Scottish New Music Round-up: April 2024

This April is quite possibly the busiest month we've ever seen for new music coming out of Scotland – we do our best to condense it all into one page

Feature by Tallah Brash | 02 Apr 2024
  • naafi

Unsurprisingly, March was very busy for new Scottish music, and in last month's roundup we missed excellent new records from Becky Sikasa, Josephine Sillars, Martha May & The Mondays, Homework and Supermann on da Beat. There were also excellent new singles from Adam Ross (Apogee), Swiss Portrait (Talk), Tamzene (What Sundays Are Made For), Zerrin (Maintenance Phase), No Windows (Zodiac 13), racecar (Lay Me Down), rEDOLENT (dinny greet), Susan Bear (Drift), sarya (do i try) and loads more. April is even busier, so this month's column feels quite literally like an impossible task, but we'll see what we can do.

The floaty Hopping, ambient and pulsating Magnolia, shuffling UVA and glitchy Ça Va make up naafi’s gleaming dancefloor-ready debut UVA (8 Apr). Originally from Fife, naafi has been on our radar for a wee while, having previously been involved in the work of both TAAHLIAH and Alliyah Enyo. At the end of January, the now Glasgow-based producer and DJ landed fully formed with UVA’s lead single Magnolia, a poetically personal and pristine number inspired by moving around a lot when they were younger: ‘And I thought that I’d get over this / Now I’m painting all the walls you miss magnolia’. Despite these four gleaming tracks being very much club-ready, there’s undeniable softness and comfort to be found across UVA that makes it an utterly intoxicating debut.

A few days later, on 12 April, Glasgow-based electronic producer Matt Gibb, aka Kinbote, releases Hemisphere, the stunning followup to his 2020 debut, Shifting Distance. Once again coming out on Lost Map Records, Hemisphere sounds remarkably crisp and particularly rich in production; there’s a rounded breathy warmth to Gibb’s vocals and a rubbery depth and fullness to the instrumentation, as well as an undeniable whiff of The Postal Service. But it’s the irregular side-steps that stitch it all together which truly excite; the perfect but unexpected bursts of squalling discordant noise, the intriguing found-sound and spoken word samples.

On the same day, Edinburgh-based husband and wife duo Sarah/Shaun release their debut EP It’s True What They Say via Hobbes Music. Opener Dust Tears is immediately captivating with its driving beat, warm chord progression, arpeggiated synths and hazy, bittersweet vocals. Later, Keep Your Eyes Closed gives off a similar feel to Flaming Lips’ Do You Realize?, although it sounds more like something you’d hear in Twin Peaks’ Roadhouse after some spooky goings-on in town. An accomplished and dreamy debut.

Kinbote. Image: Murray Paterson.

The following week, Glasgow’s own fairy pop producer Pearling is back with her brand new Lovelocket mixtape (18 Apr). On the opening title track, which lasts all of 62 seconds, Pearling makes her intentions immediately clear. Luring you in with a cutesy, almost nursery rhyme-like intro, it’s not long before a fierce bassline and acidic synths punch through, and you realise the sort of experience you’re in for. From the more upbeat Wildfire and Swirly Circus Girl to the shimmering Another ˚₊· ͟͟͞͞➳❥ Life and Dollface, Lovelocket is all at once gentle, ethereal, bold and extravagant, letting you see the many sides of Pearling.

The end of the month sees one of our favourite bands, post-punk party starters Bikini Body release their hotly anticipated and explosive second EP, Weird Party (27 Apr) via renowned Glasgow label Optimo Music. It’s more of what we love from this fiery Edinburgh five-piece: sharp, pointed and droll lyricism, bright elastic guitar lines, bending basslines, skittering disco drums, and literal (cow)bells and whistles; an expertly crafted dance-punk record.

More releases we're looking forward to this month include WE ARE LABELS from Stirling-born Sonotto (4 Apr), before a whole truckload arrives on the 5th. Read our review of Dead Pony's debut IGNORE THIS; seek out Edinburgh producer sevendeaths' Concreté Misery - Decayed Edition, a tenth anniversary reissue getting its first ever physical release via LuckyMe; bathe in I wish I was special, the beautiful collage of sounds, samples and music from Glasgow's Guests; kick back to Hound's shiny American slacker rock-indebted double EP Some Days Were Good…But Mostly It Was Grim; and feel energised by Broken Chanter's punchiest and slickest record yet, Chorus of Doubt, out on Chemikal Underground.

On the 12th, wojtek the bear release their thoughtful new record on Last Night From Glasgow, the Stephen Street-produced shaking hands with the NME, before the 19th sees two former SAY Award winners release two very different records. Fergus McCreadie, with his exuberant piano-led Stream, and Brian d’Souza, who places mushrooms front and centre on Mycorrhizal Fungi. On the same day, you'll also find EPs from Psweatpants (AM/PM Radio), Carsick Charlie (Angel), and Citizen Papes (For You).

The end of the month (26 Apr) brings the debut collaboration from Withered Hand’s Dan Willson and Kathryn Williams, for the gorgeous 11-track Willson Williams, out on One Little Independent Records. Ten years in the making, Duglas T Stewart’s BMX Bandits release their 12th studio album, Dreamers On the Run. Beyond the long plays, you'll also find singles this month from the likes of Roseanne Reid, Megan Black, Kapil Seshasayee, Katie Nicoll, Vickie Paxton and Oyakhire.

Listen to our Music Now: New Scottish Music playlist in the player above – follow on Spotify, updated every Friday