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 – Gemma Ray

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There’s a club in Manchester that I keep getting drawn too, despite myself. I’ve never actually noticed its name, such is my rush to get inside, but I call it Nerd Bar, due to the overwhelming concentration of computer science and IT students that patronise it.

The music is a complex blend of the great (the ubiquitous Smiths) and the deeply abject (decade-old Fatboy Slim songs), which is tailored to the specific needs of the nerds: good enough songs to keep the party going, and songs dreadful enough to appeal to Jamiroquai fans.

Laugh at the sweaty, strangely-haired and weirdly dressed crowd trying to ape Jay Kay’s dancing if you like, but be sure that they’re thinking exactly the same about you when they visit your club.

Lights Out Zoltar! sounds like one of the so-bad-it’s-bad 70’s sci-fi movies that are projected onto the walls of the club, but it’s actually the new album from Today’s New Band, Gemma Ray. She’s no geek, but the macabre feel sloshing around her music similarly alienates her from the bulk of society. It also separates her from the hoards of Kate Bush-a-like female singers shrieking in the charts now.

(You Got Me In A) Death Roll, seductive, eerie and slinky, will have you under its spell, helpless and rapt. It’s a woozy, libertine and defiant; Gemma Ray is a woman who wants it her way, and will get it too. 100 MPH (In 2nd Gear) is a beautifully overblown, string-driven ballad and Dry River is just unusual enough to elevate the song into a newer territory.

Gemma Ray could hit the big time quite easily, which is an unusual occurrence for a band featured on ANBAD. It’s not that she’s commercial-sounding, but that she’s intriguing and better than her contemporaries. She’d deserve it too, for all the right reasons. Listen here!

Photo by Eric Weiss – www.weissbild.de

Leyli, Beauty and Endless Opportunities For Learning

My online French teacher told me that it was OK, and that means it is true.

She said that learning a foreign language can take whatever form I like – and so, with a staggeringly unoriginal non-deviation from my usual routine, I used this as an opportunity to listen to lots of French language bands.

So imagine my slight disappointment when I later discovered that this is recognised as a great way to learn. That’s not fair! I’m trying to be different, OK, not one of the herd.

Still, before I abandoned this approach as – pah!entirely uncool, I discovered Leyli, whose delightfully decompressed tilt at songwriting calmed my ire to the point of horizontality.

Leyli // Le Bout De Ses Doits

Le Bout De Ses Doits begins at a relaxed pace and slows down as the song progresses. By the end it is barely there, a soft, slight shuffle. Perhaps this is the perfect music for falling to sleep to.

Beauty manifests itself in all sorts of forms, and is experienced by different people in different ways, but when a song like this pokes us in the eye and demands your attention so, a soft sigh is universally exhaled.

Leyli have discovered the secret of musical minimalism – not in the Deep Bolivian House kind of way, but in the careful dispersal of just enough gentle sound to allow songs like Le Bout De Ses Doits to infiltrate the gap between consciousness and semi-consciousness, and permeate your very being with calm.

Relax – and remember: every day is a school day, if you want it to be.

www.myspace.com/leylileyli

>Today’s New band – Doctor My Eyes

>Sometimes a band’s influences are obvious – not necessarily in terms of sounding like other artists, but the ideas their brains keep returning to as a starting point when making music. Paul McCartney’s songs always hark back to a music-hall rumbustiousness, The Clash’s angry buzz, in keeping with punk’s Year Zero ethic, is brimming with 50’s rock ‘n’ roll tricks, and Johnny Borrell clearly grew up in a locked windowless room with only Boomhouse Rats LPs for company.

Other bands influences are not so clear. Today’s New Band, Doctor My Eyes, are an unusual example of successfully combining studio electronics and the live band in a coherent, joyful jumble.

Lungs is evidence of a thorough nerd-like knowledge of electronic music and all its build-and-release foibles. A simple robo-riff provides the foundation for what turns into a tinny, crystalline pop record that, if played loud enough, could get the most reticent of dancefloors shuffling.

The same sense of a song’s structure and progression are splattered throughout With An Alien Smile, but here the rough and ready electronics are dropped, instead deploying the standard four-square instruments in an equally minimal fashion.

Even in songs where the bleeping and blooping is absent, the feeling is that they are a band whose template is not from the usual off-the-peg rock mindset. Their songs are electronic in spirit, if not always in sound.

Doctor My Eyes are definitely worth a listen, and certainly worth keeping your eye on, you know, just in case. Listen, here, now!

Sing-a-long-a the BRITs

***This is a Sponsored Post***

Remember last time I asked you to check your pop calendar?

It was just before Christmas, and you’ll fondly remember how we all marvelled at the fact that not only was 2012 close, but how the BRIT Awards 2012 were also agonisingly within our collective grasp.

Well guess what? The UK’s annual musical blowout is now within spitting distance, arriving on February 21st.

Not that you’d want to expectorate anywhere near it of course; what with our aunties’ favourite rambunctious autobiography-shifter – that’s James Corden, of course – hosting an event that promises glamour, spectacle, celebrity, sponsorship by MasterCard and maybe JLS, who’ll probably do backflips whilst rubbing their abs a bit.

Well, by the time you read this, the Brits will have trotted out their nominations, which, let’s face it, will probably feature the part-rap, part-indie, all-scallywag Ed Sheeran in there somewhere, Adele (inevitably), and possibly even the bewilderingly unsmiling US blood-obsessive Lana del Rey.

But just watching this all take place might not be enough. Some of you want something more. Something special. What you want is Something For The Fans, which gives you the chance to win a Priceless Duet with one of music’s biggest names, including JLS, Emily Sandé and Labrinth. All you need to do is enter online and you too could be nervously duetting with them on national TV.

And whilst you’re dreaming of duetting with your squeaky-clean popstar of choice (Lemmy from Motörhead is sadly unavailable), Mastercard users can use their Priceless London service to help make slipping in and out of the capitol as easy as pie.

So hurry along and apply, and you could be tunelessly wailing along with JLS so soon, it’ll make your head spin. (Or that could just be Aston from JLS doing flips again.)

Viral video by ebuzzing

>Today’s New Band – Voo

>Another Liverpool band? This is getting silly. A New Band A Day has been littered with them recently, with Indica Ritual and My Amiga most recently using all their Scouse powers of persuasion on us. And look, here comes another one, with stereotypically jaunty tunes, and melodies coming out of their eyeballs.

When will these bands learn that if you want to be a rock star these days, it’s not about having good songs, but about being photographed falling out of nightclubs, getting shabby on crack and slinging out a half-hearted Boomtown Rats sound-a-like album every 18 months? Some people just don’t get it.

So, Today’s New Band, Voo, steadfastly refuse to go all New-Rave or New-Gaze or New-[insert most recently dug-up old genre here] on us. Instead, with songs like Favourite Films, they demonstrate a keen ear for chipper, slightly anthemic pop-rock. Schnik Schnak Schnuk is an ace, building crunchy song that has not one, but two! of everyone’s favourite rock tricks – the false ending and a “na-na-na-naa” bit. Acoustic For Sake of Space is either a title or a disclaimer, I’m not sure, but it definitely is light, delicate and mournfully enticing.

I get the feeling that Voo would sound even better live. They’re touring soon, so keep ’em peeled. Listen to their songs here!

Speak Galactic, and The Language Of Drab Footballing Parallels

So in the end, the inevitable sensation of disappointment prevails – the result of over-hyping a deceptively middle-of-the-road, expensive and charmless event. And that was just Glastonbury.

Ah yes – it’s football again – but this will be the last World Cup related post for a while, I promise. But something occurred to me in between Germany‘s excellent third and brilliant fourth goal. I’d missed a massive opportunity on ANBAD. The World Cup was the perfect excuse to draw tenuous parallels – ANBAD’s favoured type of parallel, natch – between bands and the teams  taking part.

For example: if the England team were a band, they’d be the latter-day Oasis: over-confident, yet wildly under-performing; supported by loutish, drunken mob; living off past glories, yet clearly without the ability to add to them; in possession of a hugely inflated sense of self-worth.

So, before I start to regret this whole charade: Speak Galactic are almost definitely Sweden’s national team – understated, skilful, calm, and packing dynamite punches.

How useful then, that Speak Galactic are based in Gotenburg, lending my dreadful soccer-analogy a modicum of credence.

Songs like Wool Socks are the ones I always look forward to receiving. Why? Let’s use Wool Socks as the readily-available example. I don’t know exactly what causes this, but as soon as the song started, I knew what I was going to get.

Don’t interpret that the wrong way: it’s not that the song is predictable – it’s not – but as it began I got the sensation very quickly that I was going to enjoy the next four-ish minutes.

And how: the song is delicate and sinewy; light, like the cool gold of evening sun; and wistful, expansive, complex. Delicious, fulfilling, shimmering. You know, just like England aren’t.

http://speakgalactic.com/44-2/

The Eversons Doth Protest Too Little

Back in the 90’s, Edwyn Collins sang about, “Too many protest singers, not enough protest songs,” although today he might note that there aren’t many of the former either.

The Eversons probably don’t consider themselves particularly political, but perhaps those who truly bring about change never really do.

It’s true that writing a song from the point of view of a straight-laced everyman might not exactly be up there with hunger strikes and self-immolation, but hey – you can only eat an elephant by taking small bites.

So maybe He’s A Conservative is only the start of their crusade. Or maybe it’s just a hyper-enjoyable rock ‘n’ roll song with smart lyrics, clever construction and lovely harmonies of the type you almost never hear any more.

 

Make no mistake: this song is simple, but the most effective and enjoyable things in life often are.

The Eversons are from New Zealand. The Chills are also from New Zealand. I’m prepared to allow my love for one bleed into the other. Great stuff.

MORE: facebook.com/pages/The-Eversons

INTERVIEW // Golau Glau

This is an interview designed specifically not to eke away at the carefully constructed WALL OF MYSTERY that surrounds the Golau Glau collective.They originally contacted ANBAD with an email consisting of carefully constructed confusion, and we’ve been hooked ever since. Here, they (whoever ‘they’ are) charmingly bat away our quasi-probing questions…

Hi Golau Glau! How are you? Where are you in the world right now? What do you see? And what is good about that place?

We are in GG Towers in the UK, an international HQ for mystique and oompah.

Naturally, we’re all wondering why there’s such secrecy. Is one of you Pete Townshend? (That’s the last identity-probing question, promise)

We are just shy and want it to be about nothing but the music. None of us wrote Baba O’Riley and none of us own credit cards.

I wondered endlessly about your statement, “We like Wales and cats, and whales, but not Cats”. Why does Cats – the musical – specifically, rile you? Is there a terribly traumatic amateur dramatics story to share with us?

If you’ve never heard a nine year old girl or Susan Boyle wail ‘Memory’, you are lucky. The TS Eliot poems are much better, though not his best work.

Golau Glau operates as a collective. How does this work How does your co-operative group nature affect the making of your songs?

We are based in GG Towers, which may or may not take physical form. Things happen there, it’s best not to discuss most of it. You get what you’re given.

Will the anonymity mean that there will  be no live performances? If not, is this considered a shame or a relief?

It means there are no live performances planned, until we can have stripy holograms do it for us. It is a relief.

Anonymity leaves you and your music very open to the listener’s  interpretation. It reminded me of the pre-internet days when you’d hear a song once on the radio and then endlessly puzzle about it until it appeared again. Is this part of the reasoning behind your stance?

This is correct. We are shy, but we also miss not knowing everything and the days of proper glamour rather than cheap celebrity.

Do you think that the exposure that the internet brings to bands has some negative aspects as well as the well-publicised positives?

Yes. You’re only new and interesting for a fortnight and there’s too much music out there. Like with television, there was always a lot of rubbish but now it has multiplied.

Finally, where would you like to head – what are your ambitions?

Tokyo DisneySea, Sonar festival, Paula Abdul’s video for Opposites Attract and down the dumper. Vinyl is nice.

Worthless BONUS Question: If you could meet any musical hero, who would it be, what one question would you ask them, and what drink would you buy them?

Most of them are dead, and we’re polite enough to ask those who remain what they’d prefer. Heroes usually disappoint – they’re either lovely and normal or…not. The magic remains in our heads, where it should be.

So: they’re not The Who, they want to go to Japanese theme parks, and dislike Susan Boyle. Which means they could be just about anyone. Why not buy their brilliant songs to see if you can figure it out for yourself?

www.myspace.com/golauglau

>Twinkranes and Discrete Molecules Of Simultaneity

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“Unless a person passes through some Great Experience, that person’s life will have been for naught. Such an experience doesn’t have to be explosive or murderous… often a quiet life of loneliness can be its own Great Experience.” – Douglas Coupland, Girlfriend in a Coma

This rule is applicable to bands too. There are legions of bands who were good enough to make it, but for one reason or another, didn’t. I wonder if they still consider their experience a Great one? Or whether the lack of fame and money fundamentally stunted their trip?

These thoughts will cross Twinkranes‘ mind at some point too. Will Twinkranes‘ experience be Great? Who knows? But their music is far enough outside of normality to rank it as an interesting one. Their music is psychedelic in the truest, most right sense, and songs split, suddenly, with swathes of noise that crawl and slither.

When lyrics do appear – as in The Market Of The Bizarre – they jar gracefully against the sounds, shimmering and scooting like mercury above the music: alien, seductive, there for a reason you can’t quite place.

Twinkranes – The Market Of The Bizarre (Sample)

Twinkranes’ music also brought Keith Tyson’s Bubble Chambers: 2 Discrete Molecules of Simultaneity to mind. Dual universes, chance happenings, the random nature of life. Twinkrane touch on these mind-boggling topics, clever, quiet and calm. Great Experiences for all.

>Today’s New Band – Miabeane & The Asthmatic Scene PLUS! Birdwatching!

>Today, I’ve mostly been looking at tits. Great Tits. But also Blue Tits, Robin Red-Breasts and Green Finches. Oh dear. If you subscribe to ANBAD via email, I’m not sure there’s much chance it’ll get through your spam filter.

Still, it’s been an ornithological day, taking a breather from the city, and sitting in a warm conservatory in the countryside. Watching birds zip in and out of your frame of vision to attack a series of nut-distributing cages hanging from a rickety birdtable is so soothing it ought to be available on prescription.

It’s fun to self-diagnose your mood by the choice of music. In the city: albums of in-yer-face noise (Big Black‘s Atomizer) to compliment the pressures of inner city life. In the countryside: stuff that, if not complimenting birdsong, then doesn’t entirely obscure it (Endtroducing by DJ Shadow) to mirror the calm, zen-like inner peace that green hills, old oaks and dribbling streams induces.

By choosing to listen to Today’s New Band, Miabeane & The Asthmatic Scene, then even the most quasi- of philosophers would sum up your mood as ‘cheerful’. The words ‘cutely twee’ and ‘football-obsessives’ don’t often find themselves paired up in describing any band, but then Miabeane & The Asthmatic Scene aren’t any old band.

Their songs bumble and wander, light, free and happy, musing on such uncomplicated issues. Remember Your Shinguards reminisces about childhood football heroes, cut knees and sweet childhood love. Edwin And The Physio is more urgent, but no less cuddly and Jonathan’s Present is short, sweet and the kind of song you’d like your loved one to record for you for Valentine’s day.

La-la-la choruses and guitars that are so carefree that they jangle with palpable happiness punctuate Miabeane & The Asthmatic Scene‘s happy songs. They end this week on such an upbeat note that it must surely mean that Monday will bring a Blackened Doom Metal band, just to restore the cosmic balance. Until then, swoon along with Miabeane & The Asthmatic Scene here!

Photo by Jenny Baker