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.


 

Nutíd – Minimal Disquiet

Last year there was a smash the system land-grab of the once-coveted Christmas Number One slot in the UK, as the latest Cowell-protegé X-Factor moppet was beaten to their standard chart slot by a concerted effort to get Rage Against The Machine there as, like, a protest, yeah?

Inevitably, this year a similar proto-revolt is taking place, albeit with a slightly more wry bent. But in trying to get John Cage’s 4’33” to number one, what is being said? That the X-Factor isn’t art? That silence is preferable to some mawkish, cobbled-together TV spin-off song? Or is it simply ‘LOL’?

The truth probably lies somewhere amongst all those thought-puddles. The simplicity of the idea, and of  Cage’s concept, is what appeals the most. Simplicity, generally, will always succeed. This is an idea that Nutíd have wholly embraced.

Nutid //Capricorn Hill

Theirs is a sound that wavers between ultra-minimal and densely enveloping, though identifying exactly when the transition takes place is the hard part. Capricorn Hill’s half-folk, half-art swoon hits like a tiny ice-cold tsunami teasing listeners into daydreams of their making.

It turns out that Nutid is also the name of a range of kitchen appliances at Ikea that are functional, anonymous, mass market, and simple. Nutíd could only reasonably be compared to the latter. Beautiful, dizzying, and all the more disquieting because of it.

www.myspace.com/nutid

Ezra Furman: Life In The New Dog, Yet

ezrafurmanSeeing as these days I’m pushing the (admittedly always-shaky) concept of writng about a new band every day, I feel a lot less troubled by the fact that today’s ‘new’ artist isn’t terribly new in every sense of the word.

This is because Ezra Furman has had his own band, and then spent a bunch of years fronting another (Harpoons), and is now a fully-fledged solo project.

His solo LP’s just come out. Only a handful of blogs have written about this song.

So… I’m off the hook, right?

 

Doesn’t matter either way, actually, because My Zero is so loveable, so bright, so delicious, that each spin is like a warm embrace from an old friend, and each rollocking sweep through the chorus provides the same joys as an evening holed up in a good pub with a loved one.

Ezra has a voice that cuts through the swathes of bland voices that populate the majority of pop music. How can you help but connect on a very base level to his sprightly, croaky vox? His voice is a springboard for the music to soar from; and vice-versa.

In this way, he reminds me of old ANBAD faves Straw Bear, who weave glorious vocals and glistening music to similarly lovely effect.

My Zero is fabulous. Proof that the old guitar ‘n’ singer combo can still ignite the kind of thrills that nothing else can. What a tune!

MORE: ezrafurman.com

>Today’s New Band – The Homophones

>Some bands’ music are suited for particular situations. Planning on driving a very long journey across a featureless desert? Ry Cooder’s theme from Paris Texas. Drinking Whisky straight from the bottle with your buddies, playing pool and leering at women whilst wearing double denim? Back In Black by ACDC. Making your weekly wander down to the Job Centre? Back in the DHSS by Half-Man, Half-Biscuit, obviously.

So next time you’re heading, carefree, through town at sunset to meet some good friends at your favourite bar, listen to Mala Strana Strut by Today’s New Band, The Homophones. It’s the sound of some friends who’ve been playing songs together over a beer for ages, effortlessly slipping into playing another chorus just for the sheer fun of it. It’s jaunty, laid-back and enticing – “I don’t care if I never get back home” they sing, and who would when it sounds like they’re having a blast right where they are?

Listen to it here at their MySpace page and also point your ears towards their other songs, Wanderlust – a bizarrely 60’s feeling, tinny jangler of a song – and then Pictures Of You, both of which are more melancholy, yet still retain an uplifting twang.

A campfire in the wilderness, a sunset, some beers with The Homophones? Now there’s a good night right there.

*No Images today – thanks for nothing, Blogger*

Giant Burger: Re-Spawned

Bands don’t usually get second chances on ANBAD.

It’s nothing personal; it’s just the nature of the beast that is ANBAD (and if you’re trying to picture the beast in question, look no further than here.)

Besides, moving relentlessly from one new band to another, without pausing for thought is so de rigueur. I’m just holding a mirror to the music industry, like, yeah?

One band have found a way to sneak through the system: ANBAD’s Fourth Best Band of 2011, who were Baaneex, and have now re-spawned as  Giant Burger. Oh, go on then…

 

 

Interestingly/worryingly, Lancelot on the Dole is described by the band as “Doom Meat Pop”.

This is, on reflection, appropriate. It is a giant slab of marbled, meaty prog-folk-rock, of the kind that stopped being cool a long time ago; and yet, here’s a song that makes you wonder if, not for the first time, popular opinion is totally wrong.

Baaneex were/are a band of perverse, complex curiousness, and whilst their new configuration is almost wholly different in appearance, they still have a defiant oddness pervading throughout. Uncool. Great.

MOREgiantburger.bandcamp.com

Times New Viking: Blank Euphoria and Wingdings

Funny how people will obsess over the minutiae in life.

Just look at typographic obsessives, for whom the world of typefaces is much more exciting than you might think.

Stop yawning at the back. Where you and I regard scrolling through the drop down menu of fonts in Microsoft Word as a minor distraction on our route to selecting Arial, they see it as a delicious opportunity to revisit some dear old friends.

The fact that there is a movie entirely dedicated to the Helvetica font tells you as much about our confused times as it does the people it is made for.

Despite their amalgamative name, Times New Viking are not font obsessives pushing their revolutionary typeface agenda on an unsuspecting public via the medium of lo-fi indie. Instead, their personal compulsion is the manufacture of butterfly-wing fragile, reedy guitar lullabies.

No Room To Live begins with what sounds like a collective sigh of noise from their instruments, like that of a lover dragging themselves up to give it one last go with a complicated partner.

The song isn’t melancholy though – instead the feeling of blank euphoria reverbs throughout, and we feel their mixture of love, loss and dusty happiness.

Besides, if Times New Viking really wanted to annoy people, they’d make sure that there was a contractual obligation in place to ensure that their name was always spelt in Comic Sans or Wingdings. Now that’s revolutionary.

Until then, their beautiful music will have to do. Excellent. // www.timesnewviking.net

TODAY’S BONUS BAND: Woobbes // FIVE WORD REVIEW: Euphoric, fidgity house bezerker alert!

Trwbador: Brutal, Elusive

The laptop is a brutally efficient, endlessly alluring tool for musicians, but one whose major drawback is one and the same: it is just too easy to suck the life – shhhllllurrrrrppp! – right out of a song.

Conversely, folk music has exactly the opposite qualities: it takes forever to write a great song, but when you do, it’ll touch your audience in a way they never imagined.

Trwbador are not the first band to try to balance this dichotomy. They are one of few who have actually managed it – and how, creating a sound that is otherworldly, yet real; mechanical, yet tender.

Sun In Winter is an almost perfect example of how to splice the two together. Vocals that are painfully intimate, yet icily distant, dart in and around a sparse smattering of noises that form the space that a song used to occupy.

This song is a remix of a remix of a song that never existed in the first place. We can imagine this song – it’s so close we can almost touch it – and yet it simply doesn’t exist. Beautiful, bright, brilliant.

MOREtrwbador.co.uk/

VLAD: Toque la Guitarra

Whoah, when was the last time a guitar band was on ANBAD? It must be, like ages ago, yeah?

Well, it was actually only a couple of weeks ago, but that really is an age in the mesmerisingly flighty world of new music.

Still, it is evidence (if, by ‘evidence’ you mean ‘anecdotal guesswork’) that guitar-based music is, if not in decline, in a bit of a slump. I can’t put my finger on the exact reasons, but my guess is that the post-Britpop period where guitars primarily became posing devices skewed a couple of generations’ idea of what a guitar actually is. 

Which is to say: a lump of wood and wire that can convey pretty much whatever emotion you like, if you press your fingers onto it in the right way. Riffs are secondary. Appropriately, VLAD gently nudge both sounds and feelings from their guitars.

I get the impression that their sound evolved from many hours of playing together, rather than the drab “hey guys, let’s form a Genre X band!” starting point.

 

Caramel, kinky and enticing, is one of those songs that has an innate understanding: guitar music and those who play it have many needs, but also have limitations. The balance here is just about right – the songs caress and sooth, prickle and abrase. It’s a lovely song without ego.

VLAD consider this and its sister songs demos: I say, release them as-is – they work.

NB: The Spanish don’t ‘play’ guitars. They toque la guitarra – touch the guitar. The concept is different: touching implies coaxing, communication. Playing is a one-way street. VLAD know this.

MOREvladuk.bandcamp.com

Asa Milbankx: Aside, Asunder

Shoddily, ANBAD has not been updated for a day or two – more than a minor misdemeanour for a blog with a rod-for-your-own-back title such as this one.

Mere laziness, for once, is not to blame; unusually, ANBAD has hitched its wagon to something interesting, and is heading down to SXSW in Texas to help hinder progress in constructing the monumentally exciting Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel.

Some wags may point out that being involved in an event like this is, in itself, exactly the wrong reason not to blog about new bands. Well, yes, indeed.

But here’s a rearguard-action post about Asa Milbankx – a new band formed from bits of older bands that has made a song, in Angry Sun, that is deftly endearing and sunnily brilliant.

(MORE here, BTW: mountvalley.net/mv/?p=229)

 

This new-band-from-the-dregs-of-another point is of huge importance. One of the chief attributes that I find in the new-new bands is their rawness; their greenness revealing old traits in wholly new ways.

When a new band is formed from another – if only as a side project, like this – everything changes. And so it proves with Asa Milbankx’s lithe, hypnotic effort; a song that worms its way into your mind beguilingly and lingers coquettishly.

The song is beautiful in almost every way. Part of me wants to advise you to force yourself not to listen now, and to save it for summertime, where it will soundtrack lazy, hot days.  But that would just be rude.

MORE: soundcloud.com/asamilbankx

>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.

>Today’s New Band – Julien Fargo PLUS! Repressed late 90’s rock!

>As if further proof were needed that life is full of weird coincidences, just a couple of days after musing on The Only Ones and their reunion gigs, a friend mentioned that he’d gone to see them on Saturday night. And the verdict is: The Only Ones still sound great, but singer Peter Perrett’s voice was shot. He then went on to make several unsubstantiated substance-abuse allegations, which I probably shouldn’t recount.

In fairness, perhaps he had a sore throat, or the mic was at the wrong level, or any number of reasons could account for his croaky voice. But it didn’t matter – the band played the hits, and the fans danced and went home happy. So any lingering cynicism I had about band reunions vapourised. Except then I remembered that Kula Shaker reformed a few years ago, and are troubling venues all over the world again.

This kind of assault on common decency must not stand. Kula Shaker are the second worst band of all time. To banish the resurfaced memory of the woeful quasi-mystic rock nonsense of Tattva and Govinda, here’s Today’s New Band, Julien Fargo, who don’t sing songs in Sanskrit and don’t make ill-informed statements about swastikas. What they actually do is make really good music, which is enough.

L’Homme 100 tetes – which as far as my schoolboy French is aware, means ‘The Man With 100 Heads’ – is just fabulous, a twinkling swoosh through multi-coloured starfields. Wait – sorry about that. I think Kula Shaker’s faux-psychedelia must have leeched into my brain. But it is a beautiful, simple song, built on simple repetition and echoes of sounds, and ends up as a dreamy, woozy soundtrack to whatever you are doing as you listen to it.

Le Jardin de Roses clambers up and up using a genuinely lovely, plinky-ponk melody to find its way to wherever it might end up. Carefree, lively and with just enough world-weariness to make it lovable, it’ll immediately ping an image into your mind. The one that popped into my head was the view from a bar stool in Parisian cafe. I don’t know why. But it was a nice moment.

In these two songs, Julien Fargo – the man, the band – has made two little glimpses of something that’s annoyingly intangible, but special. And so much better than retreading your musical past. Listen to them here!