The Amazing Snakeheads
Recalling Nick Cave's Birthday Party and Alex Harvey, the Glasgow trio have signed to Domino Records. Intense and in your face, I love what they do. Judging by my twitter feed after seeing them support label-mates Franz Ferdinand, others aren't so sure! You'll either love or hate them, but that's part of the appeal.
Winner of the In:Demand Unsigned Act Of The Year at the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards, the East Kilbride R&B starlet can count Alesha Dixon among his fans. Sharing management with Alesha, it's mass market pop, but full of class.
Recently on tour across the UK with fellow NME faves Palma Violets, they've been likened to The Clash & The Cribs. It's classic punky indie rock, with bags of energy. The first 2 singles Pure Evil and Friend set them up brilliantly for a fruitful 2014.
The epic songs that make up their EP The Falling Thunder suggest they are on the verge of a major breakthrough. Alt rock with a pop edge, hopefully they get the attention they deserve in the coming year.
One of my highlights at this year's Wickerman Festival, Shona and Stina have become one of Scotland's hottest musical properties. They're signed to FatCat Records, who brought us Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad and We Were Promised Jetpacks. Set to tour the US with Jetpacks in the spring, they've already been over to the States, recording their debut album in Connecticut.
The Aberdeen act have made the transition from band to full-on electro house production duo. Their collaboration with renowned DJ Tom Staar on Staars gave a taste of what was to come. With debut single Need To Feel they've hit the ground running with one of my top dance tracks of the year.
Relocating from Edinburgh to London, the band's latest recordings take them to a new level. Shifting from pop rock to something more sophisticated, they've adopted more of a groove to their sound. The single Look Like Gold is a total gem.
Graduates of the Hit The Road programme for young acts, the Dundee band packed out the BBC Introducing tent at T In The Park this year. Picking up some healthy radio play along the way, they also opened for Editors in Edinburgh. It's a case of when, not if, for these guys to take the music world by storm.
My favourite new band right now, in a previous life they shared management with Adele. Debut track Out Of The Blue become an instant favourite with bloggers and radio. With a major record deal already in place, their take on electro pop is set to go ballistic in 2014.
With Lewis from Prides adding some oomph to the recordings, and some blistering live performances, it looks like the Wishaw band's time is about to come. After a sell-out show at The Arches in Glasgow, they now move up to play the 1,300 capacity Glasgow O2 ABC as part of a UK tour in March. The stripped back version of next single This Love they did for In:Demand Uncut was divine. I can't wait to hear the full track.
If you were wondering what Jim picked in previous years...
Jim's 10 for 2013: Anderson McGinty Webster Ward and Fisher / Chvrches / Fatherson / Fluorescent Hearts / Flutes / Fridge Magnets / Holy Esque / Madison / Megan D / The Velveteen Saints
Jim's 10 for 2012: Bwani Junction / Carly Connor / Discopolis / The Imagineers / Jack Townes / John Wean / The LaFontaines / Little Eye / Nina Nesbitt / Vukovi
Jim's 10 for 2011: Any Color Black / Capitals / Dot JR / Julia And The Doogans / Midnight Lion / Mopp / Saint Kilda / Rachel Sermanni / Shambles Miller / Weather Barn
Jim's 10 for 2010: Ambulances / The Boy Who Trapped The Sun / Erland & The Carnival / French Wives / Alex Gardner / GoGoBot / Grum / Kassidy / Kid Adrift / Kitty The Lion
Jim's 10 for 2009: Alto Elite / Healthy Minds Collapse / Mr Kil / Paper Planes / Pearl And The Puppets / The Phantom Band / Punch & The Apostles / Sugar Crisis / The Velcro Quartet / We See Lights
Jim's 10 for 2008: The Fire And I / Broken Records / Urbnri / Fangs / Glasvegas / Big Face / Kizzy Star / The Vivians / Twin Atlantic / Attic Lights
Jim's 10 for 2007: Drive-By Argument / Flood Of Red / ElectricBoyShock / Ghosts / The Law / The Envy Corps / Sixpeopleaway / Low Vs Diamond / Sergeant / Crash My Model Car
Click here for the In:Demand Uncut homepage featuring more of Jim's sessions and interviews.