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.


 

>Laurel Collective, and The Coldplay Pleasure Principal Denial

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Coldplay must have a whole raft of fans who own their records and yet won’t admit it. It’s a shame that so many people can’t live with the reality of preferring slick MOR rock to the Skins/OC prescribed-cool bands; groups whose names are dropped like discarded chewing-gum now, but will be forgotten when drumming the steering wheel along to X+Y on the school run in ten years’ time.

Music is a great truth-bringer in that sense – it’s so intertwined with pleasure that, when really needed, you will always reach for the record that really makes you happy, which is not necessarily the one that will bolster your cool quota. And if that record is by U2, then so be it. But, yes, we’ll all still be sniggering at you.

And so, the rarity of hearing a band that actually try to veer away from the safer Keane-esque route to success is all the more heartening. I’m sure that Laurel Collective have it in them to make a record that would snag that discerning Radio 2 audience, but they deliberately have not. For this they deserve all the plaudits they will surely get.

Take Carrie. The template is the standard rock set-up, but here is proof that it can still be applied in creepy and unusually new ways – still capable of the necessary emotional pull, though without sacrificing creativity and the thrill that fresh sounds bring.

Laurel Collective – Cheap

Or take Cheap: shoving twitchy drums and a wired bassline to the fore is often a recipe for disaster, but here rewards are reaped and heads are turned – or yanked even, such is the ferocity and excitement of Laurel Collective‘s aural onslaught.

New, sharp, aware: Laurel Collective are a joy. And if they do become a middle age/class favourite, it won’t be for want of trying.

Photography by Gareth Jackson

57 Splits: Rinse, Then Repeat

The near-disappearance of sampling as a primary force in popular music is a weird occurance.

The legal and monetary complications are well documented, and frequently cited as the reason for sampling’s waning influence.

The Avalanches reportedly had to pay for so many samples on their zillion selling Since I Left You that the band made no money at all. There was a reason that De La Soul named their second, enforcedly sample-light album De La Soul Is Dead.

Why is sampling still relatively underused in a time when people make virtually no money? 25% of nothing is nothing. Sampling is a powerful tool when used creatively – listen to Paul’s Boutique and prepare to shake your head in bewilderment – and one that perhaps will rear its head again soon.

57 Splits have discovered the same dizzy excitement in sampling, just as Eric B, the Bomb Squad and DJ Shadow did before them, and has created songs which are stupendously satisfying in their direct, tactile nature.

In grabbing a few snatches of sound, looping them and cutting them, songs as simplistic/complicated as Science emerge, a song that cutely marries cut ‘n’ paste drums with slightly esoteric guitar noodling.

Yes, I know it sounds like that it shouldn’t work. But that’s one of the delights of sampling – grab this, push it together with that and see whether the resulting sound is a shabby mess or a fascinating triumph. Rinse, then repeat.

57 Splits‘ music tends to be the latter. He told me that his songs form concept albums. Again, this all sounds like a recipe for disaster. But in reality, 57 Splits makes music so viscerally satisfying that any doubts are clobbered by the forcefulness of the technique. Great.

MORE: 57splits.bandcamp.com

Trwbador: Brutal, Elusive

The laptop is a brutally efficient, endlessly alluring tool for musicians, but one whose major drawback is one and the same: it is just too easy to suck the life – shhhllllurrrrrppp! – right out of a song.

Conversely, folk music has exactly the opposite qualities: it takes forever to write a great song, but when you do, it’ll touch your audience in a way they never imagined.

Trwbador are not the first band to try to balance this dichotomy. They are one of few who have actually managed it – and how, creating a sound that is otherworldly, yet real; mechanical, yet tender.

Sun In Winter is an almost perfect example of how to splice the two together. Vocals that are painfully intimate, yet icily distant, dart in and around a sparse smattering of noises that form the space that a song used to occupy.

This song is a remix of a remix of a song that never existed in the first place. We can imagine this song – it’s so close we can almost touch it – and yet it simply doesn’t exist. Beautiful, bright, brilliant.

MOREtrwbador.co.uk/

>Today’s New Band – The Momeraths PLUS! Prince Harry – Idiot

>So, final proof: Prince Harry is a moron. No, sorry: a bigoted moron. Actually, wrong again: a racist, bigoted, moron, who isn’t even a [allegation removed on lawyer’s advice]. Great. Perhaps in the rarefied environs of the army, calling each other ‘paki’ and ‘raghead’ is all just wizard fun and part of the process that enables you to go around the world killing people whilst braying loudly about just how wasted Giles and Ollie were the other night.

What actually goes on inside the head of the third in line to the throne? Apart from all the thoughts about skiing at Kloisters, shooting animals and spectacularly inappropriate fancy dress, you get the feeling that the wheel is still spinning, but that the gerbil died a long time ago. Today’s New Band, however, are as bright as buttons.

The Momeraths are a band existing in their own world, where it’s always summertime, there’s always a picnic in the park to go to, and when you get there, everything – trees, grass, dogs and all – are made of different coloured fudge. This precis is really the only reasonable explanation for their sugar-powered, youthful and happy sound.

Johnny Coop is a racket, in the nicest possible way. It clatters and clicks enthusiastically, and threatens to collapse under the weight of the jingles, jangles and scattering sounds, but actually emerges as bright, joyful pop. The Boyfriend Song jigs frantically around its teenage bedroom, daydreaming about the captain of the football team, who’s, like, totally lush.
The Momeraths are cute without being twee, fey without being pathetic and jangly without being clichéd. For this achievement alone, they deserve an invite to one of Harry’s parties, though I’m not sure how at home they’d feel amongst a load of hairy-arsed squaddies. Find out for yourself here, and then have a go at racially abusing someone yourself.

Sing-a-long-a the BRITs

***This is a Sponsored Post***

Remember last time I asked you to check your pop calendar?

It was just before Christmas, and you’ll fondly remember how we all marvelled at the fact that not only was 2012 close, but how the BRIT Awards 2012 were also agonisingly within our collective grasp.

Well guess what? The UK’s annual musical blowout is now within spitting distance, arriving on February 21st.

Not that you’d want to expectorate anywhere near it of course; what with our aunties’ favourite rambunctious autobiography-shifter – that’s James Corden, of course – hosting an event that promises glamour, spectacle, celebrity, sponsorship by MasterCard and maybe JLS, who’ll probably do backflips whilst rubbing their abs a bit.

Well, by the time you read this, the Brits will have trotted out their nominations, which, let’s face it, will probably feature the part-rap, part-indie, all-scallywag Ed Sheeran in there somewhere, Adele (inevitably), and possibly even the bewilderingly unsmiling US blood-obsessive Lana del Rey.

But just watching this all take place might not be enough. Some of you want something more. Something special. What you want is Something For The Fans, which gives you the chance to win a Priceless Duet with one of music’s biggest names, including JLS, Emily Sandé and Labrinth. All you need to do is enter online and you too could be nervously duetting with them on national TV.

And whilst you’re dreaming of duetting with your squeaky-clean popstar of choice (Lemmy from Motörhead is sadly unavailable), Mastercard users can use their Priceless London service to help make slipping in and out of the capitol as easy as pie.

So hurry along and apply, and you could be tunelessly wailing along with JLS so soon, it’ll make your head spin. (Or that could just be Aston from JLS doing flips again.)

Viral video by ebuzzing

ATTIC SPACE: ATIC ATAC

attic space

Here are the tags that accompany Attic Space‘s music:

ambient chillwave christian drone electronic experimental Millersville

Thought: Maybe Ambient Christian Chillwave is a sub-genre I can fully buy into, for once.

Anyway. Attic Space‘s music is right up my street, as it’s pieced together out of nibbles of this, kibbles of that, and big swathes of the other.


My main attraction to this kind of music is that it’s usually the vision of a solo performer: this doesn’t mean it’s automatically any good, but it does mean that the music is unsullied by outsiders, or surly drummers, or what-have-you.

Spring Tides is, however, very good: Attic Space has assembled a true collage of lo-fi sounds and made a song of quiet, odd beauty.

Most lo-fi anything is tripe; this is good, simply because I get the feeling it’s lo-fi out of necessity, as opposed to some dreary attempt at nostalgist revivalism.

So when the drums sound a bit like a cardboard box being hit by a wooden spoon – it really probably was exactly that, and was done so because there were no actual drums to hand. I like that a lot.

PS: For those of you who didn’t get the Atic Atac reference

OCTAPUSH: Assume Nothing

octaOctapush are one of those bands that I just assumed I had already written about.

The fact that I haven’t suggests a number of things: that they are simply and effortlessly excellent (they are); and that I really ought to get on top of things (I really should).

So, anyway – Octapush have made a terrific song in Françoise Hardy. As in; it demands an instant replay once it’s over.

 

What struck me about this song, and a bunch of other stuff by these Lisboan brothers, is the complex-simplicity of their music. Most dance/bass/whatever-step music ground out by two-bit electronic musicians is much of a muchness, with near-identical shape, form and timbre. Theirs is not.

The days when making multi-layered and complex dance music could be seen as a highly skilled and envied trait are over: these facets are the norm now. So the fact that Octapush make music that is multi-layered but seemingly non-complex, and carefully-tweaked but non-generic is a minor triumph.

Françoise Hardy drips with simple, delicious sounds. They have taken what works and stripped everything else away. Clever.

It also features a gorgeously right vocal from Official Friend Of ANBAD, Alex from Youthless, and he appears in the actually marvellous video, here.

MOREfacebook.com/OctaPush

 

Plastic Flowers: Mud-Free

plastic flowersApparently, I haven’t been to Glastonbury festival since I started ANBAD, which may or may not be a coincidence (it’s not).

I miss Glastonbury a lot, but I feel that what I miss was Glastonbury used to be: the place that felt (mainly) like alternative cultures colliding in a safe and friendly place, whereas last time I schlepped through the mud there, it felt (partly) like a box-ticking requirement on the bucket lists of a hundred thousand Home Counties trustafarians.

Still, I wholeheartedly wish I was there right now. *Sigh*

Instead, I’m listening to Plastic Flowers, whose Fog Song is a lovely lethargic lollop.

 

This is such a dreamily slo-mo song that it’s an altogether reasonable swap for wandering through a Witshire field. Plastic Flowers are an exercise in smart pop-song construction.

They released something through the endlessly reliable Bad Panda records, so you may as well click “play”, because you know it’ll be good if they stuck their name on it.

MORE: soundcloud.com/plastic_flowers

>Today’s New Band – Apples

>So, I’m nearly home. As of Monday, the (possibly unique) ANBAD Travelogue/New Band Review Service will be replaced by the simple daily proffering of New Bands, just like in the good ol’ days. In some ways, it’s a shame – writing about bands whilst in a tent pitched on the hill overlooking Karlovac was fun, but tiring. For those who’d like to emulate this attempt, a word of advice: finding wi-fi in eastern Europe is an ‘interesting challenge’.

Conversely, getting back to the metaphorical new band roots is just what’s needed. A three-month, self-indulgent trip around Europe, however, is just what you need if you desire navel-gazing time.

The best band to soundtrack this kind of activity is New Order, a band who I consider one of my favourites almost by default – because, well, it’s New Order. However, my readiness to constantly return to their songs, looking for brilliance, and always finding it, suggests that they connect in some other, more mysterious way.

Now isn’t the time to wonder why, merely to love them for what they are – the producers of the most casually written classic songs ever. The feeling that they have stumbled onto thrilling pop brilliance by accident is always one wonky keyboard stab or clunky lyric away. Perhaps it’s the truth.

Today’s New Band, Apples, like New Order, have a penchant for keyboard-driven jangly pop, and are similarly eager to utilise instruments oft-regarded as uncool. Listen out for the saxophone break in the gloriously chipper song Reason 45 for proof, and then feel your stomach flip next to your heart with pleasure as the dreamiest of choruses bursts: heartfelt, delicious, bitter-sweet, bright.

Just like New Order, Apples’ words, sounds and drive are uncool, unusual and without a definitive plan, and all the better for it. Reason 45 is as good a song as you’ll hear this month, and maybe the next one, too. Whisper it – but it’s an almost perfect pop song. It’s so delightful, so enraptured by the sweet joy of a melody and so enthralled with the simple pleasure of being alive that I can hardly take it. Drown yourself in sunlight, here!

THE SEMPER TEENS: A Point Of Reference

semperteensOne of the fascinating and enjoyable parts of watching 2013 unfold is the wait as it becomes clearer that 2013 is not, as promised by every lazy outlet in January, the Year Guitar Music Came Back, but the year guitar music kept sort-of-threatening-to-become-mainstream-pop-music-but-didn’t-quite-get-around-to-it?

For those who desperately need to sate their guitar fix, confusion awaits: you could go and see the Rolling Stones strut their stuff in an enormodome, or you might grab a handful of smaller gigs from eager up-and-comers. Which most accurately describes guitar music today? Both? Neither?

Hell, if you’re going to be fibbed to about the realistic state of Guitar Music, you may as well hedge your bets: go and watch the old-timers so you have a pouty point of reference and then go and watch a bunch of scuzzy so-and-so’s like The Semper Teens jump around for a bit.

The Semper Teens have risen from the ashes of a band whose name I forget.

Of course, the old band will never be important again: its the lessons learnt that now count. And boy, The Semper Teens have nailed the whole verse-chorus-verse-chorus-chorus-CHORUS thing in frenetic fashion: Somebody is daft ‘n’ direct as a scuzzy guitar pop song gets.

Each ingredient is just so: the bassline bounces with – yes – a groove, the lyrics are as complex and empty as they need to be, the guitars crunch snappily in the exact manner you prefer whether you realise it or not.

No, they’re not offering anything other than a dumb good time done right, and they should be rewarded for exactly this. Nice job.

MOREthesemperteens.tumblr.com