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.


>Squinancywort – Anonymity Rules

You know what to expect from modern leftfield electronic music by now. Made as a one person/laptop hybrid operation, the creator will hide behind a bank of deliberately obtuse sounds, strange imagery (musical and visual) and a series of curious song and artist names.

So far, so predictable. What makes returning to these seemingly identikit bands worthwhile are the songs – each invariably packed with more original sonic ideas than a lifetime of indie jangling.

They might not make you hum along, or think about poverty, or chew your Subway footlong in time (that’s Coldplay’s job), but if you’re an audio magpie like me and just want to hear something shiny and new, you’ll keep going back and back and back for more.

Squinancywort: see? That’s the spirit. Odd name, anonymous creator, pictures of flora and fauna on the Myspace page. According to the Basic Rules, all these signifiers are to be ignored, so let’s do just that and get to the music, yeah?

An Exultation Of Skylarks, vast, ominous and throbbing, sounds almost random in its composition, but grows in a way that could only be through the interference of a creator (divine or otherwise). Gorgeted Puffleg is a similarly spiralling, all-consuming affair, and is the kind of music that could lull you to sleep or keep you awake depending on your circumstances.

Squinancywort makes sounds that hum, whistle and devour themselves in one relentless forward motion. Success here is defined by the distance the songs put between themselves and normality, and on that basis, Squinancywort is a strange, winningly creative curio.

>Today’s New Band – Paul Hawkins &Thee Awkward Silences – GLIB COMPARISONS WEEK CONTINUES!

>Weirdness is an underrated virtue in pop ‘n’ rock music, and for understandable reasons. It’s too often, rightly, associated with acts who use a veneer of ‘kooky’ as an execrable cover-up for lack of talent – take a bow, Babylon Zoo. However, if these awful aberrations can be forgotten, weirdness is a Good Thing – if only as in indicator of deliberate step away from convention. Anyone with a pair of ears and a skull that isn’t used as spare storage space for semi-ironic glow-sticks, back-combed hair and slogan T-shirts knows that the bands who tow the line and trudge the well-worn skinny-jeans-and-aimless-posturing path rarely innovate.

What really sets the pulse racing and induces involuntary grins of deee-lite is that moment when you hear something new, something that sounds enough like everything else to be bearable, and far removed enough from exactly the same things to be exciting, surprising and, well, new. If you don’t quite follow, Today’s New Band, Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences, are a good place to start. There are a number of antecedents that his music could be favourably compared to (see the super exciting SECOND INSTALLMENT of today’s GLIB COMPARISON GIMMICK for more details), and yet his grouchy, slightly deranged vocals and frankly tremendous tunes are something that are enticingly sparkly and new.

In The Evil Thoughts, he chunters through a scenario about a woman who is shunning him, and the result is, indeed, slightly sinister – “And even though I’m nice to your face, the evil thoughts form in my brain.” An even better track, though, is The Battle Is Over, a similarly half-crazy, all-wonderful story of a man returning home from war to find his woman telling him that, whilst he, “went away to play soldiers with your friends/I had to rely on other men”. The female vocals are sung by the fabulously voiced Candythief. Make no mistake, this is the best song you’ll have heard for a long, long time – since, frankly, All the Rage by the Royal We. If you only listen to one new song this week, it should be this one – it’s truly, brilliantly, wonderfully fantastic. Song of the year so far, easily. Listen to it, and the others, here, now, or you’ll regret it, young ‘un!

TODAY’S GLIB COMPARISON: Like Nick Cave having a drunken brawl with a theoretical newly-acoustic-folk-change-of-direction Pop Will Eat Itself, whilst Shane McGowan watches, caressing his knuckle duster. And the Pixies. Again.

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 21st July 2010

Hey, look: it’s Mercury Music Prize again, and this year the Über-cool scenester panel have selected a particularly wan and underwhelming final 10.

This isn’t the first time that the Mercury panel have made huge, lumbering mistakes: witness the hilarious dilly-dallying around facts on their own website, when summing up the 1994 award, where M People were awarded the prize over Parklife, His N Hers and Music For The Jilted Generation.

Today, the ANBAD Donkey serves as the Trusty Scales Of Justice, demonstrating the ratio of Good Nominees to Bad Ones.

Note: Each band on this mixtape will be marked with a percentage rating relating to their worthiness of Mercury Nomination compared to Corinne Bailey Rae.

FIRST! Bear Driver (200% more worthy of nomination) Bear Driver make songs that are gentler than the touch of a hidden cobweb, yet just as difficult to ignore.

A Thousand Samurais is deft, wafer-light and gorgeous. That said, can you imagine glueing a little steering wheel on top of a big Kodiak Bear’s head, mounting its shoulders and trying to drive it like a clown car? Hilarious gore.

SECOND! Crooked Mountain, Crooked Sea (150%) are clanky, crunchy and noisy, and yet their musical dynamic is such that the listener isn’t overwhelmed with NOISE, as is so often the case with bands like them. CMCS shake you angrily by the lapels, but then will feed you Flumps afterwards. How kind.

THIRD! Thee Ludds (178%) are morons. No, really. They think so too. Their song, I’m A Moron, is quite explicit on this count. The song, unsurprisingly, is rough around the edges and pretty… direct. But this is endearing, isn’t it sweetheart? That’s right, give mummy the scissors. Play with the soft toys. Don’t eat the sand.

FINALLY! Larsen B (190%) are named after an ice shelf. Their music is a lot more warm. The Gold Cup is so warm and cosy that I was almost lulled to sleep whilst listening to… zzzzzz… Mmmmm. Lovely.

DONE! Yep, done.

>Unwise and Unaware: ANBAD Goes A-Wandering



As a valued ANBAD reader/subscriber/twitterer/etc, you’ll be all too painfully aware of the dubious joys of doing things the hard way. We’ve brought you all sorts of bands over the last 18 months or so – some of which have been wonderful, some of which have vigorously divided opinion and some of which have just been plain awkward.

But the beauty of these huge discrepancies in quality is that occasionally a band sneaks through that shouldn’t really have, catching me and you, the listeners, off guard – revealing a new exciting paths to wander down. Removing consistency of thought seems to have some advantages after all.

So: I’ve decided to apply this unwise approach to a wider remit. Having, erm, ditched my job, home and life in Manchester and thrown a sleeping bag, a rucksack and my hopes and dreams (yuk) into a car, I’m off to travel around Europe for ooh, until the money runs out.

Hopefully, along the way, I’ll drop into gigs, Euro-music festivals and the like and, via the magic of wi-fi, be able to let you know whether France really is all about Jonny Halliday or Justice.

Don’t be alarmed though – ANBAD will continue (almost) as normal – there will inevitably be fewer posts per week, so the A New Band A Day moniker, which has always been a bit shaky, won’t totally apply, but there will be new bands and features as always, throughout the week.

If there’s no new band today – why not have an explore through the exciting, bulging and overwhelming ANBAD Archive (just situated to your right)? There are so many bands in there, it’ll keep you busy until the cows have come home, gone to bed and have woken up again the next day.

So: Happy Holidays to all, and here’s to the exciting prospect of writing to you all from the Continent.

Take it sleazy,

Joe Sparrow, ANBAD

***If you’re a new band, please still get in touch as per usual, but please be aware that the regularity of which I can check my email is dependant on free wi-fi in bars, and whether I’m then too busy drinking the local beer to check.***

>No Flash, and Liam Gallagher’s Flowery Shirt Conundrum

You too can meet Oasis’ Liam Gallagher! But only if you buy something from his new clothing range – then you can meet the surly, set-jawed man himself, in Manchester, next week. Parka-wearing gents, form a disorderly queue.

Now, I like Liam Gallagher. He’s one of the last proper rock stars – not despicably pious like Bono, not a bit wet like Chris Martin. He was a rock star who drank, swore, hit people – often his own brother – and sneered at all before him (ie us, who paid money to watch exactly this).

But there’s a logical problem here. On one hand, I would like to meet Liam, but then this anti-rock ‘n’ roll meet-your-hero promo makes me not want to meet him in any way. What is one to do when faced with a conundrum like this?

In the end, my concerns were decided for me, fiscally. “I’m not in it for the money,” Liam said of his fashion line – and I, for one, believe him. The £675 that some of his coats cost is just to cover the overheads, right?

No Flash are a Manchester band, just like Liam’s was. They sing rock ‘n’ roll, like Liam did. In songs like Officer, they sing of their misdemeanours. Perhaps they have a lot in common. If they do, then in Officer they’ve gone to lengths to disguise it – this song has the urgency, vim and youth that Liam hasn’t displayed for a decade.


Magic In The Moonlight, despite having a Toploader-scented title, has howling guitars, a near-charming melody, and ambition to spare.

No Flash are the kind of band you hope will succeed because they connect directly to a section of the public that want the visceral thrills of primal rock ‘n’ roll. And as far as I’m aware, have no clothing range lined up for the immediate future. Phew.

Mafia Lights – Rock.

Is there a new wave – OK, bad choice of words – a new glut of rock bands emerging?

Rock has been persona non grata for a while now. It has a straightforwardness, simple parameters and predisposition towards sound, not image. It has not been cool enough to fulfil the dreams for a generation of kids for whom  tightness of their jeans and catch-up faux-reminiscence of an ill-defined period of hedonism is the primary focus.

So by ‘rock’, I mean, simple, perhaps. Bands that spend equally little time between fussing over hair and wondering whether one quasi-ironic keyboard sound is more real than another.

Simple can be good too. You just need to be bold enough to pull it off.

Here are Mafia Lights. Their four-square, unambiguous rock approach might not sit so comfortably alongside a lot of the bands on ANBAD, but a song like BJM displays the basic essence of Good Rock: simple pleasures pleasuring simply.

BJM is a good song; lacking in pretence, overflowing with urgency, not caring either way. Mafia Lights don’t shy from verse-chorus-verse, they embrace this simple template as  a method of expression.

And if all that sounds just too complex, too cerebral for Rock, well, perhaps it is. But Rock is pop music’s forgotten cousin, who has locked himself away in his bedroom for a long time, and is only now finally emerging, blinking, confident again. Life is going to get better for all of us.


Photography © Olivia Waters

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 4th August 2010

So, holiday time is really here now, and the chances are you aren’t actually reading this at all, because you’re turning a shade of lurid red on a beach on the Costa del Sol, letting your full English breakfast go down, and waiting to go for nueve cervezas before bellowing ‘Eggo y Chippo por favoro‘ at a humiliated waiter.

Thought: if we bring back straw donkeys from Spain as souvenirs, does the ANBAD Donkey bring back a straw human? Answer: YES [see above].


FIRST! Francois Peglau is a Peruvian/Argentinian French musician living in London, which means that his whole life is like one long holiday. The git. His music is similarly eclectic:

One Minute To Midnight Dream [So sad] snaps with tasty purpose, a tight and chiming pop-paean that, like a determinedly gloomy teenager, is nowhere near as sad as they think. Actually, this song is as chipper as any you’ll hear all week, and has the uncanny knack of sounding dub-slow and speed-punk quick all at once, and yet sounding like neither. Clever.

SECOND! Bad Apes take their cues from jangly shoegaze pop like Ride’s first couple of albums and none of My Bloody Valentines’. They’ve got the phaze-y guitar sound and, for a very young band, have the knack for a zingy song nailed – all they need now are the stupid fringes and the loose jumpers that look as if they smell of tramps, and the transformation will be complete.

THIRD! Choker – and while we’re talking about holidays, here’s a break from the usual bands featured on ANBAD: the first all-female rock band for ages that sounds like they’d be happier kicking you in the face rather than go shopping for retro-chic sunglasses and making cupcakes. I get the feeling Choker may have listened to a lot of Hole. This is a good thing.

FINALLY! Bermuda Bonnie was a lo-fi ‘n’ cute hit on ANBAD a while ago – and now here is a handily summer-hols themed video, filmed in Coney Island, which seems like a fun place to go and spend a day spending money on shonky fairground rides and dropping ice creams into the sand. So like Blackpool, but pleasant.

>Today’s New Band – The Humms

>Do you wish you’d formed a band? Do you regret that you didn’t? I sometimes wonder, and run through all the excuses – I didn’t know anyone to club together with, I didn’t play the guitar well enough, I was too shy. The truth is more prosaic: the desire just wasn’t there enough.

There’s always been a nagging suspicion that, while being a rock star probably has its perks, an element of boredom might set at some point. You’re midway through a tour, and you’re playing that drab B-side that’s in the set as filler, or because the drummer really wanted to play it, or because the bassist wrote it and wants a slice of the action – and all you really want to do is be in the half-empty audience yourself, watching, admiring. I don’t know – performing is nearly always better than spectating, isn’t it?

Isn’t it? By the sounds of Today’s New Band, The Humms, it’s about a million times better than anything, ever. They’re in thrall to the blitz-to-the-senses that is performing songs like LSD Is Evil, a juddering, quivering mass of foot-stomping excess. Vocals wrench, howl and crackle; guitars strangle nuance and delicacy and replace them with a straight-to-the-point BZZZZZ.

Brown Haired Devil takes a starting point you’ve heard before – and a similar end point too – but winsomely wanders it’s own route in between, all the time assaulting your ears with tinny treble and distortion.

The Humms punch and brawl and get physically violent with Rock ‘n’ Roll. They might win. Listen here!

ANBAD’s Predictions For 2012

As dictated by The Music Blogger’s Handbook (we’re all issued with one when we sign up to inflict our views on an indifferent world), there are three things that ANBAD must be doing right now.

Firstly, this post needs to be appearing after the mandatory Two Week Christmas Recovery Period, where all email is automatically deleted, and any mentions of a trudge through Soundcloud or Bandcamp is deflected with a nervous laugh and the tinkle of another gin and tonic being poured.

Secondly, the ‘site’ (no-one has a blog any more) is spruced up to be slightly cleaner, slightly more obtuse and slightly hinting at a desire to make it a success this year.

And thirdly, all bloggers must make some sort of predictions about what might happen, and who might become successful in the coming year. This thankless task is repeated each year, just in case one of us is right, and can then brag that we tipped Band X first, even before other bloggers liked them, which is a move of such post-hipster idiocy, I can hardly think about it.

So: here we go –  an almost month-by-month series of predictions for 2012.


In the euphoric haze that arose from being listed in so many End-Of-2011 lists as the Next Big Thing, bloggers’ favourite Lana del Rey decides to take her tedious obsession with death to the logical conclusion by declaring herself deceased. All her earnings are used by her label to plan for her second coming (see June).


US Postal Service announces that the mass of Justin Bieber‘s valentine cards is ‘significantly more ludicrous’ than in 2011.


Almost-mysterious band Wu Lyf announce that the follow up to their almost-smash-hit 27th Best Album of 2011 will channel the spirit of neo-mysticism, but will be played with guitars and stuff and sound a bit like U2 demos.


Lana del Rey‘s carefully stage managed resurrection on the road to Damascus is obscured from an audience of millions by a broken-down truck loaded with almonds.


Wu Lyf announce a new project that will be 75% more accessible in order to attract mainstream chart success, and it will be called Wu Lite.


The BBC Sounds of 2013 poll reveals that the panel of tastemakers voted for the songs they really liked that were plugged by PR people around the time of the poll being sent out.


Viva Brother announce that their forthcoming album is cancelled for the good of humanity, and swear they won’t ever make any music ever again. No-one notices. The NME immediately responds with an RIP Viva Brother Collector’s Edition.

Joseph Grand – Fear, Loathing, and Pet Shop Boys

It’s there, settled deep in one of the recesses of my mind. It’s a fear and a hope, all rolled into one confused bundle. It drives me as much as it instils dread.

It’s this – what if, one day, I run out of new bands? The fear: What do I write about?; the hope: Thank God for a legitimate reason for a day off!

Fact is that it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon – hell, I’m chucking in a bonus band every day at the moment, because there’s so many swilling around in ANBAD’s New Bands Bin.

Thoughts like this usually crop up when I hear a song I’m just not sure about. One that usually comes after hearing half an hour of songs that I’m definitely sure I don’t like, and an hour after I swore I’d go and do something more constructive than listen to lots of new pop songs.

Joseph Grand fell into the former category, and it was him that set off the spiral of doubts. Gee, thanks, Joseph.

Yet, in Adventure, manifests the beauty of perseverance, because after a couple of listens, I’m as positive that it’s a fine song as I was initially unsure. Icy, sparse and careful, this is a pop song with the fluff de-fuzzed, the syrup drained, but the appeal still intact.

Imagine a half-speed Pet Shop Boys song but with fewer arched eyebrows, and you might be somewhere near the cool detachment of Adventure. Deadly serious, but not po-faced, Joseph Grand tip-toes between all the potential pitfalls. Smart, sharp pop.

MORE: josephgrand.tumblr.com

TODAY’S BONUS BAND: Lizard Kisses / FIVE WORD REVIEW: Sing me to sleep, sweetly.