Calumma Amber (2)

Well, what are your initial reactions to a song titled Lielielielielielielielow?

Mine – which were, “hmm, this is probably going to be either heinous or excellent” – were compounded by the first few, odd, ephemeral bars.

And then it became clear that Calumma Amber‘s song met the latter expectation.

Lielielielielielielielow is the kind of song Kate Bush has been making at home for the last twenty years, but has never dared release. It’s almost all vowels, with no clear lyrical points of reference to cling onto.

Instead, much like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, we’re subtly encouraged to look beyond prosaic things like words and notes, and to connect to something much less tangible: feelings, emotions and the base meaning of sound itself.

Whoah. But it’s really brilliant and dashing. Trust me.


A remarkably brief post today, because I’m still coming to terms with the actual madness that was the stag-do I went on in Ibiza last week, and because I don’t have a huge amount of info about today’s remarkable new song/band/video.

Dream Lovers are a mysterious side project of a couple of bands I love, and as I’m uncertain if I am allowed to reveal who is behind it, I’ll keep mum and simply fuel the mystery.

Anyway – everyone knows all World Cup songs are rubbish, barring World In Motion, but the above video bucks the trend.

It is an instrumental, language-barrier-straddling song that is vaguely Brazilian, vaguely dreamy and totally brilliant.

The video shows a man standing on a wall by the Sacre Cour, overlooking Paris, juggling a football in a remarkable display of remarkableness. It suits the song perfectly, and this is also remarkable. Lap it up.



Confirmation that I’m an idiot arrives in increasingly regular doses these days.

I was positive – positive -I’d written about the flabbergastingly great Ménage à Trois at least once before.

It turns out my brain is a sieve and I haven’t at all. Not even once.

I have, however, tweeted about them a lot, raved to friends about them endlessly, repeatedly shared their infuriatingly good videos via email and got drunk with the exceedingly pleasant band itself on a couple of occasions.

To recap: I’m an idiot.

Anyway: here’s the new song from Ménage à Trois. It’s called White Noise, and is the best thing you’ll hear all day.

There are almost too many things to love about Ménage à Trois – their constantly sharp and creative videos, their golden and shimmering sound, their entirely angular stance toward the world, the fact that they also refer to themselves as Bogans Of Death, the fact that they are deeply uncool and yet entirely cool because of this, everything.

In rarity for ANBAD, here’s the accompanying video too, simply because it’s too good to miss. Best thing so far this year? Easily.

Ezra Furman: Life In The New Dog, Yet

ezrafurmanSeeing as these days I’m pushing the (admittedly always-shaky) concept of writng about a new band every day, I feel a lot less troubled by the fact that today’s ‘new’ artist isn’t terribly new in every sense of the word.

This is because Ezra Furman has had his own band, and then spent a bunch of years fronting another (Harpoons), and is now a fully-fledged solo project.

His solo LP’s just come out. Only a handful of blogs have written about this song.

So… I’m off the hook, right?


Doesn’t matter either way, actually, because My Zero is so loveable, so bright, so delicious, that each spin is like a warm embrace from an old friend, and each rollocking sweep through the chorus provides the same joys as an evening holed up in a good pub with a loved one.

Ezra has a voice that cuts through the swathes of bland voices that populate the majority of pop music. How can you help but connect on a very base level to his sprightly, croaky vox? His voice is a springboard for the music to soar from; and vice-versa.

In this way, he reminds me of old ANBAD faves Straw Bear, who weave glorious vocals and glistening music to similarly lovely effect.

My Zero is fabulous. Proof that the old guitar ‘n’ singer combo can still ignite the kind of thrills that nothing else can. What a tune!


PINCERS: Set Adrift On Memory Bliss

pincersIt’s the fate of all music blogs, apparently, to fizzle and splutter at some point in their lives, and maybe this is exactly what ANBAD is doing right now, as work commitments are making this blog’s titular ‘A Day’ part seem more far-fetched than ever.

Not being able to write about new bands each day any more was starting to get me down.

The cure, as always, was found in a fabulous song. Hello, Pincers!


A Sociopath To Fame plays out like a series of dreamy vignettes or a scattering of half-memories, both sonically and lyrically.

It’s a gorgeous-sounding song: like all the most immediate recordings, some instruments sound like they’re being played just behind you, and other sounds feel like they’ve been beamed in from another solar system.

At one point, I swear the 90s-era internet log-on noise creeps into the mix.

The lyrics – an element that I’ll freely admit to generally ignoring – are a series of remarkably confident statements. (Read them here.)

Sociopath is almost so sparse at times that I worried it would just fall apart, and at that exact moment, it would swell and re-build into a glorious kaleidoscopic flurry of melody.

Wonderful stuff. The rest of Pincers’ debut EP is terrific too. Snap it up!


Popular Culture (No Longer Applies)

popularculturePopular Culture. Now there’s a fucking great name for a new band. A bit daring, too. No room for anything other than Solid Gold Hitz with a name like that – and guess what?

Popular Culture deliver, over and over; and remarkably, in new ways each time.

Apparently, Popular Culture is the result of holing up in a home studio for two years; it sounds to me like it’s the result of a lot of talent and the careful application of patience.

What I like most is that the waypoints are blindingly obvious – the bands I compare his music to are no educated guesses.

This is endlessly refreshing, because we’re in an era of bands whose sole starting point is to find an established rock sound that hasn’t been used for a while, alter a few superfluous dynamics (haircuts, attitude, more/less synths) and claim to be the Next Big Thing.

Popular Culture cuts out the bullshit. The tracks that sounds like New Order sound very obviously like New Order, but with the finesse, brio and craft that ensure the songs are easily the most important thing happening.


This track, Affair, sounds a lot like The Jesus and Mary Chain, and while I would usually find a similarity like this entirely tiresome, this song is so adept at putting a finger on the *exact same* visceral thrills that the JAMC did, you can’t help but smile as your synapses light up.

You’ll have to buy Popular Culture’s album (which is highly recommended) to listen to opener Spirit – which warps from a long aching gasp of keyboard-choral groans into a New Order-esque pop crescendo – but you’ll kick yourself if you don’t hunt it down.

“Popular culture no longer applies to me,” sang Eddie Argos of Art Brut. Popular Culture (the artist) is having it both ways.


CLEAR: The Song Noel Gallagher Wishes He’d Written

clearsunlightWell. Just to show that things don’t really work out the way you ever expect, it turns out the kind people at AIM have nominated A New Band A Day for an award  – the Indie Champion Award, indeed, along with the kind of names that made me initially think that there had been a clerical error.

So, I will be schlepping off to London in a month to drunkenly humiliate myself in front of people I admire.

In the mean time, huge thanks and hugs and hearty back-slaps to the kind people at AIM. It’s genuinely lovely to get a nod like this.

And speaking of genuinely lovely, Clear‘s Sunlight sounds like a song I know really well, but can’t put my finger on.

I initially spent a while racking my brain and googling the lyrics, and then I realised that it was an original song and that there is no better measure of a song than one that tricks you into thinking it’s a well-thumbed classic.


Well, indeed, this is exactly what Clear have written – a well-thumbed, much-loved classic. It’s just that the wider world doesn’t know it yet.

But you can’t hold a track like this – one that is so gloriously orange and golden and barley-hued – back from a wider embrace. It’s too good. There are no gimmicks or post-modern knick-knacks or VST-plug-ins-de-jour in this song. Instead, they lean on the oldest gimmick in the book: writing a terrific, moving, addictive song.

If someone like – say – Noel Gallagher had released this as his new solo single, people wouldn’t talk about anything else for the rest of the year, because it’d be so brilliant and so out of character. This is endlessly lovely.




My, oh my.

When was the last time you heard a voice quite like this? Spouting lyrics like these? Over such beautifully confusing sounds like these?

Honestly, the last time I could remember my curiosity was prickled in this way was when I heard Seward, about this time last year. And then I remembered I said the same thing about Sturle Dagsland about three weeks ago.

Maybe it’s the month of May. Maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe The Warp/The Weft are brilliant. Who can say?


Chances are, The Warp/The Weft are, in fact just brilliant – Storm & Wake is a simply – and I use this word inadvisedly – impressive song. Because it is, in every way; a terrifically coiling song that allows plenty of breathing space (a rarity today) and pushes a tremulously delicious voice to the fore.

Mentions of dorsal fins fly by as the oddly brief lyric scuttles past half as fast as you’d expect. The ending becomes an extended coda that you will to roll on and on. I’m not sure why you’re still reading this now. Just listen.

Sturle Dagsland: Alien Nightclubs

It’s not often that my jaded ears prick up at a song simply because it’s so downright unusual, but today I’m skipping the preamble and getting right to the chase, because Sturle Dagsland did just that.

The last time this happened, it was Seward who reached through my lugs into my brain, tickled the Parahippocampal gyrus, and ended up as ANBAD’s band of 2012.

And what was so unusual about Seward – their unique application of sound and language into music – is also the devastatingly enthralling trait in Sturle Dagsland’s terrifyingly brief Mokèlé-mbèmbé.


Well. Here’s a unique song.

It begins with a scream and ends with a flurry of sweet, rich noise. In between, over the course of a minute and a half, dish after dish of aural delicacies are placed unceremoniously onto this particular feasting table.

It’s rare to find a song that sounds so different, so unusual and so appealing all at once. It occurred to me at one point that this might be what poking your head into an alien nightclub sounds like.

Is all of Sturle Dagsland‘s music like this? No. It couldn’t possibly be. But this is brilliant and enthralling.


Painted Zeros: Inducing The Purple-ist Prose *Ever*

Quick, what do you think of – what sounds play in your febrile mind – when you think of Brooklyn bands?

I’m probably thinking of the same sounds as you – something a bit echoey, a bit “reverb-drenched”; something with vibes. You know, a bit dreamy. Maybe you can see the artists too, and maybe they’re wearing clothes that ought to really be on the corpse of your long-dead grandma.

A couple of things are unusual about all this: the fact that these crass generalisations are often close to the truth, and how much these things actually matter. They either cement a band in your mind, or, depending on your constitution, dissolve them to nothing.

Painted Zeros are from New York. I’m, of course, only guessing that they’re based in Brooklyn, but I’d bet my bottom dollar that they are. Until I receive the email from the band pointing out that they live in Queens, I’m sticking with my theory.

Because Painted Zeros do indeed fulfil a few Brooklynite criteria, except unusually, they pull these now-familiar threads together to wonderful effect.

Call Back is – and I mean this – crushingly lovely in all sorts of ways that somehow punctured my cynical, weary mind.

There was something in this song I couldn’t quite figure out – and then it struck me: it’s technically and musically sophisticated without being wanky, and there’s a sense of lightness, of fun(!), present that sweeps through the song like a warm breeze through Provençal hills: slightly sensual, very welcome and endlessly pretty.

I like this band very, very much. Even the slightly ironic tags they attached to their music (00000000 rock, flowercore, skull pop, New York) seem genuinely charming in context. Painted Zeros are soaked in beauty.