SINCE it began in 2013, Tenement Trail has established itself as Scotland’s best festival for music discovery. Over the years, the festival has seen the likes of Lewis Capaldi, Sam Fender, The Big Moon, Yungblud and more grace its stages in the very formative stages of their careers, well before they’ve gone onto hit the big time and this year that tradition is all set to continue with an incredible line-up that promises to offer up even more hidden gems.
Hosting some of the finest talent in the UK, from established names to hotly tipped artists to new local bands at the very beginning of their journey, we want you to discover something new, fresh and exciting across one of our many new venues in the East End. Ahead of the big day on Saturday, here’s a rundown of some of the newest acts who will be taking on Trail this year. They may only be at the very early stages of their journeys but we recommend that you jump in early and like many before, you too will have your ‘I was there’ moment.
New to Edinburgh’s indie scene, swim school announced their arrival earlier this year with their hugely infectious debut single ‘Sway’. Led by the alluring vocal tones of Alice Johnson alongside vibrant guitar lines, glossy synths and grooving basslines, the four-piece have carefully crafted a dreamy and instantly addictive sound that is reminiscent of modern indie bands like Alvvays and Pale Waves. And having already impressed at TRNSMT and our very own Tenement Trail pop-up party last week, they are showing signs of their massive potential already.
Beloved by hundreds of thousands around the world, Kieren Webster could’ve simply rested on his laurels during The View’s hiatus. Instead, he’s throwing himself headlong into a new project that will see him employ his well-established song-writing pedigree and set a course for uncharted territory. Plying his trade under the succinct moniker of WEB, the frontman and his two-piece band made their live debut at the Saint Luke’s All Dayer earlier this year and now they’re back to take on Trail with a headline slot at Van Winkles. Without any music currently available to the public, Webster hinted in a previous interview with TTV that he was “nurturing the dark side”. He added: “a lot of people I’ve sent the demo to have been saying it’s kind of (Jesus And The) Mary Chain-esque, sort of shoegazy. Which I’m happy about ‘cos… that makes sense as I listen to them like every day.”
Four years ago, a young outfit from Dundee called Model Aeroplanes were making waves with their summery brand of infectious indie-pop, even going as far as to seize the attention of Island Records, the home of Amy Winehouse and Bob Marley. However, after a period away from the limelight and parting ways with the major label, three of the band’s four members have reinvented themselves under the new moniker Magnum Haus. Dropping the guitars in favour of keyboards, the band now describe their sound as ‘alt R&B’, influenced by a smorgasbord of influences such as hip-hop, jazz, R&B and soul. With a few live shows now under their belt and their debut single ‘Shuga’ out in the world, they are just one of the many bands making waves in Dundee’s increasingly vibrant music scene.
Set to perform at this week’s Tenement Trail pre-party at The Dam on Thursday before they make their festival debut at the weekend, One Nine will be keen to impress when they play Creative East End at 5.45pm. Comprised of guitarist/songwriter Neil Mulholland and Kirstin Lynn (otherwise known as the beat behind Glasgow art-pop outfit White), the duo seized our attention with the release of their debut single ‘Difficult Days’ this summer – a rousing slice of melodic guitar pop that wouldn’t sound out of place on Radio 1.
Set to make his Tenement Trail debut at Saint Luke’s, MOY initially seized attention with his expressive debut single ‘Start Me Up’ which displayed an eclectic array of influences from Ratatat to Dot Hacker to The xx. The New Zealander who is now based in Glasgow followed it up with ‘Aeon island’, showcasing a more introspective and understated side to his songwriting. We may not know a lot about this intriguing new artist but he is already showing heaps of potential and Trail is the perfect place to find out more.
Known as one of the esteemed figures behind Glasgow’s hugely popular electro-rock outfit Crash Club, Neal McHarg has recently turned his attentions to a brand new project called Autobahn 86. After years of conjuring up mass euphoria and scenes of mayhem all over the city and beyond with, McHarg will return to Tenement Trail under his new moniker to take on an eagerly anticipated 1am slot at The Priory on Sauchiehall Street. Influenced by the invigorating world of dance as much as he is the strident, self-assured swagger of indie rock, this is set that you don’t want to miss.
As a prominent member of Glasgow’s flourishing jazz scene, it’s not unusual to see kitti join forces with other exciting new acts for collaborative outings. However the singer unveiled her first solo offering under her new guise last month and it stands her apart as one of the city’s most naturally gifted vocalists. Harking back to the soulful introspection of Amy Winehouse and the genre’s forebears, Kitti channels all her influences to create an enticingly vintage sound that will appeal to lovers of jazz, soul, pop and more. Don’t miss her.
In the short time they have been together, Glasgow’s Vlure have already made lasting impressions at The Great Escape, Truck Festival, Freakender and more. The band deal in confrontational and industrial post-punk that is visceral and danceable in equal measure and they have risen to unshakeable promise, despite not having unleashed a single track to the public. With a formidable stage presence, they are a band who look and sound the part and Trail will be an excellent opportunity to see them do their thing.
Made up of cousins John and Paul McLinden, Glasgow band Memes may only have burst onto the scene at the start of this year but they have already recorded a coveted live session for Steve Lamacq’s BBC Introducing show on BBC Radio 6 and gained radio play across BBC Radio Scotland, Amazing Radio and more. Crafting aggressive, hard-hitting and gloriously infectious post-punk full of lyrics that really pack a punch, the duo have already made a lasting impression with a small flurry of live shows and three single releases. Check them out at 2.30pm at Barrowlands 2.