I'll start off the blog with my current top five favourites that you should definitely be checking out.
KITTY THE LION
Kitty the Lion came to life late last year when singer/songwriter Anna Meldrum decided to form a band after a couple of years of performing solo. I was first brought to the attention of Miss Meldrum at the beginning of 2009 after stumbling across her MySpace and was immediately drawn in by her beautiful voice. Since forming a band, the charming lyrics and catchy melodies are enhanced by the sounds of a talented bunch of musicians, one of whom is Callum Wiseman. A late addition to the band, former lead singer/guitarist of Jocasta Sleeps (a band who are sadly no more and will be sorely missed) extends his talents to mandolin, which perfectly compliments Anna's voice and makes Kitty the Lion one to watch for 2010.
Sticking with the theme of Lions, I bring you Midnight Lion. The band is comprised of two former members of Atlas Skye (previously Drive-By Argument) and quite simply, they are explosive. I'm pretty much going to stick my neck out and say this band are destined for big things. I haven't been as excited about a band like this in quite a while and I'm itching for their show next week at The Mill which I urge you all to get along to whilst there's still tickets left. Striking vocals, beautiful harmonies and HUGE sounds - this is electropop perfection.
Shambles Miller (real name Campbell Miller) is a singer/songwriter from Glasgow. Armed with a rusty old four track recorder and a tiny little drum machine, Shambles writes songs to rival the best of Glasgow's acoustic soloists. This is folk meets punk on a beaten old guitar and the results are remarkable. Take a deeper look and you'll notice the witty and amusing lyrics that are sure to crack a smile. My personal favourite: "Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder but it never makes your hard-on stronger". It's no surprise really when you consider he is studying English Language at Glasgow University. It's this flair for words and his ability to turn them into beautiful tunes that make Shambles Miller one of my favourite artists in Scotland at the moment. Watch your back Beerjacket, you have fierce competition for the singer/songwriter crown.
Hailing from the mean streets of Motherwell, The LaFontaines exploded onto the scene in 2008 and took Glasgow by storm. Fusing hip-hop with rock and pop was surely going to attract attention but to do it in such expert manner turned that attention into rave reviews. 2009 saw the band headline a sold-out show at Glasgow's ABC2 where they launched their debut EP as well as support slots with the likes of N-Dubz, The Cool Kids, Mongrel, The Xcerts and Beardyman. They continued gigging the length and breadth of the country before supporting Twin Atlantic at their sold out King Tut's 20th anniversary show. Frontman Kerr Okan's thick Scottish accent and their lyrical wit seperates the band from pretty much every other hip-hop act around and their knack for writing a catchy hook helps secure an evergrowing fanbase. However, where The LaFontaines' really come into their own is on stage. The band continue to deliver an exhilerating performance with Kerr's audience banter usually a highlight. Glaswegian hip-hop just shouldn't work but somehow, it does.
I'll be honest and tell you I don't know all that much about dotjr except that he's from the Isle of Lewis and he writes truly beautiful songs. I only discovered him a couple of weeks ago and I instantly fell in love with his music. I hope to see more of him in the future and hopefully, after supporting The Boy Who Trapped the Sun at The Captain's Rest, another Glasgow gig is on the cards soon.