It is a new year but I'm not quite done with the old one yet. It is time to talk about those bands that I discovered in the past year, who made a special impression on me and who have bright futures ahead of them. These are bands discovered through a variety of means and fulfil some different genres, something I've been known to be less open about in the past but the past year showed me I am open to many new sounds. I hope this coming year expands my musical horizons even further.
Without further ado here are the bands that I stumbled upon last year who made my ears very happy:
A collaboration between Ewan McDonald and Andy Monaghan (of Frightened Rabbit fame), Second Shelter is self-described "Glasgow electro-shambles" and their lo-fi debut album was a highlight of my music year. You can go stream (and buy) Your Tiny Footsteps on Bandcamp, if you like what you hear below.
The State Broadcasters
Discovered via another music blog, The State Broadcasters melancholic Scottish folk shines in an already busy field. They released their sophomore effort, The Ghosts We Must Carry via Olive Grove Records in September 2012.
Based in Stirling, Brazil Exists produce exciting alternative pop that leaves you wanting more. There's also brass involved, and as this blog goes on you'll discover I can be partial to such things. They released The Hermit EP in first half of the year, and already working on a follow-up.
Sadly in the same year I made this discovery, Open Swimmer called it quits. However I'd still like to mention them because they were one of my favourite support acts I witnessed last year and definitely made a lasting impression. And you can still purchase their music on Bandcamp, even though they're no longer playing.
On a busy King Tuts Summer Nights lineup, Scarlet Shift's powerpop shone through and had my toes tapping from the off. Currently recording their debut album for release in spring 2013, their Give Up The Ghost EP is available via Bandcamp.
This is definitely moreso a re-discovery, as I'd been aware of Stafford's musical prowess dating back to Y'All Is Fantasy Island but I was treated to his solo show supporting We Were Promised Jetpacks in May and he did not disappoint. His dancing alone is worth a spot on any 2012 list. His widely acclaimed 2011 album, Build a Harbour Immediately, is on Bandcamp.
This 8-piece folk-pop band were on everyone's lips in the past year and they certainly got me excited. They had a busy year with 4 separate releases, available with all their past releases on their Bandcamp.
And there we have it, seven artists who I had the pleasure of stumbling on in the year just gone.
Before I close this post out, I had a wonderful musical journey in Ireland in September and wish to mention a few of our Irish cousins, who expanded my horizons beyond our own fair little borders. And they are:
Ham Sandwich, indie rock out of Dublin and some of the best onstage banter.
Rory Bowens/Bowens and The Wood, acoustic alternative tunes with lots of Scottish influence
Amidships, atmospheric folk-rock from Belfast
Before The Ghosts, Mitchelstown's best easy-listening folk band
Here's to 2013 being just as good!