20-11 – 10-1 – Tracks & albums
Jon Cooper aka Turtle’s EP Push is titled as ambiguously as the music that inhabits it. It’s clean, but somehow gritty, it’s beautifully mixed and it happens to be just a great show on how to write ambient electronic music. ‘The River’ sounds like it should be accompanied by big waterfalls and David Attenborough’s voice, and there is no circumstance where this would be the result of music, which is anything other than enchanting. (Greg Murray)
9 Bella and the Bear – A Girl Called Bella
The second official EP from Ayr-based duo Bella and the Bear saw them return with a fresh outlook and a compelling sound. Their traditional acoustic sound offers immensely intricate and beautiful lyrics paired with engaging rhythmic guitar and powerful, while their Scottish roots are portrayed proudly through spoken word, which creates a rougher edge to the EP. There is a timeless feel to A Girl Called Bella, a sense of wonder and excitement paired with quiet melancholy; a rare find.
8 Sweaty Palms – Hollywood Wax [FUZZKILL]
Hollywood Wax is a dark yet jaunty garage tinged tape that captures your attention and slowly grows til you’re hooked. Sweaty Palms draw from a host of styles, but have successfully managed to corner their own as Robbie Houston’s snarled vocals possess an unrelenting garage energy that combines with the band’s eerie hypnotic power, while a touch of joviality means they’re rightfully labeled ones to watch.
7 Tuff Love – Dregs [Lost Map]
The first of two Tuff Love EPs, Dregs is an easy listening pop filled record with subtle undertones. Tuff Love describe their sound as “aggressively melodic” and over five tracks the listener is transported to a softer world filled with light drum and guitar beats mixed together with the duo’s soft harmonies. Following on from other EPs Junk and Dross, Dregs welcomes the idea of upbeat and infectiously catchy songs, mesmerising lyrics and gentle vocals, perfect that these songs now all feature on a full-length. (Lorne Gillies)
6 Outblinker – Pink/Blue [Good Grief/GabuAsso]
Outblinker’s first offering was delivered in the form of a two track EP that really packs a punch. The quintet combine crunching riffs alongside mesmerising synth into a 23-minute experience that you won’t forgot in a hurry. ‘Pink’ eases the listener in before unleashing a cathartic cacophony of battling sounds and timbres, whereas ‘Blue’, with its eerie tones and hypnotic synth, offers a more cinematic approach. (Jess Lavin)
5 Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – DILF_77 Would Like To Chat [Chemikal Underground]
Dilf_77 Would Like To Chat immediately dances into life and it’s a real change from Moffat and Wells’ usual bleak affair. Wells lays down a disco arrangement that just screams Nile Rogers alongside Moffat’s trademark bloke-ish vocals. Moffat described these tracks as “too unique” and “too cheery” to be included on a full album, and he’s not wrong, but you don’t miss the bleak bluntness that defines this partnership. This EP stands alone giving a glimpse into a sanguine side of the duo seldom seen.
4 Tuff Love – Dross [Lost Map]
It’s no surprise Tuff Love feature twice here with tunes packed with disjointed instrumentals, fuzzy thrills and distorted melodies Tuff Love are no strangers to the DIY ethic, the two-piece always manage to capture their raw and unpolished vibe without ever sounding shambolic – Dross being no exception. The EP perfectly captures the essence of the band’s tight live performance showcasing Julie Eisenstein and Suse Bear’s velvety vocals as they create stunning harmonies that soar over expertly plucked strings. (Jess Lavin)
3 Hector Bizerk – The Bell That Never Rang
Hot on the heels of 2014’s sister EPs, The Bell That Never Rang further cements Hector Bizerk’s reputation as the Scottish purveyors of rhythmic exploration and the honest and grim truth. While they have been developing this style for a few years, ‘Skin & Bone’ marks an evolutionary step as they adopt a pop chorus, while on ‘Rust Cohle’ Louie’s words are more biting and on target than ever. These EP’s have proven their ability; it is only a matter of time until a full-length album achieves the same effect. (Liam Gingell)
2 The Van T’s – Laguna Babe [Bloc+]
Laguna Babe is just a tremendous EP from the Van Thompson twins. There’s a real grunge attitude that underpins the new sound of the band, somewhat of a leap from the acoustic stuff of a couple of years ago. It seems after the musical journey they’ve been on they’ve arrived at the type of Pixies-esque tunes they were always destined to create. ‘Growler’ is an incredible opener that will hook you enough to ensure you cannot pull away from the rest of the EP and, as a whole, it is just a right good record. Last year was a great year for The Van T’s, but all the evidence suggests 2016 could be even better. (Jay Henderson)
1 Dune Witch Trails – Waving At Airports
Waving at Airports sets the scene perfectly for Dune Witch Trails to continue their ascendancy within the thriving landscape of Glasgow and beyond. It almost sounds a bit like a grittier sounding Japandroids – even typing that made me smile at the thought. There aren’t many bands that could pack so much feeling and so many sounds into less than 10 minutes, but Dune Witch Trails manage to do just that. Each song is just the right length to showcase many great ideas without ever becoming tedious, helping make Waving At Airports our number one EP of last year. (Andy McGonigle)
Waving At Airports by dune witch trails
20-11 – 10-1 – Tracks & albums