My top (Scottish) picks of 2014.

Happy New Year and all that, to all of the 2 people that read this blog.

To get right into it, as I sometimes write for RaveChild, an email was sent out to the contributors to ask if they wanted to compile a list of their top Scottish albums, songs and EPs of the last year.

I don’t usually listen to a lot of Scottish artists, although I am well aware there is tons of talent in the city and I grew up and live in, which I can appreciate.

I originally picked 5 albums, but the top three are ones that I have voluntarily reached for through the year.

  1. Fatherson – I Am An Island
    Incredible, conceptual debut from a band that looks set to take off in a big way in 2015. Sounds absolutely massive, and transpires in a live setting too. Seeing them at the Arches last year with my Dad was one of my gig highlights of the year.
    You can stream the album on Spotify.
  2. Beerjacket – Darling Darkness
    Makes for relaxing listening, but there’s more to it. There’s a depth and texture that goes beyond your ordinary singer songwriter. To mark 10 years of Beerjacket, singer Peter Kelly has released a beautiful, cosy, folk masterpiece.

    You can hear it for yourself on Beerjacket’s bandcamp.

  3. Paws – Youth Culture Forever
    Pounded with raw feelings, YCF is the follow up to their first album, Cokefloat! It displays how PAWS can conquer both fun exuberant noise and more toned down, mature and sombre vibes. Fantastic band.
    You can stream the album on their bandcamp also.

Now, onto the EPs. 
  1. Great Cop – Stay Human
    I had heard about these guys for a while and I’d always meant to check them out. Listening to this EP makes me wish I’d done so sooner. It’s a great introduction to the band because it pulls you in right away. Though there’s only 3 songs, it’s rammed full of big riffs and staunch vocals. Cathartic, obviously Scottish, grimy – but not dirty – punk.  http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2857747821/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=f171a2/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/
  2. Polarnecks – Never Heard Of Sports I feel like the title might be a play on words/reference to modern baseball, although I can’t be sure. If it is, then it works. They sound like them, the sound is heavier and it’s less whiney. Overall it’s low maintenance, sounds like a bunch of pals jamming in a bedroom, which gives it a great authentic sound. It sounds like everyone’s first favourite band. It’ll be interesting to see how they progress next year. http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2816253484/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=f171a2/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/
  3. Tuff Love – Junk
    This is another band that offer up Glasgow’s styling of the token lo-fi Washington-feminist sound, and this EP sounds like it would be perfect for a 90’s independent movie soundtrack. Again, they were another band whose name I kept seeing everywhere. I can imagine with the ever growing presence and help of feminist collective TYCI (they’re DJ-ing their first event at Stereo in the New Year) on the Glasgow scene that they’ll garner more and more well deserved attention. http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3806684505/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=f171a2/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/
  4. Chrissy Barnacle – To Speak
    A re-recording of older songs, the addition of strings on this EP amplifies Barnacle’s beautifully whimsical vocals, as well as her intricate guitar playing. A storyteller, she is defiant and glorious. http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1168844446/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=f171a2/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/
  5. Pronto Mama – Niche Market
    Seen them support Fatherson at the QMU and they were very impressive. Ladden thick with Scottish vocals ala Twin Atlantic, they bring their own twist on that sound with funky instrumentals that outsteps normal boundaries. It isn’t uncomfortable, they work it really, really well.

    http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1974136148/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=f171a2/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/

Now, my top 10 songs. Click the x to listen.

  1. PAWS – Owls Talons Clenching My Heart (x)
  2. Fatherson – I Like Not Knowing (x)
  3. Skinny Dipper – Hospital Bed (x)
  4. Beerjacket – Two Travel (x)
  5. Bear Arms – Fool’s Gold (x)
  6. Phases – Honest Eyes (x)
  7. Casual Sex – A Perfect Storm (x)
  8. Ghost Alaska – Ghosts (x)
  9. We Were Promised Jetpacks – Safety In Numbers (x)
  10. The Kimberly Steaks – Wrong Exit (x)


Other notable mentions that I want to listen to/seem like good releases from last year: (I just didn’t properly check out because I just didn’t get round to it, but I will. THERE ARE NO TIME CONSTRAINTS FOR MUSIC. YOU CAN LISTEN TO IT WHENEVER GET OFF MY BACK.)

  • We Were Promised Jetpacks – Unravelling
  • Bear Arms – Strength and Conviction
  • The Twilight Sad – Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave

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