Best Scottish Music of 2023
To wrap this year up here’s our top tunes of music out of Scotland for 2023. An eclectic mix of genres and artists breaking through and well established. If there’s a theme its melancholy and rage, which suits 2023 well.
At number one is All I Want from the fabulous Brown Bear off of his Demons album released this Spring. More at: brownbear | Instagram | Linktree
At number two is the fantastic Philomena – Shetland’s finest who has upped her production and output to whole new levels this year. Here with new single I Can’t Wait in collaboration with East Coast Love Affair.
Carla J Easton’s Sugar Honey from the album of the same name is up next, mixing pop-sugar-sweetness with a tart lyric or two.
The Young Fathers have conquered all before them this year. Alexis Petridis called Heavy Heavy “an album packed with ideas that probably shouldn’t work in tandem, but somehow do, which pulls you headlong into a world where a distorted, glam stomp-driven excoriation of Brexit and the head-in-the-sand mentality behind it that winds up as an exuberant, irresistible choral singalong – “Brush your teeth! Wash your face! Run away!” – is far from the most improbable thing on offer.” More here: https://open.spotify.com/album/6CmlLROLOUJZnZ8QeCCpqD?si=0puaopjJTgSDf5WjoJqcZA
Next up is LVRA (pronounced loo-rah) with ‘Welcome’. Rachel Lu was born in Edinburgh to Chinese parents, and works under LVRA. She’s described as “an artist who draws from the molten core of industrial, hyperpop and deconstructed club music to crystallise a sound that’s both anthemic and experimental.” It’s all true.
Queen of Harps is a bewildering mash-up that merges “poetic flows, spoken word and bars”. Blended with her harp compositions she claims the title ‘Hip-Hop-Harp’. It’s a delightful mash.
Hamish Hawk – Once Upon an Acid Glance from the transcendent album Angel Numbers. Hamish is like the surrogate child of John Grant and Leonard Cohen using Class A’s on a family picnic at Saltcoats. More at Hamish Hawk.
Up next dreaming on 5htp by Becky Sikasa. See also:
More at: https://beckysikasa.com/
Wildlife Cameraman (Summer Farm) A collaboration between Scott William Urquhart and Constant Follower. Scott is an acoustic guitarist from Stirling. His debut album, A Recipe For Reverie, was released in January. Constant Follower is the band formed around Scottish songwriter Stephen McAll. His debut album for legendary New York indie label Shimmy Disc was shortlisted for the 2022 Scottish Album of the Year Award (SAY).
Chicago by Chef the Rapper “from Chicago to Scotland”.
Zidane is a track off Bemze’s album Nova’s Dad.
Felt by Cloth. Cloth are twins Rachael and Paul Swinton from Glasgow, Scotland. Their new album Secret Measure is out now on Rock Action Records
A-Game by Brooke Combe off her beautiful new album Black is the New Gold.
Luminous is by C Duncan off his new mini EP Just Like Like Clockwork. Beautiful floaty ambient vibes and ethereal vocals.
Free Swimming by producer, songwriter and performer Berta Kennedy.
Decoder by Casual Worker. ‘You are destined to be digital’.
Flames by Terra Kin.
Last Sunbeams of Childhood by Andrew Waslyk off of new album Parallel Light. Jazz.
Music in Colour by Werd (SOS) from his grand new album But Doctor I am Pagliacci.
Back after a long absence King Creosote (aka Kenny Anderson) wins the best title of a track of the year with Please Come Back I Will Listen, I Will Behave, I Will Toe the Line. From his new album I DES MMXXIII
Its been a little heavy recently by Joesef from his debut album, Permanent Damage, a 13-track LP, was released on 13 January 2023. Genres: downtempo/electropop.