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Glasgow Music Blogs


Glasgow’s thriving music scene has a strong grassroots foundation; it is also a city rarely left off the map for global artists on arena tours. Every city’s scene beats to its own rhythm and is celebrated by the inhabitants, but the hype around the Glasgow music scene is so much more than the city-dwellers banging their own drum.

Glasgow was the first city in the UK to receive the UNESCO city of music award in 2008. In 2019, Glasgow was dubbed the United Kingdom’s top creative and cultural city by the European Commission.

Glasgow is home to several prestigious arts companies, including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and The Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Glasgow doesn’t fall short on homegrown talent either. Some of the biggest acts in the UK have roots in Glasgow, including The Jesus and Mary Chain, Teenage Fanclub, The Vaselines, Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand, Primal Scream, Glasvegas, The Fratellis, Bis, and Texas.

Glasgow’s most prodigal sons, Arab Strap, started making waves in 1995; with their comeback album, As Days Get Dark, in 2021, they got to the top of the UK Record Store sales chart and held the number 1 position for quite some time.

There are plenty of famous venues in the Glasgow music scene for up and coming artists to cut their teeth. Even with a 300-capacity, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut is one of the most famous indie venues in the world for the part it played in Scotland’s history of indie. When Oasis turned up at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut and demanded a place on the bill, their superstardom went supersonic. The hut also hosted other legendary alt-90s artists, including Beck, Manic Street Preachers, the Verve, Blur and Radiohead. For three years in a row, the venue was dubbed the UK’s Best Live Venue. If that wasn’t a big deal, the fact that it featured in the number 7 spot in a follow-your-bliss bucket list curated by New York Magazine.

Other iconic venues in Glasgow include Barrowland Ballroom, Nice N Sleazy, Bar Bloc, Mono and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Glaswegian music fans also have the reputation of raising a roof, regardless of the venue or genre.

Glaswegians are spoilt for choice with the wide range of radio stations. For the freshest indie fixes, listeners turn to BBC Radio Scotland. For pop hits, Clyde 1, and the biggest beats, electro fans tune into Trancetechnic.

Reach Nirvana with DJ Roko’s Slice of EDM ‘Heaven’

DJ Roko dialled up the disco dance-pop euphoria in his latest burst of beat-driven euphoria, Heaven; 90s disco nostalgia permeates the exhilarated EDM production that embodies the UK producer’s influence of David Guetta, Tiesto and Calvin Harris while leaving plenty of room for his signature style to ensnare the airwaves. If rhythm is a dancer, as Snap! proclaimed in ’92 it would get down to this hit that will maximise your lust for life.

The West Midlands-born, Glasgow-based artist and DJ first exhibited his talent for fusing kinetic rhythms with melodies that melt into the mind through his official debut release, Velocity, earlier this year, and has already attracted over 10k monthly Spotify listeners with the infectious intensity within his sound that will undoubtedly flood dancefloors throughout 2024.

With his self-produced debut LP, in addition to several other projects, ready to drop later this year, DJ Roko isn’t a name EDM fans will want to ignore for much longer.

Heaven was officially released on April 27; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Synthpop meets pop-punk in Crashes’ elementally augmented anthem, Living in the Future

Crashes may be ‘Living in the Future’ in their latest single, but there are plenty of ties to sonic nostalgia in their pop-punk meets jangly new wave indie synthpop hit that electrifies from the first synth-charged note.

The elementally augmented anthem is dynamically intense enough to run a power grid off, make you lose your head and the dancefloor and become your new favourite adrenaline-fueled earworm. If there were any more boxes to tick, Crashes would brandish their sonic signature right through them.

Living in the Future is a clear sign of how honed Crashes’ songwriting has become since their debut in 2017; you just can’t help getting swept up in the tumultuously hooked momentum. Following the success of their 2022 EP, Infinite, the track is set to seal the Glasgow-hailing band’s illustrious fate in the industry.

While other artists stop with new wave assimilation, Crashes are pouring their innovative volition, achingly honest emotion and curveball-throwing creativity into the high-octane mix, to a dizzyingly euphoric effect. Even with the antagonism and agony projected into the performance of Living in the Future, the ecstasy isn’t just heard, it resounds.

Living in the Future was officially released on January 26th. It is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

archie razed the airwaves with his latest augmented with attitude and style alt-indie hit, Mayalyn

With a voice which resonates with over 155k monthly listeners on Spotify and the confidence to create under the mononym archie, knowing that the name will become synonymous with his anthemic new wave indie aesthetic, it is no surprise to see that the 19-year-old singer-songwriter has hit razed the airwaves with his latest augmented with attitude and style single, Mayalyn.

With a vice-like grip which hits all the provocative and evocative marks, the track that starts with a saturated in delay jangly indie pop instrumental arrangement beneath his raspy croons, reminiscent of the 1975, evolves into a fiery feat of overdriven and modernised rock. With a seemingly infinite sequence of twists and turns, every progression is a revelation with Mayalyn. A revelation which paints its orchestrator as one of the most essential artists in 2023.

The classically trained Scottish singer-songwriter may only be getting started but he’s already giving every other up-and-coming act tips on how to raise the bar with lyrical ingenuity, which goes hand in virtuosic hand with his ear for a melody that will consume you when brought to life with his impassioned intensity.

Mayalyn was officially released on September 22; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Connor Fyfe has released the stickiest earworm of the year with his new wave indie track, Cars

After becoming the youngest act to sell out Kings Tut in Glasgow and perform at TRNSMT, the 17-year-old Connor Fyfe is already in the habit of making history with his songwriting chops that are as sharp as they are sticky-sweet. His latest single, Cars, gives plenty of clues to how his ascent has been an unfaltering upward trajectory since leaving school in May.

With a bigger-than-Blossoms synth-drenched sound that borrows from the new wave synth pop genre while ticking all the right indie rock boxes, the momentum within Cars is momentous, but the adolescent prodigy knew just when to inject a sense of fragility and vulnerability into his vocal lines to ensure it’s a track that sucker punches the emotional and rhythmic pulses simultaneously.

Co-written with the legendary Ross McNae of Twin Atlantic, Cars pulsates with commercial appeal; each intricately clever chord progression embeds the earworm even deeper while the soulful synergy between the impassioned vocal lines and synthy indie rock synthesis ensures it will deliver endless euphoria.

With the promise that there are plenty more tracks in the pipeline, don’t be surprised if Connor Fyfe is one of the biggest Scottish artists since Lewis Capaldi.

Cars will officially be released on November 17th; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Robin Ashcroft rocked the pop beat in her latest electrifying vindicative earworm LIAR

Radio DJs will be lining up to add LIAR to their A-lists; the hook-proliferated hit which demonstrates Robin Ashcroft’s flawless command over her dynamic vocal lines with the enliveningly immersive atmosphere of the track will resonate in your heart, soul, and rhythmic pulses.

After an intro that will pull you in as forcefully as the prelude to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ‘Maps’ or Toxic Airborne Event’s ‘Sometime around Midnight’ the track veers into a pulsating electro-pop anthem with glistening guitars and a backbeat so strong it makes this earworm a heavyweight champion.

Those soaring with soul vocal lines and the vindicating energy of the release that will bring waves of catharsis to anyone feeling frustratedly naive for believing the fallacies that gaslighters can’t help but spin is the perfect introduction to one of Scotland’s most promising solo powerhouses.

LIAR will drip scorn onto the airwaves on November 2nd; check out the official lyric video on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast  

KURO unveiled their electro-metal manifesto on how to bring down the alt-right with ‘Wake Up and Choose Violence’

As calls to socially progressive arms go, they don’t come much more compelling than KURO’s latest single, Wake Up and Choose Violence. With the harsh industrial metal instrumentals amplifying the lyrical volition that unravels as a manifesto of poetic vengeance, the sonically jugernautical Glasgow outfit reached the pinnacle of the punk ethos.

The blast beats hammer down as heavily as we should be coming down on the alt-right provocateurs who revel in the contempt they breed and their subsequent notoriety as the synthesis of the heavily distorted guitars and synth lines visualise the disorientating dystopic dissonance of our depressing modern epoch.

By pointing out how we fought for rights only to neglect them when it matters the most, the adrenalizing razor-sharp rap metal vocals cogently foreshadow a further descent into extremism, marginalisation, and prejudice unless we follow the titular command. Resistance isn’t futile; it is fundamental.

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KURO Said:

“Wake Up and Choose Violence is a reactionary track written in response to the sheer amount of audacious counter-reformative movements and laws placed by right-wing identifying groups. In simpler terms, we’re sick of our right to protest being taken away, the lack of racism being tackled, bills for trans and queer rights being blocked and the growth of far-right ideologies being accepted.

It is about standing up to all that, finding your viewpoint and sticking to it, and standing up for those who don’t have a voice. The music video exhibits this in which we included people from many walks of life and gave them a platform to express their viewpoints and show why it’s time for a progressive change.”

Stream the official music video for Wake Up and Choose Violence on YouTube, add the track to your Spotify playlists, or purchase the single on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Forget Black Mirror, delve into the darkwave dystopia of Dr Void and the Skinjob’s latest single, Android’s and Polaroid’s

Darkwave and post-punk caustically collide in the latest single, Android’s and Polaroid’s, from the irreplicable powerhouse, Dr Void and the Skinjob’s.

With synth lines dark and reverberant enough they could have been stolen from an 80s horror OST and drum fills frenetic enough they leave the senses in a tailspin, the Glasgow-hailing three-piece surpass their influences from She Past Away, Gary Numan, The Damned, and Clan of Xymox by creating electrifying installations of sonic frenzy paired with dystopic lyrical themes.

Android’s and Polaroid’s follows a similar tale to the TV series Humans by depicting the story of an over-used sex droid that is seduced by freedom and wants to taste human morality after being subjugated to the worst facets of the human condition. It seems that Charlie Brooker isn’t the only one with a talent for portraying dystopic narratives that aren’t too far from the realm of possibility.

Android’s and Polaroid’s is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Gratitude triumphs over self-doubt in The Kaves’s seminal cinematic indie rock ballad, Soul

The Kaves

Starting with swathes of 80s nostalgia in the momentary prelude before fast-forwarding to the next era in the first verse by emanating shoegazey Britpop and cinematic rock in the same rhythmically arrestive breath, the latest single, Soul, from The Kaves puts them in the same league as their memorably emotive Glaswegian idols.

The porous vocal lines which allow soul to pour through them as they soar as high as the guitar solos against the driving backbeat in the ballad ensured the listening experience is as visceral as sentimental.

So many ballads centre around the acquisition or loss of love; never ones to peddle pedestrian tropes, with Soul, The Kaves, narrated the cynicism which amasses around low self-esteem after unconditional affection is put on the table by someone who loves you in spite of your idiosyncrasies. In its superlatively authentic essence, Soul is a reminder that when it comes to love, gratitude is always the better option over pessimistic over-analysis.

If anyone has what it takes to prevent indie rock from fading into further obscurity and show Alex Turner what stellar indie should sound like in 2023, it is The Kaves.

Soul will be available to stream from July 7. Hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Just Like Honey: Maya’s Radio Orchestra Let the Light in with her jazz blues rendezvous, Suntrap

Maya’s Radio Orchestra brought sun-bleached luminosity by the smorgasbord with her latest baroquely beguiling single, Suntrap. Just as the sun illuminates dust when it hits a room, the radiance in Suntrap through the honeyed vocals and swirling harps suspend the dusty underground jazz bars while the piano arrangement underpins the warm arrangement; contributed to by producer Lauren Gilmour’s scintillating synth lines. With the dreamy and lofty drum fills bringing a lemon slice of Portishead-reminiscent glamour, Suntrap becomes a sonic plateau that you will want to visit time and time again.

Maya says: “When I wrote this song, it was the end of February, and the midst of a very long dark, damp, Glasgow winter, and I was feeling very down. We underestimate how difficult the winter in Scotland can be, all whilst having to continue with our day-to-day lives as if we’re not affected by nature and the lack of sunlight.

Writing this song was my way of processing this uncomfortable realisation that capitalism and the need for productivity are incompatible with our human nature and that it’s having a detrimental effect on our communal mental health.”

Maya is a Glasgow-based British-Nepali singer-songwriter, harpist, pianist and vocalist. She is highly revered for her texturally intricate harmonies, which cathartically coalesce with her classy instrumentation and lyricality that unravels as conceptually philosophical poetry.

The sun will hit the airwaves on May 3rd. Stream Suntrap on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Luchi shows us the weight of empty promises in his pop track, He Said

The Me + Tears Ain’t Strangers EP from the Glasgow-based Italian up-and-coming pop artist, Luchi is a meditation in mindful melancholy. The opening single, He Said, is the perfect introduction to the artist’s introspective candour that inspires empathy and reactive vulnerability in equal measure.

There’s nothing rawer than relaying all the empty promises when a relationship reaches an ennui-laden end, especially after we walked into the dynamic with hesitancy over vulnerability. When those red flags start to wave away every shallow word, we’re the ones left with the shame when it was never ours to carry. He Said stands as the ultimate affirmation of the disparity within romantic accountability.

Bringing new contemporary flair to the pop ballad, Luchi utilises climactic piano crescendos and tensile vocal progressions to stick to the roots before implanting modernist twists through the RnB nuances and utilisation of atmospheric reverb around the gently muted guitar strings that flow in synergy with the soft synths.

The Me + Tears Ain’t Strangers EP is due for official release on January 13th. Hear it on SoundCloud. Follow Luchi on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Review by Amelia Vandergast