Thursday, 2 January 2014

Scottish Fiction's Top 25 Singles / EP's of 2013

Happy New Year to y'all.  2013 was another feather in the cap of fantastic music emanating from Scottish shores.  The rise of CHVRCHES shows we do electro-pop with the best of them.  The return of Boards of Canada demonstrates we've not lost that shoe-gazey EDM touch either.  In between there's been hoards of fantastic folk, positive pop, humongous hip-hop and incredible indie to treat ears of all frequencies. 

On Christmas day we aired a special episode of Scottish Fiction which was a look back on some of our favourite singles and EP's for 2013.  You can listen to that in full here or via the embed at the bottom of the page.  Here's the majority of those tracks, plus a few more, making this post my favourite 25 singles or EP's from 2013.

In no particular order, and with no other judging criteria than my own personal tastes here's Scottish Fiction's Top 25 Singles / EP's of 2013

Prides - Out Of The Blue

Name changes have never sounded so good.  Previously Midnight Lion, now Prides, the Glasgow three piece re-invented themselves to fist pumping effect.  Dancing like a maniac to this tune at Wickerman was a highlight of 2013.

Campfires In Winter - Picture of Health EP

Following single White Lights released early in 2013, September's release of Picture of Health EP cements Campfires In Winter's status as one of the finest emerging bands in Scotland.  Album next surely?

Book Group - Victory Lap / A Lowdown of a LOUD Sound

Début single from Book Group released via the influential Gerry Loves Records.  Insprining, uplifting and gloriously inflectious.  Book Group, don't you ever change.

Young Fathers - I Heard

Edinburgh hip-hop trio Young Fathers hooked many people with this smooth, emotional and soulful cut from their second EP Tape Two.  Released on the legendary Anticon label, lead single I Heard has the power to worm inside your brain for weeks.

Atom Tree - Tide of Thorns EP

There is a wave of artists who are continuing to push electronica music in new and exciting directions.  Glasgow producer and musician Atom Tree is but one of them.  Debut EP Tide of Thorns leads the pack and this track Die For Your Love evokes fluorescent memories of euphoria on a blissful come down.

Nevada Base - Foresight

Having never been a Nevada Base fan before this track I feel almost sheepish in the realisation that they are indeed Scotland's answer to LCD Soundsystem.  Foresight is an accessible jump on point for those in search of jerky rhythms and groovy basslines.

Naked - Lie Follows Lie

Spooky, eerie and haunting.  Check, check and check.  Not the most googleable names in music, but once you've found Naked, and this July release from the Edinburgh based three piece, you won't want to let go.

Giant Fang - Aqualung

When I reviewed this track back upon it's 23rd June release I said it had a 'freedom-of-the-summer' vibe and flavoured by the influence of M83.  In the midst of winter Giant Fang's Aqualung transports you back to the warmth of a carefree summer.

Lovers Turn To Monsters - Skeletor EP

Ok so I know I said this was in no particular order, but I'm putting it out there Lovers Turn To Monsters Skeletor EP is my favourite EP of 2013.  Intelligent and brutally honest lyrics with simplistic and heart tugging guitar playing, it's on a comparable scale with the indie lo-fi artists that young Kyle Wood calls his heroes.

Fake Major - Have Plenty Of Fun

Four armed singer songwriters don't come much better than Richard and Jarv of Fake Major.  Released on Comets & Cartwheels back in May of this year, Have Plenty of Fun proves that sometimes song writing partnerships are much more important than bells and whistles.  This track Little Researcher is a gem.

Michael Cassidy - Everybody's Scared

Fans of Paisley musician Michael Cassidy will be familiar with this track.  Everybody's Scared has been given the full band treatment ahead of the release of début album My Electric Heart, and re-released with a renewed sense of warmth and purpose.

DEATHCATS!!! - The Raddest EP

Bursting with scuzzy feel good vibes, channelling the blitzkreig ethos of The Ramones and the lo-fi touch of Fugazi, DEATHCATS might just change your life.  Failing that The Raddest EP is awesome and deserves your attention.

Honeyblood - Bud

 Scotland's answer to The Breeders and Throwing Muses, Honeyblood released Bud on continual Scottish music supporters FatCat Records.  It's garage rock with a laid back veneer and one of 2013's finest singles.

Poor Things - Hurricane Poor Things

Poor Things are another band who mine '90's American alt-garage rock for influence.  And to fantastic effect too.  Hurricane Poor Things ambles with intent and purpose.  Check it out.

Pinact / Min Diesel - Split 7"

Sneaking two bands in for the price of one here, this split 7" released in September by the Cool Your Jets label showcases Pinact and Min Diesel in all their DIY alt-rock glory.

Gone Wishing - The Gone Wishing Tape

The discovery of 2013 for me was the music of Owen McLaughlin.  In it's solo guise Owen plays under the moniker of Gone Wishing and his debut EP is heartfelt, gutsy and tender in just the right amounts.

Lidh - Rockpool Hospital EP

This video harks back to the play cartoon imagery used by The B-52's, but Lidh's music draws from a much wider range of influences combining in a slightly rough around the edges folk pop.  Single Rockpool Hospital is the pick of the bunch from her EP of the same name.

Mast - Romance

Former The Darien Adventure man Liam Rutherford struck out on his own in 2013 as Mast.  He struck gold with this shimmering delightful track Romance

John Knox Sex Club / Over The Wall - Split 7"

With both bands hiding in the shadows for most of 2013, a combined return via a Gerry Loves Records split 7" was a stroke of genius on everyone's part.  Animals packs the usual John Knox Sex Club punch, and Tell Her I Love Her bursts with inventive fun pop.

Garden Of Elks - Extended Play

Shouty fun pop at it's best, Garden of Elks seal the deal with a pinky promise (so they say) and rock raucously with a Pixies induced stupor.  

Mad Nurse - The Rip

Not a lot is known about Mad Nurse expect they are a four piece from Edinburgh who specialise in epic, layered post rock tinged creations.  The Rip EP is one of 2013's most unrecognised releases.

Shambles Miller - Deadpool

Shambles Miller Does It Again.  Is what the headlines would say in a world where the Glaswegian singer-songwriter replaced Beyonce as the world's biggest pop star.  Whilst we wait for that, latest single Deadpool cheekily muses on the big questions.

TeenCanteen - Honey

All girl sunshine pop never sounded so good.  Taking their lead from the girl bands of the 60's and 70's, Glasgow's TeenCanteen shone brighter than most with this début release Honey.

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