A New Band A Day 2008-2018

Welcome to ANBAD, which is celebrating ten years online in April 2018, and is now “resting.” (I’m still jabbering on about new bands like, oh, I dunno, The Chats, on Twitter.)

However, ANBAD also has over 1200 posts featuring about 1500 artists. Most are buried deep in the blog, rarely seen by human eyes. This seemed a bit unfair, so I randomised the posts and the ones you see below are yanked arbitrarily from the archive for you to explore.

As with anything this old on the internet, some of the music players, hyperlinks, images, formatting – and, frankly, the writing itself – are broken. But even I will begrudgingly admit that randomly looking at ten years of once-new bands is a fascinating glimpse into a very specific time capsule.

I’m as surprised as anyone that this ridiculous and utterly niche music blog has stumbled around online for a decade, surviving all of my attempts to break it, render it defunct, or let it wither on the vine. I’ll post something longer soon, probably around the Official ANBAD 10th Birthday in April; but for now, scroll down and read on – and maybe you’ll find some long-forgotten band from 2009 that you’ll love.


 

MSC – Musical Sudoku For The Ears

ANBAD doesn’t feature a lot of remixes, even though they clutter up my inbox more than just about any other type of mp3 mail-out.

Remixes have always been a promo tool, but now that every man, his dog and his dog’s dog has a laptop with a hooky copy of Fruity Loops, it’s become a promo epidemic. Bands are remixing each other, addicted and incestuous, as if they were all taking part in some sort of sinister remix love-in.

So, yes, the absence of remixes on this site has stemmed mainly from an ill-judged dismissal of their value. Which means, apparently, that I’ve been missing out on gems like MSC‘s remix of Mondeo, by Manchester band Keyboard Rebel.

MSC // Mondeo (Keyboard Rebel) [Remix]

See – that’s part of the problem isn’t it? Writing about remixes is so long-winded. The Blah version of This by Such-and-such remixed by You-know-who. But when a remix like this one is substantially different to the original, it surely becomes a song in its own right.

And so as such, MSC has cobbled together, out of lumps hacked from an separate song, a tune that might be – ouch – better than the original. Here, a song by a deeply pleasant olde-worlde folk band becomes a perky, funky and blisteringly fun disco-workout.

MSC is a brilliant remixer: make no doubt. Pulling all these disparate strings – deliberately unlike the end result – and forming a new song as good as this is hard. Making songs as good as this from something else is the musical equivalent of Sudoku: tough, maddening, but outrageously satisfying when you get it right. MSC has nailed it.

Listen to more: msc-rxp.de

>Today’s New Band – The White Noise Supremacists

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Unable to resist taking a trip for the umpteenth time to the Fountains Of Pun, we valiantly returned with Today’s New Band, The White Noise Supremacists. Like me, you’re probably unable to shake the image of skinhead thrash metal from your minds. Good – their music will do that for you.
So, the unexpected: These Walls Will Burn and Splinter, sweeter and softer than marshmallow, is a bit tender, a bit gentle and a bit lovely. Meant To Be is similarly sad, drowsy and raw, coasting easily along a line that is often abused too create bland rock, and instead making something pure and good. She’s Soft Inside is tough and brittle and rounded.
The White Noise Supremacist’s name is part funny-ha-ha, part stroke of genius; jilting your expectations so hard that when you actually hear their songs, it’s with the freshest of ears. Clever devils. Listen to them here!

YOUNG BLOOD: Zero-Sum

Young Blood tricked me into some sort of inner-zero-sum scenario.

What else was I supposed to do with a youthful new band called Young Blood?

By ticking all the boxes – they’re crafty and smart new artists, they have a snappy name, they write nice emails –  I couldn’t really not feature them on ANBAD, but then, but the same token, it seems almost glib to do so.

Sigh.

The truly great news is that Young Blood, with a feather-light touch, crush any silly latent worries like those listed above: crushed by the lead-like weight of dapper tunes, production warmer and breezier than the Mistral, and a dull but compelling relentlessness to their careful, sweet songs.

 

Tell Her From Me is a deeply gentle song, created in a time where gentle songs usually indicate either a band’s soppy centre or a tedious stab at FM-friendly ubiquity.

This is neither: a heartfelt, human and honest song, alive with shimmering happiness. Great.

MORE: soundcloud.com/youngbloodband

Pendentif; Love, Lust and Eponymity

I find French bands endlessly fascinating, for reasons even I can’t fathom.

Perhaps it’s because I spent a lot of my youthful holidays there, listening with quiet bewilderment at the awful pop music on the radio, wondering when a Pulp song was going to appear (it never did).

And so the seed of an idea that French music is all pap was planted. It only occurred to me years later that if a French person came to the UK and listened to local radio stations here, they’d leave with exactly the same conclusions.

It turns out French pop – outside of the mainstream – is peppered with as many delightful curios as that of any other country. I once stumbled upon the Fete de Musique in Cahors, and wandered around in bliss as small bands of all genres played impromptu sets down tiny medieval streets.

Pendentif are the kind of French band that I find easy to love – warm and sunny, mainstream and angular, bright and sad.

Pendentif (the song) is an endlessly cheerful song that has been dipped in melancholy and left to dry in the hot Bordeaux sun. It’s a sly paean to love, lust and friends, wrapped around a cute and direct keyboard-stab. Songs don’t get much more universal than that.

The song Pendentif is from the EP Pendentif by Pendentif. Talk about eponymous. Hey – if you’re going to associate a song with you band’s name, you may as well make it a good one. Great stuff.

MORE: pendentif.bandcamp.com/track/pendentif

TODAY’S BONUS BAND:  Freedom Or Death // FIVE WORD REVIEW: Not anything like Death Metal

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 8th February 2012

Another week, another brief missive from the Great ANBAD New Band Pile That Threatens To Topple At Any Moment And Kill Us All.

Whilst stationed in Brooklyn, I’ve been missing most of the breathless reporting on what mildly-degrading actions Official ANBAD Mascot Alex James is undertaking this week.

Thus please accept another endearing image of our favourite bassist from the stockpile that has steadily built up.

MIXTAPE:

FIRST! Front and, indeed centre on this week’s mixtape is the gloriously be-monikered Hooded Fang, who have spliced together kaleidoscopic (is there any other kind?) 1960’s psyche, naive-jangle-pop and a breathless sense of abandon that is almost beyond endearing. A fabulous start to any mixtape; a fabulous start to anything. Lovely.

 

SECOND! Anne-Marie Sanderson makes the kind of folky piano-driven music that never features on ANBAD. Don’t take it personally, Anne-Marie. Blue Room is a song that slips in, then slips out again: graceful and delicate.


 

THIRD! Reid has been on ANBAD before. And once before that, too. It’s not my fault, obviously – it’s his for continuing to make such smash-hit, thumping, widescreen house hits like this:

 

FINALLY! If you can’t include an experimental German artist called Astronaut Penguin on a blog like this, where can you? Devastatingly gauche and truly weird, this is exactly the kind of music that gets made and heard too infrequently for my liking. Bizarrely great.

>I Was A King, Attempts At Miserablism and Fjords

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Norway: a country of intense natural beauty, endless sunshine and the highest standards of living in the world. No wonder that I Was A King make music that’s so happy the songs themselves are fit to burst, right?

Well, kind of. I get the feeling that I Was A King are a little… well, bored of all the good times, and are trying out this whole ‘miserable’ thing, you know – to see what it’s like. Naturally they partly fail, but that’s no bad thing, resulting, as it does, in songs that throb with bliss and only tinged with sadness.

A pop song with ‘hit’ writ large all over it, Norman Bleik‘s melody is a lightly trodden dance straight into Teenage Fanclub territory – hence the name – and it’s chiming, charming and purer than mountain water. Norman Bleik isn’t the first song to press Byrds-y wistfulness into My Bloody Valentine‘s warm blizzard of noise, but it is the first for a long time to do so this successfully.

I Was A King – Norman Bleik

Best Wishes mines the same rich vein of dreamy, fuzzy melody, a songs whose saccharine stylings are tempered with washes of well-measured blissed-out Shoegaze guitars.

I Was A King meld icy Scandinavian sweetness, duvet-cosy feedback and (whisper it) Britpop choruses to form their own musical fjord. Cleverer than you’ll initially give it credit for, sadder than you’d dare hope, and drenched with sunny yearning. Delightful.

PS: They’re playing at the Ja Ja Ja Scandi-showcase in London in a week’s time. Don’t miss them.

Photography By Silje Andersen

The Khanz, and Blogger Weakness

Look, I tried to write a post without mentioning either the new Jai Paul songs that may or may not be Jai Paul songs, or the teaser of the Daft Punk/Pharrell/Nile Rogers über-super-group song, but look – I’ve failed in only the first sentence.

Hey, this is a music blog. I’m only human (or as human as music bloggers can possibly be).

Erk. Isn’t it unfair to showcase a new band after those two hotly-anticipated artists? Well, yes and no, as The Khanz‘ Wolves is perfectly capable of standing up on its own, thank you very much.

 

“Where my wolves at?” may not be the most articulate chorus of all time, but there you have it.  This is a song that is not only very good, but is really polished, and that, in the light of the forthcoming Daft Punk-fuelled return to super-slick disco, is not necessarily the crime it once was. Great!

MORE: soundcloud.com/the-khanz

AND AND AND, White Noise Bliss and The Genius DJ From Hell

Urgh. My ears are ringing really badly. It’s worth admitting this right now, as it might have a bearing on the quality of today’s new band, because I can’t really hear them properly.

It’s the fault of last night’s Anonymous Manchester Indie Club DJ. He played a succession of such truly drab songs that I was forced to stand right next to the speaker so that all the bland, anonymous guitar jangle became one pacifying white noise SHOOOOOOOM.

Initially I thought I was mistakenly at a themed night where only really half-hearted B-Sides were played, and then I realised that he was actually the cleverest  DJ of all time: after playing a full half hour of interchangeable Landfill-Indie and just when dancefloor spirits had lagged to the point of near-tears, he slipped on Arcade Fire‘s Lies.

The contrast turned an already astonishing song into a revelatory Second Coming, and smiles of true joy were carved into all faces. Then, to prove his point, the DJ played another hour of sub-par jangle-crud. Thanks.

AND AND AND’s songs quake with echo, reverb and lo-fi buzz to my ears, but then that could just be the tinnitus. You’ll have to let me know if it’s real or not. They could be Brian Eno-slick for all I can tell.

And And And – The Great Tide

Either way, a song of such glinting beauty as The Great Tide ought not to be missed whether it’s drenched in a layer of warm fuzz (which it might not be), or pristine and sparkling (which it might).

And And And have forged a strong and bold sound out of the most delicate and wispy musical straws. The Great Tide is a song of syrupy charm, twinkling hope and crooked beauty. Just lovely. I think.

www.myspace.com/andandandmusic

>Today’s New Band – Hong Kong In The 60’s

>Over the weekend I had a long, contorted conversation with a friend, discussing the relative merits of Steven Seagal’s mighty body of work. We both expressed fond teen memories of the moment when a topless Erika Eleniak popped out of a giant cake in front of a bemused-looking Seagal in Under Seige, and then agreed that Segal always wears a look of mild bemusement, possibly in the belief that it makes him look like a wise Sensei.

Our discussion also confirmed our fears that, with his string of increasingly absurd straight-to-DVD movies, such as Belly of The Beast and Today You Die, he is slowly turning into Troy McClure.

Given this solid grounding in the life’s work of The Seagal, you can imagine my barely-contained excitement with the news that his new Magnum Opus, Driven To Kill, in which he plays an ex-Russian mobster turned novelist, is about to show up in bargain bins worldwide.

To quell any chop-socky hyperventilation as I wait, Today’s New Band, Hong Kong In The 60’s, are here to place the metaphorical brown paper bag over my mouth and whisper soothingly reassuring words. Their songs arrive on a cool, sticky wave of Pina Colada – arch, relaxed, distant.

Footsteps – calm, pretty and sweet – is so delicate and persuasive that you’ll swoon like a teenage girl being introduced to the captain of the football team. Shadow Of The Bear is the exact music you’d like to hear if you were sitting by a stream, watching kingfishers dive as the sun sets. The Mermaids oozes kitch, keyboard-cool.

Hong Kong In The 60’s are unlike most bands in that they take a template – French 60’s lounge music – and by injecting just enough intelligence, fun and innovation, make it work for them (and us) without stumbling into elevator-musak territory. A brave, successful aim. Listen here!

Brooches: The Sound Of When?

With the kind of belatedness that has quietly, but clearly become ANBAD’s key trait, it has dawned on me that we are already over halfway through 2012.

These are usually pristine opportunities for a recap: taking stock of what has gone before, and where music may go now. This, of course, slipped ANBAD’s mind, and it took an email from a mobile phone manufacturer to actually cause these disparate thoughts to cling together coherently.

Nokia asked me to compile a “Best New Music of 2012 So Far” Mix for their Mix Radio service, and so I did. You can listen to it here (or on your Nokia phone) – and remember: it is not comprehensive, or even close to being definitive, but it might give you a cheap ‘n’ cheerful finger-on-the-pulse of now, and where it may go next.

Brooches are too late to appear on that list, but if they keep producing music as nuanced, chiming and lolloping as Swans, they may well crop up on the next list around Christmas.

 

Swans may be the sound of now, in a whole bunch of ways: soft sounds, crisp, snappy beats, and floating melodies are certainly de rigueur, but instead of castigating Brooches for such fripperies, why not simply drown in the drunken, woozy noise, and allow your mind to wander into the future?

MOREsoundcloud.com/brooches