>Bands, generally, sound like other bands. The Kooks sound like Libertines Lite, Oasis sounded like Slade having noisy drunken sex with Status Quo, and Elastica sounded so much like Wire and the Stranglers that they got sued. But there’s nothing really wrong with that – there’s only so many chord sequences and topics to sing about. Unless you’re Natasha Bedingfield, in which the only topic you ever sing about is how unutterably gut-emptyingly awful you are (listen closely to her lyrics).
Sometimes when you listen to a band for the first time, there’s something unmistakable that leaps out and reminds you of another band. The vocals, the rhythm, or even the vibe, maaaan. This happened today when I was listening to Today’s New Band, Sky Larkin. The funny thing is that I just can’t place exactly who they remind me of. Sure, Summit sounds a bit Yeah Yeah Yeahs-y, but that’s just a lazy comparison, primarily because I have a thing for Karen O. But it was mainly their great song Somersault Notes that got stuck, nagging away at me in my head.
The song itself is lovely, swooping and grand, but slender – not stumbling into dreaded ‘overblown epic’ mode. I was positive that it reminded me of another song by another band. I spent a weekend trying to think, but had to give up. It suddenly occurred to me that perhaps it wasn’t reminiscent of anything else, but one of those instances when you hear a great song and it sounds familiar, but is actually brand new. Fingers crossed. The other great songs they have on their MySpace site includes a super-duper cover of QOTSA’s I Was A Teenage Hand Model. Listen to them all here! If you know what that song sounds like, please let me know….
>There are no real hard and fast rules for bands appearing on A New Band A Day. We’re strong believers that there’s no merit in consistency. Some bands we feature on A New Band A Day are so new that they’ve still got the umbilical cord attached, look a bit jaundiced and have only received a hundred or so visitors on their MySpace page. The thought that our humble l’il webs(h)ite has poked a few more people their way makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And a little bit smug too, but that’s more of an ongoing personal issue that frankly needs to be resolved sharpish.
Other bands we feature are a little less “new” in terms of how long they’ve been making music, but are still unknown enough to warrant featuring. We still feel warm and fuzzy about this too. THUS: Today’s New(-ish) Band is Dawn Landes. Dawn’s already recorded her second album of lovely, folky songs and is about to embark on a world tour. Her Myspace page is brimming with these simple, breezy songs, like Straight Lines, though slightly thrillingly, songs like Kissing Song start to transcend folk simplicity approach buzzy acousto-noise as the track finishes. But for easy, sugar-hooked-up-to-the-artery excitement, just listen to her Bluegrass-style cover of the ubiquitous whistle-fest that is Peter, Bjorn and John’s Young Folks. If that isn’t an example of a cover surpassing the original, I’m a blinkered idiot.*
So how does an artist whose most fun-filled song is a cover and is releasing albums and touring the globe even warrant featuring on a website that is dedicated to new bands? Because of this: no-one knows how to pronounce her name. Go on, try it. Did you say “Dawn Land-es”, “Dawn Lands” or the Francais-style “Dawn Land-ay”? This was the deciding factor. If you produce great music, but the pronunciation of your name is a mystery, you’re new enough.
Listen to her music on her MySpace page here!
*this may be statement of fact, not hyperbole