Sunday 16 December 2012

Kowalskiy's Free Monthly 5-track Scottish EP #30

Ignore that heading!  Since it's getting close to Christmas, I've not got the usual five tracks for you.  Instead, there's SIX songs for you to make all that last-minute shopping a bit more bearable.  None of them are particularly festive, but they're all crackers nonetheless.  They are...

1.  Immigrant - Love, Sweet Love (This is the stunning opener from former Fence-r Immigant's 2012 album Talisman.  One of my standout releases of the year.  Buy it here.)

"I think it was this track that convinced me of the need to make the next album a simple, two-track affair! I'm up in the twenties with this one and it got a bit ridiculous, but it was a lot of fun to put together. As the title suggests, the song's largely a celebration of love, albeit with a slightly bittersweet coda. Clocking in at over four minutes, it's an Immigrant epic - another state of affairs I was keen to rectify on the new platter!" - Graeme McNab a.k.a. Immigrant

2.  Flutes - Ironmonger (Demo) (Auld Archie and Sand were two of my favourite songs this year.  Both came from this band.  It goes without saying I'm chuffed to bits to have this brilliant non-album demo on this EP.  Speaking of album... get theirs here.)

"Back in the spring of 2011, we recorded a set of demos with a friend of ours in his small studio in South West London. The output of these recordings went on to become our debut album (released 6th December). 'Ironmonger' didn't quite make the cut on the record. But having finally completed the album process, we listened back to some of the work from last year and this track is one which still sounded pretty good. So much so that we're now looking at working it back into the live set." - Rob (Flutes)

3.  Beta - Stutter/Eck (CUR$ES Remix) (My favourite song of the year was actually Urge by this man.  You can get that here.  Here's a remix by the wonderful Mr. Morris.)

"I did a remix for a friend, that has completely disappeared from the internet. It was when I was booking gigs etc. through The iAm booking agency; the guy Ross who ran it decided to put out a track under his DJ moniker, and the B sides to it were remixes from a few of us on the booking roster." -  Niall Morris a.k.a. CUR$ES

4.  The King Hats - Us (One of the first, and now last, bands I featured in 2012.  This is a demo which didn't quite make the cut for their First Light EPGod knows why!  They're just fussy I guess.  You can get that EP here.)

The King Hats' spiel will be with us in due course!

5.  Insect Heroes - King Fabulous (Alternate Version) (I raved about this album, and this song earlier in the weekThe brothers Thomas have been kind enough to contribute this alternate version of this f**king fabulous album track.)

"This version was done in the first session for the album in 2011. I'd always conceived of it without the guitar as the main instrument though (like our version of a Timbaland production or something,) which was why we re-did it for the final album. When we were listening back to the things we were discarding though we realise we quite liked this take on it. It's actually closer to how we're playing it live at the moment. The song itself was inspired by Kelis's full set of gold false teeth, which I once saw her displaying on a talk show, with the explanation that 'sometimes you've just got to show people that you're fabulous.'" - George Thomas (Insect Heroes)

6.  Little Things Like Kiwis - Oscar Wild (This may well be the first track from the wonderfully-named Little Things Like Kiwis to appear online.  If that is the case, I'm chuffed to bits it's on here.  Expeect to hear their name a lot more in 2013.)

"The track is just my take on writing a fast moving indie/rock song with a hint of a surf vibe (so we've been told). We haven't finalized the name yet but as we have called it this for so long now I can't see myself changing it haha!" - Callum Hickie (Little Things Like Kiwis)

I don't have a favourite one of these EPs, but even I'm more chuffed than usual with that line-up!  I really hope you like it.  Each artist on there has really impressed me this year.  A huge thanks to each of them for contributing.  All you have to do to get your FREE copy is to click the artwork above, or here... whichever takes your fancy.  While you're there, there's another 29 of them for your listening pleasure.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.  See you again in the New Year if not before.

Thursday 13 December 2012

Battle Of The Bands: Round 11

With the Festive Season fast approaching, this is the final round of Battle Of The Bands of the year.  Going into Round 11, Team Kowalskiy held a one point ahead in the series, and with that pesky Neil from Scottish Fiction on home turf this time around, I'd be lying if I said a shock away win would not make for a great early Christmas present.  The full tweet-by-tweet summary can be found on twitter using the #battleofthebandsround11 hashtag, but here's the short version...

Thanks to my victory in the last round, courtesy of my seasonal choice lovely The Winter Tradition's narrow win over Shambles Miller, I opened up a one point lead meaning I couldn't be behind going into 2013.  I'm not one to rest on my laurels though, so I recruited the wonderful Glasgow duo The Mouse That Ate The Cat.   You could say I was... feline lucky going int this duel.  Unknown to me, on the other side of the virtual, musical ring,  was fellow acronym lovers Where We Lay Our Heads.
Before we see how they shaped up, here's the all-important rules.  You can of course read them in full over here.  This round, we were on Neil's turf, so he picked the three stats.  For each of the three, the person with the highest value gets one point.  Both get a half-point if the stats are the same, and losers get absolutely nothing!  He plumped for Band Name Scrabble Score, SoundCloud Tracks, and Number of Members.  All stats were correct at the start of battle.

Right, here's the all-important stats.  Ding, ding, Round 11...

And would you believe it, the away team jinx is over!  It's a DRAW!  It was always on the cards (pardon the pun) after Neil's first stat choice.  Both bands proved the Scrabble equals of one another with a whopping 34 points.  My TMTATC boys' superior SoundCloud Tracks threatened an unprecedented upset until Neil's WWLOH tied the contest on account of their better man, and woman, power.

A draw is fine by me though.  It keeps my one-point lead intact going into the Winter break.  Expect that to be stretched to 2 points after Round 12 on the 9th of January.

But... you've guess it, it's not about me or Mr. Scottish Fiction... it's all about the music people!  So let's kick off the pre-Christmas plugging with my boys, The Mouse That Ate The Cat, who I've just noticed have added yet another track to their SoundCloud as part of their daily Advent giveaway.  If you've missed it so far, you can catch up here.  It's full of acoustic versions, demos, videos... you name it!  Here's the latest, an acoustic version of I Am The Hottest Fire.

If that's not enough to tide you over until Christmas, Bri and Col will be at King Tuts this Friday.  Those boys are well-and-truly showering you with goodies at the moment!

On to Where We Lay Our Heads now.  It's been a wee while since they've featured on here... too long in fact.  Last year they released two EPs, one conventional in From The Roots, We Grow Limbs, and one not-so in wwloh, a collection of acoustic demos.  You can get those both here.  If you check out their SoundCloud though, there's some teasers from their next release for you.  Here's my pick from them, the brilliantly-titled Keanu Leaves.  Enjoy!

And that's your Battle Of The Bands fill for 2012.  We'll be back on the 9th of January.  I hope you'll join us as I ritually humiliate Neil and extent my lead to a massive two points.  See you then!

Wednesday 12 December 2012

K&A with Insect Heroes

Chances are I'm not gonna get around to doing my usual Album of the Year rundown.   I did submit my usual quota to this year's BAMS Award though.  Typically, it was only a day or two after I fired off that email, that I came across this absolute beauty of an album from Glasgow's premier tropical pop brothers, Insect Heroes.  Both the album Apocalypso and the duo themselves have seemingly come out of nowhere.  So the curious sort I am, I asked them a few questions about the band and their incredible debut album.  First up though, here's one of the many, many standouts from it.

Kowalskiy:  Who are Insect Heroes?   
George:  We are brothers George and Evan Thomas, and we stay in Glasgow. George is me and I'm at the computer answering these questions. I sing and play guitar and make keyboard type noises. Evan plays drums. On the recordings we've done so far Emily Maclaren and Stuart Evans at Green Door Studio in Glasgow have helped us with production.     

Kowalskiy:  You've seemingly sprung from nowhere with your debut album Apocalypso (which is incredible by the way).  Tell us how the band came about and how you've kept things under wraps this long?   
George:  I'd done bits of solo stuff at home for a few years, and then when I moved to Scotland we just started making music together. That was a couple of years ago, and it took us a little while to get to a point where we were making something we were happy with and wanted other people to hear.    

Kowalskiy:  As I said, the debut album is out on Bandcamp now.   How'd you describe it?  
George:  It's just a record that's full of weird pop songs really. It sounds like being in space. Or a jungle. It would probably be top of the charts in a parallel world.

Kowalskiy:  There's a nod to Kraftwerk, a bit of The Beta Band about the artwork and one or two other subtle comparisons come to mind, but who'd you say most influences your music? 
George:  Yeah, The Beta Band were incredible! That was the first music I got into, and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Super Furry Animals. We really like the way old records sound too, particularly weirder stuff like Joe Meek. More recently I think Ariel Pink, MGMT (K: one of my subtle comparisons!) and Gnarls Barkley are doing interesting things. Any given song though is more likely to be inspired by something much more different to what we do. Most of the time really I just want to make R 'n' B records, or minimal techno, or whatever.

Kowalskiy:  With the vinyl version out in February, are there plans to tour the album?  
George:  Yeah, we'd like to, but we're just taking things as they come. Our name's not really out there at the moment, so it'll probably just be a case of seeing who'll put us on, and whether we can get a crowd together. We're going to try our best because we like the album and we've got a live set that we enjoy as well, but promotion's never really been our thing!   

Kowalskiy:  What would be the ideal Insect Heroes gig? 
George:  So many to choose from! We grew up near Manchester, so maybe a joint headline with The Stone Roses in the arches under Piccadilly station around 1989. I used to have a video of the history of the Stone Roses and it looked pretty exciting back then.   

Kowalskiy:  It's getting to that time of year, so who's your tip for 2013?  
George:  We live in a bit of a bubble in Glasgow so I don't really know what's happening elsewhere but I think North American War are going to put out a really original, inventive album that's somewhere between Sonic Youth and the Velvet Underground, and Golden Teacher are putting out their first EP of African inspired disco on Optimo in February. We've all been waiting for Fur Hood to release something too, so hopefully that might happen as well.

Kowalskiy:  And last of all, what can we expect from Insect Heroes in the new year?  
George:  As I say, we're hoping to play live more, and get the record out to more people. We're always writing bits of new stuff but we haven't sat down and talked about where we'd like to go with it yet. We'll only release more stuff if we feel like we've got something interesting to contribute. Personally I've got something more groovy on my mind, but something that still takes people further off into outer space at the same time.

So there we go.  Apocalypso is quite possibly my unexpected highlight of 2012, and from it comes one of my favourite songs. I defy you to say this is anything less than 'fucking fabulous'.  Get your copy over here.  The vinyl is a must in February!

Monday 10 December 2012

Kowalskiy Singles Club #19

Nobody wants to be single at Christmas... unless you're a miserable, Scroogey cheapskate!  Kowalskiy doesn't care much for them though.  So with those singletons in mind, it's time for the final meeting of the Singles Club this year.  It's your last chance of 2012 to have your world well-and-truly rocked and who knows, maybe even a wee bit of aural... who knows where one click could lead!  Without much further ado, here's my latest batch of harpless romantics...

Safe Houses - Human Behaviour
Human Behaviour by Safe Houses
"New Glasgow duo seek open minded electronic music loving people, must have a computer and speakers and own opinions' Check out our bandcamp and facebook...." - Safe HOUSES
A late entry into our final Singles meet of the year.  This is a belter from new Glasgow duo Safe Houses.  Get it while it's hot.   

The Spook School - I Don't Know, You Don't Know, We All Don't Know The Spook School
I Don't Know, You Don't Know, We All Don't Know The Spook School by The Spook School
"Are you sitting at home alone? Have you ever found yourself longing for a partner? How about four partners? If conventional one-on-one relationships seem too easy why not try juggling four lovers at the same time! Ever get angry that your partner only has two hands? We have eight! Imagine closing your eyes and pretending to be love-wrestling an octopus! Please call us...we're not allowed in the aquarium any more..." - The Spook School
Strictly speaking, this isn't a single... but it's my blog, so my rules!  It's in fact a 5-track cassette EP which is out on Soft Power Records on the 17th December.   You can listen to all the tracks by clicking the artwork above, and you can pre-order it to... in fact you can't.  It's sold out!  So yeah... good luck getting a copy!

Michael Cassidy - Battleships
Battleships by Michael Cassidy
"Young/old singer songwriter looking for appreciative audience for good time. Audience must be willing to clap and have money to spend on lavish presents for singer songwriter. Like a wedding list for presents the young singer songwriter has attached a list of acceptable presents or treats. Singer songwriters new single battleships must also be listened to and a full critique written about all the qualities that single possesses. Mainly though said singer songwriter looking for love/somebody to phone for good quality time/30 mins a week and dates must be low cost /free. Chat topics include George Osborne s latest budget but no x factor." - Michael Cassidy
Hard to believe it, but this is SINGER SONGWRITER (in case it's not clear from his ad) Michael Cassidy's debut release.  And Paisley's finest hasn't disappointed!  As always, click the artwork to go download it.   

Middleton Hall - (So THAT'S Where I Left My) Self Respect/No Way Home
(So THAT'S Where I Left My) Self Respect/No Way Home by Middleton Hall
"Older and slightly overweight male WLTM lovely lady of similar age and waist size for well earned romantic break beginning 26th Dec. Fondness for mince pies and whisky would be an advantage. Must be keen on animals, flying and facial hair. Ho Ho Ho!" - Gordon Helm (Middleton Hall)
How very festive from the man at the... Helm... of Middleton Hall.  This is the second single from the Dunfermline lads, and once again it's a FREEBIE!  Talk about an early Christmas present!

M A D I S O N - Crimson
Crimson by M A D I S O N
"Lonely quartet of lads in search of love. Must be able to cook crystal meth to a high quality like in Breaking Bad and must enjoy Instagram. We're not looking for women who're going to pull and snap our heartstrings, we're looking for someone to play them delicately. Think you can be of assistance? Then please don't hesitate to contact. Be quick, we're on the verge and running low on meth." - Russell Ferguson (M A D I S O N)
M A D I S O N are responsible for one of the finest singles of the year... ArmbandsThis follow up's been a while in coming but I'm assured there's much more to come soon!  If that's half as good as Crimson, then 2013 could be off to a red hot start.

GUMS! - New Year
New Year by GUMS!
"Imaginary 4 piece WLTM delusional taxi driver type for Hogmanay shenanigans Must enjoy long freezing walks, lengthy attempts at lighting cigarettes in the rain and cramped nightclubs where attempts to relive your glory years end in the 9am realisation that you’re the only person awake in an unfamiliar flat where the CD player's been skipping since 2006. You try to leave but the pile of jackets on the bed is the size of an ASDA...and they all look like yours. GSOH inessential." - Martin Smith (GUMS!)
From the men that brought you The Plimptons, comes GUMS!  This FREE festive-ish single is taken from their upcoming release Antipathy.  So if you enjoy smoking in the rain and like your musicians 'imaginary' then what are you waiting for?!!

The Winter Tradition - Tides and Telegrams
Tides and Telegrams by The Winter Tradition
"Shortarse seeks a warm towel and a better Director. Get in touch if you like picking seaweed out of places it should never be. The people at the bottle bank fucking hate me." - Stuart Breadner (not of The Winter Tradition, but of Shootback Productions)
Fresh from whoooooping Scottish Fiction's beeehind in Round 10 of Battle Of The Bands, The Winter Tradition have released this new single from debut album Gradients.  They're a shy bunch though, so they've let the director of the video write their ad.  Speaking of the video... you can watch that here.

Napoleon's Dogs - Windom Earle
Windom Earle by Napoleon's Dogs
"Easily excitable band looking for male or female companion. Must like walks in the park, be accurate at throwing sticks and not mind having to pick up poo in little black bags. Expertise in Napoleonic tactics not necessary, but an advantage." - Chris (Napoleon's Dogs)
Picking up poo... these boys are spoiling you lot!!  If you're into that kinda thing, then this may be right up your street.  Windom Earle is out NOW... go fetch boy! You can catch the dogs in the 13th Note on the 17th December too.

The Prison Library - Lovesick
Lovesick by The Prison Library
"Unlucky in love Newcastle five-piece seek breathy vocaled soulmate to make us feel high and world-safe. Is your love often rejected or unrequited? We're sure to fall in love and waste poison forever more." - Joe Frankland (The Prison Library)
Newcastle!!  I know... they're not Scottish!  Imposters the lot of them.  I'm willing to turn a blind eye when it comes to Mr. Frankland and The Prison Library though. This is a great single featuring the lovely Sarah Hall on backing vocals.  It's from their upcoming debut EP so keep an eye out for that!  Oh, and there's a video for it here too.

The 10:04's - Lights Out
Lights Out by The 10:04's
"Four desperate, lonely egomaniacs (musicians) seek someone, ANYONE!!! Personality not required, looks not essential. Questionable morals a must!!!! Must be interested in naive career paths, enjoy being skint and pretending to be everyone's good friend on gig nights. LOVE YOU XXXXXXXXXX" - The 10:04's
OK, is it just me that seems to always look at my phone at 10:04?!  Well, it's always been a reminder to feature this bunch on the blog.   If you've got questionable morals and fancy some fun with the 'lights out', then you're well in here!  The single is out now for FREE along with previous single SOS.

Thursday 29 November 2012

Battle Of The Bands: Round 10

Welcome to the blow-by-blow summary of last night's tenth round of Battle Of The Bands, the Scottish music contest with more staying power than Ricky Hatton.  Going into this latest duel, Neil from Scottish Fiction and I were once again neck and neck.  You can see the full, tweet-by-tweet slogging that went on using #battleofthebandsround10 on twitter.  

With Neil's victory in the last round courtesy of the lovely TeenCanteen the series was once again level at four wins apiece.  My lone wolf Arran Arctic can hold his head high though.  He fought hard... and has a superb new album called Like Lovers out now... here!    This time around, I went for strength in numbers and roped in The Winter Tradition.  I later found out that Neil had gone down the lone wolf route with his choice Shambles Miller.  Could the shambolic duo's alliance conjure up the first away win of the series? 

You'll find out soon enough, but first, here's a quick recap of the rules.  You can of course read them in full over here.  This round, I had home advantage and picked the three attributes we'd be using.  For each of the three, the person with the highest value gets one point.  Both get a half-point in the event of a draw and losers get a big, fat zero!   I chose SoundCloud Tracks, Twitter Follow Ratio and Band Name Scrabble Score.  As ever, all stats were correct at the commencement of battle.

Right, here's the all-important stats.  Seconds out, Round 10...

Home turf proves crucial again!  Despite the early slip-up with the SoundCloud Tracks, Team Kowalskiy ran out 2-1 victors thanks to The Winter Tradition's impressive Twitter Follow Ratio, and the fact that, much to Neil's disgust, an 'L' is only worth 1 point in Scrabble.  With that, the series I've opened up a one-point lead in the series once again.  And that was without me using the contentious fact that my guys have technically been together for 10 years albeit in their previous incarnation The Void. 

But, by now you know it's not about who wins... it's all about the two artists taking part and the lovely music that they make!  So let's kick off the gratuitous plugging with my boys, The Winter Tradition. Earlier this year they released their debut album Gradients (which you can buy here!), and they've just released the video for one of the album standouts Tides and Telegrams.

There's two more chances to catch them live this year.  On the 29th and 30th of December they'll be playing with Flood of Red at The Third Door, Edinburgh and Broadcast, Glasgow respectively.  Tickets for both can be bought here.

Shambles Miller-time now!  He's long been a friend of the blog, and will continue to do so (even though he's in league with the enemy) if he keeps producing songs like his new topical gem, entitled Chris Brown is a **** (and Mike has some issues).  Which you can of course download for free.  As well as that, you should all go and buy his most recent single Confessions.  It's well good!

In two weeks time, prepare yourselves to witness the first away win. That includes you Neil!!

Friday 16 November 2012

K&A with The Colourful Band

Now that's some stellar artwork there!  This is of course the debut album from Edinburgh's The Colourful Band.  It's been just over two years since the release of The Colourful EP with only (I say "only", it was a belter though) a solitary new song on one of my free monthly EPs in the meantime.  But, for the last month or so, the man behind the band, Ian McKelvie has been sowing the seeds of anticipation ahead of this album's launch with regular, teasing updates by email or Twitter regarding it's release.  So when it did finally appear in my Inbox, I was itching to hear it.

The album is a sheer delight from start to finish, and given the cold, grey days we're experiencing at the moment, the songs on it give that little, welcome blast of warmth and colour.  The album title (and I guess the band name too) couldn't be more apt.  Always The Summer and personal favourites Into the Bright Sun from Shadow and New Town Girls should all serve to prove my point.  The latter track also appears on their previous EP, as do just under half of the songs on offer here.  But whether you already have that or not, you're in for a treat.  In both the old and the new, it's apparent to all that Ian himself is a master storyteller.  Throughout the album you get a strong sense that in each and every song, he's reflecting on past experiences, such are the little intricate details.  Some of those, and the odd little 'pop culture reference' can't help but put a smile on your face.  

Anyhoo, it's about time we heard from him, so here's what Mr. McKelvie had to say when I asked him a few questions.

Kowalskiy:  Who are The Colourful Band?
Ian:  The Colourful Band is the name of the music project I started about 4 years ago.  I tend to write, record and then play either solo or with a band.  For the full band set-up its me on acoustic guitar and vocals, Steve Tonge (K: he of Supermarionation fame) on bass, Jon Tyler on electric guitar, and Fraser Stewart on drums.  We spent most of last year playing as a band, but with Dave Curry or Dave Steele sitting in on drums. Steve and I are going up to Aberdeen on Saturday to play Cellar 35, just as a two piece as that's who is available, but that's how we do things in TCB.  The next thing we have to do is play in Edinburgh again, as its been two years since the last time, then it would be nice to go play Newcastle again or somewhere new.  We played The 13th Note in Glasgow on Sunday as a four piece and it was our best performance so far.

Kowalskiy: You've about to release your self-titled debut album.  How would you describe it?
Ian: The new album has been a long time coming. I picked my strongest material from the last few years and decided to put out an album.  I would describe it as indie pop singer-songwriter for the most part, there are some folk songs as well. 

Kowalskiy:  It features tracks from your EP which came out in late-2010, along with a fair few new ones.  So how do the new tracks compare with those from the EP?
Ian:   The new songs were written either in a flat in Glasgow or a little cottage outside Edinburgh where I was living last winter.  I think some of them are very like the earlier tracks, but according to some the lyrics are post-modern. Which I had to look up.  What did you think?

Kowalskiy:  Would that make them futuristic??  OK, I have no idea what that means.  Anyway, some of the songs and stories on the album take you on a wee tour through Scotland, from Glasgow to Edinburgh and up the East Coast.  How influential are your surroundings when it comes to writing your songs?
Ian:  The songs are shaped by whatever I'm doing in real life at the time of writing. When I'm pissed off I usually write on the electric guitar and the song comes out as indie or even late 70s PUNK.  If I'm blue I will usually end up writing a folk song on the acoustic. So its hard to write the same kind of song every time, its more about externalising and therefore dealing with whatever is going on. In many instances it has been work and the hours, driving about, and general shit that life throws at you. For example, I was driving home from Manchester with a song in my head one night, and wrote the lyrics down on my mileage form when I got back to Glasgow. Then when I was doing my tax return I found the lyrics, and just wrote the music when I was taking a break.  That's the second song on the album. It was originally called "Are You Waiting For Someone To Take You Home?" but I thought it sounded a bit like The Buzzcocks, so I shortened it to "Are You Waiting?"

Another song I wrote when I was freezing in my flat in winter was going to be called "Because The Heating Does Not Work In This Flat", but I settled on "I Want To Go Home" because that's the chorus and it sounds a bit pretentious the other way, and less like a title.  There's another song called "Getting Famous Is Easy" which basically is my take on being a grassroots singer songwriter, and the lifestyle that goes with it.  I guess this is sounding fairly self-referential. But its basically a case of write about what you know. And I just went for it.  My mate Andy says I sound like a spokesman for how disaffected your average early thirties male is with modern Britain.  You do the exams, get the degree, get the job, and then life is just boring. Or maybe I'm just in the wrong job. That's why I write music.  In a nutshell, if you feel like this, you're not alone. That's where most of it comes from.  That, and the fact I travel around the UK a fair bit with my job.

Kowalskiy:  What would be your ideal gig? 
Ian:  Ideal gig, I would have to say with the band, CBGB, Ian Dury opening, then Neil Young, The Sex Pistols, then us, ha ha!
Kowalskiy:  What can we expect from The Colourful Band in the future?
Ian:  The future? Next album will be classic country rock I promise. Can't tell you more than that.

Kowalskiy:  Last one so it's a wee bit topical... and I'm taking a bit of a punt given one of your tracks is called Easter Road, but you're a Hibs fan yeah?  If so, can the Hibees win the SPL this year?
Ian:  I'm not a Hibs fan, but there is every chance they could.
Kowalskiy:  Nae chance mate! 

So, the album is out this Monday, the 19th of November.  You can get your copy in Avalanche if you're in Edinburgh.  If not, then it'll be on all major download sites soon after.  Also, as Ian said above, on Saturday (i.e. tomorrow) him and Steve will be playing Cellar 35 in Aberdeen.  So if you're at a loose end tomorrow night...

Kowalskiy's Free Monthly 5-track Scottish EP #29

Time now for the 29th of these free monthly EPs.  I hadn't noticed, but there's been a few wee themes developing recently... my artwork is making less and less sense, there's been a few more cover versions than usual, and I've been including a fair amount of previously-released singles to give them a well-deserved extra plug.  So, I hope you've been enjoying that wee mix of tracks, because this EP is no different.   We even have a repeat offender who you may remember from last month...

1.  Saint Death - El Metro (Hot off the press!!  This beauty was recorded last week and mixed last night.  Hope you all appreciate the lengths these guys went to for you!)

"El Metro by Saint Death. a post-rock instrumental roar from the grimy suburbs of Glasgow. This track was created for this months Kowalskiy release; for even more melodic whitenoise like this, go to Saint Death or  Thanks for listening." - Ivan (Saint Death)

2.  Plum - Smile (Early Version) (This is an early version of the lovely Plum's new single which is out on the 19th of November.  Hopefully this will keep you entertained until that's out, along with it's Teklo collaboration B-side.)

"Smile was an important track from the start. The subject matter of the track is really dark, so I needed the production to match that. The earlier version was sadder than the final, but I really wanted it to have a lot of aggression. At the same time, I wanted the vocals to remain fairly passive. I sampled a music box to capture the childlike nostalgia to give it a creepier edge, and the early version used strings and samples from a crowd at a comedy gig. I worked with Ben Phaze ( on drum production for the earlier version, using some of his field recordings from the London Underground. We used to work together quite a lot when I lived in London, and used to play together under the band Plaze (Plum & Phaze). He's not only a great producer, but an accomplished DJ too, having masterminded the Beat Feast Collective. I like the clumsy chopped vocals being very static, but when I got the chance to work with Kyle MacKenzie (Dirty Disco/El Hatred) I grabbed it with both hands. Kyle is an incredible producer, and we chatted through a few ideas, and he had some fantastic ideas for co-production, so I'm really really pleased with the final result. This is the heaviest track on the album, but it suits the track perfectly." - Shona Maguire a.k.a. Plum

3.  Thank You So Nice - Hurry Home Tonight (A cracking non-album track from their recent debut album sessions... that make sense?!)

"This was one of the first songs we recorded during the sessions for our album Make Friends Not Money and I guess you could call it a rarity as it didn't make the cd and we've only played it live once, I think. We tend to refer to it as 'the 50s song' even though it's probably nothing like a 50s song. I've been listening to the 50s doo wop band the Flamingos lately and they have a song called 'Hurry Home Baby', so from now on I can pretend the track's real title is a reference to that." - Alex Hendrikson (Thank You So Nice)

4.  yaya club - House Of The Rising Sun (Touch of deja vu here... yes, he's back for a second month in a row with another sublime cover... this time, Darren takes on The Animals' classic.)

"Recently I conducted an experiment to see what happens when you don't drink or smoke for a whole month. On the seventh day, I found out that you get bored so I decided to record some acoustic tunes. This one here is an Animals cover, after which I went out for white russians." - Darren Vincent a.k.a. yaya club

5.  White Heath - In A Glasshouse (This BEHEMOTH of a track was released by the wonderful White Heath earlier this year.  It's well overdue a extra plug!)

"You can explore the world of the song further at and see White Heath live on the 16th November at Broadcast, Glasgow in support of Bwani Junction; the 30th November at Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh; the 21st December at King Tut's Wah Wah Tent, Glasgow." - White Heath

How's about that!?  Hope you all enjoy it.  A huge thanks to each of the artists involved in this month's EP.  All you have to do to get your FREE copy is to click the artwork above, or here if you can't be arsed scrolling back up.  While you're there, there's another 28 there crying out to be downloaded for FREE.

Now to get cracking on December's EP.   If you fancy making my life that wee bit easier, and contributing a track to one of these, then send me a wee email ( and we'll see what we can do!