Small Spotlight #2 – Magic 8


We’ve long considered Annie one of our favourite Edinburgh artists, especially given how much we loved her spectacular album An Unforgiving Light back in 2017, and she’s set to make more waves this year, beginning with this new single.

The song goes in a stripped-down direction compared to her previous works, but that only helps to amplify her beautiful vocals – which are so sensitive and passionate on an emotional level – and a tender performance on the acoustic guitar. Adding to those are mesmirising lyrics and an almost ethereal atmosphere which gives it a further dose of grace.

Those who find satisfaction with this track must ensure they grab her forthcoming Spectral EP coming in a few weeks, with similar content that makes it one of the most spellbinding records we’ve had the pleasure of listening to as of late; Mirage alone may be the greatest thing that she has ever composed, it’s simply perfect.


It’s become clearer by the day that the LA music scene is utterly rich with talent, and Lauren Lakis is yet another worth paying attention to, proven by her latest offering.

Defining it is a sound that it so challenging to narrow down, seemingly encompassing a variety of genres all at once, such as shoegaze, lo-fi, rock, and even hints of doom chucked in for good measure.

But no matter how you want to describe it, it simply works, producing this dark, fixating ambience that has the listener almost in a trance, and this is only boosted by Lauren’s great voice and a totally hooking chorus.

MT DOUBT – Unravelling

Leo and crew have got to be by this point one of the most prolifically featured acts in the history of this site, but can you really blame us when they hit bullseye after bullseye with their music? And big shock, the Edinburgh alt-rock band are here again with their latest outing.

More or less all aspects on this mesh perfectly; the genuinely earnest vocals, the really nice assisting harmonies, the polished guitars, the solid basslines and the great drum beats.

Throw in other well-executed elements such as engaging writing, a hooking melody and a lively chorus, and you’ve got another victory for the talented troupe, and there appears to be no end in sight as to how far they can go.

LUNA KISS – Not Afraid

After 10 years of grinding and busting their butts, the rock quartet have firmly established themselves as one of the dominant acts to emerge from Coventry, with a line of EPs and a constantly growing fanbase to their name.

They now look ahead to the release of their long overdue debut album, and if this single is anything to go by, this is going to turn out to be something special.

There’s a bulk of emotion riding behind the fantastic harmonies, the guitar work is pretty impressive, and it caps off on a really enjoyable finishing note as they elevate the energy levels moving into the final minute, and throughout it all is some great writing.



MEDICINE MEN – Back On Board

The Scottish rock group have achieved plenty of success in their half-decade together, particularly with their Into The Light album in 2017, and now the boys are back in the radar with what is a candidate for their greatest track to date.

There’s a lot of zeal behind the singing, the guitar work is great, the sleek synths are prominently outstanding, and the drumming has a real pulse to it.

It grabs the listener with this fervid energy that is so infectious, and it only gets better every time we stick it on. On the whole, it’s a belter.

LUKE LA VOLPE – Can’t Seem To Get Enough

And here we are showcasing another artist who we were lucky enough to discover at #KTNYR19 this year – Luke La Volpe from Bathgate, who has impressed us big time with his new track.

Driven by a cracking gritty blues-based rhythm and highlighted by a damn good chorus, Luke excels with a deep, broad voice and fine lyrics, while the rest of the band back him up nicely with slick riffs, cool bass tones and swell drumming.

JANOS – Zero

Hailing from Oslo and currently residing in London, the artist has been picking up a lot of steam recently, and this track is the perfect introduction to those not familiar with in already.

With a sound blending the likes of pop and soul, the high-octane, larger than life number is dotted with excellent writing all about having positivity trump over negativity, and this is reflected well by Janos’ utterly spirited singing, an exuberant melody and a seriously catchy chorus.


On the run-up to the release of their years-in-the-making debut album, the London quartet give us a reason as to why we should be spending our cash on it with this neat single.

The track has such a mellow tone to it that makes it inviting; a feeling which comes from the band bringing us a mixture of laid-back singing, a chilled, easy-going beat and dazzling keys, and the chorus is awfully sweet too.







With their brand new Empathy EP imminent, the Italian hardcore outfit get us excited with this belter of a track.

Among the band-wide tight performances, we get some excellent vocal displays, sturdy riffs and dynamic rhythms, and the writing is pretty strong too.




CRASHES – In Colour

Pretty much since their birth as a band, the Glaswegian pop-rock outfit have been regularly hyped as a hot commodity in the local scene. Their debut EP, The Lightning Age, showed a lot of promise, and their recently released follow-up, Something’s Wrong, has lived up to that and then some.

At the centre of the new record is this lead single, an immensely fiery, infectious track that is so rocking, yet also has a lighter, perky feel to it that will satisfy those of a more mainstream taste.

The vocals are impassioned, the dual guitars are superb and the tied bass and drum work are on top form. All these elements combined make for what is a stormer of a tune.


The fuzzy garage rock trio have constantly improved since they made their debut a couple of years back, and their first single of 2019 is above and beyond their best work yet, with really tight riffs, a strong rhythm and a cracking chorus with a vivid hook to it.





FALSE BLISS – To The Forest 

Formerly known as DTHPDL, these guys from Edinburgh are sure no strangers to the Scottish scene, and ahead of their Ritual Terrains album, this track gives us a preview of the kind of quality material that we are in for.

Entering on a brooding note, they soon work their way into what is a complexly curated song, with umpteenth layers from an instrumentation standpoint, all nicely building on top of each other as the number constantly grows in size, before eventually simmering down at the end.

The provoking writing also adds chocks of depth to it, conveyed excellently through the harmonies.

DEAD FICTION – Modern Primitives 

Last year, we named Dead Fiction as one of Scotland’s top newcomers, and they’ve clearly lived up to that standing with a trio of new singles, each different yet sweet – The Crux, A Plot Or Spine, and our favourite of the lot, Modern Primitives.

This is a dynamic banger that runs at a fast and furious tempo which makes it so damn intoxicating, plus the riffs, drumming and vocals are all up to a great standard.

WE ARE ALL FOSSILS – Merry Go Round 

We’ve kept a close eye on Jakob Oelofse since he came to Glasgow alongside Marc Halls back in 2017, and he’s kept us as fans with this lovely song headed by mild, gratifying ensemble vocals, accompanied by first-rate performances on the instruments which create this engaging melody, as well as some really gripping writing.








It’s been too long since we last gave attention to one of the finest women in the Leicester scene, so we are redeeming that by showcasing her new single.

This is a dazzling tune with a haunting air to it which is purely magnetic. Contributing to the fact is Courtney’s eerie harmonies, the raw guitar chords and the stiff drum shots.



2 years after the release of his acclaimed debut solo album, Richard is gearing up for his sophomore release, and this track here gives us confidence that he’ll be earning further praise.

What we get here is a cracking alternative punk number with a rowdy energy and intriguing experimental undertones, made as good as it is by Richard’s raunchy vocals, the full-frontal riffs and the battering drums on display, and the lyrics hit the mark nicely.

LORI SMITH – Fighter

Over the last couple of years or so, a rush of young teens have been making a big impact in the Scottish music scene, including the likes of Robin Ashcroft, Connor Fyfe and Claire Doc, and as of 2019, Lori Smith is a name who deserves to be talked about within the same conversation.

A few months ago, the 14 year old Ayrshire native made a mark with her first song, Record On Repeat, but that would only prove to be a taster of what she was capable of, for her talents are totally brought to light via her new single.

She has a tremendously beautiful voice that is beyond her age, and she’s able to express slews of legitimate emotions with such ease; through that, totally sucking in the listener and drawing them in to the very touching, stellar lyrics.

This number is nothing short of incredible, and we sincerely hope Lori goes on to achieve a tonne of success down the road.

NICOL & ELLIOTT – Wish You’d Stayed Away

Electric Honey Music have always been a quintessential go-to hotspot for discovering some amazing underground acts, and Americana duo Nicol & Elliot are yet another worthwhile find.

The pairing of Andrew and Rachel, who have previously showcased just how capable they are in the past, come together with an excellent ditty that isn’t particularly complex by any means, but nonetheless succeeds in every area, from the marvellous dual vocals, to the enthralling melody, and right down to the memorable chorus.

This is one that certainly sticks in the head, and we’ve found ourselves going back for quite a few repeated listens.

KING SLOTH – Truth & Lies

Rising from the ashes of Foxbeef – a band who did not enough love, in our humble opinions – King Sloth have been on the go in Dundee for the last couple of years, and their new single is certainly worth checking out.

A catchy number with quite the jumping energy to it that features an addictive chorus, snappy guitars and rapid flurries on the drums.


A promising artist coming out of California, Jon makes a lasting impression with a sincere number where he showcases his stellar voice and a fine knack for writing, plus the rich production and an addicting beat are welcome bonuses here.



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