Top 100 Tunes from Scotland in 2022 Part 1 (100-76):

The 11th Scottish Album of the Year paid tribute to the Cocteau Twins’ Heaven or Las Vegas which won the second-ever Modern Scottish Classic Award.

But it was jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie who took the SAY Award itself with his Forest Floor album

With post-Covid freedom came a thurst of new Scottish music. To mark the end of the year this is an eclectic annual journey of the best tracks from Scotland.

It began with a long list of some hundreds, distilled a shortlist of 200 and now this 100-or-so

This Scots playlist of the most essential tunes of 2022, contains everything from alternative rock, dance, electronica, hip-hop, rap, indie, trap, choral, punk, post-grunge, folk and… well see for yourself.

It is a mix of the known, little known and the unknown, leftfield and mainstream, immediate pop anthems and challenging (very) experimental projects.

The 100-or-so will be published over four days.

And we start with… Chapter 1… 100-76

=100 Swiss Portrait – Paralyzed

The Edinburgh-based dream-popster produces yet another killer slice of retro-ish reverb-drenched melancholy which sounds like a DIY New Order force fed early 90s shoegaze. The accompanying music video serves as the perfect visual representation of the track’s hazy sound, using an old VHS camcorder to document himself and his friends for a nostalgic, feel good film.

=100 Hannah Laing & Stephen Kirkwood – Don’t Wanna Go

Scots DJs Hannah Laing and Stephen Kirkwood collaborate on this sparkling banger that mixes house, hi-nrg disco and a haunting soul sample.

99 Hamish Hawk – Money

The Edinburgh-based ‘intelligent pop’ songwriter who presents as a weird amalgam of Neil Hannon, Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker provided this tongue-in-cheek earworm romp of a single from a new album called Angel Numbers due in February.

“Who buys a jacket from a gunmaker? That is the question. ‘Money’ is a polemical song, and it’s me at my most cynical. It’s a list of cheap shots and petty grievances I had banging around my head at the time of writing. Small talk, rat races and lengthy weddings all come under fire. It’s really no surprise that it turns out I’m the stick in the mud. What’s more, I’m interminably short on cash,” he says.

98 zildjianpinky – L’oiseau Blanc

The mysterious Glasgow producer has made the top 30 of this list in 2020 and this 2022 release is a soaring euphoric slice of chill-house which builds round a simple keyboard hook, a spoken French count, while spiralling into a whirlpool of digita vs piano madness.

97 Tickle – Tickle McNicholl

The Glasgow rapper tickles the ears with a simple piano and brass backing track and a cutely whirlwind lyrical maelstrom that screams ‘fun’.

96 The Ninth Wave – Everything Will Be Fine

Originally released in 2020, this earworm has found a new lease of life on the Glasgow’s electro-glam popsters second and apparently last album.

95 Conscious Route – Portals

The Edinburgh-based MC, who hit top five of this list two years ago, teams up with UK hip-hop producer Forest DLG on this politically charged wordplay underscored with a a neat drum and bass and Asian flavour

94 Dylan John Thomas – If I Didn’t Laugh

The promising new-kid-on-the-block Glaswegian who was brought up in foster care sold out his debut headline show at the Barrowland in April. Here he shows off his best Gerry Cinnamon everyman pop sensibility and adds an addictive whistle hook.

=93 Pleasure Pool – Love Without Illusion

The title track from Finn O’Hare, Andrew Robertson and a rolling cast of Glasgow-based musicians, performers and artists is a chaotically delectable danceable journey.

=93 Vukovi – Slo

Mashing everything from electro-rock and punk to nu-metal, the Kilwinning combo now trimmed to a duo who have been around for ten years produced their most exhiliraring guitar riffage to date on their third and best album so far Nula and caught the ears of the producers of Dream League Soccer 2022 who have soundtracked it.

This includes a “I lost control and I liked it” vocal hook that will no doubt make for the perfect call and response live.

Vocalist Janine Shilstone explains: “SLO is comparing my OCD to an abusive relationship. You have a warped outlook on what healthy behaviour is. You forget what it’s like living a normal life. It has this god like status that makes you believe you wouldn’t survive if it was ever to leave you. You have a toxic reliance on it and in your eyes that condones reckless behaviour.”

92 Pictish Trail – Island Family

It relates to a celebrative gathering of those who have died in Eigg’s history, even referring to a slaughter of some 400 of the island’s inhabitants in the 16th century, suffocated by fire smoke after being chased into a cave by rival marauders. “In the land of the dead / There is always more to see,” the song states.

91 LF System – Afraid to Feel (David Guetta & Dyro Remix)

The Scots production due topped the UK charts with this original retro disco workout based on I Can’t Stop (Turning You On) from 1970s soul band Silk’s album Midnight Dancer. This is the best of the remixes – which added some Ibiza 2022 fairy dust.

90 Bow Anderson – 20s

Go out, get drunk, be young and reckless,” croons the young Edinburgh songwriter on this soul-pop gem that has managed 22m Spotify streams at the time of writing.

“I wrote this song because I was having a stressful day comparing myself to others and being a wee negative nancy which is very unlike me! I went into the studio with the idea of calling a song 20s and talking about all the highs and lows of being in your 20s.

“There’s a lot of pressure in your 20s to be social but also be hard working. To drink and party but be healthy. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and we are still learning who we are. I wanted to write this song because I think a lot of people think they are the only ones going through it (including myself), when really we all have our struggles. I wanted to remind people we all have our own chapters and stories to tell.”

89 Mog & Empress – Outlaw

From Govan and Penilee, Mog one of Scotland’s most underrated hip hop artists teams up with the spicy lyrical twists of Empress GLA and a cutting earworm backing track that sounds like a lost western theme given a hip hop bashing.

88 Bikini Body – Young Dad

Edinburgh four-piece post-punk combo that has previously featured on this list, combines cutting jangly, angular, Devo-esque guitars, singer Vicky Kavanagh’s sneering takedowns, and an ear for an earworm hook on this 2022 single while awaiting a debut album.

“It is an observation of the arc of the millennial British male through their 20s. It’s a jeering, aggy little number that’s intended to jab and poke you in the ribs rather than start a full-on fist fight,” say the band

=87 Tamzene – Called You Out

The glittering first single on major label EMI for the songwriter from the town of Cromarty in the Scottish Highlands who first appeared on this list five years ago.

It is a lush piano-led sparkler that was a response to an online disagreement with a friend, sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement.

“This is really important to me and I realised I couldn’t take people with me who didn’t want to put in the work to be better. The track is about not allowing your history with someone to blind you from seeing their true nature. It’s about accepting the moment you no longer want to be in someone’s life, because they simply don’t see you,” she says.

=87 No Windows – Shout (Red Song)

Edinburgh 17-year-old multi-instrumentalist Morgan Morris and 18-year-old singer Verity Slangen make up the two halves of a highly promising Edinburgh duo who have produced a disorientating shoegaze-y psychedelic pop with hooks that bite. At two-and-a-half minutes, it ends far too soon.

86 Lizabett Russo – Dincolo de Nori

Meaning “beyond the clouds”, this is a precious avant garde folk Edinburgh-based Romanian singer-songwriter’s immigrant journey, having moved to Scotland at age 18 to study. It is simply heavenly cut from her enigmatic fifth album While I Sit And Watch This Tree Volume 2.

85 Steg G ft Conscious Route – Part of the Problem

Irresistible cut from the killer Surface Pressure from Steg G, aka Steven Gilfoyle, who was the winner of the 2019 Scottish Alternative Music Award for Best Hip Hop featuring a penetrating mix of piano hooks, woodwind twists, whispers of reggae, reliable rasps of Conscious Route and a coherent social message.

Surface Pressure by Steg G

84 Kathryn Joseph – Of All The Broken

The singer-songwriter is adept at spouting her stark warped Tori Amos songs of ‘abusive c*nts; through the most minimal of instrumentation. This transcendent highlight from her SAY Award-nominated album For You Who Are The Wronged hits through with a killer hook.

83 The Wife Guys Of Reddit – dudes rock!

The excitingly off-kilter four-piece Glasgow-based self-titled purveyors of ‘soupy rock’ provide “a galvanising ride into the conscious of a manslayer” in this crazed Pavement-on-acid two-and-a-half minutes.

=82 Triple01s – Livid

Over 4m plays on Spotify alone for this insatiable rapid-fire release from the new Glasgow-based drill duo consisting of Trigga and YSK from out of Glasgow’s Govanhill who appear to have been touted by Rangers fan groups.

=82 Blanck Mass – Gazza (Main Theme)

Since putting out the latest Blanck Mass album last year, Benjamin John Power joined Editors as a full-time member. He also produced a delightfully experimental score for a documentary about Gazza about the life of former England and Rangers footballer Paul Gascoigne. This standout is an instantly catchy earworm that is the closest the avant garde artist will come to electro pop.

81 Lewis Capaldi – Pointless

The Scots superstar enlisted Ed Sheeran as co-writer on this latest viral single from the upcoming album Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent which he has declared as “probably my favourite I’ve ever written”.

Of Sheeran, he says: “He could have actively helped me write a dud knowing that it’s going to end my fucking career,” Capaldi joked of his co-writer. “He’s a lovely chap. I do love him.”

80 Slim Wrist – The Soft

An enchantingly spacey leftfield electro-glitch pop gem from the Edinburgh duo Fern Morris and Brian Pokora’s debut album Closer For Comforting. “The Soft typifies our sound quite a bit, though it’s the more poppy end,” said Morris.

79 Swim School – Kill You

The Edinburgh shoegze outfit with a dream pop meets shoegaze tune marrying a killer pop hook with dark edges from their promising debut EP Making Sense Of It All.

Singer Alice Johnson said: “Kill you is about being in love and wanting to spend the rest of your life with someone… It’s about the confidence you feel when you are in a good relationship and you feel comfortable enough to show your true self. I didn’t want it to be your stereotypical love song, which is why I chose the title ‘Kill You’, it’s funny feeling vulnerable whilst writing a song about vulnerability.”

78 Bleed From Within – Shapeshifter

The Glasgow metalcore combo combine crushing guitars, punishing breakdowns, uncompromising growls and sweeping melodies on their sixth, most diverse groove-laden album so far in Shrine. This is one of a series of compelling cuts.

77 Lizzie Reid – How Do I Show My Love?

The Glasgow singer-songwriter exposes tangible vulnerability and pain on this sensitive, emotional jewel from her EP Mooching.

“This is another break up song but over time it has taken on new meaning from its original intention. Over the past few years life has been pretty harsh for a lot of people and when I sing this song it makes me feel how hard it has been to stay connected and express my feelings for certain people I care about. I find it hard at the best of times to communicate properly in a way that I would like but that can feel impossible when times are hard and people are forced to be apart.”

76 Fergus McCreadie – Glade

2022 Mercury Prize nominee and SAY Award winner with his album Forest Floor which topped the UK’s Official Top 40 Jazz Charts features this majestic, haunting standout jazz-folk piano instrumental that hits home with a straightforward harmonic hook and a pastoral melancholy

Top 100 Tunes from Scotland in 2022 Part 2 (75-51)

Top 100 Tunes from Scotland in 2022 Part 3 (50-26)​

Top 100 Tunes from Scotland in 2022 Part 4 (25-1)​