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.


 

Koloto: In The Chromo-zone

koloto

Here’s something dreadful: I listened to Koloto‘s music, liked it; and then saw that it was made by a woman, and then I made a judgement.

I couldn’t even help it. It wasn’t a negative judgement, just that I suddenly looked at the music in a whole new way, merely because I found out that this producer of electronic music, unusually, was not a man.

Sigh.

But just to clarify: there is nothing ‘female’ about Kill Screen, just as there is nothing ‘masculine’ about, say, Underworld’s Skyscraper, I Love You. (Well, unless you subscribe to the skyscraper/phallus imagery theory, but I digress).

But my automatic response is quite odd, and probably says a lot; although about what, I’m not sure.

Anyway – Koloto is extremely talented when it comes to assembling a collage of noises and making them into a happy, jittering mess. see what you can pick out: I’m sure at one point there is a quick sample of coins being dropped onto a table.

 

Kill Screen is a game of two halves, and whilst the second, madly jabbering half is a perfect juxtaposition, I prefer the first half, which builds lazily, with odd sounds punctuating it; teasing the inevitable heaviness to follow.

And if we have to return to the thorny issue of gender for a second, isn’t it wonderful that the internet effectively rules out any prejudice and that a song can be appreciated for exactly what it is? No wonder so many artists hide under anonymity. Smart cookies.

MORE: soundcloud.com/koloto

>Today’s New Band – The Homophones

>Some bands’ music are suited for particular situations. Planning on driving a very long journey across a featureless desert? Ry Cooder’s theme from Paris Texas. Drinking Whisky straight from the bottle with your buddies, playing pool and leering at women whilst wearing double denim? Back In Black by ACDC. Making your weekly wander down to the Job Centre? Back in the DHSS by Half-Man, Half-Biscuit, obviously.

So next time you’re heading, carefree, through town at sunset to meet some good friends at your favourite bar, listen to Mala Strana Strut by Today’s New Band, The Homophones. It’s the sound of some friends who’ve been playing songs together over a beer for ages, effortlessly slipping into playing another chorus just for the sheer fun of it. It’s jaunty, laid-back and enticing – “I don’t care if I never get back home” they sing, and who would when it sounds like they’re having a blast right where they are?

Listen to it here at their MySpace page and also point your ears towards their other songs, Wanderlust – a bizarrely 60’s feeling, tinny jangler of a song – and then Pictures Of You, both of which are more melancholy, yet still retain an uplifting twang.

A campfire in the wilderness, a sunset, some beers with The Homophones? Now there’s a good night right there.

*No Images today – thanks for nothing, Blogger*

>September’s Top Five New Bands!

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I received a moderately angry email from a reader, haranguing me along these lines:

Joe, I was prepared to ignore your lack of organisation over the summer while you were living in a tent, but you’ve now been back over a month, so there’s no excuse for the absence of the round-up of September’s Top Five Bands. Sort it out, idiot; chop chop.

OK, it wasn’t an email at all, but the shrieking sound of my guilty conscience. So, belatedly, here are September’s best bands in no particular order:

Robert George Saull & The Purgatory Players – We said: “Their songs are sung in a manner suggesting an interest in the quixotic and sung using words that almost have the wrong meaning, but not quite. It is recorded by young men in very normal clothing from the north of England.”

Golau Glau – We said: “A dreamy clatter, hissing angrily and throbbing with monster synth stabs, over vocals that vanish into the swirl.”

Balún – We said: Balún have realised that technology is only useful if the intent behind that use is carefully measured, and in songs like Minumina have produced small bubbles of quivering delicacy; bubbles ready to burst under the weight of their frivolity.”

Shark? – We? Said?: “Songs like these leave nothing else on which to ponder: superb grimy garage-rock, with the added benefit of 30-odd years’ hindsight.”

And September’s Best New Band is:

Run DMT – We said:Run DMT are daring, imaginative and downright bizarre. Their songs sound like they were born after some sort of perverse musical DNA-splicing experiments, or if your iPod could separate individual sounds from a million songs and then shuffle-play ten of them at once.”

Run DMT are worthy winners indeed – flexible, awkward and, dare I say it, avant-garde: well worth ten minutes of anyone’s time.

And speaking of time, I promise that the round-up for this month will be published when it should be. Honest gov’nor.

Dignan Porch; Bliss, Goose Down and Eggshells

Upstarts, hey? They’re everywhere. You know you’re getting older when Policemen and fey Indie bands start looking younger.

Look at this photograph of Dignan Porch. How does that make you feel? Are they your contemporaries, or are you looking at yourself ten, twenty years ago?

What of they sounded like the bands from back then too? What if they sounded like a beautiful, goose-down soft, blissful version of the Jesus and Mary Chain?

Dignan Porch‘s songs are delicate, organic and exquisite, like eggshells, or complex arithmetic, or dust floating in a shaft of light. The Game We Made exemplifies their approach to songwriting: keep it short, keep it simple, keep it heart-breakingly beautiful.

Songs with this slow a pace are often stymied by their own plod, but here it only serves to heighten the sadness when the song’s all-too-brief existence is snuffed out just before the two-minute mark.

So simple is their sound that you’ll soon be asking yourself why all bands don’t do it like this – and this will be the precise moment you realise that Dignan Porch are an excellent band.

Anyone who can make beauty out of scraps is on the right track. Dignan Porch are steaming ahead, albeit slowly and introspectively. Triumphantly lovely.

MORE // www.myspace.com/dignanporch

>Joy Orbison: Flavor Flav Was Wrong!

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Everyone‘s yapping about him. Joy Orbison has the blessing and curse of hype. Hype in itself is enough to rule out listening to any band that is suspiciously soaked in the stuff – a standpoint which is both flawed and infantile, true, but has served me well enough so far. Well, except when six months’ stubborn rebuttal of LCD Soundsystem resulted in another six months of self-kicking in penance.

But Joy Orbison was approached differently. The Pun-tastic name, the screenshots from Twin Peaks on his Myspace page – something just seemed right. And so – further proof that the gut has much more intelligence than the head can ever hope for: the hype around Joy Orbison is justified.

Much like Tuesday’s showcased artist, Jakwob, Joy Orbison‘s sound is now, and it will still be now in six month’s time. Today’s new electronic musicians are evolving their sound at an unprecedented pace, and in songs like Missus, are revisiting the past to mould the future.

Missus is minimal, sharp and rigid, but also human – and in these qualities finds itself aligned with all the bright spots of electronic music from the last 20 years. Wet Look places its pulses and sighs in the right spots, never using the beat or an effect as a means to an end.

Joy Orbison – Missus

Joy Orbison is another artist who places himself firmly behind the music. It talks, we listen, he enjoys our response, we just keep dancing. A situation where everyone is, indeed, happy.

>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 Top Five New Bands From January!

>It’s snowing here in the UK. Well, when I say ‘snowing’, I mean, ‘light smattering of quickly melting white sludge which is inevitably causing the country to grind to a pathetic halt’. So, seeing as the motorways have spontaneously reconstructed the scene out of Falling Down that causes Michael Douglas’ teeth to grind themselves into oblivion, let’s get zen and reflect on The Top Five Bands Of ANBAD In January!

It was a bumper month of great new bands, which started slowly, but quickly and suspiciously grew to something much more impressive than anticipated. Keep slanderous musings on any parallels with Michael Douglas’ wife’s career to yourself, and wrap your eyes around these five great bands:

The Ribbon – Who are so very good, they were very nearly Band of The Month. We said: “Displaying a delicacy, sureness and sense of fragile grandeur that a hundred two-bit ‘electronic’ bands would kill for, The Ribbon are several agile, artful and well-placed steps ahead so many others, it’s silly.”

The Unbearables – We said: “Their song Zombies Unite leaps out and gnaws you to a bloody pulp in the most cheerful way possible. Clunky guitars, and a gruesomely threatening choir meet to create a call-to-arms for good-natured undead fiends.

Joe Gideon And The Shark – We said: “Grinding, raw, direct and shorn of rock pleasantries, Joe Gideon and the Shark are a fantastic grubby stab of clunky rock.”

Schande Boy! – We said, whilst putting a Donk on it: Schande Boy is a real one-off – creative, unusual and left-field – all things we really love on ANBAD. If a Donk remix appears, it would only be the (deeply cretinous) icing on the cake.”

AND JANUARY’S NEW BAND OF THE MONTH IS…

Here We Go Magic
– We said: “It’s hard to imagine who could be so cold hearted and lacking in heart to not love Here We Go Magic. Delicate, bold and inventive, the sounds they make will linger in your head long after you’ve heard them; if the melodies themselves don’t loop crazily in your memory, then the feeling they induced will.”

So, if you’re not still reeling from that collection of bands – possibly the best Top Five yet – then why not fill your boots with new bands instead of cold snow here, in the lovely, warm and inviting Best Of ANBAD Archive!

57 Splits: Rinse, Then Repeat

The near-disappearance of sampling as a primary force in popular music is a weird occurance.

The legal and monetary complications are well documented, and frequently cited as the reason for sampling’s waning influence.

The Avalanches reportedly had to pay for so many samples on their zillion selling Since I Left You that the band made no money at all. There was a reason that De La Soul named their second, enforcedly sample-light album De La Soul Is Dead.

Why is sampling still relatively underused in a time when people make virtually no money? 25% of nothing is nothing. Sampling is a powerful tool when used creatively – listen to Paul’s Boutique and prepare to shake your head in bewilderment – and one that perhaps will rear its head again soon.

57 Splits have discovered the same dizzy excitement in sampling, just as Eric B, the Bomb Squad and DJ Shadow did before them, and has created songs which are stupendously satisfying in their direct, tactile nature.

In grabbing a few snatches of sound, looping them and cutting them, songs as simplistic/complicated as Science emerge, a song that cutely marries cut ‘n’ paste drums with slightly esoteric guitar noodling.

Yes, I know it sounds like that it shouldn’t work. But that’s one of the delights of sampling – grab this, push it together with that and see whether the resulting sound is a shabby mess or a fascinating triumph. Rinse, then repeat.

57 Splits‘ music tends to be the latter. He told me that his songs form concept albums. Again, this all sounds like a recipe for disaster. But in reality, 57 Splits makes music so viscerally satisfying that any doubts are clobbered by the forcefulness of the technique. Great.

MORE: 57splits.bandcamp.com

Silent Enjoyment: Sublime Sterility

In an era where the mere act of opening a laptop plunges the user into a bottomless pit of sequencers, instruments and composition, where does one begin?

The questions pile up thick ‘n’ fast – which BPM is preferable in today’s fast-moving musical climes? Why select this echo-laden bleep over that one? Will your finished piece be written off as Neo-Witch House? (The horror).

Thus, I’m always thrilled to hear music that has simply been made at all: its mere existence is the result of beating the odds.

I’m even more thrilled when it sounds, at the very least, like its maker tried to go against the grain a bit – an idea I’m sure Silent Enjoyment are familiar with.

 

From Tulsa To Des Moines may well perfectly describe the sounds that would settle easily on a journey as described in its title. Silent Enjoyment claim to have channeled Cologne techno, Hip-hop and Scandi-pop into their luxuriantly calm, near-sterile, icy-dance music.

I’ll, naturally, take their words for it, but I wonder how much is a result of picking the first appropriate noises that they stumbled across, working with them, and letting the slo-mo, chilly vibes unfold from their subconscious. Either way, the song is dreamy, efficient and addictive.

MORE: fjellsmug.com

>The Election (Inevitably), Intercontinental Travel and Today’s New Band – Collapsing Cities

>Apparently there’s some election taking place at the moment. You’d think the news services would have made more of a fuss about it. I wasn’t sure if thrusting young Turk Obama or wrinkled old veteran McCain would have got my vote if I were eligible, but then i saw this video and my mind was made up instantly. Such is the power of an inspirational, heartfelt piece of music.

Here at A New Band A Day, our political experiences extend as about as far as occasionally listening to Rage Against The Machine for ten minutes, until the never-ending slap-bass causes objects to be hopefully thrown towards the ‘off’ button. The only vote for change we’d really like to endorse is the start of a new world where our old buddies Scouting For Girls would be locked into a room with a hungry tiger as a matter of course.

In this brave new world, Top of The Pops would be back on TV, every night; Jarvis Cocker would be Prime Minister and any band that didn’t meet the criteria of ‘just don’t sound anything like The Kooks would join Scouting For Girls in the Tiger den. This means that Today’s New Band would, thankfully, be saved, and deservedly flourish.

Collapsing Cities are the band that probably hold the record for ‘Most mind-numbing trip in a Transit van just to get to rehersals’, as they, apparently, live in both London and Aukland. Perhaps they meet in Dubai to discuss which whether to buy some new cymbals or not.

Whatever their travel arrangements, their music doesn’t show any signs of weariness – Fear Of Opening My Mouth is a tinny, droning suicide/love song that pauses to declare “If I’m still a telemarketer next year, I think I’ll end my life” before zipping off again, all hi-hats and lovely, simple guitar noise. It’s a song which feels like it should be accompanied by colour-leeched videos from the early 1980’s of children playing in the shadow of horrible high-rise flats. Hope and despair, see?

I could identify the moment I realised that Collapsing Cities were an actually very good band, and it was the point in Or So I Said, just when I was hoping a guitar break would begin and wrench the song off to new exciting places, it did just that – and did it perfectly, too.

So, vote, if you can, or want to, but only vote for something you really believe in. I believe in good music. I voted for Collapsing Cities. Cast your vote here.