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.


 

ERIKA GLÜCK

 

I guess I’ve written endlessly about my listening habits skewing towards music produced in the most basic of fashions.

My drive for Simple Music Done Dirt Cheap™ has accelerated at about the same pace as the general adoption of laptop DAWs as the primary music making resource. There’s just so much going in in music that doesn’t need to be there.

This life-affirming video of A Guy Called Gerald fiddling with analogue boxes in his studio and creating – off-the-cuff, on-the-fly – some huge tunes, cemented my point of view.

Anyway, Erika Glück’s Caress is a seven minute, simple-as-possible workout: all thump, no flimflam. It’s a song to get lost in; a terrific, meditative reminder that simple isn’t scary.

Early Spirit and Genre-Splicing: Endgame

I realise that Genre Splicing: Endgame sounds like a bad dystopian Sci-Fi movie, and in many ways it may well be. Read on…

I read a discussion once somewhere in the murkier depths of the internet where one poster, who may have been a bit simple, claimed that we would soon run out of songs to write because there are only a limited number of musical notes available.

A string of surprisingly patient posters explained why this was extremely unlikely, and yet the abstract nature of the premise struck a chord (ho ho!).

Still, I wondered, what if one day all the available words used to explain different musical genres will be exhausted – then the existing genres will need to be combined to create new, ever-more ridiculous sounding ones.

We’re almost there – witness Witch House, Hypnagogic Pop and the like – and just consider what pressure must a new artist be under. After having created a carefully constructed new song, choosing which genre to pop it into must be agony.

Consider Early Spirit. Having made, in For The Stars, a song that hops eagerly between Dubstep, Euphoric House, Techno and – yikes – Chillwave, he then needed to choose a tag to pin to it that may affect its reception before it has even been, you know, heard.

Early Spirit himself tagged the song as “ambient chillwave electronic house idm electro electronic house new wave Jackson.” This stream-of-consciousness, hit-all-targets approach is probably as wise/bizarre as any.

For The Stars is a pulsing, skittering jolt of lightening-blue energy, an old-fashioned floor-filler that successfully grinds away at preconceptions. Genrefication of dance music is inherently daft – it’s all about dancing, right? – and under this remit, For The Stars is a huge success. It’s nice to think that we have all learnt something.

Wait, so does that mean Early Spirit makes Edu-House?

earlyspirit.bandcamp.com

Another New Band Clear-Out; Endorsement From Lydia Lunch To Follow

The Bible says that gluttony is a deadly sin. Lydia Lunch says that, “it’s important to encourage gluttony in all its formats.” I’m not entirely sure the bible is right. I’m with Lydia. Too much of something good is almost never enough.

Thus, here’s a belly-full of new bands, in the second attempt in as many weeks to rationalise the heap of CDs that fills the ANBAD New Bands Pit. It’s another ANBAD New Bands Clear Out!

First: Simply hailing by from Brooklyn, a place where good bands seem to grow on trees, I’m In You can be recommended. That they produce songs as affecting, hefty and all-encompassing as Lurid View is almost by-the-by. I’m In You, childish snigger-inducing name aside, are excellent, dreamy and unctuous. Oh yes.

I’m In You // Lurid View

www.iminyou.com

Second: Crystal Fighters have a song called I Love London. This will rile some, and please others. Non-UK residents: It’s a petty north-south divide thing. Whatever your opinion on the wonderfully vibrant/dirty and rude city, their music is undeniably alive, all shimmer, shudder and creak.

www.myspace.com/crystalfighters

Third: Arranging to tour with Mumford and Sons might appear to be a duff move, but it’s a smart move for Johnny Flynn. His brand of rousing and heartfelt folk is better and subtler than that of the band he’ll be supporting, and hopefully this will be impressed on a monied audience who could easily supply him with the career he deserves. So perhaps Mumford and Sons have their uses after all. Nice.

www.johnny-flynn.com

Fourth: Could the words Satellite Crush ever be used in an actual sentence? It’s hard to picture the circumstances, though I imagine they’d feature a vast cornfield, a smoking crater and the remnants of an unlucky farmer’s tractor. While you’re trying to think of other scenarios, why not listen to the band in question, and see if any clues are proffered?

www.myspace.com/satellitecrushmusic

Finally: The Telegrams’ new CD has really lovely artwork. So lovely, I can hardly take it. It’s the kind of delicate splashing of colour that is so tactile and delicious that I almost forgot to listen to the band, which is unfair, because Telegrams are, well, warm and mellow. I make no apologies for using that word.

www.telegramsband.com

No more: no more. Not now. Maybe later. But not now.

http://www.myspace.com/satellitecrushmusic

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 23rd November 2011

Is there anything more ironic than the NME publishing a Cool List?

Yet here it comes again, the useless stepchild of annual self-serving lists; and this year, boy, have the NME shoved their tongues into their cheeks and burrowed hard.

Just look who makes the Top Ten Cool People: two blokes from Kasabian, some guy from 2010’s forgotten band Hurts, Oh-My-God-I-Never-Saw-This-Coming-At-All Lana del Rey, and, of course, Azealia Banks.

If you’re also shrugging and mouthing the word “Who?” after reading the latter, fear not, as conveniently, she’s appearing on the forthcoming NME Tour.

Does anyone actually fall for this stuff?

Alex James, who is so uncool now that he may well go full circle and appear on next year’s list, pour his cheese appropriately.

MIXTAPE:

FIRST! Jethro Fox combines the enormity of Phil Spector/Jesus and Mary Chain with the pop leanings of, well, the same people. Except it sounds like neither. Just listen for yourself, and luxuriate in the expansive pop void:

 

SECOND! Reid’s been on ANBAD before, hasn’t he? But this is a remix, so he’s allowed on again. Phew. Controversy averted. And, guess what, it’s a typically punchy and frothy stripped-back and pulsating mix too. Another minor triumph.

 

THIRD! What’s that? Coo Woo? Spazmoid surf-pop? Big, broad choruses? Yeah, why not. Interestingly, I’m told the band is from “Milwaukke, WI”, but the song itself is tagged with the phrases “Blackpool Amusements” and “Huddersfield”. Ooh, the glamour.

 

FOURTH! Dark Arts are all noise, buzz and clatter, earnest middle-eights and abrupt guitar noises that devolve into unusually jaunty and creeped-out sound-chunks. GOOD.

Anon: Clinging On For Dear Life

You’ll have to bear with me if the usually exhaustive slew of background information to be found on these pages is missing from the description of today’s new band.

It’s what Anon want, of course, and as such, they have become the first band that I’ve received an email about who have a quasi-legitimate reason for there being no band photograph accompanying the obligatory Soundcloud link.

There’s a fatal flaw in Anon’s plan, however, and that is this: if he/she/they/it wanted to achieve true anonymity, releasing a good song is entirely counter-productive.

What they wanted to do was copy the other 99% of new bands and release something entirely average, and the public-at-large’s mass ambivalence would have ensured they were hidden in plain sight.

What they didn’t want to do was release something as dementedly multi-layered and densely-packed as Bite The Hand.

The song trudges determinedly, steadily into the future; with all the influences and sound-snippets snaffled by Anon clinging on for dear life as it does so.

Here’s a song – and a band – trying to do things the hard way: their way. This rarely garners its practitioners praise, acknowledgement or the results desired. But but stressing their own invisibility, Anon have it arranged so that if they lose, they win. Smart.

MORE: anonmusic.co.uk

>Today’s New Band – March On Moscow

>One of the real joys of running A New Band A Day is finding a band or artist right at the embryonic stage, where the qualities that seep out of their songs are nothing more compolicated than raw talent, hope and amateurism. Those three attributes are, together, a thrilling proposition – and just as likely to result in disapppointment as much as novel pleasure.

Today’s New Band , March on Moscow, is ‘boxfresh’, as a sneaker-fetishist might say, but has a spark, a barb – something indescribable, triggering the desire to listen again, more intently. At the time of review, MoM has one song to be heard – Several Times – and it’s a wild, intense, multiple-identity song that revels in instrumental dabbling, driving onwards into the self-made darkness. It’s an inventive past/future/present melding of sounds.

So March on Moscow can be a case study of newness – a young man throwing caution to the wind, doing something that he loves, and praying that it works for others too. It does. Good luck, March on Moscow. Listen here!

ATTIC SPACE: ATIC ATAC

attic space

Here are the tags that accompany Attic Space‘s music:

ambient chillwave christian drone electronic experimental Millersville

Thought: Maybe Ambient Christian Chillwave is a sub-genre I can fully buy into, for once.

Anyway. Attic Space‘s music is right up my street, as it’s pieced together out of nibbles of this, kibbles of that, and big swathes of the other.


My main attraction to this kind of music is that it’s usually the vision of a solo performer: this doesn’t mean it’s automatically any good, but it does mean that the music is unsullied by outsiders, or surly drummers, or what-have-you.

Spring Tides is, however, very good: Attic Space has assembled a true collage of lo-fi sounds and made a song of quiet, odd beauty.

Most lo-fi anything is tripe; this is good, simply because I get the feeling it’s lo-fi out of necessity, as opposed to some dreary attempt at nostalgist revivalism.

So when the drums sound a bit like a cardboard box being hit by a wooden spoon – it really probably was exactly that, and was done so because there were no actual drums to hand. I like that a lot.

PS: For those of you who didn’t get the Atic Atac reference

The Parish of Little Clifton: Punctuation Infatuation

Now that’s a mouthful of a band-name, eh, pop-pickers? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with The Parish of Little Clifton as your moniker of choice, but it sure isn’t The Ramones, is it?

Petty grievances abound on ANBAD about band names – and they should be largely ignored, of course – although I can’t help thinking that one day, someone is going to attend a The Parish of Little Clifton live performance in the mistaken belief that they’ll be  taking part in a small village’s council meeting.

In many ways, I hope this does happen, as it’ll expose a wholly confused person to some entirely clear, precise music that ought to cut through their mental fug like an industrial laser-beam.

 

Or maybe it wouldn’t: while the crafting of songs like It’s Okay, Roseanne is diamond-cut in execution, the samples used to convey the sound are a pleasantly confusing mis-mash of vocal snippets, obtuse noises and grabbed sound snatches.

Such an approach – voices punctuating the song until they become instruments, with actual instrument sounds relegated to mere framework – leaves us with a thumpingly jolly song which defies the odds and becomes, unexpectedly, a brilliant party tune. Great.

MORE: theparishoflittleclifton.bandcamp.com

>Today’s New Band – Now

>If you ever want a reminder of the power of pocket money and a taste of its indiscriminate, bewildering influence on all our lives, just take a look at the pop charts. There is always, without exception, a heavily promoted, quasi-‘urban’ pop band that makes teenage girls weak at the knees, teenage boys boisterous, and the rest of us stunned at the stupidity of humanity.

Check out R&B/Hip-Hop/Mentalist act N-Dubz. Once you get past the sheer awfulness of their name, brace yourself for the utter lunacy involved in their being – a whirlwind of ‘street’ posturing, ridiculous hats and faux-sincerity. And that’s before you even consider the music. ‘The kids’ lap it up feverishly.

The good news is, that given time, they’ll move onto better music. Hopefully, this will include Today’s New Band, Now. They make music about as far removed from N-Dubz as is possible, and with songs like Splurge, have a neat line in niggling melody, self-descriptive song titles, and weirdness.

Now are defiantly unusual, not attempting to cater to any specific audience, not caring what others think. It’s the good side of the generic “we make music we like and if anyone else likes it, it’s a bonus” rock interview cliché. And so, when Ethnik Snack explodes in a maelstrom of cheeky sitar and tabla, it’s a welcome injection of fun, inventiveness and pace.

Likewise, when Everything Is Inout reveals itself to be a shuffling, soft bob along a river of rose-petal-melody, you’ll be swamped with easy calm, and not questioning any sudden departure from prior songs.

Now are buzzing with invention, charm and class. Listen to Now here, now!

DEAN BLUNT

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I only really blog now when I’m frothing at the mouth about something, so please believe me when I tell you that my heart did backflips when I heard 100, the new song from Dean Blunt.

Here’s the video (because I can’t find it on Soundcloud.)

Yes, that Dean Blunt, who was one half of the amazing and amazingly mysterious Hype Williams.

The same Dean Blunt who thoroughly pranked an oblivious NME when he won an NME award — and then didn’t tell them that the man he’d sent in his place wasn’t, in fact, him.

That Dean Blunt. He’s just released the best song he’s ever written (or its video at least). 100 is almost too gorgeous to bear. It’s like slowly lowering your body into molten chocolate, but better.

Simple, sweet, husky and weirdly intimate, this is simply dripping with nonchalent brilliance. It sounds like a song that someone would write for Roy Orbison, if he was still alive.

PS – If you care about “beef”, the video starts with a half-negative quote from Idris Elba, who’s going to be the next James Bond but it seems that we have to wait for a number of people to come to terms with his skin colour first.

Maybe Idris should send Dean in his place.