It’s no secret that Scottish quartet LUCIA have been gaining notoriety as one the most promising up and coming alternative rock acts in all of the country, evident by a growing national fanbase and award nominations.

They’ve now got another reason for people to get invested, that being their latest, much anticipated EP – Cheap Talk.

The tracks are defined by stellar melodies that have an attractive quality to them, and dotted with fantastic, memorable lyrics.

The harmonies are irresistible and have a tonne of personality behind them, the guitars are vibrant, and the catchy rhythms made from a blend of smooth bass chords and slick drumming are mighty good.

As expected, Cheap Talk is a smashing record, with a line-up of songs that are all so great and leave us struggling to choose which are the highlights between them. In case you needed more proof of what has folk falling in love with this group, you have it right here.


Summertime, All The Money In The World, Cheap Talk


Freaks In The Ocean Album Cover


Brand new to the Latvian music scene? Well, so are we, and our introduction to it could not have come from a better band: alternative pop-rockers Neon Saturdays, who are set to release their second full-length album, Freaks In The Ocean.

It doesn’t take long for the listener to sucked into the sound, which is not only melodic, but luxurious in both scale and quality.

The unified harmonies are incredible, and really boost the size of every number. In addition, the guitars are luminous, and the polished combo of bass and drum beats are the cherry on top.

The great writing has a great pull to it, and the choruses are simply infectious. There’s also a nice balance of both low-key and energetic songs to give it that consistently fresh feeling of diversity.

Freaks In The Ocean is for sure one of the most grand, investing records we have listened to in recent memory, and it’s about time that the rest of the world was make aware of Neon Saturdays’ talents.


Phoenix, Heartbeat, Get Up, I’m Alive, Movie Love, Since 17




Hailing from London, singer-songwriter Dale Giles has been on a journey nearly a year long, which has involved raising a lot of funds, travelling all the way to America and dedicating every ounce of his being, in order to produce a brand new album – Tennessee & 48th – but have the ambitious trials and tribulations paid off?

The songs on the album cover quite the range of themes, with examples such as nostalgia, individuality, not-so-nice relationships and premature death, and without fail, he manages to absorb the listeners and hook them on these subject matters.

His performances, both vocally and on the guitar, are terrific, and you really get that sense of belief in the emotion behind everything he sings, and that he’s giving it his all throughout. His backing band help to elevate the sound of each number and make them all the more engrossing, and the writing, as you would probably gather, is sensational.

Dave has taken so many risks to put together this record, and you know what, his efforts have seriously paid off here. Tennessee & 48th is a brilliant, professionally curated work that is compelling from the first note to the last, and the public need to start giving this man the attention that he warrants.


Taken Too Soon, Devil In A Green Dress, Child Again, Whiskey And Daffodils, Who I Wanna Be




Dopesickfly are undoubted one of the prominent funk acts in the local Scottish scene, and for good reason. They have an infectious sound that also mixes in touches of rock and hip hop, and they are something to behold live, as we personally learned when they headlined Broadcast last year.

The group released their self-titled debut album back in 2016, and it’s a fun record with lots to offer, but now they are back with a brand new EP titled Dreamerz Never Sleep, and it’s on an entirely different level.

Ant is sensational on the mic, with an excellent voice loaded with elation and featuring a broad range, but he’s only one piece of a great puzzle, as the guitars are glorious, the bass lines are real nifty, and the drums carry forth the pulsing rhythms.

Every song is so catchy and running off such an exhilarant energy that has you inadvertently moving your body to the beats, it’s just irresistible, and the lyrics are pretty memorable in their own right.

If it wasn’t obvious already, Dreamerz Never Sleep is an electric listening experience that is fun, fiercely addictive and just about flawless. What a blast, it is.


Let’s Go, Hey You, Treat Love Simple




Since local outfit The 21st State called it quits, Craig Horne has went on to establish himself as a solo electronic artist. Earlier this year, he put out his debut EP titled Robotz & Machinez, which did well to give us all a taste of what he’s capable of.

But now, Craig has taken it to another level that has him standing out from the rest of the pack with his debut album – With The Absence Of Light.

Unlike most of the stuff you expect from the genre, there’s little in the way of fun and games, as Craig uses the tracks to touch upon and explore serious, real life problems, whether it’s affects people individually or as a collective, such as battling mental health, or ongoing political issues.

The writing as a whole is dark and uneasy and makes a stiff impact. The tone of the record is reflected well in the sounds produced, ranging between soft and atmospheric, or hard-hitting and aggressive, often fitting well with the subject matter of the current song.

With The Absence Of Light is a strong and impressionable album that has surpassed our expectations of what Craig was capable of, being a lyrically consuming work that will surely put him on the map. One of Scotland’s most promising newcomers in 2018, that’s for sure.


Terrifying, Safe, Wait, The Happiness Illusion




A few years ago, Dutch musician Emily Meekel migrated to Glasgow to not only study, but to also immerse herself within one the world’s most prestigious scenes.

In the process, she formed a group by the name of EMME, and after plenty of time to build their standing in the city, they recently came out with their second EP titled I K.

First and foremost, Emily instantly awes with one of the most bewitchingly stunning voices we have heard in quite a while. Her harmonies are sharp, pitch-perfect and convey the captivating lyrics so, so well.

In addition, she has enlisted a very proficient trio in the form Grant, Chris and Jordan-Lee to help produce some beautifully melodic tracks that each daze in their own ways – whether on the livelier, catchier side, or slower and fiercely atmospheric – but all of them are mesmerising, no matter the tone or style.

Emily and crew’s second effort has left us speechless, being one of the few records of 2018 to perhaps be flawless in every regard. It is a stunning piece of work, and more people need to be aware of the supreme talent being put on display here.


Who We Are, Don’t Give A, What Hurts Us




Glaswegian rock duo The Bleeders are a pair that regularly pop up on our feeds, but we actually never took the time to give them a shot, so we took the dive and checked out their debut EP – Greetings From The Bleeders.

The catchy songs on this record constantly go back and forth in style. At one moment, they are running off such a swift, raving energy; the next, they dip the pace (well, by a touch, mind you) and focus more on swinging rhythms.

There’s a persisting deranged tone to the whole thing, and this is definitely reflected in both the vocals and the outlandish writing. Elsewhere, the riffs are sweet and the beats are cool.

The Bleeders’ first release is nothing short of frantic and peculiar, and we wouldn’t have it any other way, speaking truthfully.


American Express, Greetings From The Bleeders, Bats*** Lazy




Emerging out of Belgium, Soul Grip have been grafting to build themselves into one of the country’s prime black metal acts, and if you judge by their latest album – Not Ever – then they might have just achieved that.

The majority of the record runs off such a rigorous, relenting aggression that drill right into the eardrums. Nathan’s vocals are fierce beyond belief, the conspiring riffs are mental, and the rhythm sections erupt with such a resounding force.

But the whole experience is not like this, for they consistently mix it up and keep the pace changing, often taking it down and creating a macabre atmosphere that slowly builds and builds towards another colossal outbreak just waiting to happen.

Soul Grip’s sophomore effort is a wild, combustible jaunt that is two parts brutal, one part absorbing, but totally satisfying as a whole.


Grand, Ailes Noircies, Grav I, Fiend




For the better part of 5 years, Glasgow ensemble Damaj have went from strength and strength and worked vigorously to make a name for themselves as one of the prominent young metal acts in Scotland.

Finally, after a long time garnering the reputation, they have at last pulled the trigger on their debut full-length album – Ashen Path.

As expected, the assortment of tracks here feature a tonne of energy, red-hot tempos and a large scale in general, the latter especially being owed to a mash of weighty vocals, magnificently wild riffs and thumping rhythms.

The record as a whole has a constant fire to it, where it never loses steam or gets dull at all throughout the near-hour duration.

If there was one issue, it’s that the mixing is a little off in areas, with some elements being too overpowered and drowning out others, and it makes for inconsistent listening sometimes.

But with that said, Ashen Path is still a cracking blitz that any fan of metal can easily jump into and get a few headbangs out of.


Where Is Your God, Testament Of Judas, Well Of Souls, Suffered Too Much, King, Dying Day




Born and bred in Stockhalm but currently based in Edinburgh, musician Mark McCaffer has been quietly in the background of the Scottish scene with his solo project, Electrobuddha.

It’s a name that has cropped up under in our sights many a time, and after some steady airplay as of late, we finally got our chance to check him out via his latest work – Roller Disco.

The general sound of the record is very hard to pinpoint, and it varies between the songs. Sometimes it’s light, poppy and melodic, at another moment more rocky, and in some cases, it even has a psychedelic feel to it..

Regardless of the style, the choruses are always the highlights of each tune, being driven by utterly catchy hooks, with the writing usually an assisting factor in this respect, and the vocals are mainly solid.

The only thing that drags this down is that the production tends to be on the rougher side, and it could have done with a helping hand to get it polished. Despite that, this is certainly an interesting album that sparks a range of vibes and leaves a lasting impression.


ELO Nation, Intentions To Fly, Eternal Light, Roller Disco, Everything Is Groovy




In the far north west of the Scotland, a trio have been attracting folk with music that combines garage rock and grungy blues. They are The Howling Lords from Stornoway, and they are preparing to take the next step with their second album – Texas Medicine.

Throughout the collection of swell tunes, we get a doubler of rugged vocals and staggering riffs from leading man Felix, some sweet, crunchy bass chords by Jens and nice drum beats courtesy of Eoghainn.

While a little on the simplistic side, the majority of the tracks are seriously catchy and have a swinging kick to them, and that more or less remains a constant from start to finish. The writing is also pretty decent too.

Nothing particularly complex or fancy, but there’s little doubt that Texas Medicine is a rocking good time.


She Devil, Still Waters, Howling At The Moon, Black Dog, Looking At Me


cloakroom Q


Across the Irish Sea, alternative rock group Cloakroom Q have been making quite an impression over in Belfast and the surrounding areas, and having been given the opportunity to listen to their latest EP – Going For A Walk And I’m Not Coming Back – it comes as little surprise.

Very quickly, from the moment the opening track plays, you know you are in for something on the different side, as they produce an atmosphere that is intriguing and has a hold on you, mostly driven by smooth bass chords and gentle brass.

But then, with the click of the fingers, they suddenly do a 180 and launch into something louder and with more of a hostile, in-your-face tone, but yet they still keep a firm grip on you.

Constant through the whole ride is good vocals, intense lyrics, and as already covered, the sound is really varied and regularly changing it up.

Cloakroom Q have compiled a great record here, one that definitely helps them to stand out from the crowd, and if they have any aspirations of going higher up, then this will help them in the long run.


People With Energy, Feeding The Stranger, South Of Sane




Meeting together at university and sharing similar passions and aspirations, the Midlands pairing of Andrew and Aron formed The Unawake State, and together worked in unison to produce their debut EP – State Of Heart.

A feature that becomes notable very quickly is the sheer energy that is elicited, with the rhythms being pretty spirited and getting the listener drawn in with little effort. The tracks are loud and catchy, particularly through the great choruses, the vocals have a lot of zest, the guitars are so fervent, and the writing is solid on the whole.

The Unawake State’s first effort is a real exciting one, and the pair have showcased a lot of future potential with this record.


The Nearshore, Unawake State, Taboo




Felix And The Sunsets; comprised of the Christie brothers, Felix and Lukas; are a new rock and roll duo to recently emerge from Leith, and naturally they want to make a decent impression with their debut EP – Don’t Sleep.

We get a mixture of nice, simple tracks primarily driven by delightful melodies and enjoyably catchy choruses, with good harmonies and guitar work to boot, and the whole record has a generally upbeat feel to it throughout.

Although a little rough on the production side of things, this is a solid first effort from this pair, and if able to develop their music to a point where they can stand out in the scene, then they could potentially go far.


Sweet Jane, Steal The Sun


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