A quick guide to the Scottish music scene

Happy new year everyone! To start off the year right, I want to introduce you to an important part of the Scottish culture : music.

“Rip it up”, an exhibition that recently closed at the National Museum of Scotland gave me the idea to give you a quick guide to the Scottish music scene. A very small selection – hopefully broad enough –  in the vast number of bands and artists that emerged from Scotland.


The Proclaimers – Throw The ‘R’ Away

The Proclaimers is probably the most popular Scottish band out there. You might have never heard their name but you inevitably know their song “I’m gonna be (500 miles). However, it is their first hit that I want to present to you. First of all, because it’s a great song, and second because it’s specifically about the Scottish accent, something an applied linguistic student like me can only appreciate.



Young Fathers – Shame 

This trio was formed in Edinburgh in 2008 and has been producing hits ever since. You may have heard of them as they’ve exploded after a collaboration with Massive Attack. “Shame”, from their 2015 album ‘White Men Are Black Men Too’, was the first song I’ve ever heard from them and I was hooked right away.



Calvin Harris – Acceptable in the 80’s

I’m sure you’ve heard of Calvin Harris before, one of the most famous DJ in the world. But did you know he grew up in the south of Scotland and was working in a fish factory before reaching fame? “Acceptable in the 80’s” is his first UK hit and, in my opinion, an amazing song to show some of your best dance moves.



Texas – Say What You Want

Finally some girl representation with Sharleen Spiteri and her band Texas, a Glaswegian band which started in the mid-80’s. They are still active today and keep releasing great pop-rock songs. “Say What You Want” is a late-90’s single from their best-selling album : White on Blonde.



Paolo Nutini – Iron Sky

To wrap it up, another great artist that not so many know is from Scotland : Paolo Nutini. With such a name it’s no wonder, but if you’ve ever heard any interview from him and heard his accent, you would know right away. So many songs to choose from but I suggest Iron Sky from his latest album that I absolutely love.


I hope you enjoyed this small selection!

You can also check Franz Ferdinand, Cocteau Twins, Travis, Annie Lennox, Belle & Sebastian, Ransom Fa, Shogun, KT Tunstall, Amy McDonald, Orange Juice, Primal Scream, The Soup Dragons, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Stealers Wheel, Biffy Clyro, etc.