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.


 

Foreign Office, Johnny Hates Jazz and Balls The Size Of Citrus Fruit

You have to marvel at the chutzpah of some French bands. Either they have balls – or brains – the size of oranges.

The new Kavinsky record takes all the unwanted bits of dreadful 80’s synth-pop and – via alchemy, magic or satanic influence, I’m not sure – has produced a record of languid, neon-lit sexiness.

Embracing the drab and underwhelming past, as bands like Kavinsky have done, is so utterly daring because the margin of error is so va-a-a-a-a-ast.

And yet, listen – the resultant music is as new and beautifully brassy as, you’d like to believe, music could ever be. Enter, poised, and just at the right moment, Foreign Office.

Their song Leaving The House is the result of what would seem to be suicide mission back to the 1980s of Johnny Hates Jazz and Big Country. Remarkably they emerge not only unscathed, but victorious, clutching a song of unusual charm, wit and splendour.

It must have been a long time since those words have been used to describe a song that brazenly brandishes slap-bass, super-soft synths and oil-slick-shiny production as its weapons of choice.

But they fit – for good reason. Despite evidence to the contrary (see opening paragraph), I rarely consider the testicular dimensions of new bands – but Foreign Office are exceptional. Theirs are large. There. I said it. And in their own way, this song is a minor triumph.

Foreign Office // Leaving The House [Warrior One Remixxx]

That is the Warrior One remix of the song, by the way. Whilst excellent, it conveys literally none of the above sentiment. You’ll have to visit their Myspace page to hear the original version. Such is life.

www.myspace.com/foreignofficemusic

Photography by danielmuhindi.com

>Today’s New Band – Rebecca Closure

>I’ve just spent a weekend moving out of my flat, lugging boxes and boxes of crap into a van, out of a van, and then into a storage unit. Moving house really is the best way to convince yourself that the vast majority your possessions are simply junk. After staggering under the weight of the ridiculously heavy boxes of CDs, I’m starting to think that the good stuff is a bit pointless too.

Still, I survived the horrors of the event – just – but if you’d like a snapshot of my ‘delicate’ mental state at the peak of the move, plug into Today’s New Band, Rebecca Closure and feel those synapses crackle and buzz.

And so, La La La, a manic, lupine howl of craziness, simultaneously terrifies and thrills with the sheer lunatic rush of noise. It’s a fabulously off-beat, rotten mix. 40,000 is relentless; rushing past and distorting the perceptions of all who listen. The brilliantly in-yer-face Cunt Star is actually more provocative and aggressive than you’d have guessed.

Wild, daft, and brilliant, Rebecca Closure is perfect for rebooting a fried mind. The music of exciting nightmares. Listen here!

YUCK – BOLD CAPS, Exclamation Marks: Unnecessary Yet Helpful

There was no need for me to write the band’s name in BLOCK CAPS up there in the title. But if one band  demanded the depression of the message-board shouter’s favourite button, YUCK were it. Hell, I’m going to throw in an exclamation mark next time I mention them too. Rampant recklessness abounds.

YUCK! is such a great band name that initially I felt like dancing a small, celebratory jig, and then I realised that a band with that good a name would probably write songs that were brilliant enough to coax uninhibited dancing anyway.

And heckfire, I was right: just listen to the sludgy, fuzz-bucket excellence contained within the stupendous Georgia.

YUCK! // Georgia

Coupling such sweet, dreamy and lovely vocals with such grimy guitar grumbling is a stroke of unexpected genius. Georgia is a truly delicious song: one listen will never satisfy. Each play supplies a zip of pure satisfaction that strums up and down your spine like a lover’s playful hand.

This is a song that conjures visceral mental images. All the best songs do. And this song dredges up flashes of orange-hued summer days of sweltering heat, cooling dips in rivers, fun, love and happiness. And cider. But that last bit’s probably just me. Lovely, brilliant, and lovely (again).

www.myspace.com/yuckband

Secretaire: Pineapples

Perhaps no-one told Secretaire that artists usually spread their songs out, over the course of an album or two.

They didn’t listen even if they were told. Today’s new band are ADHD-made -flesh, or the logical conclusion of what happens when a group of individuals obsess over more ideas than they have time to play with.

The more-is-more ethos displayed in Prick On The Racetrack to be admired wholeheartedly: just as a pineapple is actually a collection of fruitlets that form a whole, this song is a constantly rotating, mutating, splicing, dividing collection of song-chunks.

 

 

And so when the vocals begin two-thirds of the way through the song, the effect is disconcerting: having constructed a song from their odd building blocks – disconnected cubes of noise – suddenly it all gains focus, as if 15 TV screens de-blur and reveal the same image suddenly and simultaneously.

The song wanders off again – but now we understand. Weirdly, Secretaire have forced us to listen in the manner they choose. Obtusely fascinating.

MOREsecretaire.bandcamp.com

Pandreas, and How To Get Ahead In The Music Industry

Here’s a thing: everyone in the music industry, even those vaguely connected to it, simply loves music.

They’ll tell you this without waiting for you to ask – glance at the Facebook profile of any Music PR’s work experience assistant, and allow the proclamations wash over your dazzled eyes.

“I LOVE music,” it’ll say. “Music is my life,” it’ll babble on. “Life without music wouldn’t be worth living,” they hyperbolise.

This may all sound very grand and vital, but actually, it’s the equivalent of the dullards who write “I enjoy having fun” in the ‘Likes’ column of a dating website.

Because here’s the rub: everyone enjoys, loves, craves music. Music is a basic, deep-seated, brain-tickler and the enjoyment of it is precisely what it is to be human. Hell, even dogs like music.

So when these people tell you such things, take them with a pinch of salt. What they really love is being associated with the music industry – the power, the organisation of events, the don’t-disturb-me-I’m-so-busy melodrama of it all.

If they really loved music more than anything else, they’d be making music, not yapping about it. Pandreas loves music. I can tell because he’s made some in his bedroom. And it’s really good.

Pandreas is Norwegian, and thus the sense of melody embedded within Sirkel Sag is as innate as you’d expect.

Sirkel Sag is cobbled together out of sound-snippets and samples, and has the endearingly rough-and-ready feel of a collage: occasionally all the slivers of noise threaten to jog out of sync, and then they all whip back into shape again and bloom into a glorious chorus.

The song drips with love and care and affection for life, for the world, for music itself. Ignore what you’re told: this is what loving music sounds like.

MORE: soundcloud.com/andreaskr

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

>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!

>November’s Top Five New Bands!

>Statement of Fact: November was the best month of bands that have featured on ANBAD ever.

In fairness, this is what I conclude every month, and so is either indicative of:

  1. the ever increasing quality of featured new bands (a good thing)
  2. the ever increasing distance between reality and my grasp onto it (not so good)

Here’s hoping for the former, eh, readers? However you look at it, there were a bundle of brilliant bands in November, with a possibly record number given the coveted ‘ANBAD Actual Brilliance’ tag.

So, without further ado, here’s:

November’s Top Five New Bands:

Kria Brekken – We said: “deft, dreamy, gorgeous; chiming with children’s voices, and pulsing with the heartbeats of imaginary animals…”

Young Fathers – We said: “a brilliant, jerky 8-bit-hip-hop-disco melt-up of their own design, so happy and bright that your speakers will leak egg-yellow sunshine.”

Stained Glass Heroes – We said: “if Stained Glass Heroes are the musical accompaniment to the apocalypse, I for one will enjoy my senseless killing and pillaging rampage just that little bit more.” NB: This one might need to be read in context...

And November’s Top New Band was:

Ahem. Well, it was going to be Wild Palms, who are just so brilliant, I can hardly stand it; and then it was going to be I Was A King, whose Norman Bleik is so addictive I whistled it non-stop for a week. So reach for the tweezers while I drop my trousers: this fence-sitting has produced the first ever joint-winners of the coveted November’s Top New Band award:

Wild Palms – We said: “the punctuation-mocking ……Over…..Time….. is an odd, angular swirl riddled with awkwardness and a chopping guitar sound of real beauty.”

Wild Palms – …Over…Time…

I Was A King – We said: “They 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…”

I Was A King – Norman Bleik

And so that was November. Here comes December, Christmas, and the inevitable deluge of End Of Year Lists. Brace yourself for an endless glut of anally-ordered, hopelessly-ranked and indeterminable Top Tens. And yes, ANBAD will be joining in. Hooray!

>Today’s New Band – The Candle Thieves

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There’s an inherent problem with the Tweecore musical genre, as spearheaded by tinkly Welsh poppers Los Campesinos. It’s that the word ‘Twee’ hasn’t often been used as a positively descriptive word very often.

Twee songs work for a while, and then become so sickly, so wholesome and so…. twee that you start to feel a bit uncomfortable, like when you’ve eaten too much chocolate on Christmas day. There’s not much room for variety when an artist is constrained by such narrow, wide-eyed and sugary parameters.

Today’s New Band, The Candle Thieves, couldn’t really be described as Tweecore, though they are overflowing with cute melodies, toy instrument sounds and a faux-naif outlook, which perhaps makes them distant Twee cousins.

The Sunshine Song is silvery bright, a slinky jangle punctuated with confused sax squawks, and plinking piano. Sharks and Bears, a small paean to uncomfortable dreams, is light, bright and sincere, even.

I spent a while wondering why I wasn’t connecting with these songs in quite the way I’d hoped. Then I realised: The Candle Thieves make children’s music, as intended for adults. This is a complex dichotomy, though one that probably shouldn’t be thought about too much, for fear of headaches.

Their songs are sweet, short and simple. Oh, and then sweet, again. Individually, their songs are a sugary treat. A whole album might be saccharine overload, but that’s what happens if you eat the whole bag of Haribo in one sitting. Listen here!

Lord Huron: The Lucky Lord In Perfect Phase

I initially postulated that today’s new band may have helped me solve a decades-old mystery. A grand statement, yes, but then James Blunt claimed that he single-handedly prevented World War Three yesterday, so I guess bold claims are in vogue.

My theory then, is that Lord Huron is none other than long-vanished Lord Lucan. See? A preposterous claim. I have no proof. But Lord Huron makes music of such identity-morphing shiftiness, who’s to say he isn’t just another iteration of the lucky Lord?

Lord Huron: Into The Sun (7″ Edit)

Into The Sun is the sort of song that utilises deception to crowbar its way into your mind. The song exists on several levels simultaneously.  Imagine two records, started independently, phasing perfectly and serendipitously forming a new, strangely alluring song.

It’s a neat conjuring trick – in that it works perfectly, and the resulting song is so beautifully soporific that we’d not notice the slight of hand anyway.

I get the slightly creepy feeling that every person who listens to Into The Sun hears something entirely different to what I do, and yet we’d all rave about it in the same vaguely descriptive terms. We’d all agree on this though: it’s gentle, clever and touching.

www.myspace.com/lordhuron