DISCOVERING new talent is what drives us on a daily basis at TTV, especially when that talent roots itself in one of our nation’s many burgeoning music scenes. On our final New Music Radar of the year and the decade, we bring you homegrown talent to get excited about. Check them out below.
Mark Sharp & the Bicycle Thieves ‘M&TBT’ EP
Mark Sharp & the Bicycle Thieves have enjoyed a massive 2019 and are now seeing the year out in triumphant fashion with the release of their ‘MS&TBT’ EP. The four-track collection showcases their eclectic sound brilliantly – ranging from the thoughtful, synth-heavy ‘Tippy Toes’ to the feverishly upbeat and anthemic ‘Moonshine’ to the acoustic country-twang of ‘Liquid Gold’ to the epic slow-burner that is ‘Amorous’. Sitting front and centre though is Mark Sharp’s unquestionable songwriting flare and ability to conjure big melodies and rousing anthems. 2020 looks set to be a massive year for the frontman and his band.
Varcity North ‘Deep’
Emerging from Edinburgh’s underground, Varcity North have unveiled their debut single and it immediately marks them out as a band to watch. Led by a twanging guitar line that wouldn’t sound out of place on a 60s Spaghetti Western or Last Shadow Puppets’ first album, the band reveal their vintage rock & roll influences and their love of swaggering modern indie across three minutes and twenty seconds, all while displaying a songwriting prowess that can’t be ignored. Emboldened by a strong chorus and simmering atmosphere, the band may be in the formative stages of their career but it’s a promising start that suggests heaps of potential.
DENI ‘Don’t Know How To Feel’
Emerging from the singer-songwriter roots of their lead singer, DENI have emerged with an intoxicating new single called ‘Don’t Know How To Feel’. Performances at TRNSMT, Celtic Connections and King Tut’s have displayed the frontwoman’s talents in abundance but after retreating to the studio to explore new sonic territories and flesh out her sound with the help of her three-piece band, they have now re-emerged with news of an ambitious audio-visual EP and a fuller, more distinctive sound. ‘Don’t Know How To Feel’ is the first chapter of the four-track EP which will also come together to create a four-part film. Exploring the pressures of the music industry and the feelings of self-doubt that come with developing your craft, Deni’s soulful vocals sit front and centre of the loosely structured track – driven by soft, jazzy guitars and light rhythms as she ruminates over her own uncertainty. Split up in the middle by a dream-like sequence that teases a crescendo, it’s an alluring introduction to an artist who is only just getting started.
Bombay Bicycle Club ‘Racing Stripes’
Bombay Bicycle Club couldn’t resist seeing out the year without giving us one more taster of their up and coming album. ‘Racing Stripes’ is a beautiful airy number swathed in warm organ sounds and a wintery sparkle. Born from a period of writer’s block, it continues the theme of previous singles of just keep keeping on in what they band hope will be real lighters-in-the-air singalong moment at upcoming gigs. Jack Steadman’s fragile, almost mournful vocals are joined by female harmonies in what is their most poignant release of 2019.
Siobhan Wilson ‘Plastic Grave’
Siobhan Wilson unveiled the stunning ‘Plastic Grave’ earlier this month and dedicated it to Extinction Rebellion Scotland. The seven track EP is a wonderful addition to her already extremely impressive repertoire of material, showcasing her delicate vocal stylings and impactful lyricism in abundance. Now operating from a place of self-sufficiency following the indefinite hiatus taken by Songs by Toad, the EP also conveys all of the breadth and cohesion of a full-length album as she ranges from the cinematic and layered to the stripped back and beautifully poetic. The title track falls into the latter category before a swell of post-rock guitar sends it to new emotional depths. Check it out below.
PLASMAS ‘Next Place’
PLASMAS are a jangly, reverb-driven indie band from Dundee who look to “create vibrant noises in an attempt to reinstate that it’s not all bad”. Their latest single ‘Next Place’ finds them ending the year strongly. Thoughtful lyrics are delivered against a haze of chiming guitars, vibrant melodies and psychedelic vibes as if they are transporting us to the ‘next place’ – a place defined by bursts of colour and harmonious textures. Evoking the sounds of 90s britpop and shoegaze heroes Ride, PLASMAS are a band to keep an eye out for in 2020.