Spinning Coin
A quick primer on the city's DIY scene...

So that was this year's 6Music Festival.

Zooming across the country to Glasgow, the 6Music team set up a series of broadcasts using some of the city's most adored and respected venues.

Huge acts such as Depeche Mode, Ride, Goldfrapp, Thundercat and so many more took part, in a joyous weekend-long musical celebration.

The timing was rather apt, too - Glasgow's bustling underground has rarely been in such rude health.

Writer, DJ, and noted Glesga-phile Hayley Scott is your guide...

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Current Affairs

Many new bands have attempted to emulate the cynical post-punk of Siouxsie & the Banshees, but rarely have they pulled it off with as much conviction as Current Affairs.

Rather than an outright imitation, though, Current Affairs’ influences are subtle, well wrought and employs a quirkier no-wave sound. Joan’s vocals veer between placid and defiant, and work seamlessly with the band’s take on snappy and disjointed goth pop.

The band are still relatively new, and have little internet presence, but they did release an EP called ‘Object’ in January this year via Comidillo Tapes.

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Spinning Coin

This four-piece’s languid indie pop captured the attention of Stephen Pastel, who then released the band’s first single ‘Albany’ last year on The Pastels’ recently revived imprint Geographic.

It’s a fitting partnership: Spinning Coin recall the soft/sharp juxtapositions of indie pop during its epoch in the mid-late 80s. See their recent single ‘Raining On Hope Street’ for conviction, the title track being the melancholy counterpart to the B-side’s more raw and boisterous sound.

The band are also associated with the ever-reliable Fuzzkill Records, having teamed up with them to release their self-titled EP in 2015 – a record which unveiled their authentic ramshackle pop.

Lyrically progressive, Spinning Coin also focus on politics without the aggression. If you like indie pop with substance that’s slightly rugged at the edges, then this is the band for you.

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Ela Orleans

At present, Glasgow is filled with electronic acts worthy of your attention, and jangle pop has become less prominent in the city’s current musical landscape (see also Lona Fortune, The Modern Institute, The Pits, Le Thug – the list goes on).

Ela Orleans confirms the general consensus that it’s women who are making the most interesting music at the moment – particularly those working within electronic music.

A composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer who moved to Glasgow in 1997 from Oświęcim, Poland, Orleans employs both acoustic and electronic instruments including synthesizers, guitar, violin and piano to create a sound that’s layered and atmospheric, often evoking a quality that’s both contemplative and euphoric.

Having scored music for TV, film and opera, and collaborated with artists such as U.S Girls and of course The Pastels, she has become proficient at her craft and regularly cited as one of the most singular electronic artists of our time.

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The Bellybuttons

Glasgow’s Fuzzkill Records has become synonymous with the city’s bustling DIY underground. The label champions rough and ready guitar music that’s brimming with energy and promise.

The Bellybuttons are one of many acts associated with the label that represent the best of Glasgow’s music scene. On the surface, they seemingly thrive on 90s nostalgia, but dig deeper and you’ll discover a band who are informed by something a little more off-kilter, recalling everything from Pavement to Lou Reed, Television and Husker Du.

The band has released numerous EPs via Fuzzkill on cassette, the most recent being ‘Nostalgia Factory’ which really hones in on a propensity for killer riffs and placid vocals. Catch them live if you can – they’re dependably brilliant.

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Rapid Tan

Most local music scenes are incestuous, and Glasgow is no different. Rapid Tan consist of Glasgow favourites Herbert Powell, Breakfast Muff and Spinning Coin, but their sound is considerably disparate to each of their respective projects.

The band released their debut EP, ‘Wonderful Special’, last year via Number 4 Door, and it’s filled with shout-y, melodic aggro punk, with Eilidh McMillan’s vocals veering from composed to outright indignant. It’s no surprise that Rapid Tan would appeal to fans of the hurried pop punk and restrained chaos of the likes of Joanna Gruesome, then.

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Sacred Paws

Despite only half of Sacred Paws residing in Glasgow, they’re still very much celebrated as a local band. Singer and guitarist Rachel Aggs is also a member of Shopping and Trash Kit, and had previously been a member of tamer indie pop band Golden Grrls with drummer Eilidh Rodgers.

The sounds of previous ventures shine brightly on the duo’s debut LP ‘Strike A Match’, though there is a more obvious affinity for afrobeat music, resulting in a sound that couldn’t be further from the distinctly Scottish connotations of Glasgow.

Still, even in the cold climes of Glasgow, Sacred Paws’ joyous sound adds diversity to a scene that’s long been defined by traditional indie rock/pop. The layered guitars, vocal harmonies, and of course Rachel Aggs’ prolific use of erratic guitar lines is pure optimistic escapism in times of post-Brexit dejection.

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Breakfast Muff

Breakfast Muff initially reminded me of Edinburgh’s Shop Assistants, in that they deal in primitive punk rock that focuses on melody more than anything else. It turns out, though, that they have a much bigger chip on their shoulder than the Shop Assistants ever did – and all the better for it.

More aggressive than the tamer indie pop bands of yore, subject matters include confronting feminist issues in a way that’s playful but defiant. There’s also no shortage of less serious focal points, including a 31 second-long ode to pizza, which acts as the deceptively juvenile opener to their 2015 debut ‘The Feels’.

Further inspection results in the discovery of a band whose sound is fantastically all over the place – from brooding cynicism to light-hearted silliness – making them one of the best live bands to come out of Glasgow in recent times.

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Notable mentions: Savage Mansion, Happy Meals (see also LAPS, Amor, Cosmic Dead etc.), Golden Teacher, Catholic Action, Vital Idles, Campfires In Winter, Hausfrau, The Pale Kids, Teen Canteen, Tuff Love, Lush Purr, Shredd, Sweaty Palms, Lylo, Mordwaffe, Electric Gardens, Life Model, Anxiety, CHUMP, Apostille, The ddn, Damn Teeth, Public Service, Uva Ursa, Jealous Girlfriend, Leatherette, The Junto Club, Kasper Hauser, Herbert Powell, Joyce Delaney, Helicon, Machines in Sex Club, The Pooches. Everything on Fuzzkill! Vital Idles.

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Words: Hayley Scott // @hayleyscott89

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