Small Spotlight #1 – What U

KELSY KARTER – What U

LA-based New Zealand native Kelsy Karter attracted mass media attention a little while back with that notorious face tattoo of Harry Styles, which led nicely into her viral single named after the former One Direction member.

We would have never guessed that, months down the line, she would be presented to us with a new song – What U – in tow, but truthfully speaking, Kelsy has actually proved to be something legitimate.

She has a great voice which is packing this brash attitude, and the addictive track has a similarly raucous tone to it, especially with the energetic riffs and sweet bass chords that are rife throughout.

While earning fame for the weirdest of reasons, she looks set to maintain it with her musical talents, realised and brought to life perfectly through this quality single.


SCARLETT RANDLE – Her

A gorgeous low-key song that is simply flawless; fuelled by an alluringly warm atmosphere which helps to amplifies the gripping lyrics and the absolutely beautiful harmonies.

Scarlett has continuously evolved from day one, having come far in maturing since Berlin, and she is prime and ready to emerge as one of the definitive queens of Scottish pop.


BANSHEE – Bubble

On the eve of the release of their new EP, the title track is among their best ever, capturing an infectious energy through slick guitars, amped-up bass chords, intense drum beats and a supreme vocal performance.

They have also developed a chemistry so tight which surpasses that of many other groups going in the Scottish scene, to the point where if any one member were removed, it just wouldn’t be the same, because they all match up together perfectly.

Wrapped up by a top-notch chorus, the quartet have clearly stepped up their game to another level ahead of what is sure to be another great record from them.


SERTRALINE – Relapse

After what has felt like forever, the Northerners are at last back with a brand new track, and it’s a f***ing doozy, taking the finer elements of their sound and implementing it into a beautifully filthier direction.

The rhythm is bulky, Lizzie’s mix of vocals and guttural screams are insanely good, and it will take hours for that superb chorus to leave your head; perhaps the greatest one of 2019 thus far, regardless of genre.


FOREIGNFOX – Birthday Flowers

For years, we’ve considered Foreignfox our favourite act to hail from Dunfermline, and they’ve retained that status with yet another supreme track added to their already luxurious arsenal.

It has a bit of everything here – a glorious size, fresh guitars, a tight rhythm, lofty vocal work and really great writing. How are these lads not bigger by this point?


LAKYOTO – Invincible 

The Edinburgh electronic outfit treat us to a tune that is the epitome of short but sweet. A grand-scale sound with a lot of life to it is formed from a combo of a staggering melody, a class production and a stormer of a chorus that is beyond addicting to the point where you might just be singing it in your sleep.

The boys have proved their worth with this one, and they deserve their share of mainstream attention so that others can find out what they are missing.


IZZY THOMAS – Trouble

One of the most astounding debut singles of the year comes to us courtesy of London artist Izzy Thomas, and what a vexing powerhouse of a tune it is.

Thematically, it makes an impact as it encompasses the all too familiar subject matter of women being treated second-rate in the industry, and the lyrics hit the mark so damn well.

Musically, it sits in that perfect middle ground between catchy pop and intense rock, and there’s a vivid punch to it, with Izzy displaying a blunt, full-frontal edge in her singing, and it’s taken to another level as she pushes into the fantastic chorus.


CALUM FRAME – Lover Of Dreams

One of the musicians that we’ve been following the longest since we entered the local scene, the Strathaven lad gives us his second single of 2019, and perhaps his best yet.

Driven by a hooking drum beat, the track features Calum at his pinnacle vocal-wise, some fine lyrics and rocking guitars, and the chorus is a belter.


ROSE PETAL – OUT OF BLUE 

One of the finest artists currently emerging from the state of Rhode Island brings us a chart-worthy pop anthem with enticing R&B vibes all over it.

A stunning ambience that is substantially rich, sublime bass, a catchy beat and dazzling vocals make this one a must-listen.


VIGGO – Get Up!

What happens when you take three of Norway’s elite musicians and fuse them together? You get VIGGO, and the trio have combined their abilities to bring us this tremendous single.

This features gracious harmonies, utter lucid instrumentation that contributes to a ravishing melody, and most important of all, fantastically inspiring lyrics that stick with you after what is sure to be the first of many, many listens, for this has a magnetic facet to it which has us personally coming back again and again.


FRANKY’S EVIL PARTY – Paradise

Undoubtedly, one of the most striking acts that we discovered at 2019’s New Year’s Revolution at King Tuts was this lot from Dumfries, and mental numbers like this one just show why they caught our attention.

The track has this insanely loud, jarring rhythm to it that punches endlessly and relentlessly into the brain. Screeching electronics, a persistent drum beat, and harsh, almost deranged vocals define it. It keeps a firm grasp on the listener, right up to the closing seconds where they rack up the tempo to an overwhelming degree.

Difficult to properly describe, but it’s sure one hell of an experience that has us coming back for more.


ERIN VIVERS FERGUSON – Clockwork

Having gotten a taste of her fine talents from a couple of occasions attending the King Tuts Sunday Song Club, this is actually the first time we’ve properly sat down and checked out Erin’s music, and this single serves as a cracking introduction.

This is a wonderful, gentle-toned number driven by her striking, authentic voice and grasping lyrics, and it’s all elevated by this hypnotic quality which will easily hook in any listener.

Speaking totally honestly, this beautiful song is quickly becoming a favourite of ours, and Erin doesn’t deserve to be passed over, she’s just too good to be.


IN FEAR THEY FOLLOW – Erebus

The UK metal scene is ripe with upcoming raw talent, and this group from Bristol have been highly touted as of late, and their latest single has definitely convinced us to hop on the bandwagon.

Jake is a beast on the mic, helming a voice both strong and broad, while we get dual blinding guitars and a resounding force behind the packed rhythms. The massive chorus is just the icing on the cake, being nothing short of epic.


SUPER CASSETTE – Better In Reverse

This song from the Californian garage pop quartet is a really smooth, melodic ditty surrounded in this serene, dreamy essence that is easily approachable.

We get easy-going harmonies, sleek chords and a rhythm that is somehow simultaneously laid-back and bouncy, and at the core is some pretty good writing questioning the negative impact of humanity that gives you something to think about.


THE ASTRONOTS – Settle Down

Yet another promising act breaking out in California’s bustling scene, they impress with this slick, well-crafted track off their Cotati EP.

The song does an awfully good job digging into both the awfulness of anxiety and that feeling of being lost, while also offering a stunningly sincere showing on vocals, prominently crisp basslines and nice riffs that have a grungy root behind them, and the chorus is absolutely top-notch too.


DRIFT – The Isle Of

This Paisley synthpop duo made a big impression on us when we saw them live at King Tuts in January, and with stunning pieces like this, does it come as a surprise as to why?

Over the course of six minutes, Linzi showcases her skills as one of Scotland’s most underrated vocalists, with a warm voice that captivates like few others can, while Andrew uses his knack as a producer to build a sound that generates this misty auditory environment, as well as a nice beat during the embracing choruses.


NICKY RUBIN – Cigarette Song

The jet-setting Nicky Rubin makes a killing with this simply superb tune that falls into that category of indie pop merged with alternative rock.

The melody is ridiculously catchy and upbeat, and it only elevates with the stimulating chorus, plus the added bass earns it some extra points and only makes it better.


SIR CURSE – Tarot

Now this is how you make a debut. The Leeds ensemble deliver a blooming awesome first effort that is immensely catchy and enjoyably kooky as all hell.

The vocals have a lot of personality to them, the guitars are cool, the twinned bass and drums are solid, the keys are delightful, and the trumpet is super sweet.

We love this. More, please.


JEANICE LEE – Beyond Never

We were introduced to the Edinburgh-based artist and her merry crew at the launch night of The Ice Box in Glasgow over a month ago, and she truly caught us off guard.

The empress released her debut album Beyond Never earlier this week, and the opening title track certainly makes a good impression for new listeners, with this appealing sound that is akin to operatic doom rock.

While there’s a couple of awkward slips, the song nonetheless hooks us in with sonant vocals, great work on the guitars and a solid rhythm.


PHVNTOM – Who Do You Think You Are?

So it turns out that Jonny Turner is not only adept in the art of djent, but also that of indie rock when teamed up with his pal Tom Ward, and their debut tune together is a cracker.

While straightforward in style, the track fuels a real sense of excitement with a perpetual high energy, swell riffs and an enthralling chorus.


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