The Scholars
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The Scholars

Oxford, England, United Kingdom | SELF

Oxford, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Alternative Rock




"This Is A Popscene on 'Arrival/Departure EP'"

Part of the, currently extremelly healthy, Oxford music scene The Scholars are one of many bands that are quickely gathering momentum.

The Arrival Departure EP shows off their impressive ’next big thing’ credentials well. Fusing the angular guitars and moody atmospherics of White Lies with the energy and groove of Friendly Fires, The Scholars have managed to create an incredible hybrid sound.

Arrival/Departure opener New York Smile starts with a moody piano intro before bursting into a Killers esque quitar riff building throughout towards its rocking climax. Escape Plan, possibly the EP’s highlight, grooves its way three minutes and forty three seconds of pure unadulterated pomp and flair whilst Mind Games struts its stuff with confidence.

Bonus track Birth builds tension through its etheral synths, exploding into life. Its only downfall being the shortness of the track (I wanted it to go on and on). Bonus, bonus track, Parisian Cowboy remix of Turbulence, sounds like The Scholars possessed by The Pet Shop Boys, which sounds better than it should.

Let me be straight with you, these boys are going to be big… - This Is A Popscene

"Keep Pop Loud: Track of the Week (This Heart's Built To Break)"

"Pop exactly how we like it. Dramatic, ambitious and catchy

The Half Rabbits are not the only well-kept post-punk secret down in Oxford. The Scholars have been buzzing away for a while now, steadily releasing songs and EPs that have their roots in the darker rock of Interpol as well as the glam edge of Suede. All of that has now come together on their best song to date, 'This Heart's Built To Break', the video of which is unveiled today.

For anyone around in the mid-00s, The Scholars bear a similarity to The Departure. Although sadly said band disintegrated after a slightly disappointing album, in their single 'Be My Enemy' they had a certifiable classic. 'This Heart's Built To Break' is in this vein.

Getting off to an immediately racing start, the guitars accelerate off before dropping out for the introduction of the , low Bowie-esque vocal. Throbbing throughout is a Futureheads-style bass riff that hints at the band having developed with a love of similar art-pop groups as myself. The real flourish that elevates this number however is the dramatic strings, provided by Chris Leslie of Fairport Convention. It contrasts with the night-time city ambiance of the rest of the number lending a great amount of pace and scale, but at the same time does not dwarf.

Easily kicking the ass of White Lies (what ever happened to them?) this is excellent and epic indie rock that's clearly ambitious but without bowing to commercial concerns. For a free download it is essential and certain to get you interested in The Scholars." -Lee White - Keep Pop Loud

"Alex Baker (Kerrang! FM) on 'This Heart's Built To Break'"

"[This Heart's Built To Break] is a niiice, big tune!" - Kerrang! FM

"Tom Robinson on 'This Heart's Built To Break'"

"[This Heart's Built To Break] smashes in with a killer guitar line, huge energy, a clear unpretentious production sound and hits the hookline right there at the start of the song. It's like a manifesto, a clarion call to emotional arms. You can easily start a radio show with it, it's that good." - BBC 6 Music

"NME Radio on 'Turbulence'"

"A great new band coming out of the midlands" -James Theaker - NME Radio

"BBC Radio 1 (Live Review)"

"They really came through on the day. The voice and the musicianship: its all there. There’s a lot of stuff to come from these guys." -BBC Introducing on Radio 1 - BBC Radio 1

"The Fly Magazine (Live Review)"

"Most likely to take their boat beyond the Cherwell... playing accomplished indie-rock hanging out with The Killers in 1980s Salford, but done with enough thoughtful swagger to pull it off." -Chris Bennett - The Fly Magazine

"The Cellar, Oxford"

"SCHOLARS receive possibly the biggest cheer of the night for 'Turbulence', an indie anthem in waiting, and if their set now seems familiar to those who have seen them over the past six months, they're amongst the most polished and commercially promising young bands around for precisely that reason. These are songs that stick their claws into you from the first listen" -Ronan Munro - Nightshift Magazine


Turbulence (2009)
Arrival/Departure EP (2011)
This Heart's Built To Break (2012)

All available to stream/download via facebook:



The Scholars spent their first few years learning the ropes of what it takes to be a band in the 21st century: Writing and recording around fifty tracks in the space of a few months in bedrooms and practice rooms.

After circulating a ten track demo entitled 'Turbulence', several of the tracks were picked up by BBC Introducing who in turn sent the band on to 6 Music. Tom Robinson was instantly hooked and played several tracks on many occasions and eventually inviting the band down to the BBC studios for an interview. 'Turbulence' was released as a single in late 2009 as an experiment and eventually climbed to number 77 in iTunes' alternative chart. Alongside releasing music, The Scholars quickly cemented their reputation as a formidable live act being picked to support The Boxer Rebellion, Two Door Cinema Club, Chapel Club, The Big Pink and were also invited by BBC Introducing to perform at Truck and Wychwood Festival.

Fast-forwarding roughly two years later, The Scholars most recent achievements include selling out the O2 Academy in Oxford having been picked by the BBC Introducing programme to headline at their July event and self-releasing the single 'This Heart's Built To Break' which has been recently playlisted on Amazing Radio. It has also been previously played several times on BBC 6 Music, on Kerrang FM! and NME Radio. The buzz generated from the free downloaded quickly led to the band being picked up for HMV's Next Big Thing, which will take place on February 3rd.