Weekly Playlist: Scotland X | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Weekly Playlist: Scotland X

The Music of My Favourite Scottish Bands

Aug 25, 2019
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I just returned from Glasgow, Scotland, a city I’ve come to know almost strictly through music. My memory is shite, but one of my most detailed memories surrounds my first trip to Glasgow to see Interpol play Carling Academy. I was doing my post-grad at the University of Edinburgh and having difficulty adjusting when I learned that Interpol, hailing from my native New York and my favorite band at the time, was hitting Glasgow on their Antics tour. I had to go for it. The voyage began with some hash on a bus, continued with a bottle of Jack Daniels upon arrival at my youth hostel, and wound up with an encounter with my guardian angel, who escorted me into a show I nearly missed [This calls for involved elaboration].

During my two years in Edinburgh, I took a number of night trains into Glasgow to see shows, because that’s where the best ones were...and still are. Last week, The Cure played Glasgow for the first time in over twenty-seven years. My favorite band, Mogwai, and another of my favorites, fellow Scots The Twilight Sad, were on the bill as well. So again, I had to go. 

The Scottish music playlist below is thick like a sheep's wool tartan blanket, and was inspired by this trip, as well as my many others to a place that has become my musical mecca. I stand by the notion that once Scottish music enters your blood, it never leaves. There’s also something about having felt the soggy slog of existence out there that tightens the grip of the land’s musical enchantment. Because it has become such a part of me, I’d like to share my favorite Scottish music with all of you. As I mentioned, Mogwai is my favorite band and everything follows from that. I discovered them and Aereogramme on my first visit to Scotland (Thanks, Alexa) and it’s a real fuckin’ shame that Aereogramme’s first two albums aren’t on Spotify, otherwise I might well have put them both on here in their entirely. I discovered the other bands represented gradually, and I will continue to greet new Scottish acts with the raised eyebrows of anticipation [Kathyrn Joseph is the latest and you’d be right to sit with all of her music one afternoon...maybe over tea.]

As ever, I don’t pretend that this is a playlist so replete as to satisfy everyone’s idea of what a list like this should look like. I did try for nice coverage. Like all playlists, there’s going to be partiality and personal, anecdotal contour. I’m well aware of the omissions of groups like The Cocteau Twins and Primal Scream and the like. I just don’t have the same personal connection with those groups as I do with these. There’s straight majesty here though, so get in. Love. X

 



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