>Today’s New Band – The Monroe Transfer PLUS! Yet more darts!

>Another week, another World Darts Final. It seems like it’s all that’s on TV these days. This weekend it was the PDA – or was it the BDO – version of the world title, and yet another 4 hours of my life was summarily dispatched watching two arrows-throwing titans of the sport battle it out at the oche.

There’s something very Zen about watching the grim determination on the faces of two fat, sweating men as they throw darts as an audience of drunks cheers them on. Even more thrilling is watching this in the knowledge that they could legitimately stand alongside Usain Bolt and Christiano Ronaldo as athletes at the pinnacle of their chosen sport. That said, I don’t expect to see Ted “The Count” Hankie appearing with Tiger Woods and Roger Federer in an advert for Gillette anytime soon.

If Darts is simple, unrefined and to the point (arf!), then Today’s New Band, The Monroe Transfer are the opposite; complicated, multi-layered and dense. But just like Darts, there’s a similar veneer of calmness and a brash nonconformity.

They’re a band where perhaps analysing individual songs is not the point (though, of course, we will), as their songs are long, drawn-out and connecting with you in a wholly different way to the usual three minute blast. This isn’t whale-noise ‘mood-music’ though, but is a collection of carefully constructed sounds, both attention-grabbing and subliminally affecting.

A Long Fall And No-one To Catch You is just that – a slow, lingering descent towards an inevitable finish, like those dreams where you materialise a mile up in the sky and then calmly watch the earth zoom towards you. JFK is doom-laden and tense, a thoughtful musical shimmy to Kennedy’s address on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Joy might well be about happiness, but not any type of glee that you’ve ever experienced.

If all of this sounds weighty, well, it is. I’m sure that, as people, they’re a bunch of knock-around, diamond-geezer, cheeky chappies. But on record, they’re plumbing depths and exploring feelings for us so that we don’t have to. That they’re chosen to record their findings as lovely, drifting music is a happy, complicated, bonus. So listen to them here!

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