The most important thing is that Scottish music is in an incredibly rich vein of form at present. There are loads of bands set to progress with many doing so on precisely their own terms which is very pleasing to me as a music fan - no label or management interference.
Here are 16 relatively new/up and coming artists to look out for in 2016.
A second blog on 16 things I am looking forward to in Scottish music will follow later this week.
1. Kathryn Joseph - will she follow up her SAY Award winning album with a new release in 2016? I would expect at least an EP from the very talented songstress. Check this sublime live recording of her song The Bird from a BBC Radio Scotland session
2. Happy Meals - won hearts with their Apero mini-album. They are winning more with their live shows. I don't think we will need to wait too long for their next release. Unique and gorgeous. I hope to have a guest blog on Happy Meals in the near future.
3. Neon Waltz - set to tour with The Coral in the Spring, I think 2016 could be another year of development or see an Autumn album release for this hotly tipped band from Wick. The band have been living in their own world up in Wick, forming their own sound unaffected by any scene or scenesters, it is a sound that people want to hear more of. Singer Jordan Shearer look like a young Bobby Gillespie and has the charm and style to win and melt hearts.
4. White - currently getting loads of support from the BBC and set to tour the UK in Feb/March including a huge hometown show at the QMU on 20th February, White's high energy guitar pop could lead to a big year. Their next single could be the one that will see them break through.
5. Kloe - I have to admit to being sceptical about Kloe; however I really enjoyed her set at Wickerman and look forward to seeing how she develops in 2016. I expect a couple of singles and maybe an EP along with a good support tour and festivals would be a productive 2016 for her to aid her development. But you never know, an album might sneak out if a single kicks in.
6. Fatherson - The main question re Fatherson for me is whether or not they are going to transfer to the rest of the UK and beyond? Signed to Easy Life Records (a Sony offshoot) will give them every opportunity. The same questions were asked about Biffy Clyro and we all know how they got on -given time and the opportunity to develop. Their latest single Always explodes into life with the guitars sounding billiant. It will be interesting to hear their first album on a major label.
Check this incredible performance from T in the Park.
7. Model Aeroplanes - 4 young, good looking and talented boys from Dundee , this band have every chance of breaking through in the next couple of years. Signed to Island Records, I think 2016 might be too early for an album, but I look forward to hearing a couple of singles or an EP. Expect loads of shows and festivals to get their name out there. Check their self released single Electricity for an example of what they can do.
8. Catholic Action - I've blogged about them recently and I've really fallen for them. Prolific and set for a big 2016. They've released a load of material via local label Fuzzkill Records (on cassette) and I wouldn't be at all surprised for a larger label to come in and take them on.
9. Crash Club - A band who have been building and building towards something quite special. 2015 was a riot for them, their live show has been honed and toned to perfection leading to loads of praise and a growing fanbase. An album isn't their priority but they pretty much have one in the bag. Expect a single/EP in the first half of the year and then we'll see what happens.
10. TeenCanteen - my sisters band finished recording their debut album in December and are waiting to master it. A single will come out in March/April along with some live dates with indie legends Shonen Knife. The band also play the ABC as part of Hazy Recollections as part of Celtic Connections on Sunday 17th January.
The band have had the Cairn String Quartet in the studio for a coupe of songs. Check this gorgeous version of Honey from their recent Mono show as a taster for what might be on the album.
11. Gerry Cinnamon - I am really enjoying the rise of Gerry Cinnamon. I first came across Gerry when he fronted The Cinnamons and always enjoyed watching them live. Gerry has been playing and running open mics for a couple of years and then he went viral in 2014 with his song Hope Over Fear which led to him playing protests and rally's. The exposure led people to Gerry's catalogue of songs and his shows started getting bigger. Gerry's personality helps, he is funny, positive, up for it, kind, quick-witted, intelligent and he also speaks his mind and the truth.
Check the response to Good Feeling at a recent show at the Biscuit Factory in Leith HERE
12. November Lights - I blogged about this band back in November and also interviewed them. Check that HERE. I look forward to catching them live at King Tut's on 23rd January (when I will also be dj-ing between bands) to see if they have more songs up to the standard of their debut release Bring You Home. If they do then I think they could go all the way.
13. Atom Tree - Glasgow band move to London shock! It is kind of against the norm for a Glasgow/Scottish band or artist to move to London these days. Atom Tree have upped sticks and moved to the big smoke having signed a publishing deal that has allowed them to become a full-time band. They've been working on material for the last 6-months so they could explode in 2016. Check out this for a beautiful electronic gem.
I first blogged about them back in the summer of 2014 when their song Desired Effect was picked up for a Burberry advert. I've caught them live a few times and they have some incredible songs.
14. The Bellybuttons - I caught The Bellybuttons supporting Ultimate Painting at Mono in November and I look forward to catching their energetic guitar pop again in the near future. Another band to have released via Fuzzkill Records, they have a great laid back Pavment-esque sound, also taking in lovely warm Teenage Fanclub style guitars at others.
15. JR Green - came to my attention via Joe McAlinden on Twitter and when he took Edwyn Collins to check them out in Inverness I thought I had better do the same. The duo (brothers Jacob and Rory Green) have signed to Hits The Fan Records who released the gorgeous Kathryn Joseph album, their debut Bring The Witch Doctor EP is a delight and contains the following lyrics on their song Nigerian Princess.
16. Man of Moon - had a blinding 2015 and are set to crack on further in 2016. Their debut release The Road was an exceptionally assured release from a couple of teenagers; gripping, menacing and full of energy - controlled and then explosive. I've yet to see this band live but all reports have been full of praise and I look forward to catching them soon.