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Sleevenotes: “I wanted to make a playlist of songs that were based on impulse. By that, I mean that the songs all have something in them that make you want to do something impulsive or feel something. It’s a strong list of Scottish or Scotland-based musicians and producers that, in my mind, indicate how eclectic our output is as a country now.”
Babe – ‘Ecce Poque’ Singer Gerard Black’s vocal is superb. When people say that the voice is an instrument, it could never be truer in this case. His higher octave is on point and it’s as if his voice is an added synthesiser. It blends so well with the rest of the instrumentation on the song and elevates it to something quite incredible.
Blanck Mass – ‘Please’ This is one of my favourite songs of the last few months. Blanck Mass is Benjamin Power who some may know from Fuck Buttons. There is a simplicity here, but it has such gusto to it. It really gets under the skin and almost influences your body motions. I love his production and whilst this is one of his tamer releases, it still has a ferocity to it that I can’t quite put my finger on.
C Duncan – ‘Like You Do’ C Duncan possesses the same talent vocally as Gerard Butler. His voice is as affecting live as it is on record and there are no gimmicks. The production is immaculate here, but it goes deeper than that, it’s ethereal and otherworldly. That’s something that seems to be thread all his songs together, that almost out of body feeling you get listening to his music.
Codist – ‘Vitamin D’ Bands like Pavement and Grandaddy will automatically come to mind when listening to Codist. There seems to be this underlying sadness especially where the vocal melodies and chord progressions are concerned. They capture a bittersweet tone here perfectly and end up petitioning a strong cathartic response.
Marnie – ‘Alphabet Block’ I have been lucky enough to hear Marnie’s full forthcoming album and it really is some of the finest music I have heard from her and this includes her Ladytron work. When the line “holding on, holding on, everybody’s the same when it matters” kicks into the chorus it is stunning. It creates a magical moment. I love her vocals on this she has managed to sound completely current and relevant.
Kid Canaveral – ‘Callous Parting Gift’ I adore Kate Lazda’s songwriting. She manages to always pull on my heartstrings and I am always left with this “fuck yeah” feeling. This is glorious, it reminds me of the likes of Broken Social Scene and Architectures In Helsinki, bands that pen these beautiful, bouncing anthems. This is endlessly replayable, perfect pop.
The Great Albatross – ‘An Evening’ Frontman and vocalist A. Wesley Chung has a way of burrowing into your heart. If I won the lottery he is an artist I would fund completely as I think his talent is endless. He can shift between slow-tempo ballads to fast-paced songs with complete ease whilst still holding onto your attention completely. I can’t praise him enough.
HQFU – ‘Poison’ Sarah J Stanley is the producer behind the name. I know her personally and I think she has a habit of criticising herself, like most musicians, but I wish she could hear what we hear. This song is one of her finest. The synth work and idiosyncratic arpeggios make this so special. It is in every sense a club banger and illustrates her gift for production.
Happy Meals – ‘Suivez-Moi’ I have followed Lewis Cook and his music for over 8 years now. His collaboration here with Suzanne Rodden is a full experience. Live, it is captivating. They have threaded this with complete decadence and produced something mesmerising.
LUCIA feat Roxy Agogo – ‘Saturday Is Dead’ Formerly Lucia Fontaine and now simply LUCIA, an enlivening mix of deliciously fuzz-up guitar riffs, lyrical put-downs and high-tempo hooks, this is well-timed in terms of me getting extremely bored with the saturated male generic indie rock bands that Scotland seems to give birth to. This is a blazer.