GLASGOW duo Tuff Love serve up a delicious mesh of jangle and fuzz on their new single Duke. Julie Eisenstein’s breezy vocals recall Bilinda Butcher (My Bloody Valentine) in her prime, drifting alongside hazy guitar progressions.

Given the band have supported the likes of Ride in the past, comparisons to such shoegaze legends aren’t as hyperbolic as you might expect. Still, whilst sonically impressive, the duo’s best attribute is their skill for writing hummable melodies.

They release a whole EP of them on November 10 via Lost Map Records.


MANY National readers will have been new to the concept of “ecossemo”, which we investigated for a feature a few weeks ago. Flakes’ track, got the morbs, taken from their new EP, all that was lost was found again – no capital letters here – is an ideal introduction to what the Scottish emo scene is all about.

The track might lack the riotous energy that characterises the rest of their work, but the shimmering guitar, whiny vocals and rhetorical lyricism sums up the band’s distinctly “emotional” approach.


THE ONLY real change I would offer to this year SAMA’s hip-hop category nominations would be to add up-and-comer Ciaran Mac. Anyone that has paid even the slightest attention to the hip hop scene can verify his talent, and the new track Multicoloured just solidifies his status.

Featuring production from ambient crew Sun Dogs, the single is a trippy display of stream-of-consciousness storytelling and intriguing sounds and frequencies.


SARAH J. Stanley goes by her own name when crafting her own solo acoustic material, but as HQFU she explores a whole new palette of sounds. There’s something oddly appealing about the jumble of ideas on her new track Dust & Dirt.

Vocally, she doesn’t sound much different from on her traditional material, but the production is another matter: grimy bass and messy percussion compliment a melancholic four-chord sequence that continues throughout the track.

This quirky vibe is also carried over on an additional track released this week entitled F*ck Your Breaking Heart. One thing evident on both tracks is that Stanley doesn’t play by the rule book.


GLASGOW quintet Forever’s new single Loose is aptly named, partly because it sounds hastily assembled but also because of its free-flowing structure. On the face of it, Forever could pass as another Foals-esque indie troop with their staccato phrasings and drawn-out vocalising. The unsettling percussive touches and sporadic vocal harmonies give them more of an air of distinction.

Those attending the Stillhound tour can catch them at the Edinburgh and Glasgow dates on September 24 and October 1, at Sneaky Pete’s and The Hug and Pint.