A New Band A Day 2008-2018

Welcome to ANBAD, which is celebrating ten years online in April 2018, and is now “resting.” (I’m still jabbering on about new bands like, oh, I dunno, The Chats, on Twitter.)

However, ANBAD also has over 1200 posts featuring about 1500 artists. Most are buried deep 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 of the music players, hyperlinks, images, formatting – and, frankly, the writing itself – are 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. I’ll post something longer soon, probably around the Official ANBAD 10th Birthday in April; but for now, scroll down and read on – and maybe you’ll find some long-forgotten band from 2009 that you’ll love.


 

New Band Clear Out! Possibly A Regular Feature Now. Dunno.

Another week, another glut of bands to poke suggestively in your direction. As this is becoming a regular occurrence, maybe it’s time to come up with a better name for the feature than ‘Band Clear-Out‘, because these aren’t just any old bands, you know.

Answers on a postcard, please. Wait, is that reference even understood by anyone under 30 any more? Either way, let me know.

And that hustle-bustle of noise is this great bunch of new bands all vying for your attention. Click the band’s name for their music:

First! The Leaf Library are not only delightfully droning and waning, but have a list of ex-band members on their Myspace page. Each name is suffixed with the word ‘Drums’. I expected them to list the reasons for their departure, a la Spinal Tap (‘choked on vomit’), but alas, no. Here’s a truly delicious ISAN remix of one of their songs, on one of those horrible Soundwave players:

Second! The Shimmer: Basso vocals, synths, gloom. Twangy basslines. Black and white photography. You know. You’ll think you’ve heard it all before, and just as you’re thinking that, you’ll realise you were wrong. I like it when bands do that.

Third! Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk. You learn something every day, don’t you. Producers of warm, crackly and delicate songs about Jeremy Irons and worms, BBDDM will sooth your soul, stroke your hair, and just as you’ll begin to fall asleep, will tell you other useless avian facts. Possibly.

Fourth! Babeshadow If I’d had the foresight and realised there would be two bands in a row to do with babies, I’d have made this post thematic as opposed to hopeless rambling. Oh well. Babeshadow make music that’s quite now, all polyrhythms, heartfelt lyrical prose and bare guitar plucking. It’s nice.

Finally! Nobless Oblige are a typhoon of great hair, pomade and natty clothing. No, it doesn’t sound promising, does it – but you’d be wrong: they make glam-pop songs that will confuse your tiny mind. And one with a kazoo, called The Lady With A Kazoo, naturally.

Honey Luvv: Vox Pox

I’m not perfect. That much is blindingly obvious to any reader of this blog.

But recently, I proved this to myself, once again, in a whole new way: by discovering a text file on my computer that was, in effect, a cache of great music from about six months ago. It had a dozen or so bands in it, with the motif “Write about these next!” at the top.

Inevitably, I forgot about the text file, and the bands were lost. Since I found it, I’ve been crowbarring the bands into ANBAD in dribs and drabs, making a slight preposterousness of any claims to ultra-newness.

Still. Who cares really? And have you heard of Honey Luvv? Probably not, which is why this whole exercise is almost worthwhile.

I don’t often touch vocal-less demos with a bargepole. Vocal-less demos are to new music blogging what horse manure is to farming: plentiful and only useful months later when nature has taken its course.

Honey Luvv’s Yeti snuck through partly due to sheer exuberance, but mainly because it has an unexpected, unintended quality: it sounds like a B-Side.

B-Sides (kids, ask your dad) don’t exist any more, but often they’d sound like this: a snippet of something that came out of the studio that wouldn’t fit anywhere else, but was too good/interesting/fun to lose completely.

So that’s that: the sound of six months ago, without vocals or much by the way of explanation, either. Honey Luvv may never record anything again.

My guess is that he/she is recording under another name. So this is a buzzy, caffeine-fuelled time capsule.

MORE: soundcloud.com/honey-luvv

ANBAD’s Best Bands Of 2011 // The Runners-Up (Part 1)

So. Why pick the ANBAD End O’ Year List, which starts in earnest next week, over any other music blogs’?

Well, there is no real reason, though if you’ve had the determination to read past the first paragraph, maybe you have a modicum of interest in slip-sliding into the grubby, ragged, and frequently ludicrous world of new bands from a slightly different, dubious angle.

Still, while you’re deciding whether it’s worth the plunge or not (HINT: it actually is – there were some genuinely terrific bands on ANBAD this year), here’s Part One of the patronising pat-on-the-head for the bands that were really great, but not quite really great enough to make the Top Ten

  •  PIXELSIn a moderately rare instance of ANBAD picking up a band that goes onto moderately bigger things, Pixels, “drag ideas from jangle-pop,with a vaguely hip-hop rhythm and an entirely disconnected outlook.”

 

  • ARC VELs songs “seem to be composed of snippets of other lovely songs –  dreamy, anti-brash, anti-form soundscapes is that… may only exist in the world of Arc Vel, and we’ll never hear them.”

 

  • GALA DROPs song Rauze is so devastatingly successful – looping noises back and forth, gaining momentum, pausing, unfurling – I wonder why music like this isn’t made more often.”

Gala Drop // RAUZE

 

  • Where are PRAIRIES  from?I can think of some antecedents – for some reason T.V.O.D. springs to mind, apropos of almost nothing – but in all honesty, Prairies may as well be beamed from the future.

 

…Part 2 of ANBAD’s best runners-up arrives tomorrow!

Carnivals: Delerious Serenity

I had a conversation with someone recently that touched on that well-worn topic of Music These Days, Hey?

To cut a long story short (these kinds of conversations are always long, especially when they take place in a pub), we came to the conclusion that we’re entering the most thrilling period in music creation in memory.

This entirely spurious claim was based on the rise of technology that has finally allowed the people who always wanted to create music – but never had the time, money or nerve – to actually make it.

A whole section of society can now simply flip open a laptop and make and distribute music at will. Of course, this does result in a lot more chaff than wheat, but if listening to a hundred generic Dubstep-lite songs is the price for gaining artists of Carnivals’ quality, it’s a price I’m prepared to pay.

Carnivals – or ‘Stewart’ to his mother – makes music that doubles back on itself greedily for inspiration; resonant, burbling and alive.

Plug into I Can See, and feel the devilishly intricate and beautifully serene snippets and loops course through your veins. Time and sound become elastic and ductile as a patchwork of soft sound delivers, single-mindedly, one man’s obtuse musical vision.

See if, like I did, you rub your eyes with disbelief when the time counter shows that the song has played for a mere three minutes, after what feels like a lifetime. See if you can resist playing it again as soon as it finishes, the song’s absence creating a stifling silence.

Endlessly soothing, creepily off-kilter and buoyant with warmth, Carnivals music could be the soundtrack to a lifetime of deliriously lovely moments, and is indicative of a thrilling new creative age. Let it in.

MORE: carnivals.bandcamp.com

Imaginary Friend: Casually Instinctive

If, as postulated by many, Scandinavian bands have a particularly recognisable sound (think: choruses of joy, and verses replaced by more choruses), then what of Liverpool, a city that has punched above its weight since pop music began?

My brain’s instant Grab-Bag O’ Liverpudlian musical clichés consists of: sea-shanty pop/jangly curiousness/She Loves You YeahYeahYeah.

And, you know, these rules seem to be justified, especially if applied to Liverpudlian/Mancunian band Imaginary Friend, who have been together for about five minutes, and yet, in Lost at Sea, have recorded a song with the easy confidence and blithe panache of a band that has been around the block a few times.

 

Lost At Sea betrays the band’s knack for melody, song construction and structure: you know, all the boring, essential stuff. That their carefree attitude is carefully woven into these sonic shapes is both a casually instinctive move and their stroke of ingenuity.

Because a song like Lost at Sea is not only a cute song with a dashing, clinically brief melody, it could well be, along with a couple of their other equally sharp songs, the stick that all the candyfloss that is the rest of the being-in-a-band nonsense can hang off. Extremely promising stuff.

MORE: soundcloud.com/imaginaryfriend-2

>A New Band A Day is One Today!

>Agonise over your choice of cheap-but-unusual gift, wonder whether you can think of a good excuse to leave the party early and make awkward conversation with people you barely know, because A New Band A Day is one year old today!

And my, haven’t we grown – from barely literate burbles to quasi-thoughtful “opinion pieces” via drunkenly effervescent enthusiasm. And to think that people said we were crazy before we set out to write about a new band every single (working) day.

Anyway, it’s a day for a reflection – I’d like to say that ANBAD is a little older, a little wiser, and a little more worldly, but that would sound like some dreadful monologue from Dawson’s Bloody Creek. The truth is that all of us people who make ANBAD what it is are just as endearingly* naive as ever – a trait which is probably essential for the happy, grinding task of digging up new bands.

*frustratingly

Some of the bands that were featured on ANBAD pinged onwards and upwards to bigger and better things. It’d be a fib of epic proportions to claim that it was all down to our influence, but… actually that’s it. Anyway, we hope we gave them a bit of a leg-up on the way.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in suggestions for new bands: that’s all the friends, PRs and fans of bands, and bands themselves, of course. We always listen to each one suggested, and have discovered so many that our overwhelmed ears would otherwise have missed this way.

Please keep it up! We’d be nowhere without you. Here’s hoping that the next year of ace new bands will bring as many thrilling bands as this year’s lot did. Oh – and in case you were wondering (you weren’t), the song that has been in my head the most over the last year is The Little Patton by The Seedy Seeds.

AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR PRESENTS!

And, in the spirit of giving, as a gift to you, dear reader, here’s possibly the greatest single use of the English language ever. For once, please believe the hype and have a look, I promise that you’ll either LOL, ROFL, WTF or possibly a combination of all three.

Happy birthday indeed. Here’s to another year!

MIDWEEK(-ish) MIXTAPE // 27th Jan 2011

ANBAD is taking the week off and dodging the fact that it’s a Landmark Birthday of the sort that leads people to ask if I shouldn’t really be getting a proper job by now.

Don’t be distracted by my existential crisis – Drebin’s holding the new Duran Duran single is only moments away from playing it. The playing of this could only multiply any agonies that any of us may be experiencing right now. Here’s the Midweek Mixtape instead:

FIRST! Sen Segur appear to tick all my boxes: Very young, new band? Check. Recorded EP with ex-member of Gorky’s Zygotic Munki? Check. Welsh Language vocals so I can make up my own meanings? Check. Lovely, soft psyche pop songs? Oh yes. Great stuff.

Sen Segur // Cyfoeth Gwlyb

SECOND! Blondes In Tokyo are a band of whom I’m unsure of collective hair colour or geographic location. However, I do know that they make throbbing monster pop songs like Running Miles, and frankly, that’s all I’m interested in.

THIRD! No Monster Club: making songs like The Last Bottle In The World must be a lot of fun. If it isn’t, then they sure are good at making it sound like it on their scrappy, scruffy, loveable recordings. Rip-roaring fun:

FINALLY! De Staat are, apparently, “Holland’s No.1 act right now”. I’m far too lazy to verify a claim like that, but with such excellent, hypnotically clanky songs as Sweat Shop up their sleeves, I’m inclined to believe it.

NB: ANBAD will be back as usual, a little older, a little wiser, next week.

>Today’s New Band – The Hopeful Spaztiks PLUS! Paranoia!

>

Isn’t it funny how things work out? Tupac Shakur started out as a bit-part player on lunatic funk-drenched hip-hoppers Digital Underground. Listen to their brilliant first album, Sex Packets, and you’ll occasionally hear bursts of the voice that went on to release a bewildering number of albums – most of them posthumously.
Tricky was once just a voice too – albeit a similarly distinct one – on the first two Massive Attack albums. He then left, in mild acrimony, recycled a couple of his lyrics from his Massive Attack days, added some awkward noises, and emerged with Maxinquaye – one of the most affecting, original slices of unusual, paranoid fuzzy noise ever.
It was drenched in mythical hype – stories of journalists being forced to make copies at gunpoint and the like circulated wildly in these pre-internet days. The review copies were supposedly robed in a velvet case which was in turn sealed into a miniature plastic bodybag. The album was set up for a huge, underwhelming fall. It didn’t come. It’s a woozy, confused masterpiece.
Hype is always a difficult card to play. Raving about a band too much, however truly you may mean what you say, makes you and them appear misguided and desperate. I may be both of those things, but I’d hate to drag a good new band down with me. So if praise isn’t too forthcoming about Today’s New Band, it’s not because they’re not super-ace (they are), but because I’m trying to under-hype them, if that’s possible.
The Hopeful Spaztiks round off an impressively diverse month on A New Band A Day in cranky style. They’re a band who can maintain five different musical points of view at once, and flit between them all. Song Aquatic sounds like a toy racing car, and swerves like one too, veering over a number of electro cliffs in the process.
Cup Of is deranged enough to summon up the spirit of Level 42, sneaking in the 80’s most estate-agent-friendly instrument – the slap-bass – and make it work. Hail ping-pongs appropriate noises off your confused brain, resetting your innate sense of rhythm to synchronise with their warped vision.
The Hopeful Spaztiks’ sound like the prettily naive work of complete novices given shape, coherence and funk by a mysterious guiding hand. They straddle looseness and tightness like a before-and-after photograph of a hanging. Dangle with them, here!

PS – Are you the kind of person that NEEDS TO KNOW WHAT EVERYONE’S DOING ALL OF THE TIME? Then get yourself hooked up to the ANBAD Twitter feed!

Ball Of Flame Shoot Fire; Exclamation Marks Optional

People will tell you that, when writing, never use an exclamation mark if you want humour to be taken seriously. People are stupid.

Because if one band ever cried out for an exclamation mark, it’s Ball Of Flame Shoot Fire. Perhaps agonising over the punctuation of a band’s name is endlessly petty, or, frankly, autistic – or both – but there, I’ve said it: Ball Of Flame Shoot Fire! is just better.

But then if you’re a band that writes songs as frolicking and carefree as Patience, punctuation becomes moot.

Ball Of Flame Shoot Fire // Patience

It’s a truly strange song. Articulate and tangible in its weirdness, Patience rigidly rambles, deviates and tramples over its own vapour streams. Songs that are fully disarming and genuinely affecting are rare; this one, then, is both precious and shiny.

As such, grab the chance to hear a song that seems less fragile and more curious with every listen, and wonder why – as it sounds so easy, so effortless – everyone else isn’t doing it too. Excellent, strange, true.

www.myspace.com/bofsf

RQTN, JMJ, M83, AMA (And More Acronyms)

I once had an argument with a man in a pub about Jean Michel Jarre. Feel free to judge harshly on discovery of such fatuousness.

It all started, as most arguments in pubs do, with a flippant comment on an unimportant topic. The magnifying effects of booze did the rest.

I said that Jean Michel Jarre was the height of electronic music hopelessness – a vacuous whirlwind of 80’s Saturday-teatime TV show soundtracks  hidden behind a preposterous bank of keyboards, stageshows and lasers. To these ears, this still rings fairly true.

The Bar Stranger disagreed furiously, and cited his influence on Orbital, and others, though he may as well have been standing up for Vangelis.

The truth is that ‘JMJ’, as I imagine his bearded fans would call him, produces sub- Kraftwerk nonsense, albeit with a better fireworks show at the end of his gigs.

RQTN, both French and a producer of electronic music, may disagree.

RQTN also makes concept albums – his latest, Decades and Decisions, has a song for various decades from the last 100 years or so. The 80s warrant two, apparently. 1955 – A Shelter For Lovers is the sort of electronic dream music that you’d happily forgotten about, but on sober reflection, wish you hadn’t – it’s lush, trembling and, I daresay, drenched in emotion.

RQTN // 1955 – A Shelter For Lovers

RQTN‘s music would have been decreed fabulously un-cool just a few years ago, but thanks to a slew of excellent synth-pop from the likes of M83, he’s suddenly a musical entrepreneur, mining a seam of forgotten sonic textures and metronomically correct MIDI beats.

Such is the fickle nature of cool. Stop worrying, arguing and procrastinating, and simply listen. Warning: there may or may not be laser lightshow accompaniment.

www.rqtn.net