The weather out side may have been frightful, but the music was just delightful as July turned out to be one of those summer months which plays out to the soundtrack of great pop music of all shape and sounds, which this roundup aims to prove. Moving from light to shade, it features music for long summer’s days but also for dark and dangerous nights.
What links everything you’re about to hear is that no matter what instruments are being used, or what’s being sung, they are huge tunes which cannot help but improve your day. To kick things off, from their latest album The Way Back Up, are Prides with ‘Messiah’. It’s a song which has been around for a while, but as an introduction to the album it’s perfect as it exemplifies their infectious electronic pop sound which harks back to New Order and The Human League while also being reminiscent of the late and much loved Dogs Die In Hot Cars. With a cracking video to boot, this is how you write an anthem. Believe:
Apache Sun bring something new to Scottish music with their psychedelic sounds which are real ear worms. A prime example is their new single ‘Silhouettes’, which demands you give it multiple plays. It’s reminiscent of the very best of the genre, such as 13 Floor Elevators, Silver Apples, The Telescopes and Trees, but this is no exercise in nostalgia. This is a modern psychedelia which embraces electronic music to make something fresh and refreshing:
Some quality noise now from Vukovi, who you must see in the flesh if you get the chance. Why? Well, because they play great music with a verve and passion which is perfect in a live setting. Often it’s difficult to capture such excitement on record, but their new single ‘Boy George’, manages that with ease. A righteous and riotous slice of power pop which is deep down and dirty, just like the man who lends his name to the song. Guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face, this is ‘Boy George’:
The long and winding walks from venue to venue at the Edinburgh Festival require a soundtrack, and this year I have mostly been listening to Slam’s Reverse Proceed, Tom Wait’s Rain Dogs (perfect for a walk through Edinburgh Old Town in the evening) and Miaoux Miaoux’s brilliant School of Velocity, which is without doubt one of the best records of the year. It reminds me of Scritti Politti’s Cupid & Psyche ’85, which is just about as high praise as I can proffer. You want proof? Well this is perhaps the standout track among a collection which doesn’t feature any filler. It’s called ‘Luxury Discovery’, and it is a thing of beauty and a joy forever:
Young Aviators new single ‘Drive-Thru Culture Night’ comes across like a Glaswegian answer to Pulp’s ‘Common People’, and it’s as good as that sounds. It shares that song’s building tension as things rattle along to a conclusion, driven by crashing guitars and insistent drums. It’s a four-minute pop classic which perfectly sets out a nightcrawl through Glasgow, with a great video to match. Take a listen:
Talking of the night, one of Scots Whay Hae’s favourite bands of recent years have been Sacre Noir whose brand of dark electronica recalls Siouxise, The Glove, KMFDM and the mighty Xmal Deutschland. It seems to me that when they are between records they’re constantly working at the music as every time they return its with new ideas and stronger songs. That’s certainly true of their new single ‘Listen To Me’ which as good as anything they’ve done and which promises even better things for the future.
‘Listen To Me’ would make the perfect accompaniment to ‘The Witch House’ by The Creeping Ivies, from their EP of the same name. Imagine The Cramps fronted by The Slits’ Ari Up and you’ll have a good idea as to what you’re about to hear. They have taken the psychobilly sound which fans of the Meteors or The Reverend Horton Heat will be familiar, and lent it a gothic edge giving the music a dream-like quality which sets them apart. What say you?:
That’s your July. Thanks for listening, and see you next month…