Sifting through the hundreds of bands who were splurged all over ANBAD is a task which is part edifying pleasure and part brutal exposure of this writer’s foibles at any one period throughout the year.
Not many bands have ‘aged’ badly in the months since they were first exposed in breathless terms (though some are there, if you’re inclined to find them). If anything, revisiting them has been affirmative: their songs still prickle the same nerve-endings as they did when first heard.
Thus, the following bands are the crème de la crème – the bands that didn’t just age well, but also surprised and charmed even more the second (or third, fourth, fifth) time around.
#10 – The Parish Of Little Clifton: Exceptionally precise musicians often turn into tedious Phil Collinses, but TPOLC applies his precision in much less horrifying and much more gorgeously skylarking ways:
ANBAD said: “entirely clear, precise music that ought to cut through mental fug like an industrial laser-beam.”
#9 – Petter Seander: Guess what overriding quality this Swedish songwriter has? BING! Correct – an alarmingly sharp grasp of pop melody, and songs that couldn’t be any more upbeat in execution if they tried. Oh, and they come with free tea. Tea!
ANBAD said: “when Petter croons, ‘nothing lasts forever,‘ the sentiment is met with a shrug and a dizzy shake of the head. Lovely, soaring, tinkling, jittering, perfect pop. Excellent.”
#8 – Petit Fantôme: While we’re making ludicrously unfair generalisations based on nationality, do you reckon that the French band Petit Fantôme has great, swooshing, 70’s synth-choruses or what? You’re right, of course. Excellent, unusual and brightly soft.
ANBAD said: “icy but warm; inert but humane; calm but darting; born of technology but realised in the bosom of life’s irrevocable chaos.”
#7 – Tripwires: a band that might not be truly classed as new, with a song that might not truly be considered to belong to 2011. But ignore Tripwires’ Cinnamon at your peril, because it’s too beautifully dozy to be engulfed by such petty squabbles. Delicious.
ANBAD said: “a miasmic swirl of hyper-echoed guitars, buried, frantic drumbeats and vocals that dissolve into the ether. Cinnamon might be a blunt instrument, or it might be a deft, monstrously delicate and gossamer-thin thing of beauty – you choose.”
#6 – The Lovely Eggs: here’s a band that generate goodwill. This is very hard to achieve. But The Lovely Eggs have it in spades, because their songs are not only funny, and smart, and knowing, and honest – but brilliant too.
ANBAD said: “Bands progress, and bands change: in the Lovely Eggs’ case, their progression within the space of one song is almost mind-boggling.
Because Allergies isn’t only a song, it’s a heavy-as-lead, psychedelic-lo-fi mini-masterpiece; the ‘Kashmir’ of winsome bedroom indie; the sound of a band shoving everything on red and then hitting ‘Record’.”