AS if we needed any more evidence that Scotland’s music scene is in astonishingly good health, this week’s New Music Friday has thrown up an embarrassment of riches. As eclectic a list as you will find anywhere else, this week’s New Music Radar covers a wide span of genres and styles; from soulful jazz to rollicking punk to polished pop. With a strong focus on homegrown talent, check it out below.
After launching himself into the public consciousness with the delectably smooth, jazz-inflected sounds of ‘Limbo’ back in February, Glasgow’s latest hot prospect Joesef is back with a new single ‘Loverboy’.
Immediately dismissing any notion that his debut single was a fluke, the new track is brimming with the same fascinating sonic originality and fierce intelligence that defined its predecessor. Led by that deeply distinctive vocal, so classic and nostalgic in its soulfulness, ‘Loverboy’ sees Joesef address the object of his affections over deep grooves and languid guitar rhythms. It’s an alluring combination; one that transports you to a smoky jazz lounge bar, steeped in romance and wistfulness and leaving you hooked onto his every word.
Be Charlotte ‘Brighter Without You’
An energising follow-up to its predecessor, ‘Brighter Without You’ sees the rising star tear herself away from the shackles of a previous relationship and come out the other side, defiantly proclaiming her independence. Imbued with her impassioned spirit and thoughtful introspection, the track opens with a poignant, pared back piano melody before bursting to life with tropical rhythms and bright synth lines to coincide with the personal growth that lies within the lyrical narrative; a powerful statement of independence that will undoubtedly prove inspiring to her legions of fans.
The Dunts ‘Bad Decisions’
Opening their account for the year and set to conjure waves of excitement among their fervently enthusiastic fanbase, ‘Bad Decisions’ is another rollicking punk assault to add to The Dunts’ increasingly impressive catalogue. A formidable display of scything riffs and pummelling rhythms, the barrages of blistering guitar are offset by brief moments of melodic tenderness before they launch into another rambunctious chorus.
Full of the vivacious spirit and untamed vitality that has defined all of their previous work, the band’s tendency for lyrical introspection is also very much present and correct as they reflect on the after-effects of a hedonistic night-out; the kind that sees frivolity turn into paranoia and anxiety in a matter of hours. It’s a subject that will feel incredibly relatable to the pleasure-seekers inside us all.
Walt Disco ‘Strange to Know Nothing’
Looking to build on the growing momentum and the all-round acclaim they received in Brighton, the band have teamed up with pioneering LA label IHC 1NFINITY for their latest instalment ‘Strange to Know Nothing’. Part moody goth drama and part dancefloor filler, the track is a typically exuberant and wildly theatrical offering which explores fear and discomfort in the romantic unknown. Opening with a slinky groove, the song soon bursts to life with a powerful, anthemic chorus; the striking amalgamation of dark, shimmering synths, angular riffs and James Potter’s distinctive croon coming together to enthralling and dramatic effect.
Declan Welsh & the Decadent West ‘Different Strokes’
Fresh from their first live showing in Paris last night, Declan Welsh & the Decadent West have unveiled a surprise new single today called ‘Different Strokes’. Released to coincide with the Eurovision Song Contest which takes part in Israel this year, the track is inspired by Welsh’s trip to Ni’lin in Palestine. A vivid and deeply moving display of solidarity for the people in Palestine and the victims of horrific and unnecessary cruel hardship, it’s one of the band’s most powerful statements to date.
Rascalton ‘Employee of the Month’
Teaming up with London-based label Council Records, ‘Employee of the Month’ will certainly whet fans’ appetite for good old mosh. Led by a formidable vocal display from Jack Wyles, the band fizz through an onslaught of punchy riffs and hard-hitting rhythms while examining the piling frustration that comes with selling your soul to a dead end job.
As ever, Rascalton pull no punches in their delivery and the track bursts with urgency and punk-fuelled defiance. And they’re exploring new dynamics too. From the fresh-faced punk upstarts they were three years ago to where they are today, it’s clear they have spent a significant amount of time honing their craft in amongst all the relentless touring and festival slots.
Cheap Teeth ‘Ageless (Half the Devil)
Swathed in big organ lines that ring throughout, the band revisit their penchant for dark and dingy post-punk across a madcap three and a half minutes full of jaunty guitars, swaggering basslines and wolf-like howls. Playful and almost theatrical in execution, it’s led by a striking vocal display; snarling and increasingly dramatic as the song progresses.
Carefully crafting their own indelible take on the dark, gothic post-punk sound, Cheap Teeth’s are becoming increasingly skilled in the act of painting vivid images of their central characters and spinning strong narratives around them.
Easy Life ‘Houseplants’
Known for their wholly unique and experimental style that blends hip hop beats with laid-back soulful melodies with intoxicating effect, Easy Life have today unveiled two new tracks called ‘Houseplants’ and ‘Spaghetti Hoops’. Described as “a poetic experiment in which we document the all-consuming feeling of falling head over heels”, ‘Houseplants’ is a meticulously executed slice of modern indie that is steeped in summery romance and a dreamy allure. Mixing elements of R&B, hip-hop beats, jazzy guitars and cool vocal delivery, it’s smooth as hell and perfect for a sunny afternoon.
Whenyoung ‘The Others’
With their debut album ‘Reasons to Dream’ out next week, Whenyoung have unveiled a new track inspired by the Grenfell tragedy. Shining a light on the juxtaposition between the safe homes of politicians in affluent areas and the burning towerblocks which lay just streets behind them, the band deliver their powerful message through an emotive and driving slice of melodic indie-rock. “Living in safety should not be a luxury” the band say.
YONAKA ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’
Set to embark on a UK tour alongside The Ninth Wave, YONAKA have unveiled the title track of their debut album. A band who have been on an absolutely prolific run in recent years, they lay out their arena-sized ambitions in full here; big rhythms meet echoing refrains and a refreshingly raw and heartfelt performance by vocalist Theresa Jarvis. A song about reaching out to friends who are in need, it’s an emotive and emphatic insight into the upcoming record.
Strange Bones ‘Give Me The Sun’
Known for their unpredictable and riotous live shows, Strange Bones have dropped a storming new track called ‘Give Me The Sun’. Described as a “song about imprisoning ourselves in our own twisted perception of utopia”, the track surges through at a frantic, relentless pace with pummelling rhythms and razor sharp guitars aswell as a commanding vocal display from Bobby Bentham. The latest track to be lifted from their upcoming EP Blitz 1, it’s an anthemic return which displays all of their unhinged energy in full glory.
Vistas ‘Like an American’
Ahead of their sold out UK tour at the end of the month which will feature a massive homecoming show at Saint Luke’s, Vistas have unveiled the final track from their new EP ‘Hello’. Delivered with the confidence and vigour of a band who have established themselves as one of the nation’s brightest prospects, ‘Like an American’ is a bombastic, eighties-indebted anthem which showcases the band’s universal appeal in spades. Complete with gang vocals, Depeche Mode synths and electrifying solo, it’s another vibrant outing from the band ahead of another busy festival season.
Weekend Debt ‘Il Padrino
After seizing our attention with the instantly addictive ‘Tour de France’ last month, Weekend Debt have today unveiled their new EP ‘Living Under the Influence’. Featuring four tracks that waver between youthful exuberance and astute social observations, the band look set to gain a firm standing in the local scene over the next few months with a launch show pencilled in at Nice N Sleazy on 23rd May. Closing track ‘Il Padrino’ is undoubtedly the EP’s strongest moment; steeped in menace from the outset, it’s driven by a pummelling rhythm section as a climactic build of powerful guitars and menacing vocals culminate in a thunderous finale. Reminiscent of Arctic Monkeys in their very formative stages, it’s an enticingly gripping and dynamic offering which gives us a glimpse into their growing potential.