> SNACK Bits – Scotland's Essential New Music (June 2023) - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

SNACK Bits – Scotland’s Essential New Music (June 2023)

With June comes summer festivals, evenings outdoors, and SNACK Bits covered in factor 50 from head to toe. We’ll stay in the shade, but you don’t need to be in the dark when it comes to the best new Scottish music this month: we’ve got you covered!

The announcement of Consciousology, Dot Allison’s new album, cheered the team, with lead single ‘Unchanged’ setting the scene. The album, out in July, seems to have a natural flow from Dot’s previous record (2021’s Heart-Shaped Scars) but with a few progressive steps on. ‘Unchanged’ is an ideal marker, showcasing Dot’s classic vocals, breathless and inspiring, while the music spirals upwards in the background. From a simple pluck and strum folk vibe to a crescendo of hope and spirit on the chorus, there’s music for believers on the way.

Similar, but with far more impulsive beats and rhythm, is ‘Otherworld’ from Celestial North. The vocals take centre stage through their gentle and compelling nature, bathing you in comfort while the backing track rages against the world with a sense of shimmering hope. The track is aptly named, feeling as though the song is from an altered state and time, a place many of us would like to escape to, at least for a bit. You can do so here easily and still be home in time for tea.

If pre-album single ‘Celesta’ is anything to go by, Azamiah’s debut album In Phases is going to be one of the eclectic hits of the summer. The album is out in mid-June, so look out for that as the month rolls on, but if you’re reading this early doors, indulge yourself in the mesmerising quality of ‘Celesta’. The vocals of India Blue draw you in, but the imploring bass and seductive style will leave you wanting more.

As always, Last Night From Glasgow bombard us with a clutch of new releases, with ‘Down To You’ from Brontës leading the way. Yet again, the youngsters bring the funk with a side order of cool, and the song is another strong reason to check out their live show. While more than enough pretentious words are in the column this month, consider the word effervescent highly apt for this song. The funk is also present and correct on ‘Le Blank’ by Quad90.

Daytime TV pulsate with vibrant energy on ‘Jessica’, an energetic guitar anthem that craves a colossal chorus to catapult the song beyond their counterparts, vying for the alt-rock crown. It doesn’t quite land where it aims, but if you’re into chest-thumping and straightforward crowdpleasing guitar pop, you’ll love this. The Edinburgh act deserve to be amongst their peers who know that fun isn’t a bad word in music.

For those looking for some hip-hop to fuel your summer night manoeuvres, the OLD BOY EP from Texture is worth checking out. The artist is ably assisted by a number of friends and associates, but it remains a tight and tailored batch of songs with plenty of hooks and barbs to hang on. ‘Self Esteem’ and ‘Fat Lip’ are notable, but it all fits together well.

Theo Bleak was name-checked in last month’s edition for the pleasing ‘Homer’, and if anything, this month’s track, ‘To The Boys’, is even better. The forthcoming EP Iliad should be a cracker, as both teaser songs are worth checking out. The compelling backing track mixed with the compassionate yet concerned vocals makes a song which is gritty but pretty on the ears.

Majesty Palm are no strangers to SNACK Bits, and ‘Particular Feeling’ deserves its place here too. The production values are high on this slick synth number, allowing Olivia McCosh to take centre stage with a performance that pushes pop with a detached air. With a slight funk swing taking the song home, it’s a memorable little number.

And with that, we’re out of here. Stay hydrated, take a hoodie for when it gets cold, and have fun. See you in July.

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