> SNACK Bits (April 2024) – Scotland’s Essential New Music Guide - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

SNACK Bits (April 2024) – Scotland’s Essential New Music Guide

And when the night is over there'll be no sound

The clocks are forward, your expectations of us are still the same, and we’re back…back with the April round-up that hopefully covers many of the fine Scottish releases you might have otherwise missed.

Megan Black is also back, back from the States, back with a new single, and still chasing that elusive Stevie Nicks support slot. She’d fit in well and new song ‘Funk for Introverts’ is a good example why. It’s sassy, it showcases an artist with personality, and it seems like three or four songs mashed together, creating a bubbling mini-mix in a single track. Most importantly, it’s fun, and you can’t spell funk without fun.

Funk for Introverts

Brontës know all about the funk, and they once again deliver it on ‘Radios’, lead song of the Element of Revival EP. The latter half of this song, led by ferocious drumming and glacier-cool vocals, bathes you in a sound to sink into, capturing a lot of the act’s live appeal in a short space of time. ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’ leads with bass so striding that it will walk you out of the house and down the street before you’ve realised you don’t have your shoes on.

This EP and the band’s previous singles are coming to you soon in a handy CD-shaped format, ideal for those who find vinyl cumbersome but streaming far too convenient.

Did we ever talk about how lovely ‘4316’ by Isobel Campbell was? Sometimes great songs slip through the cracks, but it’s never too late to rectify those wrongs, and that number should be swirling around all summer. We’ve got high hopes for the album Bow To Love, out in May. 

Isobel Campbell – 4316 (Official Video)

‘Killjoy’ by Lou Mclean is a folky and punky rant that hits the target with a simple yet stirring singalong refrain. It’s devastating in its own right, but also a good set-up for the EP of the same name, coming next month. Emma Smith also offers a folky feel, but she takes a softer approach, although this just serves to allow her vocals to shine throughout ‘Silhouette’. There’s an easy-going flow on this track, making for an extremely likeable number.

Lou Mclean – KILLJOY (Official Lyric Video)
Silhouette – Emma Smith

Vickie Paxton creates a soundscape that hugs you on ‘hey dad’, moving this song far beyond folk to something more personal. Her heartfelt vocals and painfully honest lyrics, joined by audio recordings of her father, cannot fail to tug at the heartstrings.

Vickie Paxton

I had to stop ‘Dummy Run’, the opening track of Homework’s Easy Money EP, to make sure I hadn’t clicked on a Stephen Malkmus track by mistake. In a rare occurrence, it wasn’t a mistake from me: it was the right song, and very uplifting it was too. The Malkmus comparison fades, while never fully disappearing, across the three tracks, with ‘How Can You’ probably edging it in quality and shifting through the musical gears, but it’s all good.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Hamilton

If your idea of bliss is an easy-going indie meander with natty guitar hooks and a laid-back vocal, ‘Bliss’ by LeisureLand lives up to its name. It’s got a good feel, the sort of song a band rolls out mid-set when crowd and performers need a wee breather without bringing proceedings to a halt.

Bliss – LeisureLand

Destination The Moon hail from the east and they deliver a glorious track of chiming, ringing reverberations on ‘Everything Still Flows’. For a debut track, it’s mature and layered, so hopefully there’ll be more to follow soon.

With a motorik drum beat, Diving Horse had us onside instantly with ‘I Don’t Need The Lord’, but they didn’t rest on those laurels. The cool synths and stabbing bursts maintain the momentum, but by the time the additional vocalists barge through, the song is soaring and we’re all in.

I Don’t Need the Lord – Diving Horse

The boppy bassline and succinct vocal from Izzy Flower hook you immediately into ‘Lay Me Down’ by racecar. It’s sweet, it’s almost touching on ‘Frankie’ by Sister Sledge, and is the sort of thing you want to step along to when the sun shines. Hey, it’s a three-minute song, it’ll probably span the whole summer!

Lay Me Down – racecar.

‘Forget Myself’ by Lo Rays is exactly the sort of sound you’d expect from an act labelling themselves as post-apocalyptic rebel pop. Okay, pop takes a back seat to metal anguish and beats, but the rest fits neatly with the past 20 years of bands straddling genres and unleashing their torment for the pleasure of others. Probably an acquired taste, but ideal for those into that sort of thing.

Lo Rays – Forget Myself (Official Video)

On ‘Lemon Tree’, Scunnurt give us a murky and layered song that fits neatly with any alternative or post-punk bracket you enjoy. There’s a barrage of guitars but it never feels out of control, so if you like your angst in a measured manner, this is for you.

So, this has been fun: let’s do it again in May.

Lemon Tree – Scunnart

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