Tag Archives: The Bellybuttons

Catholic Action and Friends Takeover at Tut’s, 24/3/18

Tonight looks a fantastic evening filled with lots of great new up and coming bands, both the bar and the venue spaces of King Tut’s are used all night to bring the audience eight bands in total.

Kicking off the night is Herbert Powell with punchy songs and big guitar sounds; the audience start to trickle in in dribs and drabs as the band play out their set.

The sound this band had is quite unique at times, which makes them very interesting and helped them stand out from the numerous other artists on the bill, along with an energetic frontman who gives a brilliant performance.

The audience usher themselves down stairs to catch Ewan Cruickshanks (Crooky) who plays a nice set of soft rock song as the bar starts to get very busy with more people coming out.

Next up is dream pop band Life Model with their lovely well-structured songs; their set is lots of fun and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

The band look to have an amazing time on stage dancing about and showing themselves to be a band with real chemistry and the lead singers vocals were stunning.

West Princes took to the bar stage next, they’re a great lively fun band who really got everyone moving about and enjoying themselves.

They filled the small stage with an energetic upbeat set; this band is a fantastic band with amazing dynamics and a fantastic grasp on song writing.

Shredd are next up and with their fiery energy they explode on to the stage with an amazing set that the crowd really loved.

They have an amazing vibe about them and bring to the stage a massive full on sound with their relentless guitars and drums.

By the time The Bellybuttons and ST.MARTiiNs take to the stage the crowd are full psyched.

Both bands gave an incredible performance with ST.MARTiiNs warming up the main stage for Catholic Action.

They are a highly charismatic band with a sensational vibe to them and are clearly masters at what they do.

The dynamics and song structures throughout are astounding and they have the audience eating out the palm of their hands the entire set.

It is fast paced and high energy and absolutely epic.

‘Black and White’, from their debut album In Memory Of, goes down an absolute storm with the audience who are joining in and having a great time.

We are also treated to some new music with the promise of a second album in the works.

Lead singer, Chris McCrory gives an incredible vocal performance, while maintaining his witty lines between songs.

On a whole, the gig and all the bands were incredible and showed how versatile and fresh Glasgow’s music scene is.

Singing along to the songs, the audience are given a night to remember by Catholic Action and all their friends who perform too.

More Photos

Words: Shannon Cullen
Photos: Brendan Waters

EPs of 2017 (10-1)

Albums 30-21 – 20-11 – 10-1 EPs 30-2120-1110-1

10. Foreignfox – I Used To Be A Bellydancer [Scottish Fiction]

Explosive, passionate and honest, I Used To Be A Bellydance added another EP to Foreignfox’s collection, establishing their identity and staying true to the burly Scottish accents and deep-seated, emotive melodies we’ve come to love. Huge, suspense-filled tracks, that are occasionally politically charged, Foreignfox show a concern for humanity and communicates a sense of disconcertion with the current state of things. A mixture of post-punk creativity and Scottish coloured indie-rock, the range of skill offered on this EP are is so potent and so memorable, it’s almost like a trip through a rugged wilderness with your closest friends as Jonny Watt hits you in the gut and grabs your deepest emotions through honest lyrics that convey both vulnerability and sincerity.

9. Hostel Freaks – Squad Goals [City of Glass]

Hostel Freaks, aka David Maitland, produced something with Squad Goals that used a strong formula of repetition and experimentation to set up an intriguing record, which is more than capable of breaking beyond its somewhat obscurity to break any open-minded dance floor.

8. E Bias – The Emmanuel Bias [Kick N Clap]

The Emmanuel Bias, this is not your usual release – how often do you get a supergroup with a Turner prize nominee and a member of Franz Ferdinand chucking out some quirky deep house? E Bias, the project of Luke Fowler, Paul Thomson and the ever versatile Richard Youngs, produced a pretty storming little EP, strong on Chicago vibes whilst not being oppresively old school. Great grooves, simple, stripped back Chicago style drums and bassliness; utterly functional and more beautiful for dispensing with too much ornamentation. Great record with six tracks that look back, but manage to be rather unique and forward-looking at the same time; impressive simplicity beautifully realised.

7. Dama Scout – Dama Scout [Father/Daughter]

Dama Scout’s EP veered from the conventional indie pop formula and delivered unexpected moments round every corner delivering a memorably and joyous record. Exploring a catalogue of theme the band have blossomed in 2017 and their every unravelling breezy sound is one that we can’t wait to hear more of.

6. KAPUTT – Demo 2017 [Fuzzkill]

Demo 2017 is a lively and innovative take on the post-punk, highly energetic cacophony of sounds create a very refreshing and amusing EP, setting KAPUTT but as one of the new bands that everyone should keep their eye on.

5. Frightened Rabbit – Recorded Songs [Atlantic]

Requiring no introduction Frightened Rabbit released Recorded Songs to little fanfare, still this three-track release stands alone as a strong part of the band’s ever impressive back catalogue. Most of the EP’s attention has been centred around ‘How It Gets In’, which the brilliant Julien Baker lends her voice to, but beyond that is another gem that’s well worth getting you hands on.

4. HOME$LICE – Young Creatives

Young Creatives is the sound of a band knowingly stepping up their game, and doing it with ease as HOME$LICE cement themselves as the trailblazers of a lo-fi scene which has been gathering momentum for several years. The band manage retain the edge that separates them from an ever-populated scene, however, they are evidently aware that their knack for a good melody deserves a wider, more commercial appeal.

3. Shredd – Every Time We Meet I Wanna Die [Fuzzkill]

With Every Time We Meet I Wanna Die Shredd offered a sense of levity and enjoyment without sacrificing their integrity. The EP is a party starter fusing garage, punk and pop elements, as gentle, meandering vocals juxtapose more coarse punk vocals perfectly, while fast, complicated bass; fun, entertaining, technically well executed guitar and cymbal laden, powerful drums. The release seems to descend deeper into traditional garage and punk material with each song without letting go of the vocal work and long-form guitar that distinguishes it from faster, punchier gear. It’s a border smashing debut that whets the appetite for future releases perfectly.

2. RAZA – Futuramayana [Save As]

Glasgow duo RAZA refer to themselves as a “heated conversation”, funny that, because the temperature which radiates off these four songs on show within this beautiful little EP Futuramayana is quite something else, these pieces of beats are reeking of subtly spiced garam masala (and more than a couple absolutely-stonking melodies). Dripping in grease proof stains of lovely synthesised unspoken syllables which cathartically delve their teeth into a violated surface of fun and tango, here we have profusely prolifically the wonderful dynamic which makes RAZA tick over quite deliciously.

1. The Bellybuttons – Wires [Fuzzkill]

Wires highlights an irreplaceable coolness with slick 90s vibes, ‘Referendum on you (enemies)’ captures a calming and airy dynamic, cleverly put together and creatively charged, effortlessly gliding into ‘Autumn Song’, flowing flawlessly alongside the damp and subtle bassline. There’s an immediate sense of togetherness when listening to this EP with a distinct charm drifting from start to finish. Wires is a slow and easy gem, presenting itself with resonating style, creating a playful head-space and good vibes – a severely obvious intelligence.

Freakender Day 3, 17/9/17

Have you ever been to a festival and seen every act on the bill? Have you ever been to a festival, seen every act on the bill and never been bored or disappointed by anyone you’ve seen? I have now, and the glorious occasion that is Freakender closes with a nice chilled affair in the Old Hairdressers’ upstairs venue tonight and it’s a purely beautiful occasion.

The hangover isn’t as painful as I would have expected going into the third and final day, still I feel pretty sleep deprived so that may need to be shook off or embraced to enjoy the beautiful line up on offer on a relaxed Sunday evening

Cian Nugent on his second of three times on stage this weekend, delivers something not only completely different from his other bands, but something completely different from the whole bill, as gentle intricate finger picked guitar lulls you into a dreamy trance before his soft slurry Irish vocal gives you a cushion to lay your head too.

It’s the sort of music to sit down to and have it drift over you and perfect for a hungover Sunday, we’re being eased in nicely.

If Cian Nugent’s set is to sooth you in Kelora’s is to give you the shivers; haunting vocal harmonies give an eerie suspenseful background a terrifying beauty.

Decked in matching pyjamas they’re an emotionally draining prospect, washed with a dissident bath of eerie charms; it’s melancholic, dark and gorgeous in presence leaving you sweating it out utterly mesmerised.

Tomorrow Syndicate have been a bit of an enigma, but now finally reveal themselves for their first live set, and a set running with triumphant psychedelic kraut dipped indie pop.

They maintain that Sunday feeling with a warm but head nodding offering that gets the first movements of the night, while stunning VHS projections give a context to their space age, yet timeless sound.

Take away the kraut inflected keys and strip their sound to the core and you might just have a perfect indie pop band, but those keys and a few other flourishes give an otherworldly feel to their sound that weaves in calmly and then slowly takes over.

The Bellybuttons keep up the nice ride with gentle rolling riffs, endearingly warm vocals and a reverby bounce that gets you moving without ever sending you crazy.

Yeah their sound my be indebted to 90s lo-fi alt rock of the likes of Pavement, but they bring a fresh impotence, a new wry satirical drawl to that sound that have made them one of the most impressive bands in Glasgow for years.

Jack Cooper and co. seamlessly slips from sound checking into their set as wonderfully constructed instrumentals takes over, casting the audience to dreamier locations.

The set continues in this fashion with lovingly delivered accented vocals that shed a light on the Ultimate Painting man’s debut solo album’s homely feel.

There’s a strange classic feel that lends the band’s sound a timeless quality, but also a very hometown vibe, all the tracks are about Cooper’s hometown of Blackpool, giving piece a real intimate beauty.

The set may end a bit indulgently, but it is a hugely rewarding experience, as has this whole weekend been, make sure to check out anything the Freakender guys are promoting it’s bound to be brilliant.

Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Neelam Khan Vela

The Bellybuttons – Wires

Newest release from The Bellybuttons, three track EP Wires, highlights an irreplaceable coolness with slick 90s vibes – the most important release of 2017 thus far.

First track ‘Referendum on you (enemies)’ captures a calming and airy dynamic, cleverly put together and creatively charged – counter melodies weaving throughout.

Effortlessly gliding into the second track ‘Autumn Song’, flowing flawlessly alongside the damp and subtle bassline; there’s an overly self-aware feel to the vocal, which forces the track to quickly arrive at the point – the snappy drums leaves a clean and necessary impression.

Title track ‘Wires’ has an extremely understated relevance to it – a comforting sadness is solidly placed due to the lazy drums and melancholy guitars.

There’s an immediate sense of togetherness when listening to this EP with a distinct charm drifting from start to finish.

Wires is a slow and easy gem, presenting itself with resonating style, creating a playful head-space and good vibes – a severely obvious intelligence.

Words: John Houston

Tenement Trail, 8/10/16

My Tenement Trail starts in the Sleazy’s basement, following a visit to Love Music for a caringly delivered in-store from Edinburgh’s booming charmer Mt. Doubt, who airs a few new tracks which sound as cosy as any of his previous material despite singer Leo Bargery forgetting the words of one of said songs.

Still, his disgusted glances at every would be record shopper who opens the door, only to change their mind at the notion of actual live music, and not venture in make this set a memorable one.

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We arrive at Sleazy’s just as Glasgow four-piece American Clay are getting started and the band fronted by Pronto Mama drummer Martin Johnston, sound more refined than they have done in previous promising airings.

Their set emits a clear 90s US alternative indie rock vibe that protrudes from a wall of never giving fuzz; American Clay seem to be making steps with every performance and as their jarring, grunge tinged guitars and snarled nasal vocals erupt into huge pounding intersections they more than have the busy basement warmed to them.

A quick dash next door and Sweaty Palms are on in Broadcast again, you’d think seeing these guys in the same venue would get old but such is the attitude of their set that it’s hard to not get engulfed once more.

They deliver their usual goth-tinged garage sound with Robbie Houston’s familiar cathartic sneer and while their 5pm set doesn’t quite reach the levels of anarchy their 2am Stag and Dagger slot did it’s safe to say they’ve done themselves no harm.

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Over at The Art School and we luckily arrive early to find Louie and the Lochbacks in an earlier than originally scheduled slot, and the gorgeous three way harmonies from Be Charlotte’s Charlotte Brimner and Pronto Mama’s Marc Rooney and Ciaran McEneny topped off with Hector Bizerk’s Louie’s heavy hitting poetry is a captivating experience.

Louie, on the verge of tying off his hugely important Hector Bizerk project, needed an outlet to air his rhymes to a larger audience and takes full advantage of the talented acts at his managerial disposal to create a set that is as much full of head nodding musings to full on hilarity all culminating in a particularly amusing track dedicated to every band playing this festival that sees Louie spouting off everything in the music world he doesn’t want to be.

A quick dash upstairs and we’re in pure sugar coated indie pop bliss sing-along land as TeenCanteen pour pure honey directly out of the speakers and have the crowd giddy and addicted in no time.

There’s a real hook to these girl’s songs that have them stuck in your head within a few listens and with their debut album only recently on the shelves it’s lovely to see them on one of the festival’s biggest stages.

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Following TeenCanteen is another act we never tire of and Be Charlotte is on top form, with a new hairstyle, new dancing, new songs, but the same brilliant performance.

We’ve seen Be Charlotte countless times in the past year and it’s testament to just how talented this girl is that we never tire of it; she’s now off on a full tour of Asia, expect this is explode in a very short space of time now.

A trip down to The Priory’s dingy basement and we’re hypnotised by The Bellybuttons set that simply sweats the best of American indie rock; croaked lyrics, entrancing rhythms and tunes that leave a warm feeling inside that only the likes of Pavement could match.

It’s a shame this basement isn’t crammed, but those who are here more than make up for it as we witness the most buoyant crowd yet.

Counterfeit crisps, ghosts… you can’t really make out what the majority of Breakfast Muff’s songs are about, but the beauty is you don’t really care; they’re fast, aggressive, punchy and super fun and despite the relatively small audience (perhaps The Rebel’s gig down at The Old Hairdressers is starting to take its toll) they still manage to smash to out the park and whip up those who have made the right choice, in terms of the festival at least, into a frenzy with their off-kilter punk energy.

They close on an as yet released track, which is fast becoming a live favourite, that sees Eilidh Mcmillan screaming “you’re not a fucking feminist” with a feeling of pure fury aimed at a particularly horrible ex.

Back over at The Art School and Pronto Mama pull off another set of unabashed brass tinged joy, with immaculately crafted songs delivered in an addictive Glasgow tilt that leaves you craning for more.

It’s great to see these guys on a big stage following a year that saw them successfully pull of their monthly showcase Beatnik Retreat at Mono that culminated with a headline slot at Oran Mor, hopefully there’s new material in the pipeline and if it’s as good as what they’ve got they’ll be gracing this big a stage on a more permanent basis very soon.

It is completely disgusting that this is the very first time I have seen The Spook School in a live setting, they’re one of the most infectious, endearing and interesting bands from Scotland just now and tonight they tear through set of punk touched indie pop tracks that engulf you in as much lovability as they do aggression.

These guys have always been known for having their finger on the pulse on social matters, but live it’s not the lyrical content that shines through, it’s their sheer passion and fun mentality, with added ridiculous banter, and quality songs to boot that makes their set irresistible start to finish.

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Words: Iain Dawson

Top picks for Tenement Trail

This Saturday sees the return of Tenement TV’s all day multi venue festival Tenement Trail so we had a wee peek at the line up to give you our picks of the line up:

Sweaty Palms at Broadcast (5.00)

“Refusing to bow down to the crowd-pleasing generics of what it takes to “make it” the four-piece let their music do the speaking merging a loud, dirty reverb drenched garage sound with anxiety-ridden psych goth flourishes, a touch of joviality and Robbie Houston’s snarled, personal lyrics to create an unnervingly powerful experience.”

THE NINTH WAVE at Broadcast (6.00)

“The band’s melodic guitars and synths refreshingly come off a lot more raucous live than they do on record, as clattering, yet groove infected instrumentals are given a pop edge by Hadyn Park’s distinctive pop rock vocals, which give in to some dream pop tinged harmonies courtesy of Elina Lin.”

TeenCanteen at The Art School (6.30)

“Covered in glitter and dressed like they’ve just come from a fairy themed-fancy dress party, It’s hard to watch these girls without a smile on your face; yes, Carla Easton’s distinctive vocals could be considered somewhat of an acquired taste, but accompanied by three part harmonies they’re addictive and powerful”

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Be Charlotte at The Art School (7.30)

Charlotte is an artist it’s difficult not to pay attention to, her performance and set is so engaging and diverse that it’s hard not to be impressed as she switches from gob smacking vocals to cutting edge spoken word to triple percussion assaults that simply silence the crowd and create an awe filled atmosphere.

The Bellybuttons at The Priory (8.15)

“A well-organised, masterful group of musicians delivering poignant lyrics in flawless fashion as they flaunt their raw prowess and leap-board from their own musical influences to create something pretty magical.”

Breakfast Muff at Broadcast (9.00)

“Their one line description on Facebook sums them up brilliantly: “like Hole but funnier” and their set all seems a riotous disarray, but it’s infectious and charming; Breakfast Muff are fun, funny, engaging and effortlessly likeable, go see them.”

Pronto Mama at The Art School (9.30)

“Pronto Mama impressively walk a slippery path with a sound that could so easily fall into the pitfalls of becoming like so many bland Scottish folk acts or go the other way turn into unabashed naff ska, instead they come out with something truly infectious and original”

The Vegan Leather at The Priory (10.15)

“Possessing both the sincerity and conviction necessary to remind any listener than pop can be more than just clean synths and solid marketing. The Vegan Leather are a vibrant and exciting lesson in punchy, hook-laden art pop.”

The Spook School at Broadcast (11.00)

“Covering topics such as sexuality, love, gender issues and standing up for yourself mixed together into a cocktail of indie hits with catchy melodies and lyrics that make you open your mind, The Spook School are the perfect band to channel your kempt up angst and rebellion.”

The Van T’s at Flat 0/1 (12.00)

“The band, we have been championing since very early on, have continuously shown just why they’re getting all the attention, with a full on rock show filled with surfy goodness and the ever impressive harmonies of the Van Thompson twins.”

Fuzzkill presents The Shivas, The Bellybuttons at Broadcast, 8/7/16

The Shivas coast into Glasgow all the way from Portland, OR., spearheading the latest wave of the surf-rock revival after a string of dates with fellow beach bunnies La Luz last year.

The trio has a slightly haunted look; that of a bizarro world Scooby–Doo gang, who took a wrong turn at the abandoned funfair and ended up in the basement of Broadcast.

The surf-rock tropes of delay guitar and shimmering echo are dutifully present, but there’s a bluesy dirge to their sound which makes them a rarer pick.

Rather than combing the pristine waterfronts of L.A., it feels like we’re dredging the muddy swamps of New Orleans on instrumental stomp, ‘Do The Crocodile’.

The Shivas’ Halloweenish demeanour and murky sonics align them with other so-called ‘surf noir’ bands, but they’re about much more than just evoking a mood, and there’s absolutely no compromise here in terms of songwriting economy.

Their intuitive grasp of 60’s psych pop and girl groups shines through on the standout ‘You Make Me Wanna Die’ – it’s as sweetly hypnotic as anything by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas.

An unexpected slow-down refrain in the otherwise peppy three-chorder ‘Gun In My Pocket’ shows they’re not afraid to play with dynamics, either.

Tracks from their latest record Better Off Dead are tamer by comparison, though they do manage to coax some solo slow dances out of a tipsy front row.

Vocalist Jared Molyneux delivers powerfully throughout, with an energy belying his diminutive stature: his head bops feverishly along on a loop, like a .gif of Bobby Gillespie after his first acid dab.

Drummer Kristin Leonard keeps her tub-thumping heavy and on the button, giving the band’s wall of sound the rhythmic anchor it needs to stay docked for the duration.

The Shivas’ reference points are certainly obvious, and culled from a particular past point in the American pop music canon, but they write top-notch tunes, and perform them with a snark and brio that others would struggle to emulate.

Everything syncs for The Shivas tonight – recommended listening for all enjoying the current psych-and-surf vogue, especially if you can catch them in a venue as cosy as Broadcast.

Props go to Fuzzkill Records, too, for curating another evening of hip garage rock and enticing yet more Transatlantic talent over to Glasgow.

An honourable mention is reserved for local support, The Bellybuttons, who open the show with a sackful of slacker rock gems too catchy to argue with.

Set highlight ‘Nostalgia Factory’ from their eponymous cassette gets the be-flannelled early birds bopping along effortlessly.

Guitarist Rob deftly channels Stephen Malkmus’ melodic meanderings, all while rocking Crocs and Lonsdale shorts (who says there’s no place in rock for the “IT-consultant-fresh-off-the-squash-court” look?)

Not normally a healthy pursuit, navel-gazing may be just the ticket where The Bellybuttons are concerned – they’re the most exciting band in Glasgow right now.

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Words: Graham Neil Gillespie

The Bellybuttons – Nostalgia Factory [FUZZKILL]

The Bellybuttons and their Nostalgia Factory EP is the best Fuzzkill release to date.

Right away the check points, Pavement/Weezer/Silver Jews influences are there, but unlike so many it does not feel like a bad copy.

Have to admit I only caught them live recently at The Yummy Fur gig at Mono, but right away I was anticipating hearing the Nostalgia Factory tape.

Recorded at Glasgow’s Green Door Studio the EP kicks off with ‘Why’; the pocket between the bass and drums cuts The Bellybuttons above the rest.

Space and interaction add the groove to the four tracks and bounces and pulls each track along; the breakdown on ‘Why’ is a perfect example that is revisited, and rightly so.

‘One Million Ways’ has the jangly beginnings again falling back to the rhythm section, this time with added Pavement guitars alá Grounded fadeout, which is all fine by me.

The title track thumps its way through rubbery bassline, bending and staccato guitars.

‘Waiting (Hold On)’ with its restrained coda, the arrival of female vocals happily avoids the ditch that male fronted bands commonly do, which is shout/scream at the end.

The Bellybuttons resistance to hit the obvious climax is one of the charms of the group.

A smart band that knows they can impress without really trying and given the quality of the songs on this EP, the results of a long player will be nothing short of astounding if they really try to impress us.

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Words: Paul Choi

EPs of 2015 (20-11)

20-11  –  10-1  –  Tracks & albums

20 The Vegan Leather - This House20 The Vegan Leather – This House

A work that possesses both the sincerity and conviction necessary to remind any listener than pop can be more than just clean synths and solid marketing. While it in part feels like the gritty precursor to a potential masterpiece, This House is a vibrant and exciting lesson in punchy, hook-laden art pop. (Michael Mavor)

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19 Quiet as a Mouse - Memorybox19 Quiet as a Mouse – Memorybox

Memorybox contains a mix of delicate and lively tracks that create a successful taster of Quiet As A Mouse’s potential conveying their ability to create gentle, intricate tracks. They have an album planned for 2016 and, judging by this release it will be something to look out for.

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18 Youngstrr Joey - Cheerleader18 Youngstrr Joey – Cheerleader [Number4Door]

Cheerleader showcases how well Cal Donelly takes to the solo role; it’s full of head sticking choruses, rumbling lo-fi guitars and up tempo, toe-tappers, before closing on the slow gritty ‘I Give Up’. Cheerleader raw and authentic; it’s like one of those Brain Licker sweeties that were popular in primary school – enjoyable and addictive with a sour kick.

17 Finn LeMarinel - Love Is Waves17 Finn LeMarinel – Love Is Waves [Electric Honey]

Experimental, beautiful and at times unnervingly personal, Finn LeMarinel’s Love is Waves EP sees the Glasgow singer-songwriter push his creative bounds to excellent effect. Stripped back, evocative vocals meld with myriad instrumental techniques, as LeMarinel frames each track with precisely placed guitar and piano. Simple, yet incongruously intricate, Love is Waves evidences a marked and impressive evolution for the former Trapped in Kansas frontman.

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16 Siobhan Wilson - Say It’s True16 Siobhan Wilson – Say It’s True [Reveal]

Say It’s True consists of seven songs that are each crafted to complete perfection: from the striking acapella opening of the title track to the vocal leaps that bring the record to a close, the EP in its entirety is a remarkable feat of musicianship. Wilson fuses traditional elements of folk with layers of more contemporary sounds to create something unusual and beautiful. (Ellen Renton)

15 Golden Teacher - Sauchiehall Enthrall15 Golden Teacher – Sauchiehall Enthrall

Glasgow six piece Golden Teacher opted to self-release this dubiously named EP and it is yet another solid and at times excellent bit of kit; high quality stuff from a gleefully enthusiastic bunch. Sauchiehall Enthrall is otherworldly and a vivid offering from this unique collective, who incidentally are a formidably high octane live proposition, if clearly mad to a man and woman. Hard funk, groovy, ear-melting drums, ethereal bleeps, banshee yelps and a touch of acid – what’s not to love?

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14 Spinning Coin - Spinning Coin14 Spinning Coin – Spinning Coin [FUZZKILL]

Spinning Coin is the coming of age of a group who combined have been in about a million bands, all of which contributed something to Glasgow. Coin might not have a coin among them, but they have the Mac Demarco guitars, running out of battery sound and the posture of pavement; all without copying! (Paul Choi)

13 The Bellybuttons - PLAY!13 The Bellybuttons – PLAY! [FUZZKILL]

Think 90s lo-fi rock but up-cycled. The Bellybuttons deliver a neat set of tracks with all the key ingredients that make it hard not to like. The EP opens the door to a world of skillful pitch bending riffs, before things start to pick up with ‘Hard to Read’, showcasing their ability to bring energy to a track with a little taste of bluegrass thrown in. ‘Solar Envy’ brings you back down to Earth in a soft cloud of husky vocals before playing with your mind in ‘Sad Boys’ with an elongated, suspended and distorted outro leaving you to wonder what the guys will come up with next. (Rachel Cunningham)

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12 Sorren Maclean - Way Back Home12 Sorren Maclean – Way Back Home [Middle of Nowhere]

Way Back Home sees Mull-based songwriter and guitarist Sorren MacLean bring tasteful, strong arrangements, topped by his widescreen, yearning vocal. MacLean is obviously well aware of folk music traditions, but there’s a pop sensibility too that ensures the melodic hooks are strong and memorable and this EP sounds equally good sound tracking a summer’s day as it would a dimly lit folk club.

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11 SACRED PAWS - 6 Songs11 SACRED PAWS – 6 Songs [Rock Action]

It must have been a ridiculously busy year for Rachel Aggs, with this EP and releases from other bands Trash Kit and Shopping coming in quick succession, but never have her releases lacked in quality. Add to Aggs’ jaunty, clean wiry guitar tone the up beat snare drum centric beats of Eilidh Rodgers, the duo’s fresh energy and overlapping vocals that give a sense of the free spirit, and you’ve got Six Songs; a playful polyrhythmic EP that is as refresh as a tropical breeze.

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20-11  –  10-1  –  Tracks & albums

The Bellybuttons – PLAY! [Fuzzkill]

We all remember our first time; that unintentional stumble into visionary musical excellence; whether it be from rifling through your dad’s vinyl collection to unwittingly uncover a dusty Lou Reed

Transformer sleeve, buying a second hand CD of Stoned And Dethroned from a car boot sale – unleashing The Jesus and Mary Chain into your life or perhaps it was finding the strangeness of Captain Beefheart as you delved deeper into the dark recesses of YouTube.

It is an unexpected revelation of sound that makes you question everything you have heard up until then; add a touch of teen angst and ‘voila’ you are set for life.

Finding The Bellybuttons – a four piece English band stumbling around Glasgow – is like a rediscovery of these splendidly woeful tracks that any now twenty-something, post-indie kid should gravitate towards.

Their newest EP, PLAY!, is a nostalgic but modern, melancholic but upbeat juxtaposition and certainly a pop, shoegazing sensation laced in velvet tones.

Side A is an absolute masterpiece in all respects: a chilled pacing, intricate guitar compositions, solid rhythms and an almost instinctive understanding on how to perfect easy-listening tracks.

Now lets not kid ourselves, this sound has been done before – The Velvet Underground and Television to name a few, however here, in this form, in this band at this particular moment in time it seems somewhat fresh; modernised; regenerated, which is what makes The Bellybuttons so great.

Though, this euphonious awakening of sound is no random stroke of luck.

No, this is a well-organised, masterful group of musicians delivering poignant lyrics in flawless fashion as they flaunt their raw prowess and leap-board from their own musical influences to create something pretty magical.

Not to mention that PLAY! has thrived from Chris McCrory’s input at the intimate Shady Lane Studio Recordings.

Standing on the shoulders of the giants before their time, The Bellybuttons themselves are a far cry away from novice performers.

In fact their collection of EP’s scream professional craftsmanship, melodic talent and distinctive style which in return creates their matured sound.

So stop what you’re doing, rewind the years and PLAY!

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Words: Charlotte McVey