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.


 

>Today’s New Band – Tent

>Mmm, camping. My last experience in a tent was at Glastonbury 2007 , and while I wasn’t shivering, soaking wet under a tree, scooping wet food into my mouth trying to keep warm whilst listening indifferently to the music being played, I was vomiting into black bin bags in my tent, having hilariously contracted sickness and diarrhea. Not great times, but memorable at least.

So to make New York’s Tent today’s New Band Of The Day was a minor, slightly pathetic, personal triumph of eschewing awful canvas-related memories from my mind. Still, it was worth it, because Tent make some great music. Stop and Go is alternately dense and sparse, with thin drifting vocals – and Tight Squeeze is similar, basic and minimal but coupled with a dreamy vocal melody.

In some ways Tent are like a groovier version of Kings of Convenience, but without any of the blandness that that may imply. Their music is a tightly contorting glide, slightly spaced-out and wide-eyed. I’d be tempted to describe it as techno-folk if that didn’t sound like the worst genre of music of all time. Perhaps the best thing to do is to listen to it for yourself at their MySpace page.

The Best Of ANBAD 2010 // Interviews

Now that you’re lying comatose in front of the fire and pondering on the fact that your intestines are now 80% solid Turkey meat, why not drag yourself away from the dull repeats on the TV, and read some excellent repeats here on ANBAD?

Wait – unless it’s Die Hard on TV. Watch until the end of that, and then read on.

There was a glut of interviews with exciting and thrusting young bands this year on ANBAD, all of which gave us a glimpse into the thrills of belonging to a new band. Here are four of the best:

Egyptian Hip Hop: Britain’s Best New Band // Sample quote: “At the moment, we’re happy to keep everyone guessing. In a year, maybe they’ll know more about us and then people’s opinion is out our hands. And when people think they’ve got us down, we’ll do the complete opposite.”

D/R/U/G/SBritain’s Other Best New Band // Sample quote: “We get the Orbital comparison a lot. To be honest though, I’ve never heard any of their music…”

Islet – Out There, Somewhere: A Band Cutting Their Own Furrow // Sample quote: “We’re always more interested in how people react in the real world, at a gig than in the realms of The Internet. It’s a shame that the word ‘hoopla’ isn’t used instead of hype, it’s more fun.”

Run Toto Run – Rebirth In Electronics // Sample quote: “Music sounds fasterer when you’re drunk.”

KID CITY, And The Guaranteed ANBAD Money-Generation Scheme

Hey! Would you like to know how to make big money as a musician? I’ve got the answer, right here. I’ve spoken to a lot of people in the music world, and I’ve got the solution – and it’s a guaranteed, nailed-on, #WINNER! (Sorry, no more Charlie Sheen.)

Ready? No, really, are you ready? Brace yourself. It’s this: be Bon Jovi. That’s it.

Hey, I didn’t say it was easy, or even possible. But it’s still true: Jon Bon & The Crinkly Bunch are one of the very few bands in the world who can still make enough money to live The Rock Life. Everyone else has to make do with juggling rock dreams with part-time office jobs. Sorry.

That said, the current absence of a true money-making stream has led to the implementation of some brilliant ideas.

Old ANBAD favourites Art Brut are trying a quite different approach to cash-generation via Pledge Music, where, yes, you can buy the new Art Brut album, but also – and more excitingly – you can buy your own Art Brut gig, an Art Brut football kit, a Karaoke session with Eddie Argos, and more.

This approach – making all of the fans’ interaction with the band chargeable, like merchandise – is almost certainly the way forward. It’s an approach which new bands like Kid City have been utilising for a while – note the rise of both the Merch Stall, and the imploring from the stage to stop by it on your way out – and it’s a smart move.

Kid City‘s Bloody Face is one of those songs that often gets described as ‘icy’ and ‘crystalline’, often by writers pushed for time (like this one) – but these clichés exist for good reason.

Songs along these lines often sound drab, or boring, or like pale imitations of – shudder – Zero 7. Kid City have taken care to avoid these pitfalls with a combination of Kraftwerkian beat-dollops, leftfield-synth noises and jabbering lyrics that aren’t too serious.

It works well, and if they play their cards right – or simply charge for them – fortune can be theirs, too. Good stuff.

MORE: http://kidcity.bandcamp.com

The Focussed Distraction – Accentuated Misery

One of the more frustrating elements of recent pop music in the UK has been the implementation of faux-regional accents.

The reasoning behind the clumsy wrapping of words around heavily-accentuated vocal stylings is myriad – though you could easily pin it on an aping of Arctic Monkeys’ flat Sheffield tones, a sign of a scrabble for regional identity.

That said, as broad accents are primarily associated with class, such prevalence of lawks-a-mercy-guv’nor trilling may have a strong correlation with the recent revelatory claim that over 60% of chart pop acts are from a privately-educated background, and the usual British embarrassment derived from privilege.

Faux-accents are easy to spot, just as someone pretending to be a rock star can’t hide the truth, no matter how hard they strut on stage. Jon McLeod, aka The Focussed Distraction, has a winsome accent, and it’s a real one, too.

How can I tell? Well, I just can. He’s not faking, and you only need to listen to songs like Misery Jukebox to figure that out for yourself. Moreover, it adds a layer of closeness and empathy that may have otherwise been missing from his prickly, outsider-pop.

A song named Misery Jukebox was always going to be a bit grumpy, and whilst it is indeed that, the lyrical wit and the contorted, catchy guitar grunt is indicative of a songwriter whose sneer contorts quickly into a wry smile (and then back again).

It’s the kind of push-you-away-then-pull-you-close behaviour that, despite ourselves, we all secretly love – and it’ll be the reason for his success too.

MORE: soundcloud.com/thefocusseddistraction

Raliegh Moncreif Vs. Steve Vai: The Shred-Off

Sometimes people ask me to explain exactly why writing about a new band every day is a good idea, a question that is hard to readily answer.

After chuntering some platitudes about how I believe in new artists or want to put something back, I quickly change the topic, knowing full well that the prior words aren’t totally true, but that I couldn’t think of a better thing to say.

But finally I have found a definitive item to justify what I do. It’s this video of noodling guitar oddball Steve Vai entirely unselfconsciously playing a three necked guitar. Of course, by using the word ‘playing’, I actually mean ‘ludicrously shredding for ten minutes as a rapt audience of middle-aged men whoop excitedly’.

Raliegh Moncrief is probably not a real name, and so at least the most ludicrous thing about this artist is deliberately affected.

He doesn’t spend half an hour on stage plucking at a ridiculous instrument whilst pulling disturbing sex-faces – instead he concentrates on making thrilling, loopy little pop songs like Guppies.

Music like this, or one of its longer companions Lament For Morning, is exhilarating in its spontaneity and its rough-edged vigour; cycling madly, writhing, thrashing, looking to evolve before our very ears.

Raleigh Moncrief // Lament for Morning

And so, Raliegh Moncrief is, indeed, one of the reasons why I write about new bands every day. Wildly inspired, hungrily creative and entirely unpretentious. Almost exactly the opposite of Steve Vai. Super.

MORE: soundcloud.com/raleighmoncrief

Kiran Leonard, and The Agonies Of Ageing

There’s no way to convey this gently, so bluntness will have to do: you’re too old, already.

No really, you are. You feel old. Feel it.

Feel that slight discomfort in your hips? It isn’t a one-off niggle you picked up by walking in new shoes – it won’t go away, ever. And it’s just going to get worse. Really.

My own hideous elderliness was highlighted with ruthless efficiency upon the discovery of Kiran Leonard, a boy from Oldham who is 16, and writes song with a brutal understanding of life, its mysterious ways and how to cram it all into a two minute vaudeville pop song like Dear Lincoln.

 

 

Want to hear the best bit? Dear Lincoln is an old song – written when Kiran was 14. He’s now partly disowned it, the embarrassment of mispronouncing Nietzsche’s name in the opening line just too much to bear.

Fourteen. What were you doing when you were that age? I still thought that being able to complete a 180-degree skid on my BMX was an achievement, and that playing Street Fighter 2: Special Champion Edition was a legitimate way to pass a weekend.

By romping through the brilliant, endlessly enjoyable Dear Lincoln with panache, gusto and nuance, Kiran has rekindled all those lingering feelings of inadequacy us mere humans felt at that age.

Console yourself with the knowledge that almost all child geniuses burn out and end up in rehab at some point. And then we can all feel satisfied with our own dreadful, bitter outlook, can’t we?

MORE: kiranleonard.tumblr.com // (Thanks to Aaron Gowman for the tip)

GPSYMTH: Order Out Of Chaos

My ANBAD email inbox is chaos. It used to be so ordered, so clean – but these days I have a zebra-striped clutter of read and unread messages stretching back two months or so. The perils of moderate blogging success.

Here’s the result of an email that got through the carnage of my Inbox (267): GPSYMTH. The email that Peter (for it is he) sent is a lesson in curtailed clarity – brief, tempting, concise. It was one of those “I am X, I make music that is Y, if you put it on the blog, I’ll pay you Z.”

OK, the last bit was a joke.

GPSYMTH got through the e-maze mainly because the songs he makes are so damn airy. Listen to Hamilton. It’s a song about what it’s like being a tree.

 

 

I find myself in constant surprise how the same bunch of synth sounds can be applied in enough different ways to make so many different, soaring songs, of which Hamilton is one.

This is a song to soundtrack events that simply won’t happen: a float through the troposphere on a lilo, idly dangling a hand into whipped-foam cloudlets below; an hour-long swim underwater in warm tropical seas, examining gritty iridescent shells with wrinkled salty fingers.

Deliriously otherworldly.

MORE:  gpsymth.bandcamp.com

Rough Fields – Drowned In Feathers

Associating ‘visceral’ with ‘abrupt’ is one of humanity’s great Common Artistic Errors.

We do it all the time: want your leather ‘n’ sweat rock music to pop out of the speakers? Make the choruses LOUD and the verses quiet.

The desired effect is achieved in kind, but in a different way to that expected.

And what if you edited out all but the soft bits? What if your songs were without any aural-shock-value whatsoever?

Rough Fields took this concept as a starting point and, with Abu Dhabi, smoothed the edges until what remained is a song so stiflingly soft that each listen is akin to being drowned in feathers.

Rough Fields // Abu Dhabi

Imagine every painting you have ever loved being recreated in wet watercolours, or your favourite suit lined with cotton wool, and you’re close to the feeling of blurry, blissful confusion that permeates Rough Fields‘ blunt and sodden songs.

Abu Dhabi is dense. It’s also madly warm and almost too rich. Almost, but not quite. The most beautiful white noise you’ll hear all month. Fabulous.

MORE: roughfields.org

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

Michael Jordyn and Greg: Nöt Enöügh Ümläüts

Obsessing over band names and song names is still not a healthy activity. And yet, here I am, doing it again. Some therapists recommend writing a letter ‘to’ the object of your obsession, in order to help clear out the mind. So here we go.

“Dear Michael, Jordyn and Greg. I am a music writer who gets overly excitable on the subject of band names. Don’t judge me. I was born this way and it affects my life insidiously.

“For example: merely seeing the words ‘Kula Shaker’ leaves me frothing at the mouth, clawing at the sky and thrashing at the injustice of it all, and yet ‘Super Furry Animals’ renders me as placid as a milk-sated baby.

“Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the name of your song Wake Up And Smell The Bad Guys. It’s brilliant. Totally bad-ass. And the song itself is a blast. It’s like discovering a dusty LP of music made by teenagers in the 1960’s after they had a room-full of today’s electronic instruments sent back in time to them. It weaves and bobs and burbles so oddly and winningly that I love it to bits.

“It’s just that… well, it’s Michael, Jordyn and Greg. I know that they’re your names. But please try harder on that count. For me. Please.

“I’d love an entirely abstract name, preferably with umlauts and some sort of pun or symbolism, to allow me to judge you before I’ve even heard your music. Your real names just make me picture three nice guys making good songs, and that won’t do at all.

“Yours sincerely, Joe Sparrow.”

michaeljordyngreg.bandcamp.com