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.


 

Honeydrum; Idle Thoughts, Brevity and Choke-Holds

In my more idle moments – whilst stuffing envelopes as work or dragging my limbs out of bed before the sun has risen to hammer out words on an recalcitrant computer – I wonder why I never joined a band.

I mean, hey – I can play the guitar. Who can’t? The band could have been brilliant! The world tours! The groupies! The arguments over seating arrangements in the van! Halcyon days, my friend, halcyon days.

In reality, I would have hated being in a band – if only because the idea of playing the same 13 songs over and over again strikes me as being trapped in a uniquely demented corner of hell.

Honeydrum seem to have broached this issue by ensuring that all their songs are about two minutes in length. The threat of self-induced boredom successfully nullified by brevity, they have them concentrated on the important stuff, like making a bunch of sweet and dizzy lo-fi pop songs.

Those Babes twinkles as delicately as it growls with latent menace, before soaring with a restrained glory in the last quarter of the song – which in the context of a two-minute song equates to approximately 15 seconds of dazzling gorgeousness.

This seems like a fair ratio, and one that enables Honeydrum to maintain their focus, without tipping them into a spiral of drugs, doubt and feuding. It’ll retain choke-hold on your attention too, almost guaranteeing a replay the instant it finishes. Smart, sweet and insistent.

MORE: honeydrum.tumblr.com

>A New Band A Day Is In A Tent… Again

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So, after refusing to learn from our last, chastening experience at a music festival in this summer-less country, the intrepid A.N.B.A.D. team is at another one, this time about as far south as you can go in the UK, in the vain hope that the weather’s better there. It won’t be.

We’ll be sheltering from the rain, wind and stupefying frustration of 30,000 damp people at the lovely Bestival, on the Isle of Wight. The line-up might just make the inevitable rain worthwhile, comprising as it does of super-music-types like My Bloody Valentine, George Clinton, Aphex Twin and a whole BUCKET LOAD more.

So, there’ll be a reduced service here at A New Band A Day until Monday, but we promise to return refreshed*, happy** and with a brain full of ace bands to yap excitedly about***.

In the mean time, why not have a good old scroll around the column on the right and see if any of the old bands of the day you might have missed tickle your fancy?

Love,

Joe and the ANBAD gang

*sodden
**desperate for warmth
***this bit’s probably true

>Today’s New Band – L’Aurore

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Christ, there were a lot of unread emails in my inbox. I hope any of you who kindly emailed in weren’t too distraught when you received the soulless/mindless automated email reply only seconds after your sweaty fingers clicked ‘Send’.

But here, in the small discrete bubble of internet access that is to be found in Slovenia, I’ve had a chance to partially redress the awfully skewed balance, and have had the not-unlovely experience of pairing the visceral delights of Slovene woodland with listening to the usual, brilliantly motley, crew of suggested bands.
One such band got in touch while I was toiling in the Mid-Euro Wifi Dead Zone, and said that I should listen to their music “as I walk around on my trip.”After having blown all my cash getting as far as Mitteleurope (leaving me a bit unsure of how to get home, frankly), walking and listening to things are among the few luxuries I can still afford, so I took L’Aurore‘s advice.
Well – they were right. Their music is the kind of expansive, gilded post-rock that suits such strenuous activities as watching the world go by and looking at tree-covered mountains. El Corazon Humano, tender, thumping and relaxed, played as I sat by a clear Alpine river, and the two flowed together; imperceptible, restful and golden.

Before We Explode soundtracked some otherwise quiet moments spent in dappled sunlight in the greenest forest I have ever sat in. The sounds were gently sweeping, quietly thoughtful and adroitly assembled.
I often wonder how much of the enjoyment derived from a song is as much to do with the circumstances under which it was heard as much as the music itself. I was left soothed and happy by hearing L’Aurore’s music in this lovely setting. Would it elicit the same reaction in a busy city? Probably. But you’ll have to find out for me. Comments, as always, are welcome below.

>Coyote Eyes, and IKEA/ADHT/H1N1

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Looking for new bands by wading through Myspace – which sometimes can resemble an endless, IKEA ball-pit playroom populated only by ADHT snot-nosed kids with Swine Flu and soundtracked by a million Coldplay-a-likes – can be a genuinely despairing experience, especially when one drab band after another is whelped into your lap.

Today, it took an uncommon amount of time before the abrasive buzz of Clumsy by Coyote Eyes served as a very welcome reminder that it was all worth it. Like a disproportionate number of sharp new things at the moment, Coyote Eyes summon from Brooklyn and make rugged, metallic, yelps from somewhere far beyond comfort.

Yellow Red is bloody and raw, searing and naive; juddering with sweet and sour vocals and guitars that slope and slide muddily. Out Of Mind is a slow gentle cry, bandaged, dabbed and dried, with a chorus drenched in mania – purposely built for fey Indie kids to sing along to.

Their songs are cleverly built and lackadaisically compiled – and this combination of spirit and slumber leaves them with a selection of songs that are uneasy but enthralling. Coyote Eyes prod at your worries but leave you strangely soothed.

Photography by Michael Seto for L Magazine // Northside Festival

Yourfeetstoobig; Direct Competition and Bonus Bands

Someone who works in publishing told me a story of how, back in the early 90’s, one of the UK’s big music magazines gambled and stuck a CD of songs on the front cover.

It was a risky move at the time – CDs were expensive  – but it paid huge dividends, with the magazine shifting record-breaking numbers.

Soon everyone followed suit, and suddenly cover-mount CDs were the norm. Within a few years, the CDs were worthless and used as impromptu coffee-mats nationwide. Generosity has its downsides.

So the forthcoming generosity which will abound on ANBAD will last only a couple of weeks. But for that time, due to an unprecedented new band surplus, a bonus new band will feature every day, at the foot of the main article.

Who knows – you may find the bonus, tacked-on band better than the main one.  Try it for yourself today, and see what happens.

All of which means that Yourfeetstoobig have some sort of competition today. Disregard any thoughts of comparison and listen to the pulsing synth soup of Young Birch.

Whenever I hear songs that loop and throb like this, I always feel as much admiration for the artist’s decision-making skills, as much as I do their musical ability.

Making electronic music involves selecting one option from an infinite number of permutations, and is often as much a series of bold decisions as musical deftness.

Yourfeetstoobig must be a be one of those people who never dithers over the dessert menu, because this song is bold, definite and tough, despite its bubbly synth shimmer. Cute, and steely.

MORE // yourfeetstoobig.bandcamp.com

TODAY’S BONUS NEW BAND: Minks // FIVE WORD SUMMARY: Echo-deck junk pop bliss.

>Today’s New Band – Friska Viljor PLUS! "It’s BAWWWSS TAAAIIIIME!"

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Someone sent me a link to the half-time entertainment from the Super Bowl. My knowledge of American Football began and ended in a bar in Haight in San Fransisco, where I watched a game whilst the myriad rules were explained to me by increasingly exasperated friends. Even though it seemed that my knowledge of the game decreased exponentially the more was explained to me, I enjoyed watching the nylon blur of colours trying to cripple each other.
This particular video began with an announcement – “It’s Boston!” which immediately caused an involuntary keyboard-stabbing recoil, in fear of the upcoming MOR onslaught. After a few seconds, it dawned that “Boss Time!” had actually been announced, and so I settled back to enjoy some only slightly less MOR rock.
Bruce Springsteen has an influence on modern rock that I suspect comes from many bands’ too-intimate childhood knowledge of parents’ record collections. Bands have learnt to drop in epic power chord choruses willy-nilly, and the result, ultimately, has been The Killers. The Boss has also become a nice easy comparison for music reviewers to sling at any band with a big, lush rawk tune in its armoury. Reviews of the last, hugely overblown Arcade Fire album were particularly guilty of this.
If there is a bit of The Boss in Today’s New Band, Friska Viljor, he’s hiding, or at least exploring a newly cute side. Shuddering inevitability out of the way first: they’re from Sweden, and so are typically tuneful, upbeat and unpretentious. Their songs are joyous, gentle and poppy – the antidote to almost all current rock music.
Songs like Arpeggio are so simple, kind and happy that only a determinedly awful person would not feel toes involuntarily twitching to the twittering beat. Choruses soar sweetly, without bloating or preening. Old Man is almost Ska-Pop, but not quite; this in itself is its saving grace – and its chorus rockets into the clouds, mindless and gleeful. Early Morning changes again, slickly rocking with stabbing guitar and metronomic drums, and then Gold grabs a big, loony, falsetto chorus from the Chorus Gods and shoves it at you madly.
Friska Viljor are rock magpies, nibbling this sound and that riff and producing music that flip-slops whichever way they fancy. Maybe calling their sound a musicial Smörgåsbord would be one glib Swedish reference too far, but damn it, it fits perfectly. Get your fill here!

>Today’s New Band – Vuk

>Women in pop ‘n’ rock: are they as pigeonholed as in ‘normal’ life? Well, duh. Female pop stars have a choice, of course: either tempting, teen-moppets/quasi-sluts (hi, Britney) or Professionally Kooky Kate Bush-a-likes (Hi, Bat For Lashes). On rare occasions they’re allowed to be non-glam, songs-first-looks-last actual singers (hi, PJ Harvey).

Sadly, the true individuals – the Bjorks – of this world are few and far between. And when was the last time you saw women rock stars behaving with equality to their male counterparts – trashing hotel rooms and seducing teenage boys?

Perhaps the last bit is just wishful thinking. Today’s New Band, Vuk, regardless of predilection for hormonal 17-year-old youths, certainly is her own woman, which elevates her above many of her peers immediately.

Vuk has scope beyond her contemporaries and her years. The Arms of Spirits is a vast, brilliant song full of clicking blocks, thrusting organ, and lovely words, whereas Flint In The Pines begins with woody, creepy menace but blossoms into a tender, rich, byzantine sprawl.

Her songs summon up the choral and the ancient, funnelled through a modern mind. Gramophone And Periscope is almost too sweetly warm and touching to be true.

Vuk’s music is mysterious, deeply fascinating and fabulously original. You must listen here!

Photo: Jussi Puikkonen

>Today’s New Band – The Woo!Worths

>Art Brut have an ace new album out, Art Brut vs Satan. Making a connection between this and Friday’s new band would probably have been the smart thing to do, but then careful analysis of the facts has never been part of ANBAD’s ethos.

Art Brut‘s singer, Eddie Argos, has long been wide-eyed and fascinated with rock music’s bedroom/DIY underbelly. ” Why is everyone trying to sound like U2?” he asks. Slap dash for no cash/Those are the records I like/When something doesn’t sound quite right.”

It’s difficult to disagree with his logic. I’d prefer to live in a world of crackling songs made in a garden shed then listen to another super-slick Keane dirge too.

Today’s New Band don’t sound super-lo-fi, but they are in spirit, and that’s what counts. The Woo!Worths aren’t all sheen and no grit, but they manage to dip into Brian Eno’s Big Box of Smooth Smooth Sounds and pull out the interesting bits for their own use.

So from a lo-fi point of view, Konichiwa is a rock homebrew of tight 80’s sounds – synths, bright jangling guitars and vocoders. And it works, despite itself, lovable and knowing enough to pinch your attention.

Songs like Idle Hands that squelch and shimmer like a Pet Shop Boys remix, and Bug House Loco is the most fun I’ve had with my trousers on for ages. Depressingly, it’s also the most fun I’ve had with my trousers off too.

When I was at University, I worked at a Woolworth’s shop for about three months. It wasn’t the most pleasant experience; by which I mean it was mind-sappingly dreadful, and my will to live vanished the moment I stepped through the door. The Woo!Worths are what you’d assume working in a shop full of sweets, CDs and toys would be like – a load of carefree fun. And now they’ll never know the truth. Listen here!

>ANBAD Twitter Feed-A-GoGo!

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TWITTER- FINALLY! In keeping with ANBAD‘s slavish devotion to using the latest technology from three years ago, we now have a sparklingly exciting Twitter feed! It’ll have all sorts of regular mindless extra ANBAD updates. Hook up to it for NEW BAND EXCELLENCE (in 140 characters or less).

Also, apparently, we’ve been picking up a few Diggs recently – so a huge thanks to those kind voting people, and if anyone fancies joining in with a Digg of their own and spreading the ANBAD word, we’d be so much more than grateful, and will shower you with hugs and kisses.

So, after all the endless Xmas/New Year listing, New Bands will appear as usual tomorrow!

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 20th July 2011

Lt. Drebin has been making hugely significant headway in the phone hacking scandal, since last weeks endeavours.

He’s gone straight to the top, and rounded up both Murdochs, and  Rebekah Brooks.  Photographic proof of his glorious success is to the left.

Oh, and amidst all this devastatingly nimble satire, here’s this week’s mixtape:

FIRST! Howth sounds a bit like Nick Drake. There, I said it. Needles and Pins combines melancholy with rousing, crackling rock. Oh, and each CD is deliberately stained with tea. Talk about bang for your buck. Really, impressively, lovely.

 

SECOND! (Hooker) are a band without compromise, and are easy to love. You’ll have to click here to listen to their angular and gutsy femme-rock, but if you like that kind of thing, it’ll be the best quarter-inch movement of your right index finger you’ll make all day. Bold, brash and deserving of much more attention.

THIRD! Thick Shakes – the allure of the fuzz pedal overwhelms every single guitarist at some point in their lives. Fortunately, this Fuzz Hysteria neatly overcame Thick Shakes‘ guitar player just as they were recording a bunch of trashy, straight-up, straight-down rock songs that demanded exactly that kind of grimy noise. Lucky, huh?


FOURTH! The Magic Lantern prove that something as simple as a hand-clap can transform a song from a suggestion of feeling to a rousing and warm folk-stravaganza. And therein is the beauty of all pop music: the seemingly insignificant proving to be the most important. Sweet and invigorating.