You may associate Scottish music with bagpipes and fiddles. But there’s so much more. Did you know that these awesome bands and artists originate in Scotland too? Here’s a list of 10 bands that will give you that “pure dead brilliant” Highland feeling!
1. Franz Ferdinand
Let’s start with the indie rock-band Franz Ferdinand. Although they are named after the Archduke of Austria whose assassination started World War I, this band finds its origins in Glasgow. Their signature song ‘Take Me Out’ was a successful single in many countries and won the “Breakthrough Video” Award at the MTV Video Music Awards. In 2018 they released their fifth studio album Always Ascending. Want to hear more? Here’s a list of 10 of their best live performances!
The angelic voice of Lauren Mayberry will make you listen in awe to this synthpop band. Since their formation in 2011 and first studio album The Bones Of What You Believe in 2013, CHVRCHES (pronounced churches) have been sharing their endless energy in electronic pop-masterpieces. The lead single ‘Get Out’ from their latest album is yet another pop song with that brilliant CHVRCHES edge.
3. Paolo Nutini
Though his name may confuse you, Paolo Nutini was born in Paisley, Scotland. His father is of Italian descent. ‘Iron Sky’ was initially no big hit in the UK nor in other countries. After the shooting at the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris in 2015, the song was re-released and became a hit in The Netherlands. With Paolo’s raw, emotional voice and the intense lyrics, we don’t wonder why.
4. Django Django
The four band members met at Edinburgh College of Art and formed the band Django Django in 2009. Their sound may be best described as eccentric electronic rock. With each album they manage to reinvent themselves and go down a new road. ‘Marble Skies’ is the title-track of their latest album and is as fun, original and witty as their other tracks!
Skipinnish is one of those bands that you pick up at a local hostel while traveling in Scotland. They make beautiful traditional Scottish music but there’s more: Skipinnish is also a brand name. They have two “cèilidh” houses. Cèilidh is a Gaelic word that stands for a traditional Scottish social gathering where Scottish music is played. To top that off, Skipinnish has their own record label and whisky brand. Looking for a local Scottish music experience? You know where to go!
6. Twin Atlantic
That intro, that accent! Twin Atlantic bewitch us with their Glaswegian rock music. Coming from their fourth and latest album GLA, ‘No Sleep’ is an example of their more bold and arrogant sound. In an interview they stated that they were always focusing on making the perfect rock songs, but that with this album they found a way to really just express themselves. We’re definitely blown away!
7. Belle & Sebastian
Another awesome band originating from Glasgow, Belle & Sebastian were formed in 1994. We wonder what they put in the water in Glasgow? ‘Poor Boy’ was released in 2018 and has that great indie pop sound we love.
8. The Fratellis
The Fratellis were formed in, you should almost guess it by now, Glasgow back in 2005. Anyone will recognize and instantly sing along to ‘Chelsea Dagger’, but do you know their other brilliant songs? ‘Whistle For The Choir’ was a top 10 UK hit and has beautiful lyrics that will leave you guessing at their meaning.
9. Amy Macdonald
Amy Macdonald scored a major international hit with ‘This Is The Life’ in 2008. She first found inspiration at a Travis (yet another rock band from Glasgow) concert and learned to play the guitar by herself when she was twelve. With that beautiful Scottish accent and brilliant songwriting, we’re a fan!
10. Calvin Harris
A little different from Glaswegian rock, but the famous DJ Calvin Harris (born Adam Richard Wiles) also finds his roots in Scotland! He has been letting us dance to his music since 2007. Many of his best know songs are collaborations with other famous vocalists. But did you know that this hit, like ‘Summer’ and ‘Feels So Close’, features his own voice? Enjoy!