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

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

Wake up, Maggie, I think I’ve got something to say to you. No, it’s not late September, it’s May… oh, that intro would be better off in the September edition. Just forget you’ve read it and we’ll run it again further down the line. Yes, it’s May, which means summer festivals are so close you can taste the warm beer in a paper cup, and Bits cannot wait.

Have to admit the new Zoe Graham single, ‘Evilin’, caught us off guard. Perhaps memories of acoustic shows linger in the mind (though her Gradual Move EP gave a hint), but this struts from the off. The vocals bounce from restrained menace to falsetto dips; all the while, funky guitars and synths stab at you. Let’s have more of this, please.

Zoe Graham – Evilin (Official Music Video)

You should also check out our cover artists No Windows and their Point Nemo EP. We’ve already expressed our love for ‘Song 01’; ‘Zodiac 13’ features heartfelt vocals from Verity Slangen; while ‘Fibbs’ builds into a melodic marvel, underpinned by Morgan Morris’ twisting soundscapes. It’s a collection about fucking up and making it through, all delivered in a tasteful and soothing way. 

No Windows – Fibbs (Official Visualizer)

Vanderlye continue their efforts to crawl into your mind and take up permanent residence with ‘This Plastic Ego’. They use the male and female vocal dynamic well, battling for space over clean rock fills. It’s a cliché to say you expect this one to soar when played live but it’s still pretty listenable when doing so at home.

Vanderlye (Photo Credit: Niamh McInally)

As the intro indicated, we’re gearing up for this summer, so what better way to do so than with a song called ‘This Summer’, by Emma Dunlop? This is a really well-produced track, quite mature, and the lilting vocals wash over you nicely. It’s more for a sedate and cool summer, with a neat backing hook weaving throughout.

Quiet, The Art tick a lot of boxes for those who like the word ‘post-’ to appear before a genre, with ‘Monochrome’ bringing the ideal blend of quiet and loud. There’s a section where the drums set off like an accidentally lit box of fireworks and then the guitars set off into the sky behind them. If you like that sort of thing, you’ll appreciate this.

There’s a good chance there’s a big audience waiting for Jeshua with ‘Innocent’, a chilled little number. The swooping strings are a big draw, but there’s nothing out of place: it’s all good.

Jeshua – Innocent (Audio)

There’s a glorious swagger to ‘Show Me The Gold (ft Empress)’ by Holly Roseanna, a song fit for arena shows featuring rolling blues artists. It’s polished, sure of itself, and not taking any of your cheek, which is never a bad way to be. The Empress section takes it to a different place, working-class rhymes spitting anger, and it works very well as a counterpoint to the main body of the track.

Holly Roseanna – Show Me The Gold ft. Empress

‘papercuts’ is a smashing introduction to the fantastic vocal range of Erin Meg. The guitar strums and backing vocals shift from sparse to striding, but over it all, Erin unfolds her emotions, complete with a chorus that will drag you along with its upward lilts.

Erin Meg – papercuts (Audio)

We also really like ‘Home’ by SheBeat. The song flows majestically, the lead vocals augmented by backing vocals from Sarah Gallagher. It’s a warm and welcoming track that fits its title perfectly, and it’s whetted our appetite for the album, due for release in November.

Home – SheBeat

Eve Davidson turns in an eerie little number, with the fitting title of ‘Monster In Me’, layering a gothic flourish over what initially sounds like charming indie pop before climaxing with a dark energy. 

Eve Davdison – Monster In Me (Audio)

‘Old Man of Madison’ by Freda Leask captures the rootsy, Americana feel the title suggests, with the song whipping by at a brisk, yet never rushing, pace. Kirsty Grant serves up another slice of pop precision, ‘Wish On Me’, bursting with breathy vocals, musical shifts, and a perpetual state of optimism.

Freda Leask (Photo Credit: Alva Sim)
Kirsty Grant – Wish On Me (Visualiser)

With a new album out this month, you’ll likely hear a bit more from Adam Ross (of Randolph’s Leap fame). ‘Shrinking’ is as good a place to start as any, a pleasant track that shuffles along sweetly, almost begging not to be noticed but carrying enough charm that you cannot help but devote your attention to it.

Lyrical Wizzard, Adam Ross

If you don’t mind making notes for the end of the month, we’d like to mark your card for a couple of tracks that we like the sound of.

Cherry Red are an Edinburgh rock band who’ve made their way onto our radar, and they’ve got a clean and fresh sound that’s very uplifting. ‘Rearranged’ is another track that showcases male and female vocals, and there’s a lot of punch to this. There’s plenty of big rock moments, a classic outro, and plenty of fun.

Cherry Red

Thundermoon have more synths and a pleasant way about them, with ‘We Can Make It’ ticking all our classic Hot Chip boxes. There’s an added level of quirkiness with the vocals and this has left us with a smile on our face. There’s a lot of new music to come from this band in 2024, so keep an eye and ear out for them.

Thundermoon make us smile

So, that’s your guide to May. It’s a little bit disjointed, albeit packed with decent tunes, but Maggie, I couldn’t have tried any more. See you in June.

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