WIDE DAYS P H O T O S
: J A N N C A H O N E Y
FAR AND WIDE FAR AND WIDE FAR AND WIDE FAR AND WIDE FAR AND WIDE
Clockwise from top left: One Nine, Kapil Seshasayee, MEMES, Swim School
With Scotland’s annual music convention set to return later this year, Arusa Qureshi takes a look at the six emerging acts chosen to showcase their material at Wide Days
The Scottish music calendar would not be complete without Wide Days, an annual conference and showcase festival that places a spotlight on the Scottish music industry and its vital role in the wider music landscape. As well as talks and panel sessions involving key industry ﬁ gures, the convention’s annual showcases highlight some of the ﬁ nest new talent in Scotland, with evening performances open to the public for free. We take a closer look at the six emerging acts who, as well as being announced as part of the Wide Days mentorship programme, will be performing at the event which has been rescheduled to July due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
BILLY GOT WAVES X JOELL You may remember Billy Got Waves and Joell as part of the Edinburgh hip hop collective 131 Northside, who quite rightly received great praise for their debut EP Digital Memories in 2016. Since then, the pair have continued to work together, making appearances on each other’s respective projects until they reunited just last year for the release of their seven-track EP Wish You Well. With melodic hooks ﬂ owing seamlessly KAPIL SESHASAYEE With the release of his stunning debut A Sacred Bore in late 2018, Kapil Seshasayee cemented himself as a key player in the Scottish music scene. The album received acclaim from the likes of Vice and Pitchfork, not only for its intricate melodies and fusion of Indian classical guitar ornamentations, but also for its exploration of the issue of caste oppression. Seshasayee’s latest single ‘The Item Girl’ looks at Bollywood misogyny, its subtle electronic grooves and hint of psychedelia showing how the multi-instrumentalist traverses many genres in his DIY and punk-inﬂ uenced experimentalism.
MAGPIE BLUE With a voice that is as captivating as it is haunting, Magpie Blue, also known as Millie Hanlon-Cole, composes music that lures you in immediately. The singer-songwriter released her debut single ‘Just In Time’ in late 2019, featuring the drums of Michael Reid of Man of Moon and guitarist Louise McCraw of Goodnight Louisa, with production by Idlewild’s Rod Jones. It’s a melancholic number that builds atmosphere as the song progresses with Cole’s vocals lilting gently above the track’s driving instrumentation.
MEMES Glasgow duo MEMES formed in the spring of last year, their debut single ‘Blah Blah Blah’ immediately getting regular plays on the radio, as well as earning them a live BBC Introducing session with Steve Lamacq on 6 Music. Their latest single ‘J.O.B.S’ is a scuzzy and frenetic anthem, likely to get crowds pumped up as the band head out on the festival circuit, thanks in part to its feverish guitar melody and sardonic snarling vocals. ONE NINE Another Glasgow-based duo, One Nine have quickly picked up a reputation for their upbeat pop-rock sound and raucous live shows, having sold out their very ﬁ rst show only one week after the release of their debut single ‘Difﬁ cult Days’. Since then, singer-guitarist Neil Mulholland and drummer Kirstin Lynn have released follow-up single ‘Lost Satellites’ and the chilled out indie-pop track ‘Bloodrush’, continuing their unwavering ascent in the Scottish music industry.
SWIM SCHOOL Edinburgh indie-pop quartet Swim School may have only formed at the end of 2018, but they’ve been working hard to build up a steady following in Scotland’s ever-growing indie scene. Their debut single ‘sway’ provided a small taste of their blissed-out and hazy power-pop sound, with follow-up singles ‘take you there’, ‘too young to know’ and the recently released ‘how it should be’ giving further hints at their potential to build dreamy and infectious soundscapes.
At the time of going to press, Wide Days organisers were ﬁ nalising venues to reschedule to Thu 23–Sat 25 July, with the conference and showcase due to take place on the second day. ‘We have spoken to all the event partners, artists and speakers and the consensus is that as long as it is safe to go ahead, rescheduling is better than cancelling,’ says Wide Days founder Olaf Furniss, who adds that streaming options are also being explored for different aspects of the event. In the meantime, the team is working on different content ideas which can be accessed in the run up to the convention. For updates, see widedays.com
32 THE LIST 1 Apr–31 May 2020