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.


 

Headaches: Jenga For The Ears

ANBAD has been fastidiously avoiding the Queens’s Jubilee this weekend, and has been buried in the pageantry-free chaos that is Youtube’s collection of once-rare music videos as means of escape.

This, and a conversation regarding bootlegs and their relative valuelessness today, made me wonder: how do bands ever find visceral, piercing influences now?

I can remember the exact time, place and effect of seeing a late-night clip of David Bowie performing “Be My Wife”, from the honest-to-goodness-perfect Low album. I never saw it again until Youtube appeared ten years later, but I spent that decade fuelled by the memory of its white-out, spaced-out weirdness.

But its scarcity elevated this short video clip to full-on fetish status. And now, it’s discoverable, re-watchable and disposable in seconds. Is this lack of scarcity another form of creative fuel, or bewildering in its limitlessness?

Maybe this information overload is one of the reasons a whole lot of new music is so fragmented, chopped and skittering. Headaches, for example, stitch together a fluster of snippets to create something confusing, complex and coiling.

 

Oh Honey thrashes softly in its own environment, building from the clatter of sticks to a full-on throb, slivers of sound carefully stacked like aural Jenga.

I suppose in this way, Oh Honey also shares Low‘s Side-A knack for quick shots of pop music buzz, albeit now they exist in fractions of a second, rather than two-minute pop songs. This is a welcome, if dizzying, development. Great.

MORE: soundcloud.com/neuroplasticrecords

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 9TH Feb 2011

This post is much curtailed, due to the fact that I wrote it once and then managed to delete the whole thing. So the following is a kind of ‘Previously, on ANBAD…’ round-up. Apologies. It probably wasn’t that good anyway.

Have you noticed how hefty singers like Barry White, Aretha Franklin and SuBo also sound chubby on their records? Their voices practically drip with bacon grease.

It occurred to me this week that roly-poly BRIT-school faux-soul Bellower Of Blandness Adele can be added to this inglorious list.

Adele is  a woman whose MOR dirge is enlivened only by the fact that if you listen to it carefully, you can hear the patter of melted butter landing on the studio microphone as it sprays from her lips.

Lt. Drebin is threatening to play her record. The mixtape, quick-quick:

FIRST! Mackaper are not MacGyver, but then I’m not sure I’d want to listen to the sound of a man solving crime with the aid of elastic bands and bent coat-hangers. Mackaper, on the other hand, make lovely, ice-cold thin-fingered pop.

SECOND! The Dead Beggars Club mark a return to the sort of monster-chord, giant guiatr pop that would never have been accepted by the masses even two years ago. Oh, time, you fickle mistress. Nice.

THIRD! Muddy Suzuki: puns-a-plenty, PLUS – Prog, buzzsaw punk and lo-fi pop all in the same song. An acheivment.

FINALLY! Honheehonhee, I think, are gently mocking the kind of generic-French noise people who can’t speak French make. I like that. I also like A Is For Animal‘s epic pop:

RADIO SHOW // Last Month In Review: July’s Top 5 New Bands

In July, when the World Cup finished, a huge, endless void opened up in your writer’s life; a void that could no longer be filled with hilarious slo-mo HD replays of England footballers shrugging their shoulders and visibly counting down the minutes until they could get back to crashing Bentleys full of strippers into lamposts.

Perturbed, that void was filled with tons of blisteringly good new bands. And, in celebration, here’s an all-new ANBAD radio show featuring the best five from July. GOAL!

ANBAD Radio Show // Last Month In Review: July’s Top 5 New Bands

Links to the full articles, info and songs: [all links open in a new tab]

Lenin Was A Zombie // Zebra And Snake // Post Post // Illness // Tristan Burfield

And here’s the interview with the brilliants, elusive and electrifying ISLET:

Islet: Out There Somewhere

DREAM LOVERS’ BRASIL [INSERT WEAK JOKE ABOUT ‘BALL SKILLS HERE’]

A remarkably brief post today, because I’m still coming to terms with the actual madness that was the stag-do I went on in Ibiza last week, and because I don’t have a huge amount of info about today’s remarkable new song/band/video.

Dream Lovers are a mysterious side project of a couple of bands I love, and as I’m uncertain if I am allowed to reveal who is behind it, I’ll keep mum and simply fuel the mystery.

Anyway – everyone knows all World Cup songs are rubbish, barring World In Motion, but the above video bucks the trend.

It is an instrumental, language-barrier-straddling song that is vaguely Brazilian, vaguely dreamy and totally brilliant.

The video shows a man standing on a wall by the Sacre Cour, overlooking Paris, juggling a football in a remarkable display of remarkableness. It suits the song perfectly, and this is also remarkable. Lap it up.

Felix Hagan – Uncooller Than You

There’s a certain theatricality subliminally associated with rock ‘n’ roll.

We all want the garish outfits, the ludicrous behaviour, the out-there posturing: witness The Darkness‘ unexpected – but entirely understandable -rise to fame a few years ago.

It’s just that most of us now hide that desire under the guise of being ”cool’.

Cool doesn’t want silly hats, or outlandishness, or fun: it wants a bunch of weedy music snobs in leather jackets glaring at us from under their ruffled hair.

Felix Hagan understands that to reject this image of cool is to move out of the pack, and its associated dubious safety.

Good. The people who step to a different beat are the ones that are moving in a different direction.


Dirty Little Urchin Child is deeply uncool. This is a complement. It’s also a pow-boom rock operetta, with the kind of immediate punch that will grasp all but the most stubbornly arch music listener.

So when the song takes a succession of confusing, sudden, left and right turns, via FM-rock boogie, stage-school stomps and rave-whistles, we’re left dazzled, then surprised, then thrilled.

Few ‘cool’ bands pack as much into one of their dreary albums as Felix crams into this one song. One to keep a jittering eye on.

MORE: felixhagan.bandcamp.com

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 15th February 2012

As if to prove how we’re all idiots, the question is no longer “Hey, remember Myspace?”, but “Hey, remember how we were wrong about Myspace’s demise?”

The news that Myspace has added a million users in a month is a statistic to be taken with a pinch of salt (how many of those are people who have forgotten their old log-in details, I wonder?), but there’s no denying that Myspace is not the hell-hole it once was.

If, like me, you haven’t visited Myspace for a clear 12-month period, it’s worth logging in again, if only to see how things have changed, and to smirk at the memory of everyone’s favourite grumpy media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, selling Myspace for less than 10% of the $600M he paid for it.

Alex James, no stranger to blowing money on ludicrous purchases, pours schadenfreude-flavoured cheese.

MIXTAPE:

FIRST! Side projects abound in today’s fractured musical world, and, lo, Chiapa is the mind-bogglingly lo-fi offshoot from one half of ANBAD favourites Youthless. Singer Alex has abandoned his usual gonzo noizenik clatter for an ultra-slender, minimalist ethic. Sounds, words and melody all tumble into white, lowest-of-the-lo-fi noise, and meld into one heartfelt fuzz.

 

SECOND! Cave Birds are all doom and gloom until they drop an enormous, pummelling chorus into Some Lightening, and suddenly, all is well once more: an overblown, glam-grunge meisterwerk.

 

THIRD! Alvin and Lyle have, in The Good Feeling, made a song that is slotted in a deep groove that is either entirely sleazy, or entirely innocent, depending on your point of view.

 

FOURTH! Natasha Haws makes stripped-down yet endlessly epic songs that are as close and breathy as they are widescreen and distant. Big/small. Clever.

 

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.

www.myspace.com/swimminginmist

Laura Shaw: Man Cannot Live On Bolivian Fidget House Alone

laurashawThe North-East of the UK is throwing out a bunch of great new music at the moment, and Laura Shaw is just another tasty sausage from that machine.

I always wonder how these little bubbles of creativity occur, and then I realise that in doing so, I’m actually trying to figure out humanity and life itself, which is the stupidest thing I could possibly dive into.

Easier to just enjoy the songs and hope that the answer will suddenly float into view. And Laura Shaw may not be as obtuse as many bands on ANBAD – but, as Jesus said, man cannot live on Bolivian Fidget House alone.

 

I wasn’t sure how to get a handle on Laura’s music initially, as it has all the hallmarks of Music Right Now; complex but simple, choppy but lush, lyrically accessible but angular.

And yet Blue Moon succeeds because of all this, not despite it: it’s a song that connects. This is all a song really needs to do, and Laura & co. do it very well. Honest, unpretentious, and very endearing.

MORE: soundcloud.com/laura-shaw-music

>The TOP FIVE BANDS on A New Band A Day in July!

>Ah, July. You just whoooooshed by again in a blur of ice cream vans, newly-released schoolkids scuffing knees and day after day of relentless staring at the cloudy sky, screaming profanities at Baby Jesus, whilst waiting for a ray – just one single ray – of sunshine. Fortunately for those of you who are trapped in a similar tupperware-skied hell, July was a BRILLIANT! month on A New Band A Day, positively overflowing with bands so good that the Vitamin B your should have got from the sun was absorbed through your earholes instead. This is a medical fact.

So, in bold capital letters to stress it’s importance, here’s the TOP FIVE BANDS FROM JULY, in no particular order:

1) THIS MONTH’S BEST NEW BAND: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

We said (glibly, natch): “It would be glib to say that if you like My Bloody Valentine and Jesus And Mary Chain, you’ll love The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, but what the hell, it’s true. If you love songs that drive forward with breathless abandon, all fuzzy, warm and colourful as a novelty Christmas sweater, then let yourself swoop head first into their songs.”

2) Held By Hands

We said: ” Porcelain-delicate songs, which build and build but still seem as light as air at the end, that are just perfect for easing gently into the coming week.”
3) Candythief

We said: “Singer Diana’s voice is the kind that would make you mix your metaphors and make you happy to crawl over hot broken glass, just to ask her to sing you to sleep at night. It’s genuinely lovely – rich, dreamy and innocent enough to sound slightly dangerous.”

4) AIDS Wolf

We said: AIDS Wolf. That’s right, AIDS Wolf. Just slosh it around your mouth slowly, then suck some bubbles of air through it and really savour the name. AIDS Wolf. AIDS Wolf.”

5) The Bumblebees

We said: The Bumblebees are tons of fun in the same way that making your own Lemonade is, and with the similar qualities of sweetness masking sharpness. Great!”

So there you go. Here comes another great month of new bands! Come on August, do your worst! By which I mean, ‘best’.

Technological Simplicity: Music Blogging’s Saving Grace

**Sponsored Post**

Here’s a thing. Assuming music blogs aren’t dying, even whilst some voices bemoan otherwise, then where do they go from here?

Every tech-minded person with a lungful of air and a bank account of VC cash will tell you that “mobile is the future,” and yet the music blogging is firmly welded to the
laptop; reliant on online facilities like Soundcloud, hooked into Hype Machine, spitting out posts via RSS.

The music blog experience is entirely different on mobile devices – witness the austere functionality of ANBAD’s mobile site. But here’s a thought; if the future is, indeed, mobile, could the back-to-basics nature of the mobile device be music blogging’s saving grace?

Dialaphone, who are in the happy habit of giving away shiny bits of tech as free gifts, popped an Amazon Kindle 3G in the post for me to poke at with my sausage-like fingers. Narcissistic to the last, I immediately found its browser and visited this very website, you know, just for research purposes.

(You probably already know that the Kindle is a marvellous bit of kit, so I’ll spare you a redundant tech review, beyond saying that it is even more impressive than I realised.)

What I wasn’t aware of were the glut of smart apps, like Kindle Feeder and Kindle4RSS, that grab the feeds of your favourite Neo-Witch-House blogs and magically conjure the latest posts up onto your Kindle while you’re on the bus, glaring at drunken students.

Technological marvelling aside, dipping into the music blog whirlwind this way has one very important impact on yer bog-standard music blog: the writing is pushed to the fore. Not the video pushed by PR email two hours ago, not the photo of the artist standing gloomily beside a graffiti’d wall, not even the music itself, but the written content.

Shock, horror – most blogs are poorly written. Yes, yes, I know. But, having browsed a bunch of blogs plucked at near random it is a plain fact that many music blog posts consist of a link or a Soundcloud embed, or a video, and little else.

This is only partial-blogging – micro blogging on a full-blown blog, and not, in my opinion, the point.

So, maybe ‘music blogging’ as we knew it is dying a bit, after all.

Certainly, they’re not the flavour of the month any more. But that’s fine. And if the coming mass exodus to blog consumption via lightweight devices like this cause attention to be focussed on long-form music blogs, then – to these eyes – so much the better.

Kindle courtesy of http://www.dialaphone.co.uk/, who have a ton of other offers and such-and-such right here.