> SNACK Bits: Scotland’s new music run-down – March 2023 - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

SNACK Bits: Scotland’s new music run-down – March 2023

Right before this column’s deadline, Twitter was losing its mind because Chris Moyles said most unsigned music was crap. We’ll not sink to his level by commenting on his humour, but if anyone ever felt a Chris Moyles show was the place for up-and-coming or unsigned music, they got the music they deserved.

Leave the championing of new and emerging music to the experts, and us.

Petty Cassettes leave you in no doubt where they’re from, singing in a local accent and dropping in some Scottish lingo on ‘Gimme More’. There’s a clean, catchy sound; while there’s nothing new, it’s harmless and likely to be quite fun for many listeners. If you feel ‘Hey Jude’ didn’t get you enough nananananas to holler, this could be worth a spin.

For most of its duration, ‘Low Joy’ by Day Sleeper feels like it could explode into life at any moment. This adds even more excitement to the low-key electronic tension before the big guitars kick in during the final minute. Give the vocals a few turns for the gold to appear from the gravel, and you have a clever little number here.

Edinburgh duo Gefahrgeist incorporate fiddles and whistles alongside morose electronica, creating ‘Reach’, an inwardly looking piece that should strike a chord with those not entirely on board with what’s expected of them these days.

There’s undoubtedly a sprinkling of moonage daydreams on ‘Electric Love’ by Steven Young, even if the vocals are more Stella Street than Thin White Duke. If it’s an 80s sheen you want, ‘I Wanna Love’ by Leif Coffield should fit the bill. When the surface is as shiny as this, you don’t like or need to scratch to see what’s below; take its pop sensibilities at face value. In a similarly shimmering surface vein, you have ‘Maybe I’m Alone’ by Town Centre, which taps into that peculiarly 2000s brand of electronic pop.

If I Can’t Handle Me At My Best, Then You Don’t Deserve You At Your Worst by Helena Celle is chaotic, intriguing, sometimes challenging, and fun. With the last track stretching out for more than 20 minutes, it might feel like everything bar the kitchen sink is involved, but that’s probably here too, just behind the techno. More importantly, there are enough styles and genres to hook everyone for a few listens.

Eve Simpson invokes joy on ‘His Euphoria’, an upbeat folky teaser for her forthcoming All Her Strange EP. The gentle vocals dance briskly with the more forceful backing, and it’s the sort of track we all need in our life as we tentatively move towards spring.

If you think that sounds appealing, ‘Fast Patterns’ by Neev is also for you. Here, it’s the vocals driving the whole thing along, with the shuffling backing happy to take life at its own pace. It’s a sweet number, with a growing impetus towards the final climax. With a debut album, Katherine, due at the end of April, Neev will be a more familiar name by the summer.

You don’t always have to shout to be heard, and you don’t need to be garish to be seen. Long-time SNACK favourite Kohla returns, and even though ‘Sweetest Love’ barely rises above a whisper at times, it leaves an impression. A lost love isn’t always evil, nor is it a place you need to return to; sometimes, it simply exists, and that’s worth recalling for its own sake. Here, Kohla captures the bittersweet emotional pulls we carry with understated panache.

At the other end of the line, Go To Girl serve up the poppiest thing we heard all month in ‘Slipping’. A boppy number with a more serious message and a reminder that while you can’t always dance your problems away, you can make yourself happier with uptempo optimism!

Looking forward, we’re delighted Hairband’s debut album, Under The Plow, is coming out on Lost Map in April. ‘Unconscious Rivals’ is a great introduction or reintroduction to the band, swooning and jangling enough to remind us why we liked it so much when we first heard them.

While it’s been a short month, we’ve lost Tom Verlaine, Burt Bacharach and Trugoy the Dove since our last column, all much-loved artists for SNACK and for many of our readers. If you liked Tom and Television, ‘Calamity’ by Blush Club is likely to appeal, and with every listen to Heavy Heavy by Young Fathers, the spirit of De La Soul has shone through. So, we need a Scottish Burt, and everything can keep spinning forwards.

Whatever you do, keep creating and/or listening, and we’ll see you back here again in April.

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