A Saturday evening in the house writing a blog. Who’d have thought it? How’s everyone holding up? Are we all looking forward to Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway? It’s dark days.
Yesterday came the news that Wide Days has been postponed until 23-25 July. This is the biggest postponement for me personally so far. I work as Head Of Artist Liaison but not only that I absolutely love the event and being involved in it. So I thought for this entry I would show my 6 showcase acts some love! The showcases are free to attend and you will be seeing 6 of the best emerging acts from Scotland. Come along and check out everything they have going on just now.
Billy Got Waves x Joell.
Having known each other for twenty-eight years, Scottish Hip Hop artists Billy Got Waves and Joell came together four years ago as part of 131 Northside. A hip hop collective based in Edinburgh for the purpose of creating music together and supporting one another. Having featured on each others projects respectively, 2019 saw them collaborate on a project “Wish You Well” which gained great support from across the country. The project boasts futuristic trap based productions and catchy melodies with mix engineering – handled by YUMYUM records Sün Jún and art direction from WoozieWorld.
“Over an eclectic instrumental rooted in trap, the pair glide over the beat, sprinkling melody and catchy lyrics throughout.” – Trench
Kapil Seshasayee is a polymath, and a true original talent, both as a songwriter and as a soundsmith, a one man combination of Scott Walker, Blood Orange, Arca and Richard Dawson, creating something wholly unique. Combining electronica flourishes evoking FKA Twigs with Indian Classical guitar ornamentations, stunning vocals and a penchant for unorthodox instrumentation such as the aquaphone, Kapil manages to be truly experimental yet still accessible.
“Seshasayee implicates himself and other diasporic South Asians in perpetuating an indigenous form of injustice carried by migrants to the West, and reinforced through performances of identity that are nostalgic for a rapidly changing culture” – Pitchfork
Magpie Blue, aka Millie Hanlon-Cole hails from Peebles in the Borders. From an early age, she was inspired by the music of Antony and the Johnsons, PJ Harvey, Alt J, and Joy Division. Her first live appearance was a shy performance in a local pub when she was 15, and in the four years since she has honed her stagecraft, landing a slot supporting The Proclaimers.
Magpie Blue’sdebut release, ‘Just In Time’ came out on London-based Seahorse Music late 2019 and is an intriguing composition which moves from a sparse opening to a slightly Kraut Rock-esque second half, boasting a fair amount of atmospheric reverb. Produced by Idlewild’s Rod Jones it features drummer Michael Reid of Man of Moon and guitarist Louise McCraw of Goodnight Louisa.
Magpie Blue’s music stops you in your tracks. Classy, melancholic and full of emotion. – The Scottish Sun
MEMES are a duo that formed in Glasgow, UK, in Spring 2019. Debut single ‘Blah Blah Blah’ earned the band a Steve Lamacq live session on BBC 6 Music, regular radio airplay on BBC and Amazing Radio (from Steve Lamacq, Vic Galloway, Tom Robinson, Jim Gellatly, Billy Sloan, Nicola Meighan and Charlie Ashcroft), and multiple blog write-ups and reviews.
The band has landed notable early gigs at The Shacklewell Arms, Old Blue Last and Nambucca in London as well as a string of gigs in Glasgow, including an appearance at Tenement Trail 2019 and an invite to play at the Stag & Dagger warm up show in November – ahead of a full festival appearance in 2020.
The band’s latest single ‘J.O.B.S.’ was released 29th Nov 2019 on Fierce Panda Records
“MEMES create aggressive yet catchy post-punk songs with lyrics that really pack a punch.” – Scotland on Sunday
Hitting out in July 2019 with their rampaging, guitar-driven debut Difficult Days, Glasgow-based two-piece One Nine have burst onto the Scottish music scene with uplifting choruses and fat pop beats. Selling out their first show and gaining ‘Hot New Bands’ playlist on Spotify, One Nine are Neil Mulholland and Kirstin Lynn, a duo quickly gaining a reputation for their exhilarating live shows and addictive melodies.
Euphoric follow-up single, ‘Lost Satellites’ has featured on BBC Introducing and is fast becoming a live favourite, as the band grow an impressive string of gigs, including playing at The Scottish Alternative Music Awards and showcasing at Tenement Trail to a happily crammed venue. With a headline King Tut’s show to start the new year, One Nine crash into 2020, making waves that show no signs of calming.
‘A rousing piece of melodic guitar pop which belies the fact that this band only has two members’ – The Scotsman
Based in Edinburgh, Swim School are a 4 piece, indie-pop band made up of Alice Johnson (Vocals/Guitar), Lewis Bunting (Guitar), Nairn Milne (Drums) and Matt Mitchell (Bass). Announced in 2019, but having originally formed at the end of 2018, Swim School already host an eclectic collection of songs featuring the inspired tones of The Cure, Wolf Alice and The Night Café.
They dived into Scotland’s burgeoning indie scene with their debut single ‘sway’ which turned heads and attracted the attention of both Vic Galloway and Janice Forsyth at BBC Radio Scotland, Tenement TV, Record of the Day, The Sun Newspaper and Jim Gellatly at Amazing Radio. Since then Swim School have released the singles ‘take you there’ and ‘too young to know’ which have been equally accredited.
“Indie pop perfection” – Jim Gellatly (Amazing Radio)
Wide Days takes place on 23-25 July at various venues in Edinburgh. Tickets to the conference and showcases and all the information you will need is at widedays.com.
I’m off to listen to some dance classics! Back tomorrow.