In this week’s round-up: Scots singer on US film soundtrack; Stirling gets ReLoaded; Writer curates Aberfeldy Festival; plus new music from Meursault, Frightened Rabbit and CHVRCHES, and the Scottish gig guide.
• Currently fighting it out at the top of the box office is a horror called ‘House at the End of the Street’, starring Jennifer Lawrence of Hunger Games fame. Why mention this piece of Hollywood business? Because Radar readers can look out for a familiar name among the film’s soundtrack. Panda Su’s ‘Alphabet Song’ accompanies Lawrence’s first on-screen kiss, and to mark this excellent - not to mention steamy - exposure, the Fife singer-songwriter has produced a new video for the track, which you can watch above. (Our Panda Su video session is still online here)
• Stirling is in for a musical treat next month, when ReLoaded Fest returns to the Tolbooth. Headlined by Errors and Broken Records, the line-up also includes the likes of Song of Return, Fatherson and Blank Canvas. At the time of writing there are 26 bands playing three stages over Friday 5th and Saturday 6th October. Check the Facebook page for the latest, and ticket info.
• Aberfeldy may have received some musical kudos thanks to the Edinburgh indie band it lent its name to, but in 2010 the small town also got its own festival, thanks largely to the endeavours of Ryan Hannigan, the man behind local band Star Wheel Press. Last year the crime writer and Star Wheel Press fan Ian Rankin offered his high profile support, and this time round he has been handed curatorial duties. The bands Rankin has picked are Star Wheel Press (of course), Withered Hand, Meursault, Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells, The Phantom Band, Gummi Bako, The Pictish Trail, Rozi Plain, FOUND and King Creosote. A kind of inland Homegame, if you will. It all takes place on 2 and 3 November and the info you need is at the festival website.
• Radar writer and Tidal Wave of Indifference blog chief Stuart Lewis recently presented a radio show for Fresh Air FM, and now he has collected session tracks from three of his guest bands for a charity release. The Son(s), The Bad Books and Fuzzystar all contribute to the six-track mini-album, which you can buy for just £2 from Bandcamp. All profits go to the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home.
• While we were away we completely missed some good news for a band we’ve followed for several years. Django Django, who first met at art college in Edinbugh and are now based in London, have been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Their self-titled debut album deservedly led to a rise in their popularity across the UK, and we know who our money will be on. Read our interview with the band from January 2010.
• First up this week, Meursault make a welcome return with the second single from their recent album Something For The Weakened. ‘Dull Spark’ is a tightly-bound, urgent song that builds to one of the Edinburgh band’s trademark cresendos. There’s also an interesting woodland-set video, directed by David Lemm. The single is available from Song by Toad records.
• Don’t try to resist it... the rise and rise of CHVRCHES (was that ‘v’ always there?) appears to be pre-ordained, and it’s no surprise they are headed squarely for the mainstream with tracks like ‘The Mother We Share’. Synths on the scale of M83 and faultless production have helped this tune rack up over 60,000 SoundCloud plays in just a week. Check it out for yourself...
• Remixes can often be tired, predictable affairs. But not this version of The Twilight Sad’s ‘Nil’, refashioned by American dance-punk noise-mongers Liars.
• Frightened Rabbit have put their new EP ‘State Hospital’ on SoundCloud in its entirety, in true try-before-you-buy style. It’s also available on vinyl today. The band will be in Glasgow’s Union Street Fopp at 6pm on Wednesday for a live set and signing
• There’s more than a hint of Foals about Johnny and the Giros’ new single ‘I Don’t Need a Lover’, which of course is no bad thing. Sparse and thrilling in all the right places, it’s out on 5 October.
• For listeners of more esoteric tastes, have a look at the new video from masked marauders The Leg. Filmed in a disused bookbinder’s in the Old Town of Edinburgh, it marks the release of ‘An Eagle to Saturn’, the second single from the album of the same name, available online.
• Arran Arctic is a talent we’ve praised in the past, and he has a new song available for free download. Check out ‘Covers’ - and its accompanying video - at www.arranarctic.com
THIS WEEK’S GIG PICKS
The week gets off to a slow start but things definitely liven up in time for the weekend...
Thursday: Promoters MILK present Midnight Lion, Friends in America and Gav Prentice at Mono in Glasgow as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival.
Friday: The universally adored Withered Hand launches his new limited edition vinyl EP with a full-band set at Kinning Park Complex in Glasgow.
Friday: At the Wee Red Bar in Edinburgh innovative trio Dead Boy Robotics will be pushing their pulsating electronica, supported by Sebastian Dangerfield and Mad Nurse.
Friday: Neu! Reekie! continues its edgy synergy of music and words at Summerhall in Edinburgh, with a night featuring novelist Jenni Fagan and music from Seafieldroad and The Store Keys.
Saturday: Edinburgh band Plastic Animals launch their ‘Automaton’ EP at the city’s Wee Red Bar, with support from The Scottish Enlightenment, Sex Hands and Zed Penguin. More info.
Saturday: Having already played to TV audiences in America, The Imagineers come home to Scotland for a show at Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh.
Saturday: All-girl group Muscles of Joy are at Nice n Sleazy in Glasgow.
RADAR: SHOWCASING THE BEST NEW MUSIC IN SCOTLAND