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.


Le Couleur: Proven Wrong, Proven Right

I’ve just written a guest article for the BBC about Scandinavian pop music and why those Scandinavians write such darn catchy tunes.

What I discovered was a little stunning (and will be revealed when the article is published – keep ’em peeled, folks), but it at least partially dispelled any fanciful ideas that our Northern Euro-cousins have a special Pop Hook gene.

But it’s so easy to make these generalisations, isn’t it? You know, like how French-language pop is oh-so suave, jaunty and sophisticated.

Well, here’s Le Couleur to – well, prove exactly that.


OK, L’Amour de Jour is so much more than vapid Franco-pop, but it certainly does have a certain sultry slink to it that you couldn’t imagine being present if the song was sung in, say, German.

If, unlike me, you can get past these vague sweeping pre-conceptions, there is a shiny nugget of a  pop song in L’Amour de Jour – one with verve, style and – hell – sophistication.

Maybe those stereotypes are as they are for a reason. Good stuff.

MORE: lecouleurmusic.bandcamp.com

>Today’s New(ish) Band – The Royal We

>Splitting up a band at the right time is tough. Some bands split up far too late (or worse, not at all), casually pissing all over their good legacy by releasing an ever increasing number of pointless, going-through-the-motions records. Some bands split up just after things get good, and The Big Time is just beginning to beckon its evil gold-laden hand, thus leaving an ever-lasting legacy of music bores yapping on about ‘ what might have been’.

Therefore it’s hard to say whether today’s New Band, Glasgow’s The Royal We, are rabid-dog crazy or rocket-science clever, as they have already split up whilst they can still be considered a new band.

Just listen to any of the songs on their MySpace site, http://www.myspace.com/theroyalweee , for proof of their actual brilliance.

Especially listen to “All the Rage” and then listen to it again, and then again, because it’s going to get stuck in your head anyway, so you may as well beat your brain to the manic repetition bit.

Perhaps it’s all a brilliant post-post-modern statement. Instead of droning on in the NME about how you’re going to record a load of great songs and then split up, ‘cos they’re so rock and roll, The Royal We just went out and actually did it. They’ve got a great mini-album, also called The Royal We, which is about 20 minutes long and has a Chris Issacs cover on it. How much more convincing do you need?

So to recap:

  1. Eponymous debut album

  2. Chris Isaacs cover

  3. Attractive and highly talented female lead singer

  4. Best song of the last 12 months

  5. Already split up

If that doesn’t convince you, nothing will. Let us know what you think!

—Don’t forget, ANBAD is running a reduced service this week, due to being on holiday and eating a lot of dried cod in Portugal. Full service as per usual next week—

T.E. Yates, A Counterpoint to a Counterpoint

This weekend I saw a bunch of bands, from crazed, leather-apron wearing Finnish weirdniks to non-leather-wearing old friends playing new (brilliant) songs.

I often make a song and dance over the idea that live is not – as opposed to the notion drilled into us at every conceivable opportunity – the be-all-and-end-all. There are a raft of reasons to treasure recorded music and support it as much as supporting artists in the flesh, most of which I will not bore you with here.

My main concern though, is this: Boards Of Canada probably couldn’t exist or begin to exist today.

Their record-centric approach (they played ‘live’ only a handful of times) allowed them to eke out an existence that they probably couldn’t attain in the post sales-slump world.

So I don’t hate live music in any way – but I do often try and offer a counterpoint to it. The performance is not everything. Except, of course, when it is.

Take T. E. Yates – his music sounds wonderful when heard in its recorded form (NB: now is a good time to click the player below), but soars and overwhelms the listener with nuance and subtlety in the flesh. I saw him last night and was charmed to bits.


T. E. Yates is a winning presence; engaging to the point of downright excellence, and his band is crammed with glistening talent. The audience was rapt and happy. His music is careful, cunning and luxurious in the same way that tweed is.

As a side issue, it is agonising to hear ‘folk’ music like this – music that deals with life now, or conjures up easily relatable stories – sidelined under a tranche of Mumford-flavoured waistcoat-folk-by-numbers. T. E. Yates, and his support last night, Louis Barabbas and Mikey Kenney of Ottersgear – are the real deal.

MORE: www.teyates.com

>Today’s New Band – The Siegfried Sassoon

>At 11 last night, a hoard of zombies, almost entirely consisting of denim, hair and sweat, were creeping towards me, making a terrible noise. I was scared.

It then became apparent that it was actually the bulk of the crowd who’d just left the huge AC/DC gig in the city centre, and the dreadful groaning was actually a terrace-chant mish-mash of Hells Bells, Givin’ The Dog A Bone and Let Me Put My Love Into You. One group of men – they were all men – had had a particularly great time, were dressed like Angus Young, and were, indeed, young enough to be his children.

AC/DC are the musical equivalent of going to the pub with your friends, drinking lager, talking about football and boobs, and then being hit on by a surprising array of big-haired, tight-skirted supermodels. Going to their gigs must be like that but with a more pervasive smell of body odour.

It would make perfect sense for Today’s New Band to be balls-out, four-to-the-floor RAWK merchants, but that would make ANBAD seem too professional. Instead, here’s The Siegfried Sassoon.

They leapt to the top of my list as soon as the POWER OF THE PUN was unleashed in the form of their song The Al Gore Rhythm, a song which is a handy example of the template for their thrilling, weird, veering, ADHD approach to rock.

I Galactico bounces around wildly; from proggy excess to chanty pop to thrash ‘n’ trash guitar rock, and Muscle Beach presses all of the buttons on the keyboard at once, and miraculously, find musical successes abounding.

The Siegfried Sassoon are a bit like a super-polished, synth-prog Art Brut (who have an ace new album out this week) – which sounds like all kinds of wrong, but it works. And no laboured sexual euphemisms whatsoever in their songs. Listen here!

Band Photo by Tom Pratt

SUBALTERN – Brass in Pocket

Occasionally, in between making tremendously uneven life decisions and listening to crackly pop songs from the Ukraine, a question crosses my mind: what happens now to the artists who don’t want to play live gigs?

This one troubles me.

Gig tickets are more readily available than ever, and in a monumentally depressed music market, we’re encouraged  – by promoters, artists and media alike – to file dutifully along and go to live shows.

And in many ways, this is fine.

But what if, say, Subaltern doesn’t want to play live?

This may be a moot point – for all I know, Subaltern is currently on a five-month tour of south-east Asia – but let’s say they don’t want to, or can’t because they have a young family, or whatever.

Does that mean they are condemned to sit out the money-earning element of musical artistry until the world changes and recorded music becomes a cultural event worth paying for again? And that their capability to put time aside to make more music is compromised?


Subaltern are probably eager to play live and spread their big, broad house racket all over the world’s fleapits, mid-sized venues and festival stages, and it’d be worth all our whiles: Ephemeral, obvious title aside, is the kind of music that would send you into big, dizzy daydreams whether in a dance tent or in your bedroom.

Wouldn’t it be nice if either option put some brass in their pockets though?

MORE: soundcloud.com/subaltern-official

Miró Belle: Throwaway Bubble-Hop

Every time I bemoan the decline in the art of sampling, someone always informs me that, actually, everything is sampled these days, and so I’m wrong.

Well, I don’t deny that I’m often misinformed. It’s the raison, if you will, of ANBAD’s être.

However. If you listen to the dazzling sample-driven achievements of early Public Enemy, Ill Communication-era Beastie Boys, early ‘joints’ from A Tribe Called Quest, and the like, it’s hard to ignore that the simple delights of finding good samples and chopping them to will may have been overlooked recently.

I don’t really know how Miró Belle makes his music, but I do recognise the playfulness of those sampling pioneers in throwaway bubble-hop songs like With Philice Glass.

To these ears, this song, like others Miró Belle has made, is a cluster of golden sound-slivers, all squeezed together until something especially lively emerges. Thus, compressed funk sax stabs rub shoulders with blues guitar ker-chunk  noises, ear-splitting snares and hissing bass noise.

And that’s pretty much what a sampled song should sound like – a blizzard of bits and bobs, that perhaps oughtn’t work, but do. Simple, complex, silly.

MORE: mirobelle.bandcamp.com

Huddyrocker – Vowels Must Die

The desperate urge to take every single facile nugget of personal information and mount it, trophy-like on the internet is one of modern society’s more deeply stupid traits.

The worst part is that this online lifestyle-stamp-collecting behaviour is spreading virally into the real world, as anyone who has had to unwillingly devote half an hour of this precious, precious life viewing pictures from Facebook on a mobile phone, whilst sitting in a pub with the person who is in the same photos, will attest.

Perhaps this is the reason that so many artists abandon any attempts to connect with their audience on a personal scale, hiding behind the wall of anonymity that the internet can also offer, and letting their music do all the talking.

Perhaps I should stop complaining about artists who do this, too. Huddyrocker is yet another electronic artist – they’re always electronic artists – who has disappeared under the virtual blanket whilst his music plays.

Huddyrocker, besides owning a name that conjures up images of an Irish pub-rock band that specialises in Status Quo covers, occupies a strange position on the musical spectrum all of his own making; the result of stubbornly jabbed elbows and gritted teeth.

His songs flip-flop from ambient swashes of noise to thumping trance choons, via bizarro-rants and incongruous guitar noodling, resulting in songs like – ahem – €×Þιö∂∈ which are certainly bold, to say the least.

€×Þιö∂∈ happily shuns convention, and veers – frankly – from disaster to triumph within the space of time it takes for one curious loop of dirge-noise to mutate into happy-clapping disco house. Songs and artists like this should be celebrated, because in the new music world, consistency is the enemy.

In fact, only one thing is for sure: Huddyrocker hates both vowels and consonants equally. I mean, come on he has a song called ǝq pןnoɥs noʎ. I don’t even know how you type like that. It’s a topsy-turvy world.

MORE: huddyrocker.bandcamp.com

CloZee: Air Apparant

It’s interesting to observe labels’ releases from afar, and even more interesting to see them select their artists as they move forward.

The posterchild for the new breed of sprightly, nimble and tasteful (urgh) labels is, of course, Bad Panda, but  Neuroplastic is another label who appears to be selecting a string of snappy music makers: Stereo Silence‘s deliciously now music has appeared on these pages before, and other artists like How Green aren’t half bad either.

CloZee is another Neuroplastic signing, and, inevitably, she makes music that is enticingly de rigueur – in the best possible way, of course.

I suppose that the surging, bright and choppy synth-driven music that characterises Jafump T is not shattering too many boundaries – but why should it?

But as a song that actually emotes without words; builds, drops and repeats with consummate ease, this is as sharp as you’d wish for. Soothing in the same way Air’s debut was, and that’s high praise.

MORE: neuroplasticrecords.com/music/clozee-jafump-t-eyes-in-eyes


Even in these days of algorithms-within-algorithms, where data floods up to eyeball height, the music world still bases almost all of its inner working on hunches, gut feelings, nods and winks.

Maybe this is why the music industry has folded in on itself, eaten its own tail, and shrunk to a tenth of its size – and its why will find endless conjecture everywhere on the fact that this is a good and/or bad thing.

Still, because of this, I feel freer than ever to make wild proclamations, like this: all dance music artists eventually  find their way back to Kraftwerk, whether they want to or not: just like how every rock star eventually releases a solo blues album.

Kudos, then to Omega Male, for leaping straight back to the source, grabbing the bones of Computer World and thrashing them within an inch of its life:


“Why try when you’re just going to fail?/We are the Omega Males” is a nice line to serve as your calling card, and a sign that this is a duo with a sense of fun – remember that? – which is something ‘serious’ pop music forgot all about a long time ago.

In an era when very artist can instantaneously churn through 50 years of pop music, looking for influences/sounds/ideas to rip off, hearing an artist who sounds like one that has gone before them is not unusual.

However, Omega Male are unusual in that their music is lighthearted in intent but serious in execution, and their nods to the past are respectful; loving, even. They are aping their heroes, and building on what they love. This is not to be underestimated.

MORE: soundcloud.com/fulltimehobby/omega-male-omega-male

Kira Kira – FM Unfriendly, Persuasive and Sly

When was the last time you saw a new band who you thought ‘had it’? Not only the songs, or the style, or the confidence, but a band that seemed to be complete in only their emergent stage?

Last night I crept into the Deaf Institute in Manchester to watch Wild Nothing, whose songs appeared on ANBAD a month or so ago. They sound very different on-stage – a warm waft of flanging guitars and sweetly curving vocal lines – and they are a band who are ultra-focussed and in control. They know how to write songs that work for the masses. Wild Nothing can go wherever they like now.

And so, their antithesis. Kira Kira may well makes songs that are in no way as FM-friendly, but her songs are, if anything, more exploratory and fascinating.

Kira Kira // Drakula Darling

On occasion, Drakula Darling sounds like an inkjet printer possessed by an evil force. On other occasions, a cat meows arbitrarily. Or a musical box springs to life, and then disappears.

These are distractions, yes, but are also integral to the song, which, after last night’s lesson in bliss-pop from Wild Nothing, is a challenging listen to say the least. But that’s the point, right? Just as producing crowd-pleasing songs seems to be Wild Nothing’s default behaviour, so Kira Kira channels opposing streams of discomfort and allure within her awkward songs.

Sharp, curious and sly songs from a persuasively strange performer.


Song via Bad Panda through Creative Commons License: BY-NC-SA 3.0