>Everyone says the worst thing about holidays is coming back home again, facing reality, and then spending a week gently beating your head against the desk, to see if you’ll wake up back next to the pool in France where it was sunny and warm and stress-freaking-free.
However, at A New Band A Day, we don’t buy into this school of thought for a second, and just see the inevitable horrors of returning to The Real World as a really good reason to get re-aquainted with the pub at lunchtime, just in case there’s a chance you can find that elusive back-to-the-holidays magic door there too.
Anyway, here’s what ANBAD listened to whilst on holiday:
- M83’s Saturdays = Youth (good for snoozing by aforementioned pool)
- Crazy Horses by the Osmonds (a lot)
- A French music radio station (107.4 FM, frequency fans) that played both dreadful maudlin squeezebox rubbish and thrillingly phlegmy French hip-hop – and thus provided a sugar-coated turd of a snapshot of the French music scene as a whole.
Thus, the holiday was defined by a collection of Frenchy élan-pop, big-toothed, Mormon moron-o-rock and the sound of a very musically confused culture. It was a big, crunchy baguette of music happiness.
With that in mind, here’s Today’s New Band, Syntaks, who are – SURPRISE! – French! No, of course they’re not really – they’re Danish, STUPID. Syntaks makes music that’s somewhere between the ubiquitous 70’s Kraut, Orb-like soundscapes and the sound that your brain begins to invent while you’re in a sensory deprivation tank. Song Redgrass is a semi-delirious float on orange-tinted clouds and Killgore Lives almost becomes as epically heroic in its loopiness as the great man himself.
So, just a quick band update today, but as of tomorrow, all will be back to normal. Hear all of Syntaks’ music here!
P.S. Thanks for all the many emails and Myspace messages suggesting new bands – they’re always HUGELY appreciated! I’m working my way through them all now, so don’t fret if you’ve heard nothing in reply…
>What room is there in today’s ZAP-POW society for calmness? If you’ve not achieved exactly what you wanted by yesterday, you’ve failed. We rush forward frenetically, and the music we listen to while doing it reflects the ultra-economic, all-surface-no-feeling, instant-impact world around it. Stopping and reflecting is for WIMPS!
Today’s New Band is the Danish septuplet Efterklang, and, if we’re resorting to our old favourite, the Glib Comparison, they’re somewhere between The Arcade Fire and Sigur Ros.
Towards the Bare Hill manages to blend choral voices, orchestral sounds and glitchy-clicking noises and make it work. It sounds like a male voice choir and a brass band let loose in a room full of hateful laptop “IDM” nerds and then setting about them, but recording the calming results. Step Aside takes a similar approach, squashing traditional, folk-y instruments into slightly warped shapes and scuffing in some non-intrusive electronic-y sounds. It’s what standing on a hill in the middle of nowhere whilst watching the sunset and reflecting that, on balance, life is good would sound like.
Efterklang’s music is all very serene, with the touch of the bizarre you’d expect from Northern European band, and also strangely, comfortingly, warm. Perhaps that’s what’s needed in a country as chilly as Denmark. Perhaps it’s needed everywhere else too. Let their music envelop you here!
>A New Band A Day is in a tent for the next few days, idiotically camping in a tent in deepest darkest Cheltenham to go to the lovely 2000Trees Festival. And guess what? It’s going to rain non-flipping stop. I feel a small knot of dread building in my stomach. A knot which is accompanied by images of sitting in the ANBAD tent playing UNO for three days. Such feelings should probably be steeped in music that’s a bit melancholy.
Today’s New Band fit this bill perfectly. The Ondt and The Gracehopper are Danish, and make songs that are, believe it or not, upliftingly gloomy. Somehow they combine downtrodden hopelessness with big, fuzzy guitars and create a fantastic sound that’s not sad enough to make you reach for the Valium, but not uplifting enough to warrant rubbing Vick’s Vapo-rub on your chest and rush off to a Scooter concert. Perhaps they’re Zen in band form.
Whatever they are, they’re definitely ace – as songs Demon Drive and Year of the Dog testify. They can make a chorus soar beautifully for miles, whilst remaining determinedly glum – a feat in itself. Listen to their music at their Myspace page – www.myspace.com/theondtandthegracehoper – for a gulp of their relaxing despondency.
So, remember, we’re under canvas, sobbing, hoping the rain will stop, for a couple of days now. BUT BUT BUT! There’ll still be lots of lovely stuff happening on A New Band A Day, so tune in and think of us as we spend a weekend wallowing in grime.