A New Band A Day 2008-2018

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

However, ANBAD also has over 1200 posts featuring about 1500 artists. Most are buried deeeeep 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 music plugins, hyperlinks, images, formatting – and, frankly, the writing itself – is 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.  So scroll down and read on – and maybe you’ll find some long-forgotten band from 2009 that you’ll love.


Pope Joan – I Like The Popes, The Popes Are Dope

Oh what the hell. It wouldn’t be the most glib occurrence on ANBAD. So here we go: to coincide neatly with His Holiness The Pope’s visit to the UK, here’s a band who have been rubbing their hands together for months in anticipation.

I mean, just think of all the cross-referenced Google-search traffic that will be accidentally diverted to their Myspace page. They’ll be rolling around on hotel beds covered in banknotes and Page 3 girls by the end of this week, mark my words.

I Can’t Stand You At All (WIP) by Pope Joan

All of which is rather unfair. Not that they don’t deserve the money or the glamour girls, but the idea that they need a mainly unconnected monster of a news item to boost their profile – because Pope Joan are a band of such transparent excellence that they oughtn’t need it at all.

I Can’t Stand You At All is the kind of rubberised, contorted and deconstructed pop song that you’ll have thought no longer got written. So while its mere existence is a balmy treat, the song itself is a heady and thick soupy rumble: all the most pleasing elements of popular music have been carefully pieced  into one – and there really is no other suitable word – glorious assemblage of soaring, thrilling pop.

I listen to hours of music as a by-product of running ANBAD. After a while the thought of walking into a record shop and actually purchasing music just feels far too gauche to seem feasible. But I’d walk all the way into town on a rainy Saturday to buy Pope Joan‘s CD, and in the age of free-everything, that’s as high as praise gets.



Swimming In Mist, and For Sale: Sony Ericsson W880i (casing has minor teeth-marks and bloody streaks)

Swimming In Mist: A Literal Interpretation

How to induce a technologically-assisted breakdown in a zillion easy steps:

The process begins with breaking your phone by dropping it in a strip club that you never even wanted to be in in the first place, and then ends with you finally managing to fix the phone after a full ten days of hassle.

But only assuming you’ve ordered a special cable, special software, and spent hours tinkering with the computer, and stifled a sob upon realising that all of your contacts’ phone numbers have vanished, and you have no way of retrieving them other than asking each person individually on Facebook, which you hate even more than fixing mobile phones.

And to top it all, halfway through this process, you went out and bought a new phone in frustration, and now you’ve got two phones, when you only really need one, and thinking about it now, you don’t really want the hassle of even one phone any more.

If you do know that specific series of unfortunate events, the you too will find relief, comfort and maybe even the glimmerings of inner calm in the synthetic/organic warmth of Swimming In Mist‘s eponymous song.

Swimming In Mist- Swimming In Mist

Swimming In Mist is rough ‘n’ ready in its rapid and judicious use of flat, bluntly sampled sounds and beats, and herein lies the charm. The song meanders and yet has four-square rigidity, in warm but metallic, sounds cushion-soft but prickly.

If yesterday’s band glinted manically with all the facets of naive exuberance, then Swimming In Mist is just plain naive, having racked up a grand total of 200 views on Myspace at time of writing. So here’s an artist’s first tentative steps, just and like a stumbling baby, any clumsiness is masked by novelty, surprised delight and beauty.


Longsleeves; Collect-This, Collect-That, Collect to Win!

Collectives, eh? They’re the new everything.

As usual, blame the internet and its free-thinking ways. I don’t know how the progressive thoughts of a few neo-hippy geeks sits with you, but if collaboration and sharing are the results, then pass me the sick bucket. Everything was better when a few wise cigar-chomping sages controlled the destiny of the hungry many.

Only kidding, of course. This kind of operation is so vastly superior to what went before, its almost silly.

Working as a collective must be just simply easier – whether your collaboration is musical or organisational, the grinding weight is lifted from the hitherto struggling individual, and better music is clearly the result.

Take Golau Glau as a good example of the stupendous collective-derived music that has come before, and to them add Longsleeves, part of the ominously-named Sixty Years War Collective.

Longsleeves // Bring The Devil Into The House

Bring The Devil Into The House sits comfortably somewhere between exhileration and downright puzzlement. A song for all emotional seasons, if you will.

Building with vicious precision and an unwavering adherence to The Rules – ‘music must = good times’ – Longsleeves has created a sound that is almost unique.

By dragging together such desperate sounds – glossy, pearly synth noises, hissing, compressed snares, the sound of a 1980’s home computer loading from a tape, Longsleeves are not only light years ahead of the majority but also the best and most persuasive argument for the collective system yet. Great.

Listen to more Longsleeves here

Isak – Frosty Umlaut Heaven

It occurred to me as I wrote about yet another Brooklyn-based band yesterday that 2010’s New-Band Hotspot was indeed that part of New York, usurping Scandinavia as the holder of such a semi-illustrious title.

It is mere serendipity that Isak is from the latter part of the world – Umeå, a particularly frosty-looking area of Sweden, home-town fans – but it is entirely deliberate (and typical) that he produces fabulously pointed pop music. Some stereotypes will never be overcome, and in this instance, no-one cares.

Excitingly, Isak is also one of those new artists, whom, due to an insurmountable language barrier, I know virtually nothing about. I prefer it this way.

Följ Ditt Hjärta, then, can be heard on its own merits as a song, without any external influences whatsoever, including lyrics which are wholly mysterious. They could simply be him reading a page of the phone directory, for all I know.

As such, the song is a genuine triumph – beginning with a clutter of clatter and dallying with the precise, incisive application of melody that usually accompanies Swedish pop records. Sparsity in songs like this is difficult to achieve, but almost always results in a superior song.

Isak, the mystery man, hits his target so easily it’s almost embarrassing. This is a song that deserves to be played on loop for half an hour – you will probably choose to do so for much longer. Excellent.

By the way – Följ Ditt Hjärta: just look at those umlauts. Delicious.



Jaded observers of the new band whirlwind – also to be heard described as a “shitstorm” by the most jaded of the jaded – will attest to the pressure of being right.

Now people look to music blogs for guidance in which new music is cool, the heat is truly on.

A music blogger is only ever one tip of, say, Viva Brother, away from obscurity.

If you get it wrong, the cool crowd desert you in droves. And the cool crowd, like it or not, make up a huge proportion of music blog readers. Yes, I’m talking about you.

I try to pretend that I am unaffected by this pressure, but I can’t even fool myself convincingly. Thus I occasionally agonise over featuring a new artist, even though to do so is to dabble in the muddy pool of stupidity.

J£ZUS MILLION was an artist who gave me these misgivings, and as such has languished on the ANBAD shall-I-shan’t-I pile (yes, it exists) for a few weeks.

Of course, I wasn’t worried over whether his music was good or not – it’s great – but whether by featuring him on ANBAD, I was nailing my colours to firmly to a particularly cool mast, and that I’d never be able to keep up.

Oh, no matter. That Heat is a song of its time: warm, choppy, luxuriant sounds that pulse and grow and thrum and shimmer with a golden glow. The song may not have existed outside of computer screens at any point, and, for a change, that excites me.

J£ZUS MILLION is very now, and that’s actually important for once. Skrillex fans, please note: there is no ‘drop’ in this song.

MORE: facebook.com/jezusmillion

Sponsored Post: Intelligence Apprenticeships (and Bez)

***This is a Sponsored Post, naturally***

I meet a lot of bands. And they all have one thing in common: they’re all smart people. Yes, even the drummers.

Intelligence takes a bunch of different forms: David Beckham, for instance, is widely mocked for being slow-witted, but his true intelligence emerges via his right foot, albeit a lot slower than it once did.

Thus it’s possible to appear a bit dim and yet – because intelligence is not really a measurable trait – still have a solid career in the most creative of bands: see Bez “Bez” Bez of the Happy Mondays, whose position in the group as provider of “vibes” was never under any doubt, despite much face-palm-inducing behaviour over the years.

The other single trait that ties all the bands together that I know is money, or rather, the lack of it. There is no easy route to filthy lucre in music  – although if you’re bright and hardworking you can make, frankly, an easier go of it in the ‘real world’.

So if you’re smart, tight on money and yet as committed to solving problems as Bez was on swallowing anything pill-shaped that he could get his hands on, you might be interested in what GCHQ, who are the focal point of the British Intelligence arm that doesn’t include any members of the Happy Mondays, and who have an HQ shaped like a doughnut, have to offer.

Their Apprenticeships are a focussed alternative to simply going to University and getting drunk for three years, and it’d still allow you time to work on that proto-nu-post-dubstep-core electronic music project that will definitely change pop music.

Hey, let’s face it, you’re using your computer all evening to transform that sample of Gangnam Style into a proto-2-Step bassline, so why not transfer those beat-beat skills into code-breaking? Or your ability to hunt and download cracked copies of Fruity Loops into hunting cyber criminals?

And I have it on excellent authority that an endless stream of white label Four Tet remixes are piped into the office 24/7, so all’s good on the vibes front (OK, Bez?)

More Here: GCHQ Apprenticeships


>March’s Top 5 New Bands!

>There was no ‘Best Of’ list for February. No, we can’t work out why either. It’s safest to lie and brag that here at ANBAD, we don’t play by your insignificant ‘rules’, but truthfully, I think it just got forgotten. Sorry, February’s bands.

Still, March was a typical mind-boggling mix of bands – though if anything, they were almost all left-field to the point of alienation. It’s, like, just where we’re at right now, man. Left-field sounds are risky, pleasing fewer people, but when it’s done right, everyone’s a winner. And these following five bands can all consider themselves winners. Except that one is labelled as March’s Best New Band, which kind of makes the other four almost-winners. Here’s the list:

We All Inherit The Moon – We said: “Zen, calm, relaxo-therapy – call it what you want. We All Inherit The Moon‘s music is balm for your mind, soothing like a big hug. Like vines crawling over an old building, their songs will slowly grab you, and you won’t want to be freed…”

Gold Panda – We said: Gold Panda dips his hands into God’s Black Binliner of Music, pulls out the scraps most people would leave behind, and forces them to coagulate into something smooth, soft and surprising. A bit like a deep-fried Mars Bar.”

Alan MX – We said: “A wet finger in the ear of drab musical ordinariness – his music is skewed, restrained, and new. “

Akira – We said: Akira’s songs sound like remixes of other songs they’ve made but don’t want you to hear, and are only willing to expose suggestions of them in the form of crazed noise. “


Micachu And The Shapes – We said: “If Coldplay are as prosaic and dull as stubbing your toe on a lump of rock when digging the garden, then Micachu and The Shapes are the joy experienced when you crack it open and find a huge, multicoloured crystalline arrangement inside.”

Micachu and The Shapes are worthy winners in anyone’s book. They’ll be all over your radio soon, so remember where you heard them first…

Coming in April: ANBAD’s birthday celebrations! We are 1!

>Today’s New Band – The Phantom Band

***Quasi-Disclaimer: here’s a review I wrote a few months ago, and thought had been accidentally deleted. Turns out it wasn’t. So maybe you’ve already heard of them by now. But it’s not worth taking the risk in case you haven’t, so here it is anyway***

It’s probably just my endlessly facile mind, but the title of the first song I played by Today’s New Band made me snigger like a schoolboy who’s just entertained his classmates with a particularly resonant fart.

I don’t know whether I Like My Hole was intended as a double entedre – the dourly atmospheric gloom contained within would suggest a unequivocal ‘not’ – but I’m not ashamed by any conclusions drawn from such childishness. The ends rarely justify the means – but in this instance, if I hadn’t have raised a Terry-Thomas-esque eyebrow at this song’s moniker, I may never have listened to The Phantom Band.

They’re from Glasgow, and signed to the continually brilliant Chemikal Underground label, two attributes which would usually justify attention ahead of anything that rung my bell. Hey, whatever works for you. They make crafty, multi-faceted songs like Folk Song Oblivion, which, while we’re dwelling on the subject song titles, is a pleasant suggestion in itself.

Folk Song Oblivion is a lovely curio – lovely both in spirit and sound. It’s a song that vibrates with drive, brotherhood and the echos of a dozen great rock songs before it. And then The Howling is a strange half-cousin of a song – a clever rock rustle, coupled with the build-and-release sensibility of dance music, but with the sound of neither.

So, today, we have learnt the power of a name. The Phantom Band are then maybe what you’d expect – a ghostly version of a rock band that could have been average, but have excelled through their otherworldiness. Forlorn, hearty and welcome. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Yes Please!, Miserablism and Grey Skies

>Winter has well and truly arrived here in Manchester. Initially, it came in fits and starts, drunkenly staggering frostily here and there, but now it’s running its icy fingers up and down all our spines, and my extremities are in a constant state of chilly anxiety.

Manchester is renowned for its dreadful weather. Pewter-grey skies are the norm, usually accompanied by a constant fine drizzle which, helpfully, saps one’s will to live within days. Look at this webcam, and I’m willing to gamble the image you’ll see will be 50% fuzzy grey. Living in Manchester is like living inside Tupperware. It’s no wonder Mancunian bands like The Smiths, Joy Division and The Fall are so relentlessly downbeat.

Today’s New Band, Yes Please! hail from the outrageously named places of Espoo, Olari, Uusimaa in Finland. If that isn’t making you splutter into your mug of coffee, then you, sir/madam, are not human.

At ANBAD, we have a soft spot for bands from the north of Europe, due to their almost unwavering lust for jangly pop songs. Yes Please! proudly exhibit this love too. Imaginary Success is about as growlingly hostile as Finnish guitar pop gets, a big heaving song that runs and runs and runs and then collapses. Enjoy and Laugh also flits between their twin ideals of brassy pop and earnestness.

Yes Please! was the name of the Happy Monday’s last, dreadful album. They were from Manchester too, but their music was stupendously, well, happy – though this may have had something to do with the industrial quantities of drugs they consumed. Yes Please! the band are nothing like the Happy Mondays, but their music is just as joyfully enthusiastic. Listen here!

Lapland: is/was One to Watch/to Have Watched

laplandI was about to begin with an apology along the lines of how I’m about six months late on today’s new band. In the world of new music blogging, this is akin to revealing that I still listen to songs on a Minidisc player.

Then I began to wonder whether if that wasn’t an extremely daft way to begin a post.

After all, I’m always telling bands not to rush, to not worry about the churn rate, not to play the agonising here-today-gone-today new band game. I feel SHAME.

Anyway, Lapland‘s Unwise is terrific, so who gives a monkeys if it was sizzlin’-hot in February? This is a lovely song even now, when the song is stone-cold-DEAD*.


Softer than marshmallow, lighter than helium, and all-enveloping, Unwise is a curious example of a song that uses every ingredient of The Sound Of Now and makes something with them that is slightly timeless and wholly dreamy.

Lapland is/was one to watch/to have watched (delete as appropriate).


*The song is not, of course, anything of the sort.