A New Band A Day 2008-2018

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

However, ANBAD also has over 1200 posts featuring about 1500 artists. Most are buried deeeeep 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 music plugins, hyperlinks, images, formatting – and, frankly, the writing itself – is 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.  So scroll down and read on – and maybe you’ll find some long-forgotten band from 2009 that you’ll love.


2013: Guitar Music’s (In)Glorious Return

***This article was brought to you by MyVoucherCodes***

2013 is the Year That Guitar Music Rises From Its Grave In A Blaze Of Jangly Indie Glory. It’s going to happen whether you want it to or not, simply because a whole host of respected media outlets – all entirely coincidentally, of course – have announced that that’s what will happen in 2013.

(The crafty among you may find this to be an appropriate time to use free voucher codes to get discounts on instruments at Amazon,then to form your own band and capitalise on such temperate musical climes.)

ANBAD would never sanction such ruthless, lucre-centric behaviour, but couldn’t blame anyone who did. If the predicted rise of any musical movement seems so carefully predetermined, why stick to your guns when cynicism forms the start, middle and end points of the alternative?

There is, unusually, an important point here, and it all boils down to artistic value, personal fulfilment, and – ha! – money. Moreover, it all has to do with which order you rank these closely connected (and yet seemingly aeon-distant) facets.

So, while the rise of guitar bands this year might mean a glut of gigs, allowing you to find great deals on gig tickets, you may also ask: at what wider cost?

Guitar bands are potentially hugely lucrative to muzik bizniz people. The Arctic Monkeys et al have historically made shedloads of cash for all involved. It’s easy to see why the music biz, wizened and dazed, is keen to make guitar bands the focus again.

But it does smack of falsehood, of minor desperation and of one last roll of a battered dice: it’s harder to monetise, on a grand scale, the brilliant music that is flowing forth out of laptops all over the world – and straight onto Soundlcoud and Bandcamp, as opposed to the old label-distributer-high street system.

Guitar bands fit that system – however broken or archaic – better.

Now, guitar bands aren’t going to vanish simply because a few pasty music bloggers have mooted the feeling that everything new that can be done with a guitar has now been done, yeah?

People still love guitar bands and demonstrate this love via their wallets (dig out Paramore’s gig ticket receipts from 2012 and prepare to set your mind to ‘boggle’).

So, caution should be exercised by all, but especially from new artists tempted to put down the laptop, pick up a knock-off Gibson SG and join in, just because there’s a nagging feeling it’ll make them more likely to appear on Radio 1.

And here’s that cautionary tale you were waiting for, in the form of 2010’s most unknown band, Wu Lyf – a guitar band who had hype galore, tours, limited edition vinyl, expensive merch and appearances on Letterman, for God’s sake – and then who fell apart at the seams before they even released a second album.

They appeared to be a group for whom being a guitar band was just part of the package. And why not? But the facade – their look, their hype – was front and centre. Where would they be if they’d followed their hearts? Or did they?

>Today’s New Band – Haruki

>We fool ourselves into thinking that weekends are there for relaxation, but like most people, I just end up trying to fit way too much in two days. And so here we are again, straight back into another week, here at A New Band A Day. Mondays are usually characterised by that awful turbulence of re-entry back into reality, and this week, as always, is no different. Something soothing and trouble-free would sit quite nicely on top of my frame of mind right now, squashing down those troubling “Why aren’t weekends five days long and a working week two?” thoughts.

So it was with minor joy when I played Today’s New Band, Haruki’s, music as I sat at my computer today. Haruki are Belgian, but don’t fall into the trap of holding that against them – remember that, for all its dull-as-ditchwater stereotyping, Belgium is the home of the mighty Deus, Soulwax and 2ManyDJ’s. Haruki sound like, well, Zen, maaaaan. Imagine if wind chimes were a pleasant wash of orchestrated noise, and not the sound of randomised hippy awfulness, and you’ll have a rough idea of what to expect.

It’s not all tinkly twee-ness though. Tiny Movements is just that – a series of lovely, minimal bleeps, as if water drops were falling onto a very tiny piano. And whilst In the Garden is the yummy, plucked, acoustic instrumental that you could happily snooze to, I Had it All Planned Out is almost Godspeed! You Black Emperor-like in its grumpy menace.

Haruki, then are most like the sound a lovely summery meadow would make if it learnt how to play happy instruments. Calmness will descend as soon as you listen. And if that isn’t a good deal, I don’t know what is. It’s Monday, and you owe it to yourself to listen here, and adopt the lotus position, quick-quick.

TRIOLIAN: Sneakin’ Out The Inbox

triolianSeeing as all I write about at the moment is how I don’t have time to write, I may as well bore you thoroughly and fill you in on how I’m dealing with the problem outlined previously.

It’s a mother-of-invention-type solution, in so much that I now just blog about the first decent band I find in my inbox (when I have time to go through my emails).

Actually, it took me longer to delete the hundreds of emails that needed culling to reach the actual new bands than it did to go through a few bands and strike lucky on a decent one.

Yo, Triolian: Napoleon said that the primary quality he looked for in his generals was ‘luck’. Maybe it was just your day.


Truth be told, I rarely latch onto the hi-hats-‘n’-disco-drums-‘n’-choppy-guitars thing any more; I now not only feel like I’ve heard it before, but have began to wonder if there is some devious VST-plugin that simply arranges and writes these songs at the push of a button.

However, Triolian’s In My Head is so darn catchy, with a chorus that’s as brash and as dumb as a roomful of Flavor Of Love contestants, that… well, I dunno. It snagged my weary attention. At the moment, that’s the best possible manner of identification.

MORE: triolianband.com

Dream Sick: Dreamily Slick

By now, even I suspect that I simply add bands to the ANBAD ‘to do’ list based on the ludicrousness of their names.

There is, of course, an element of truth in all half-believable conspiracy theories, but really, while Dream Sick have a name that is stratospherically brilliant, it was their music, hidden behind a nameless link, that caught my attention.

That is rare enough, and the appropriate kudos should be sprinkled on them. But to do it with the visceral brilliance of the name Dream Sick shoved casually up their sleeves? Pride should be swelling their egos to Zeppelin size.


How to best address this without hyperbole?

Oh, I give up already: Caravel is dazzling in its downbeat glamour; precious but toughened, like an industrial diamond.

Here’s a song that is milky, nourishing and intimately comforting – all whilst acknowledging the transience of life and the importance of closeness. Yikes.

To recap: they’re called Dream Sick. And they’re lovelier than that name could ever suggest.

MORE: dreamsick.bandcamp.com

Gala Drop – Drop It Like Its Hot

There’s a natural order of usefulness when it comes to the prickly task of finding new bands, and it runs something like this:

  1. Personal recommendation by friend;
  2. Live gig;
  3. CD drunkenly shoved into hand at gig;
  4. Excitable email from band;
  5. PR bluster grinding writer down until capitulation.

Gala Drop were introduced to me via method number one whilst talking with a friend about music late one night in Lisbon.

There were echoes of methods numbers three and four within the, “Hey, you have to hear these guys” part.

Whenever I hear music that seemingly builds itself up under its own steam – looping noises back and forth, gaining momentum, pausing, unfurling – I wonder why it isn’t made more often.

Songs like Rauze are so devastatingly successful – for want of a more pleasant word – that it would seem obvious for others to copy the template. No matter.

Gala Drop // RAUZE

Rauze, as all these songs ought, starts small and grows to a towering, loopy, shimmering colossus, before dumping everything unceremoniously to get back to the start.

Perhaps there are parallels with life, or not. Either way, Gala Drop are a band that have found out how to make their music work. So many bands never get close.

MORE: myspace.com/galadrop

Blouse: Floaty, Gossamer, Billowy

Whilst ANBAD’s mutation from Quasi-Respected New Music Portal into Band-Name-Obsessed Daily Word-Splurge may be mildly embarrassing, one fact remains: band names do actually matter – just probably not quite as much as I think they do.

‘Blouse’, for instance, may well instinctively sound like the name of a hopeless tailcoat-riding Britpop band from 1995, but if that instant association was to put you off, you’d be missing a genuine treat.

Moreover, Blouse suits this band simply perfectly: floaty, gossamer, billowy and slightly sexy.


Videotapes could, in fact, be one of the most truly excellent songs so far this year. That it could easily soundtrack a thousand shockingly expensive car TV adverts is of no fault of the band itself – more a confirmation of their talents.

Because buried deep within its warped synths, clobbering drums and breathy vocals lies a pristine and simple 4-square pop song; hooks, choruses and progressions all in the right place, at the right time.

Much of Blouse’s music was recorded in an old warehouse. There’s something unspeakably seedy about a band called Blouse recording a song like Videotapes in a location like that. Excellent.

MORE: blouseblouse.com

>Today’s New Band – Saboteur

>When it was announced, I thought The Verve headlining Glastonbury Festival was a bit of a weak move – The Verve have been split and silent for years now; Richard Ashcroft’s solo output has been the sub-MOR equivalent of dipping your head into a stagnant duck-pond; surely they’re doing one more comeback for tax reasons, etc.

Watching their headline set on TV, I realised that, fortunately, I was super-wrong. Instead of the expected clunky phoning-in of their 90’s hits, they were all the things they used to be, and more. Epic songs about love and loss from a band that has so much confidence in itself that they finished off not with their most famous song, but a brand new single, which – guess what – is ace. I was thrilled and a bit ashamed to have been so cynical.

It also struck me that what made them so great was simply that, while in the 90’s they were, on the surface, just another rock band wearing cagoules, that exact quality was now what set them so far apart from their current peers. To differentiate yourself from the skinny jeans ‘n’ ties hoard is to be automatically ahead of the pack. So, Today’s New Band are Saboteur. They don’t sound like The Verve, but they do sound different to the Haircut-Indie bands. Their starting point and ethos isn’t the usual Joy Division/Strokes/Boomtown Freaking Rats yadda-yadda. Oh and they’re German, further compounding that niggling feeling I’ve been getting that German music is really good at the moment.

Song Love Spreader, whilst sounding slightly obscene, is a chiming treat, devoid of posing, archness or cynicism. It pulses with the simple delight of being in a band and making music. A Cabbage White is the same. Saboteur remind me a little bit of forgotten 80’s band The Chills, who possibly because they were from New Zealand and thus were Not Cool, didn’t become as big as they deserved. So listen and enjoy Saboteur right now, while you can.

>Today’s New Band – Beth Jeans Houghton

>Happy Mondays (of course) had a guitarist who was, variably, called ‘Moose’ or ‘Cowhead’, and Shaun Ryder himself would sometimes only answer to the moniker ‘X’. The Offspring have Noodles. 60’s band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch had… well, never mind.

Bands, and their select members-club nature, are a breeding ground for mildly stupid in-joke behaviour. Part endearing trait, part eye-rolling japery, this knack for appellative nonsense is part and parcel of rock ‘n’ roll, whether us punters, with mere human names, like it or not. Even The Beatles had a Ringo.

Today’s New Artist, Beth Jeans Houghton, doesn’t need a krayzee-bonkers name to zip hurriedly past the wheat and the chaff. Her songs are shot through with a bizarre, unnerving and dizzy purity – all wrapped up in near-Gothic splendour.

Sweet Tooth Bird soars appropriately, sucking in swirls of beautiful sound and oozing a glorious, unguent sonic syrup back out. Golden is what synesthesiacs hear when they are bathed in glorious orange sunlight – unnervingly warm, bright and cosy. I naively assumed songs like The Garden to be more traditional, but when did you last hear a trad-folk song with such ethereal and angelic whisperings?

Beth Jeans Houghton is a wonderful discovery. Taking sweet and gentle folk music and skewering it with shards of crackling weirdness, her songs clasp you softly, albeit with a worryingly firm grip. You’ll not want her to let go. Listen here!

>My Amiga – Today’s New Band

>When I was a young ‘un, before I bought a guitar and sat in my bedroom mangling Smiths songs and wondering if I could convince my parents to let me paint my bedroom walls black, i used to while hours away playing on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum. It had sticky rubber keys, 48k of memory and the games took five minutes to load off a C90 tape. It was my nerd-baby though, and I’m still proud that I completed Magicland Dizzy without losing a life. These halcyon days were tarnished a bit though, when my friend Dan got a Commodore Amiga for Christmas – a computer which made the Spectrum appear weak and feeble in comparison (which, of course, it was).

The Amiga was ace. I presume Today’s New Band, My Amiga, harbour similarly nostalgic feelings about unwieldy, grey early-90’s computers. They’re from Liverpool and have that seemingly genetic Liverpudlian way with treble-tastic rock melodies. My Amiga are what the Famous Five would sound like if they formed a band on their days off from drinking lashings of Ginger Beer and solving suspiciously family-friendly crimes.

That is to say, My Amiga sound young and sprightly enough to make the inevitable A&R men at their gigs feel like fuddy-duddies with try-hard haircuts. Though to be fair, they’re like that anyway. Thank Heavens for Little Victories is a surprisingly deft and floaty throwaway pop tinkle, with a shouty bit to prove that they’re actually of drinking age. Untitled is a brisk and jangly pop fizz which explodes frenetically with youth, the sonic equivalent of a child trying to build the tallest lower of Lego possible, and then laughing manically when it falls over.

My Amiga are as fun as drawing the curtains on a sunny day and playing Sensible Soccer until teatime. Though you probably won’t get wrist ache from the joystick. Unless you really like them. If you known what I mean. Listen to their songs here!

Childhood: The Best Time Of All Our Lives

Childhood, eh? Best time of your life. Not mine, but specifically yours.

Annoying when people say that, isn’t it. I mean, yes, childhood is generally a blast for everyone – but in this age of enforced, conspicuous nostalgia, it’s tempting to tell everyone that your youthful years were spent locked in a coal shed with only crude figurines crafted from your own filth to keep you company.

Childhood (the band), are similarly ambiguous as to whether they are fun or not. Sure, their music is a minor delight, but I couldn’t tell you definitively whether its makers were sporting wide grins or not whilst creating it.

Childhood // Paper Wave

Paper Wave is the sort of song that has already been identified as some sort of quasi-ironic “[insert genre]-wave”, probably by that mysterious panel of online taste-makers that I often read about but evidence of whom I have never actually seen.

It has the silky feel of a warm Mediterranean evening breeze – comforting, gentle and with the sense that it could transform into something altogether more thunderous at any moment. Except that it never does.

Childhood are aptly named – their songs frame half-buried feelings that never fully materialise, and are all the more beguiling for it. Great.

MORE: myspace.com/childhoodlondon