the band revealed details of their first world tour and unveiled the pro-immigration anthem ‘Danny Nedleko’ as a preview of what’s to come; a song inspired by the frontman of up and coming outfit Heavy Lungs. Encapsulating the riotous energy of their now infamous live shows, it may be one of their most radio-ready offerings to date; but it’s loud, direct and utterly relentless from start to finish. IDLES are the band British music needs right now.
Crafting a sound that is so multi-faceted it’s hard to pin down, London outfit SORRY have followed up a series of impressive singles with the dark and hypnotic ‘Twinkle’. A b-side to the recently lauded ‘Showgirl’, their latest single sees them explore their off-kilter indie grunge sound in compelling fashion; Asha Lorenz’ nonchalant vocal lulls you into a false sense of security alongside some intoxicating melodies before the song takes an unexpected left-turn with some distortion-heavy chords and synthesiser breakdowns.
Let’s Eat Grandma ‘Ava’
‘Ava’ is the fourth single to be unveiled by Let’s Eat Grandma ahead of the release of their second album I’m All Ears on 29th June and it demonstrates a gentler side to the young British duo. A shift away from the vibrant, synth-soaked sounds of previous singles ‘Hot Pink’ and ‘Falling Into Me’, their latest effort subverts all expectations in its minimalist approach; the duo’s sweet vocals and heartfelt lyrics are backed by poignant piano chords in a powerful depiction of mental health.
Shredd ‘In My Head’
Since their boisterous steps into the uncertain world of modern music, Glasgow trio Shredd have been exemplifying the benefits of carving out your own niche and signature sound. As was first exposed to wider audiences on their fuzz-laden and gloriously unkempt debut EP Everytime We Meet I Want To Die, this youthful outfit’s colossal sound has ingenuity at its core and has saw them rise in acclaim with each subsequent excerpt of new material.
St Vincent ‘Fast Slow Disco’
Last year, St Vincent released her fifth album Masseduction to swathes of critical acclaim but now the enigmatic Annie Clark is back with a reworking of one of the record’s finest tracks. Just in time for festival season, ‘Slow Disco’, now known as ‘Fast Slow Disco’, has been revved up with a dancefloor-ready electronic pulse and warped synths.