SAMAs staff picks of 2016

From acoustic to punk via rock, electro and hip-hop, check out our favourites from this year


Team SAMA have been reflecting on an amazing year for Scottish music. 2016 has seen tonnes of releases from the best upcoming artists to get stuck into, sold-out events everywhere, and noticeable success for a lot of hard working acts. Here are our staff picks of 2016.

Richy: C Duncan - The Midnight Sun

For me, it has to be C Duncan! The follow up to 'Architect' this album is so well crafted. Beautiful harmonies and soft melodies all wrapped up in a crystal clear production, leaving you immersed in a magical musical journey from start to finish. Since its release in October I’ve had it on repeat, the album is a total cracker, make sure to listen to 'Wanted To Want It Too' and catch Chris on January 26th at St. Lukes, Glasgow.

Calum: Crash Club - CC.101

Yes, It's SAMA 2015 Best Electronic winners Crash Club, who this year brought together their storming singles to create one neat, hard-hitting, euphoric electro package, CC.101. Featuring their latest songs 'Chemicals' and 'Pennydrop' the four-track EP also includes old favourites 'Recondition' and 'Last Dance'.

Featuring guest vocal appearances from Ian MacKinnon (Medicine Men), Tony Costello (Tijuana Bibles) and Dougie (Mickey 9s) CC.101 is a collaborative effort, something we at the SAMAs love to see. Fresh off the back of a massive headline show at St. Lukes, Glasgow the Kilwinning quartet will surely have an even better 2017.

Alana: Jetsam - Yugen

Yugen by Jetsam AKA Paisley producer/hip-hop artist Konchis (SAMA 2016 Best Hip-Hop nominee) is truly ahead of its time. It takes you on a journey with a complex, ambient, electronica sound and haunting undertones that possess a beautiful and calming essence. Listen to opening track 'Crystal Oblivion' below to enjoy the ethereal vibes.

Gary: Hector Bizerk - The Second City of the Empire

With the intensity of the opening track ‘The Fish That Never Swam’ backed up by tracks such as ‘Everybody Laughed’ and ‘Rust Cohle’, you are immediately hooked on this album. The strong percussive elements along with the bass, synths and Louie's fast articulation means that the album always keeps you on your toes. Not only is it a strong listen, now and then, it makes you take a step back. Exploring issues such as zero hour contracts, the age of consent and immigration, it can quickly bring you back to reality.

Working alongside musicians such as Marc Rooney (Pronto Mama) and Charlotte Brimner (Be Charlotte), the album feels like a representation of the booming Scottish music scene. Sadly, the band wrapped things up to a packed Art School, Glasgow in October. They ended on a high with this album and they will be truly missed.

Selina: Baby Strange - Want It Need It

Want It Need It is a raucous delight for the ears that withholds melancholy behind every riff, not only does it document the evolutionary process the trio have taken over the course of the past three years with classics 'Friend' and 'Distance Yourself', but also channels their future sound with the likes of 'Nude' a punchy, timeless as their style suggests anthem that’s destined to be met with crowd roars. 

An eclectic mix of influences whir together throughout the album ranging from the greyscale primal bite of old age punk to the glorious technicolour of 70’s pop which is a true reflection of their own diversity. Although a sophisticated step up in terms of production, the same charm remains that will take you back to the sweaty euphoria of their basement days now with an added sense of hometown pride. 

A year of notable significance for the Glasgow three-piece epitomised within 27 minutes. 

Team SAMAs

SAMAs Admin