Last week, in an interview with the Guardian, generic teen-friendly snooze-rockers The Vaccines waggled a finger at blogs who provoke, “a hunger to have something new every day.”
Singer Justin Young blames ANBAD’s bigger, sexier, better-read cousin specifically: “Guardian New Band of the Day is the perfect example … blogs in particular are to blame for that. Every day they have to post a new band. Are they still listening to the band they posted three weeks ago?”
He has a point. The endless “churn” in new music culture is damaging, in some ways: bands are no longer allowed to ferment by an impatient public; nor are they nurtured, and bankrolled through the first couple of albums by a record label awash with cash. But that old, artist-friendly environment is deader than, indeed, disco.
Maybe Justin should engage the rock ‘n’ roll cogs in his rock ‘n’ roll brain a bit first. Are young musicians’ dreams and aspirations the same now? Do teenagers making glitch house on their MacBooks really long for years of touring fleapits, followed by grinding away in studios making new albums of the same stuff? Or do they just want to get their songs out there and leave it at that?
Justin: I get a ton of new artists emailing me every day. Very few of them even use a recognisable name, let alone provide a photo. Where’s my incentive to boost their career any further than featuring for one day – a process that alone elevates them above all their peers (for that one day) – if the bulk of them don’t even email back to say “thanks”?
And what does Justin want out of music blogs? Endless posts on Band X? That’s what a fanzine does in my eyes – but what do I know? I’m just a blogger, destroying artists’ dreams by finding more new bands than I have time to write about, and then writing about the ones I like the most.
If I kept on writing about, ooh, I dunno, that Vaccines’ song from three weeks ago, I might not have had space to write about Over Unda, who has cruelly been buried under 300 words of blah about a run-f-the-mill Indie band. Sorry Over Unda.
She Falls To The Floor dabbles in that fraught genre of Laptop Music With Vocals; an area of music that welcomes abject failure with open, loving arms more often than not. But Over Unda dodges the bullet, and creates a lop-sided, lo-grit, lofty, glassy and serene pop song, full of wistfulness, abrupt musical diversions and non-ponderous thoughtfulness.
Some well-known Indie rock bands are one-note, one-speed and one-dimensional. Here, in one bedroom-recorded pop song is the exact opposite. And musicians like this are doing it every day.
NB: I once wrote about the Vaccines, just before they decided to occupy the “anonymous Indie-band-by-numbers” slot that UK culture apparently hankers after every few years. I hope they are enjoying the ride, am pleased their careers have stretched to a second album, and wish them all the best.