Category Archives: on location

[on location] Scotland

There’s a heck of a lot more to Scotland than bagpipes, nessie, Sean Connery, Kilts, and Scrooge McDuck—Scotland is home to some truly fantastic music.

You’re probably familiar with the likes of Frightened Rabbit (especially after their feud with the Icelandic volcano on their way to this year’s Coachella), The Twilight Sad, and We Were Promised Jetpacks, but maybe not aware that they all call Scotland home? Whether you’re an expert on Scotland music, or not, hopefully this post will bring to your attention some fantastic Scottish acts that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Dam Mantle
Hailing from Glasgow, Dam Mantle is an electronic experimentalist, specializing in creating music out of fragmented voices, video game noises, and pretty much any other sound effects he finds interesting, along with delicate melodies that keeps these “creations” from falling apart. His Purple Arrow EP is out now.
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Frightened Rabbit
This 5-piece indie outfit from Selkrik have been around since 2003, but in the past couple of years they really started to gain notoriety in the states. They’re especially known for their amazing live performances, unfortunately however, they were forced to drop out of the most recent Coachella due to the Icelandic volcano eruption. Their most recent album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks was released this past March and is a definite favorite of mine, and if you’re lucky enough to attend the UK’s Bowlie Weekender festival in December, make sure you catch Frightened Rabbit’s set (they were handpicked by Belle & Sebastian to perform).
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Mammoeth is Russell Kostulin and he’s definitely got the gift of music running through his veins. Combining his ambition and multi-instrument accomplishments, Kostulin became Mammoeth and the album, Nascent, was born. Nascent has a very eclectic sound, with definite influences from doo-wop, hip-hop, power-pop, and a whole lot of indie folk-rock, which comes together to form a magnificently, fresh sound. My personal favorite Mammoeth track is below, but also be sure to check out his Fresh Air Session over at Song by Toad.
more Mammoeth:
The Scottish Enlightenment
Debuting in 2007 with the single Eyes, for which the promo video was then picked up by MTV and played across the world on VH1, MTV2, and MTV Europe, this quartet of star-crossed musicians retreated into the wilderness of the Scottish town of Dunfermline. Resurfacing earlier this year with two EPs, Pascal and Little Sleep. Most recently, the group released the debut full-length, St. Thomas, via Armellodie Records. St. Thomas is an intensly rewarding and poetic triumph from a band that has resolutely pursued it’s own unique vision. It’s heavy, powerful, and evocative and a record that should be enjoyed for those of us who lived any kind of life with all its misgivings, moral dilemmas, emotional crossroads, regrets, and loves.
more The Scottish Enlightenment:
Tango in the Attic
This 5-piece indie group hail from Glenrothes and have been compared to the likes of Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, and Fair Ohs. describes their sound as a “Scottish version of East Coast garage” and I really can’t put it more perfectly than that. The band’s debut album, Bank Place Locomotive Society, was released last July and makes a perfect garage pop summer soundtrack.
more Tango in the Attic:
The Twilight Sad
The Twilight Sad is an indie rock band from Kilsyth. The band has released two full-length albums and several EPs and singles. Their 2007 debut, Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters, drew widespread critical acclaim, and their second album, Forget the Night Ahead, was released in 2009, to even further acclaim. The band is currently on tour with Errors and have stated that work on their next album is underway and that it’s going to be quite different than the first two. I like it when bands try something new (i.e. Radiohead), so I’m excited for the next album.
more The Twilight Sad:
We W
ere Promised Jetpacks
I wrote about this Edinburgh indie rock band back in the early days of Concrete Opinions and my feelings have not changed one bit. Their debut album, These Four Walls, was released in June, 2009, on Fat Cat Records, and was one of favorite albums that year. The band cites fellow label mates, Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad, as influences, alongside Biffy Clyro’s early material. Last March, the band released the new EP, The Last Place You’ll Look, and since October, has been touring North America opening for Jimmy Eat World.
more We Were Promised Jetpacks: