Albums 30-21 – 20-11 – 10-1 EPs 30-21 – 20-11 – 10-1
Nerv00se is the latest peek into the mind of Aberdeen based producer GURL+++, and it’s an interesting piece. The genre defying release utilises heavily cut up vocals, elements of hip-hop, dance and house, with more ambient twist of sleepy keyboard and clunky bass. Nerv00se ends with a real feeling of saying goodbye and closing the door on something; a fitting end to a complex and interesting record.
19. Monkoora – Nuclear BB [Hot Gem]
Monkoora’s Nuclear BB was a entrancing mix of pop production, harsh notes and seething lyrics, but it all comes out rosy in this dynamic EP. It’s a genre spanning affair that takes elements hip-hop, ambient techno and ethereal folk to name a few, throw into the mix some haunting harmonies and the chaotic edge of an artist willing to speak her mind and you’ve got a release that won’t be easily forgotten.
18. Cameron Roxburgh – Outside
Cameron Roxburgh aim to bring experimentalism and something new to the traditional singer-songwriter milieu and this new addition to the duo’s already stellar set of records will challenge your conception of music and offer a change to everyone who dares explore Outside. There’s magic in the clarity of Roxburgh’s words and a deep connection through his disinhibition, even his mum and dad get a mention in ‘+up’, as skillful fingers create a resonating, memorable experience. Outside is full of complexity and yet packed with witty anecdotes for even the most skeptical listener to enjoy, a masterpiece to behold.
17. L-space – Sol 0
Sci-fi influenced dream pop act L-space came to our attention this year and Sol 0 was one release of a few that caught our attention with synth driven tracks full of ethereal harmonies and dreamy guitar.
16. Life Model – Lucky [Frux Tapes]
Lucky was a dose of simmering guitars and blissful dream pop energy and sets Life Model aside as one of the most exciting guitar pop bands in Scotland. Sophie Evans’ sassy, charismatic delivery is matched every step by Chris Smyth’s dynamic arrangements. Life Model are band that had grown impressively of the last few years and it’s great to hear their output coming to fruition on record.
15. Mt. Doubt – The Loneliness of the TV Watchers / Moon Landings [Scottish Fiction]
We couldn’t separate Mt. Doubt’s two EP releases in 2017 so we have fired them into together, collectively they have shown Mt. Doubt’s growth as a band as the feel like a group effort and these releases gives the listener plenty of meaty sounds to get stuck into. Leo Bargery’s booming, yet melancholy vocals stay front and centre but it’s the beautifully constructed tracks are increasing becoming just as important. This is a band with plenty of ambition and with a growing confidence are pushing in all the right directs.
14. Codist – Porcelain Boy [LP]
Listening to Codist’s Porcelain Boy will cause your head to move in every conceivable direction, instead of just the traditional up and down. All of these head movements are in the affirmative, as Codist exceeds the expectations of anyone familiar with them unveiling this powerfully cool, technically brilliant and acoustically pleasing EP. Porcelain Boy carrys tropes from myriad times, places and styles and masterfully packages them together in a surprising and original way; without ever being boring, predictable or twee. Unpredictable without being chaotic and impressive without feeling overdone, Codist spay homage to a great wealth of well-loved styles, presenting a fun-filled and seriously talented band with nowhere to go but up.
13. TeenCanteen – Sirens [Last Night From Glasgow]
With rebellious lyrics and a playful, pop-influenced sound, alongside Carla J. Easton’s distinct vocals, Sirens maintains the high standard that TeenCanteen have set out for themselves, giving an excellent insight into the eclectic ability of the band.
12. Bluebirds – There Is No God
After the spectacular self-immolation of notorious rockers The Amazing Snakeheads, there’s a gap in the market for some grimy, gory Scottish rock and straight out the coffin Bluebirds seem like possible contenders. There is No God is five-tracks of grotty, shambling post-punk propelled by the sort of funereal organ and scene chewing vocals that would even Nick Cave would probably write off as “a bit much”. It’s not music for the faint hearted, channelling the B-movie vibes of The Cramps and the livewire energy of Fat White Family with abandon; there’s an unhinged energy to Bluebirds that is impossible to fake.
11. Withered Hand and A Singer of Songs – Among Horses I [Son Canciones]
After a good wait following his 2014 release, New Gods, Withered Hand returned after spending a week on a farm in Catalonia with A Singer Of Songs’ Lieven Scheerlinck and together the duo have have delivered an EP that has shown a clear progression in sound, with a complex, sunkissed record that doesn’t lose the wit and lightheartedness of his previous work.