Music. Free. Etc. Fill your proverbial boots. If you stumble across a great freebie by a Scottish artist that I've somehow overlooked, leave a comment below. It may well be included in the next edition of Fortnightly Freebies, though I have a hard enough time picking my selection as it is. Scottish musicians, you spoil us with your abundance of, err, freeness.
Churches - Lies
Formed of Iain Cook (Aereogramme/The Unwinding Hours), Martin Doherty (The Twilight Sad) and Lauren Mayberry (Blue Sky Archives), Churches are currently causing a ripple of excitement across the Scottish music scene. I have a terrible weakness for electro-pop as it is, but this is a behemoth of a track with confident vocals, a strong, rhythmic bassline and swooping synths that enhance, not overpower. If Lauren's pronunciation of "dirty" doesn't make you go weak at the knees then, frankly, you have no soul. You can download 'Lies' via the fabulous Neon Gold's website here (when you get there, right click on the link then select 'Save Link As' to download the track to your 'puter). Churches' debut performance has just been confirmed for Thursday 5th July at the Glasgow Art School.
Kitty The Lion - Duck!
Kitty The Lion are a Glaswegian quintet fronted by vocalist Anna Meldrum, who as a solo artist has previously supported the likes of Amy MacDonald and Duke Special. Since the release of their first single a couple of years ago the band has had several festival appearances and gained critical acclaim for their own brand of folk-pop. 'Duck!' is a typical example of one of their songs, a light-hearted and melodic tune with lyrics that can be interpreted on multiple levels. You can download the track from their website in exchange for a Tweet or a Facebook status update. Kitty The Lion plan to release their debut album this summer.
Thank You So Nice - Let's Make Money
I dare you to read their name without hearing Borat's voice in your head. Actually, Thank You So Nice took their moniker from what Super Mario cries when he jumps off the flagpole at the end of each level, so I like it. Nintendo fan solidarity, yo. There's something more than a little Jarvis Cocker about the lead vocal, which takes a sly stab at consumerism with lyrics that tread a fine line between clever and obvious. It's nothing outstanding, but a perfectly well-written indie-rock offering that's sure of what it wants to be. Based on the similar sounds of the single and two accompanying tracks, it remains to be seen whether the band's forthcoming album, set for an autumn release, proves varied enough to maintain interest. You can get hold of 'Let's Make Money' through Thank You So Nice's BandCamp page.
Wolves Of Winter - The Thaw
An enchanting little track, this. Pretty, plaintive and minimal with wintery lyrics - appropriate, considering summer appears to have been and gone. Polished production and the delicate piano throughout give it the air of a film soundtrack, like something that should play as the camera sweeps over a bleak rural landscape. Wolves of Winter's debut single received airplay last autumn on Radio 1's Introducing in Scotland, and the band are currently in the studio working on their debut EP. Oh, and they're from Glasgow. You can download 'The Thaw' here.
GoldFlakePaint is an independent music webzine based in Bristol (and it's really rather good - check it out). This is their first compilation, released to celebrate both their second birthday and the relaunch of the site. It features eighteen tracks including some that are previously unreleased and unheard, and a couple from Scottish acts including PAWS and Loch Awe. Get it fast from their BandCamp page as apparently download credits (and physical copies if you're that way inclined) are running low.
Betatone Distraction - Process Replaces Content EP
Betatone Distraction are a trio from Glasgow who layer drums, guitars, synths and samples to produce contemporary-sounding, dark electro-pop. They recently supported Graham Coxon at The Garage in Glasgow after a public vote and being handpicked by the man himself. 'Process Replaces Content' is an impressive four-tracker that showcases the band's diversity and bravery in experimentation. Opener 'In The Loop' mixes spoken word samples with a hip-hop beat before morphing into a nu-metal-esque electro-rock track. 'Flog' has more than a hint of Radiohead about it and is a melancholic, slower affair while the title track, 'Process Replaces Content', takes us in another new direction with the introduction of strings and catchy lyrics. The EP is rounded off with 'Infinite Hotel,' which opens melodically before building to a rousing, chanted chorus. You can download the EP from Betatone Distraction's BandCamp page.