A Burn’s Night Special: 5 Scottish Artists to Soundtrack your Burns Night tumbler of Whiskey

From the raw sounds of the acoustic guitar and pipes to the delicate melodies of the fiddle and Celtic harp, the traditional components of Scottish music transports us to the rolling hills and picturesque villages of Scotland. Whether they involve the classic upbeat acoustics of traditional Scottish music, or simply draw from the beautiful landscape and rich Scottish culture, these 5 acts each offer something modern and unique to fuel your Burn’s Night supper.

Biffy Clyro

If there’s one stereotype of the Scottish that we can get on board with musically, it’s anger. Scottish rock band formed in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire Biffy Clyro create music with big, powerful riffs and lyrical hooks that have a real underlying anger that you can really rock out to. This is best shown in their song There’s No Such Thing As A Jazzy Snake’ however if it’s a more mellow anthem you are looking for with your beverage then look no further than their latest album MTV Unplugged: Live at Roundhouse, London. With real folky instrumentals like the harmonica and acoustic guitar in tracks like Drop It and Folding Starsthe Scottish trio offer all atmospheres for your Burn’s Night supper.

Elyssa Vulpes

Even though Elyssa is not originally from Scotland, now residing in Edinburgh the Italian singer songwriter soaks up all cultural elements of the Celtic folk traditions of Scotland. Her latest album release Holding On, Letting Go is meditative yet motivational, with not only a classic singer-songwriter style but elements of neo-folk. With the acoustic guitar and upbeat folk melodies being the spine of the album, Elyssa offers a take on traditional Scottish sounds whilst also mixing them with elements of indie-pop and Americana. With lead tracks like Front Line and Charlene, the album gives a perfect modern take for your Scottish themed evening.

Nina Nesbitt

Having previously performed at the Big Burn’s Supper View event in Dumfries, Scotland 2015, Nina Nesbitt offers a fun acoustic contribution to Burns Night. Born in Livingston, the Scottish folk pop artist has produced tracks like Not What Your Dad Wants to Know and Some You Win which are composed of delicate folk vocals, upbeat acoustic guitar riffs and small elements of country music that fills you with contentment and makes you want to jump up and jig. Set to release her second album ‘The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change’ on Feb 1st, Nina‘s album Peroxide stands as the most fitting for a Burns Night fueled with acoustic folk goodness.

The Mojo Cams

Following a different angle for your Burns Night experience, The Mojo Cams offer a more theatrical alternative with his multimedia project – a concept album that tells a story of an outsider set in the traditional Scottish landscapes and the tightly-knit communities. The Mojo Cams create a story through folk-like tracks in latest album Nebular Tuesday, whereby the songs are sung by separate characters, building a story to follow throughout – a fun Scottish-themed addition to Burn’s Night.

Yip Man of Scotland

To finish off our list, Yip Man of Scotland brings something unique to our Burns Night playlist. Being the alter-ego of Scottish songwriter Al Nero, the former frontman of blissful guitar slingers Le Reno Amps and the co-founder of Glasgow’s Armellodie Records brings us his first single Aye Peckin’ from his forthcoming second album, Pure Zen, Ken?, due to be released in Autumn 2019. Taking its name from a doric saying that you may hear from time to time should you ever visit the North of Scotland ”Foos yer doos?’ …aye peckin”, the song is about ploughing on, laced with a keen sense of fun and an irresistible marriage of riff and melody. This innovative and amusing single provides one light hearted anthem to your night that is inherently Scottish.

So sit back, grab a tumbler of Scottish Whiskey and breathe in Scottish culture at your Burns Night supper!

 

Son of William Add to Manchester’s Musical Dominance

Manchester – musically, forever entwined with Madchester, The Smiths, Elbow and seemingly a zillion other bands, it’s a place which cherishes its homegrown talent but isn’t afraid when someone new comes on the block to embrace them with open arms. As such, there can be any number of scenes existing in the city at any one time, all with their own gigs, labels and niches but with audiences who are happy to be entertained by all of them. Where is this going? Ah, yes, Son of William.

Son of William – so named as, though their surnames match, they are completely unrelated – are an acoustic duo who have already enjoyed a modest amount of success under their own steam. Hayley and Ben have the kind of acoustic sound which would happily see them being described as folk, country or sing-songwriters without fear of litigation being launched. Their craft is the old-fashioned art of song, with minimal instrumentation allowing the floor to be taken by involving lyrics which are conversational and meaningful, not just a collection of snappy rhymes. Colour of Love is their first release as a duo, an EP which leads with Dear Old Acquaintance, as delicious a song to listen to in a wood-lined bar as you could imagine.

To accompany your listening experience, we’ve shunned the obvious Boddingtons, and gone for something which is both classy and reflective of the environment. It costs a fortune, but try an Industrialist – bourbon, vermouth, mezcal, bitters, maple syrup and topped with candy floss. Chin chin!

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzJkbWowXtI4ZCr6pqo7Mfw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SonofWilliamMusic/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SonofWilliam_

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sonofwilliammusic/

Slim Loris and the Country Rock Sound of Sweden!

The Alt-Country boom in the mid-90’s was quite a thing – country as a genre had long been derided as rhinestones and fake smiles, but even before the commercial rebirth of Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, bands had openly embraced the genre and added their own sympathetically subtle embellishments. Acts such as Giant Sand, Wilco and The Handsome Family brought the dust-swept art of story-telling into ultra-cool indie territory, despite (or maybe even because of) their heartfelt love of the simplicity of the music and the lyrics.

Though alt-country (or, if you prefer, Americana) has settled into its niche quietly now, the ethics and sound are appearing in the most unusual places. Perhaps the gold-standard of these is Slim Loris, a band based in Gothenburg, Sweden, who are producing some of the most life-affirming music you can imagine, whilst keeping a firm grip on reality.  The first track to be aired from their forthcoming EP, “Wild & Untamed”, is “Burning Elephant”, one of the rockier tracks but still brilliantly melodic and wholly satisfying…

Which brings us to booze. What to pair? Presenting the combining of American and Swedish culture:

SoundCloud

https://soundcloud.com/slimloris

Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/artist/4i1M26n7NN5vINKv3VfuHu

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYvykGoHrbiiBqa33Ia_pPA

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Slim-Loris/214253388610637

Twitter

https://twitter.com/SlimLoris

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/slimloris/

Website

http://slimloris.com/

Three Cheers for Cholesterol Jones!

As we tremble in the corner of the pub, waiting for the inevitable nuclear apocalypse, it’s comforting to know that some brave souls are picking up their guitars and setting them to stun.

Splitting his time between the US and London, Cholesterol Jones is both an animator and a musician, using these skills to set the brains of  sensible members of society whirring into thoughts of action, and the dumber elements a slap around the ears. Satan’s in Heaven, the lead track of a forthcoming EP of the same name, is a case in point: tricky to pigeon-hole musically (a bit country; a bit singer-songwriter; a bit gospel; a bit TV advert jingle), it uses the cleverness of the lyrics and outstanding animated video to convey a message which, although easy to understand, is in no way condescending or preachy to its audience.

Impressively, the song sticks in your head for days: the simplicity makes you realise exactly how hard many artists try to cram as much into three minutes as possible, yet by stripping away the flotsam and jetsam, the true genius can ring out. There’s a nagging feeling we should have been following Cholesterol way before we heard Satan’s in Heaven, but, as they say, it’s never too late. But what beverage to celebrate this discovery? We reckon something unassuming but deadly, so what better than the green fairy herself? Chin-Chin!

‘Land of Hope’: a new protest song from Beldon Haigh

Scottish singer songwriter has already written himself into the history books, being one of the only modern day curators of protest songs, but now he is back with ‘Land of Hope’- a song inspired by the refugee crisis which has seen so much exposure in the media of late.

Beldon started off his career back in the 80s playing in a number of bands such as Mikifin and Boxing Clever, but after taking a long break from music, he returned to his passion with a vengeance – penning a protest song about Donald Trump after a dream gave him the inspiration.

However, ‘Land of Hope’ depicts all the feeling and sentiment that you would expect from a song that was written after Beldon saw the famous photo of Alan Kurdi, a 3 year old Syrian boy, who drowned and was washed up on the beach after his family tried to cross into Europe.

Despite the severe nature of what Beldon is addressing in his music, ‘Land of Hope’ is actually a very upbeat song, and whilst some may find this odd, or even disrespectful – those people would be missing the most important word here: ‘hope’. This is a jovial, upbeat song because it needs to be; after all, it’s aim is to get people really thinking and acting on the atrocities they see on the news.

What drink to accompany ‘Land of Hope’?

It doesn’t seem right that we pair an intoxicating beverage with a song of such seriousness and relevance but if anything, perhaps a strong coffee might propel you from your sofa into becoming an activist against the refugee crisis. It might happen. You never know.

 

Links:

https://twitter.com/beldonhaigh

https://www.facebook.com/Beldon-Haigh-Freedom-An-Anti-Trump-Protest-Song-1270990246327550/?fref=ts

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/freedom/id1195525999?i=1195526008

 

 

‘Schtum’ by Lunacre

Cambridge based band, Lunacre have released the intriguing video for their track, ‘Schtum’.

The video takes a strong stance against social media, deploring the modern world in which we live where people are obsessed with online gratification.

It follows a man walking around town with his head down, engrossed with his phone; a not uncommon sight.

The song combines beautiful acoustic guitar line with complex, yet subtle beats and crisp, clear vocals. Definitely worth a listen.

What Drink?

Due to the strong message in Lunacre’s track, I’d suggest a thoughtful glass of red with ‘Schtum’.

 

Tuffet Bunnies- ‘Love Songs For Scarlett’

Clem Darling is the man behind the music of Tuffet Bunnies and he creates folk-infused love songs for his girlfriend Scarlett, hence his four track EP, ‘Love Songs For Scarlett’.

The singer-songwriter describes the four songs as sounding like “they’ve been  written by a bunch of gypsies that popped out of the back of a caravan” which is intriguing to say the least! Each song on the EP is centered around the feeling of being in love which is reflected through Darling’s honest lyricism and unique songwriting.

Having been compared to the likes of Paul Simon, Beck and Adam Green, Clem has steered away from his roots in garage-rock bands to take the path as a folk musician. Before his musical diversion, Darling had performed with acts such as Jucifier, Two Cow Garage and Carson McHone.

What Drink?

Darling’s relaxed folky vibe calls for something to sit back with and enjoy the music, perhaps a good whiskey on the rocks.

Check out more on Tuffet Bunnies here:

Links:

https://www.instagram.com/tuffetbunnies/

https://soundcloud.com/tuffetbunnies

https://mobile.twitter.com/tuffetbunnies

 

Toothless- ‘The Sirens’

Ed Nash, the bassist from Bombay Bicycle Club, is now pursuing his own solo career which he sees as his priority for the foreseeable future.

He has also dropped an acoustic video for his latest track, ‘The Sirens’ that features him taking it easy, playing guitar whilst lounging on a lilo in a swimming pool. This live version also includes indie-pop quartet, Flyte, providing the beautiful backing vocals.

Ed is looking to start playing more live gigs now that he has almost finished the album and then he’ll be back in the studio on the journey to making album number two.

Drink: Since this is a fairly chilled out, folky style track, like something you might hear at a festival, I think a cloudy cider would go down well with ‘The Sirens’.

Vidal & Curma To Release EP August 10th

Currently splitting time between their Northern Italian hometown of Padova and the UK’s capital, songwriters Vidal & Curma are a duo making a name for themselves in London. Playing in some of the most prestigious independent music venues in the city, their reputation has already won them a residency at the revered Proud Camden, where they were invited for repeat showings by popular demand thanks to the innate energy and sense of fun in their songs.

Their music boasts a loose, anarchic freshness without compromising on quality, giving an acoustic twist on the indie likes of The Libertines, The Strokes, Mac Demarco, and Velvet Underground to name a few. But perhaps their closest comparison is less well known – both Vidal and Curma are huge fans of Django Reinhardt, a gypsy guitarist  from Belgium who was active from the 30s to the 50s. Reinhardt single-handedly invented the gypsy-jazz genre, and both band members consider him the best guitarist of all time.

His brilliance has clearly rubbed off, and the new three track EP ‘Another Plane’ is a real, offbeat, acoustic treat.

See Vidal & Curma in action with this live Tradiio session:

‘Another Plane’  is due for release on August 10th.

Vidal & Curmà

Tradiio is available here:

Web – http://tradiio.com

iOS – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/tradiio-discover-new-music/id882599955?mt=8

Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tradiio&hl=en_GB

Connect with Tradiio on social media:

https://facebook.com/tradiio

https://twitter.com/tradiio

Vidal & Curma Links: 

https://facebook.com/VidalCurma

https://twitter.com/vidalcurma

http://tradiio.com/vidal-curma-1