Alasdair Roberts Offers Playful Folk

In a few weeks Alasdair Roberts will bring us his new album, Pangs, and today he’s bringing out his most playful bit of folk. The song opens with such a lighthearted mood that you might be surprised when it settles for a more traditional feeling during the song’s chorus. It’s this sort of songwriting that’s elevated Alasdair, building his own sound on the back of folk traditions, while pushing it in a new direction. I love the slight warble in his voice, which could perhaps be owed to his Scottish accent, but just listen to the way lyrics roll off his tongue in the song’s latter half and you’ll be just as appreciative. Pick up the new record on February 24th via Drag City.

How’d I Miss This: New Malcolm Middleton

malcolmIt’s been awhile, quite awhile, since I’ve heard anything from former Arab Strap member Malcolm Middleton. I kept checking back in, hoping he’d offer up something similar to the brilliant Waxing Gibbous. Well, the follow-up has been announced via Nude Records…and somehow I’m just now hearing about it! But, I’m a bit unsure of the lead single…or at least what it might lead to. While the last solo effort was stripped down and ornate, this single offers glimpses of an electro-pop bit of sadness coming our way. It’s still Middleton’s voice and distinct delivery, so I like it, but not sure it’ll endure for the entirety of an album. I guess we’ll see when Summer of ’13 hits on May 27th. Make up your own mind!

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Soft Indiepop from California Snow Story

1300_1104601302925014_3769517267500157304_nIt’s been a really long time since anyone has heard from California Snow Story, at least in so far as new music goes, but you got the feeling with some posts in November of last year that new tunes were in the work. Just Friday the band released the first single, which will be handled collectively by Rallye and Shelflife, so you know it’s already got great support. I love this tune; it’s the casual side of indiepop, letting you relax while your soul is filled with melody. We’ll have to wait until May to hear the whole thing, but for now, this is about as good as it gets from the genre.

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New Music from JR Green

witchI feel that the burst of folk-influenced indie rock led to the bastardization of the genre, watering it down with meaningless drivel. But, every once in awhile I stumble upon something that’s fascinating for some reason or another, which is where I found the brothers that make up JR Green of Scotland. They’ve discarded the oft-used fiddle/violin and replaced it with accordion, adding something that creates a melodic buzz behind the lead vocal; I like the occasional shouted vocal for backing that jumps out from time to time too. You’ll find this song on the band’s new Bring the Witch Doctor EP, being released at the end of the month by Hits the Fan Records.

Did You Ever Hear Nectarine No. 9?

sainjackIt was a shame growing up without music on the Internet; I feel like I missed out on so many great things, only to discover them later on in life. This was much the case with Nectarine No. 9, who I only discovered a few years ago while following a UK forum on 90s tunes. Luckily for those like me, Heavenly Recordings is reissuing the band’s great LP, Saint Jack. Probably the strangest thing is seeing how much I would have loved this, knowing that I stuck pretty close to a lot of the Brit-pop acts of the mid-90s. I’m glad I came across a few of these songs a bit ago, and now you can discover them for yourself…unless of course you had already found them.

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Dark New Track From The Twilight Sad

14957292691_8fcb196b49I’m sure some of you heard this track yesterday so I apologize for my tardiness in sharing this if you’ve already heard it.  That’s okay by me though because The Twilight Sad has long been an ATH favorite and this new track called “There’s a Girl in the Corner” is just too good not to share.  The band yet again highlight their special way of blending dark pop with heavy bass lines and emotionally packed vocals.  These guys continue to get better and better.

New album, Nobody Wants to be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, is due out October 28th on FatCat Records.

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New Track From We Were Promised Jetpacks

We Were Promised JetpacksAfter reaffirming their prowess with me during SXSW, Scots We Were Promised Jetpacks are returning this fall with an album of new material.  Previewing the new jams before the release date is this new one called “Safety in Numbers”.  To be honest, the song lacks a little bit of that power that we’re used to from the band, but the melodies are still there and hard to deny.

Stay tuned for the release date of new album Unravelling this fall on Fatcat Records.

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SXSW 2014 Interview: Withered Hand

witheredhandpressphotoSXSW coverage continues this week with Scottish band Withered Hand.  They’re heading overseas just in time for the release of their album, New Gods, which is coming to us courtesy of Slumberland Records/Fortuna Pop.  Both labels are reliable, and the music has already proven to be worthy of high praise. Read on for the band’s answers to our questions, and look forward to dates featuring the band coming soon. Read more

New Jam From Holy Esque

2012HolyEsquePR240112Holy Esque is a Scottish band we discovered a couple of years ago after hearing their irresistible tunes on the interwebs.  Luckily for us, the band has decided to stop in for our little SXSW festival in March AND are giving us this new single “Silences”.  It’s yet another tune where you can feel the emotion and power behind every guitar note and vocal yell.  I’ve already got these guys near the top of my festival to watch list.  I recommend you do the same.

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Introducing: Yakuri Cable

735063_353717624744872_767844581_nGlasgow continues to be almost like an American version of Brooklyn with countless quality indie bands popping up what seems like daily.  This new act to me, Yakuri Cable, is yet another band from the area that has perked up my ears today.  Their sound immediately makes me think of fellow Scots My Latest Novel as the minimalistic and deep vocals could almost be the same lead singer.  Is it?  Things veer away from comparisons as the band add in some interesting synths in the back and give us a nice little pop rock out with this song “Line of Sight”.  

If you’re into it, the band have a full 5 song EP entitled Beginnings available for stream on bandcamp.

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Download: Yakuri Cable – Line Of Sight [MP3]

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