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.


 

Jump Look Drop; Jazzed About The Future

jld

Earlier this week, Bear Grass wowed ANBAD with their delicious folk pop. I was gauche enough to bury their song under a long semi-think-piece.

My question was: will the bands of 15 years time look back to the guitar bands of 2013 for inspiration, or will they skip over them and look back further to the bands that today’s bands grab influence from? And if so, do 2013’s guitar bands need to change how they operate?

Then Stephen from Bear Grass emailed me. Instead of being annoyed that I’d hidden his band under 300 words of blah, he had some very interesting thoughts, and so here they are:

“That’s a really interesting question; will future guitar bands pull from our culture or use our influences? Look at instruments like pianos or saxes. When jazz was a vibrant and relevant art form and artists were exploring it so many rock artists stole from jazz musicians. The jazz notion of “virtuoso” lent well to lead guitar players (Paige, Hendrix, Clapton, etc).

Local Natives gave an interview to Pitchfork last year recounting coming across a kid DJing on the street just like a busking guitar player and they had an, “oh shit, is guitar music over?” moment:

“Is it snide and insecure of me to say that electronic music is the scourge of the earth and kids aren’t gonna buy guitars in 15 years? Totally. We had this moment in Montreal where and there was a kid, a busker, on a street corner and he was DJing. He had this little boombox out there and, honestly, it was sort of terrifying to me.”

What would be sick is a romantic bond of guitar music and electronic music but we’ll see what the future brings.”

Now, speaking of someone trying to combine the old and the new, here’s Jump Look Drop.

Now, look. There’s a fine line between absurdity and brilliance, and god knows it’s hard have the self-awareness and know which side you’re standing on. So Jump Look Drop are bold – bold – in throwing themselves at the line and not worrying where they land.

The lyrics of I’ve Seen You Naked could be construed as either incredibly touching. A cynic may construe them another way. But I think that they are just perfect, especially when they compliment the bare, sparse production so well.

Jump Look Drop has achieved a rare double – he has managed to resist the temptation of adding more and more to the song, leaving it open and allowing it to breathe. The bass drum pulses and patters; telling its story with the rhythm, which sounds odd when you read that back.

Jump Look Drop also managed to resist reigning in the excesses of the vocals and the lyrics, letting them spill out and trusting that it would all be OK. It was. It is. Great stuff.

MORE: jumplookdrop.bandcamp.com

ANBAD’s Best Bands Of 2011 // The Runners-Up (Part 1)

So. Why pick the ANBAD End O’ Year List, which starts in earnest next week, over any other music blogs’?

Well, there is no real reason, though if you’ve had the determination to read past the first paragraph, maybe you have a modicum of interest in slip-sliding into the grubby, ragged, and frequently ludicrous world of new bands from a slightly different, dubious angle.

Still, while you’re deciding whether it’s worth the plunge or not (HINT: it actually is – there were some genuinely terrific bands on ANBAD this year), here’s Part One of the patronising pat-on-the-head for the bands that were really great, but not quite really great enough to make the Top Ten

  •  PIXELSIn a moderately rare instance of ANBAD picking up a band that goes onto moderately bigger things, Pixels, “drag ideas from jangle-pop,with a vaguely hip-hop rhythm and an entirely disconnected outlook.”

 

  • ARC VELs songs “seem to be composed of snippets of other lovely songs –  dreamy, anti-brash, anti-form soundscapes is that… may only exist in the world of Arc Vel, and we’ll never hear them.”

 

  • GALA DROPs song Rauze is so devastatingly successful – looping noises back and forth, gaining momentum, pausing, unfurling – I wonder why music like this isn’t made more often.”

Gala Drop // RAUZE

 

  • Where are PRAIRIES  from?I can think of some antecedents – for some reason T.V.O.D. springs to mind, apropos of almost nothing – but in all honesty, Prairies may as well be beamed from the future.

 

…Part 2 of ANBAD’s best runners-up arrives tomorrow!

Orgone Accumulators, Novelty Surf Pop and The Death Of The Pipettes

Today we celebrate the life of a girl group. In doing so, we also mourn their death.

ANBAD is in the useful and happy position of almost wholly writing positive words about bands and music, so allow me a rare, and brief, foray into negativity*. It is for good reason – an example, a lesson – for new bands on what not to do next.

The Pipettes are – were – my favourite girl group. Listen to their (old) bright, sharp and bold sound and you’ll quickly see why. Smart and fun, sexy and strong, retro without pastiche. They were almost perfect.

Then this has happened.

Why is not important now. Just look and learn. There is much to conclude, not least that replacing your two band mates with your sister might not be entirely conducive to creative interaction. It’s the songs: it’s always the songs. And these new songs are clunkers of the highest order.

A new direction was needed – it always is – but if you’re going to plough a new furrow, please God, don’t start cutting up the soil in the field marked ‘Lightweight Kim Wilde Pop Hell’. It’s so saddening to watch, but I can’t tear myself away.

One good way to ensure this doesn’t happen to you is to record songs that are wholly off the beaten track. Recording techno-surf songs about the Loch Ness Monster ensures, at least, that you’re not covering old ground.

Kudos to Orgone Accumulators, for spying the Scot-surf-rock/hitherto mythical monster niche and milking it.

On one hand, songs like About A Bicycle sound almost wholly daft; on the other there’s something so exuberant and alive about such joyful and devil-may-care music that who could begrudge them a smile?

Songs like this are constrained by their novelty, but then anyone who picks a definite style always is. You wouldn’t want to listen to three straight hours of this stuff, but that’s not what it is for. Fun is the order of the day here.

Perhaps Orgone Accumulators have also stared, long and hard, into the Pipette abyss, shuddered, and realised that their Nessie surf rock was a good idea after all. It would make sense. It couldn’t make any less sense than what The Pipettes have done.

orgoneaccumulators.bandcamp.com

*OK, not so rare. Bad Cover Versions is all like this.

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 12th May 2010

Like the pendulous testes of a rampant bull, time swings gracelessly back and forth from one Midweek Mixtape to the next. And so, here we are again, metaphorically clunking the C90 of destiny into the Sony Walkman of doom.

Prepare to be overwhelmed by another collection of odds, ends and buried audio treasure from the ANBAD pit o’ bands. (Midweek Mixtape Completists please note the donkey has a novelty hat and googly eyes this week)

FIRST! Dandelion Snow has written a song called Belly Of The Beast, which , as all Steven Segal fans will know, is one of the chop-socky moron’s most truly terrible movies. This is not that song:

Dandelion Snow // You, In That Hospital Gown

You, In That Hospital Gown is indeed the kind of song you’d play from an old boombox to a loved one in a coma. As such, prepare for feelings of infinite insignificance and prepare to hug your nearest and dearest a bit tighter.

SECOND! Keramick and Lobo‘s jittery yet slick sounds are a bold attempt at fusing glitchy twinge-noise with commercial pop. It’s not their fault. They’re from Finland, and so can’t help but inject lush pop into everything they do. I stayed over at their house: for breakfast they have Cheery Melody-O’s.

THIRD! Flotilla also sound a little Scandi-pop in some ways. Their vocals are naive and cute, and in songs like Charlie, I’m Through, they deftly avoid the  potential schoolboy euphemisms, and craft a slight song of actual – well – emotion. They also have that lovely knack of sounding like they’re playing the song in the next room, which seals the deal.

FOURTH! The Mauxms are a Jazz-Rock-Experimental-Progressive-Punk-Latin-Psychadelic band. Talk about covering your bases. Their EP cover has a picture of a naked woman hugging a purple octopus. What else do you want to know? OK, have this: their music is nowhere near as bad as it sounds like it should be – in fact it’s great fun. Curses.

STOP! No more!

<a href=”http://www.anewbandaday.com/songs/example1.mp3″>First link</a>

FRIDAY MIXTAPE // 6th April 2012

ANBAD had technical difficulties on Wednesday, and couldn’t publish the Midweek Mixtape.

(“Technical difficulties” is, in this case, not a euphemism for “hungover”)

But a week without a petty jab at Alex James from Blur is a week without sunshine, and – as he has become the primary reason for the existence of this column now – I’m always happy to oblige.

Alex has found that he is, indeed, enjoying his new temporary home on Friday; and, moreover,  is In Love with this day.

And yes, this preamble is all just a way of crow-barring a photo of him pouring cheese onto Robert Smith’s disembodied head onto ANBAD.

FIRST! Another suggestion courtesy of long-time ANBAD Suggester Of Good Bands, photographer Gareth Hacking, who discovered Intensive Care on his travels, and like any good tourist, brought some of them home with him.

 

SECOND! Are Family Of The Year a new enough band or not for inclusion on ANBAD? Who cares, when they’re making such lovely and admirably foul-mouthed folk songs like The Stairs? Ace.

 

THIRD! Remember when bands used to just be able to shred, rock out and play at being the guitar hero for real, and not just on Xbox – and the public bought it? The Malex Kings do, and it’s incredibly hard to hold any of that against them, because songs like this are so much fun:

 

FOURTH! Little Legend round out a RAWK-flavoured Mixtape – and how: Saints is top-notch by anyone’s standards. Unabashed, gutsy and satisfying.

Memotone: Life, Animated

Memotone is defiantly an artist. You can tell.

His songs are the archetypal male-alone-in-a-room-with-lots-of-electronic-boxes music, and his website has lots of videos of him performing such rituals. His music is life, animated.

Take Fractal: a quiet cacophany of clicks, found sounds and clips of everyday noises – spinning a coin, picking up some keys – all suddenly take on a huge importance when exposed to the punishing glare of  a song that is as sparse as it is brightly lit.

 

What is most impressive – a word which is not always a compliment, but is so here – is that the song follows then usual structure of build-hold-release-big finish, even though this is quite purposely not house music in any way.

It’s a sort of exercise in Ctrl+F Find-and-Replace for sound: Twangs replace synth sweeps, tinkles replace keyboard stabs, and the sound of your dad dropping the contents of his toolbox replaces the rest.

Memotone’s songs are the streams of consciousness from a gaggle of his machines daisy-chained and set free. The man himself merely corrals the sounds into a shape.

MORE: memotone.co.uk

>Today’s New Band – Mongrel

>Supergroups! Don’t you just love their best-of-all-worlds approach to music? Well, no, not usually. Taking X guitarist and Y drummer from a number of big bands often equates to devastatingly bland groups like Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Asia and more recently, Velvet Revolver, who had all the bombast of all their respective mother groups, but with none of the tunes. I can’t even whistle any of the songs by The Good, The Bad and The Queen, who actually endeavoured to create something more than a mere vanity project out of their enticing Blur/Clash/Verve/Tony Allen combination.

None of this bodes well for Today’s New Band, Mongrel, does it? As the name bluntly insinuates, they’re comprised of musicians from all over the shop. The members and ex members of Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles, Reverend and The Makers, as well as ace producer-artists Adrian Sherwood, Jagz Kooner and Low Key that whelped Mongrel must have, at some point, sat in a room, and thought, “Perhaps this Supergroup thing might work this time, for us.”

And you know what? It does. Their music is one of those rare collaborative efforts where all the member’s respective influences are audible, blending craftily together to form something new, instead of fighting for prominence. Dub, indie and hip-hop sprawl around in Mongrel‘s tightly focused songs, and in some ways, each song is enjoyable merely because the sound works so well. The fact that the songs are good as well is the proverbial icing on the proverbial cake.

Better Than Heavy is a heavy, twanging and dubby lollop that is as inventive as it is fun, pinging form here to there without compromising any ideals. And song Barcode shouldn’t work. It just shouldn’t. No sane mind would try to make such desperate worlds collide, but Mongrel must be collectively crazy, because it sounds just right.

Political and angry in a time when most people are too bothered about the latest minutiae of Britney’s latest weight loss/gain too get angry about anything, let alone politics, Mongrel are a band that might not end up being loved by millions. The fact that all this was even possible should thrill even the most cynical heart, though. They are doing everything they can to make their voices heard, and great tunes, intelligent thoughts and a fierce determination are the best place to start. This is what they’ve got, in spades, so listen here, now!

The Trouble With Live Gigs, Part One

Live music is booming. Gig-going was to the Noughties what clubbing was to the 90’s – everyone’s doing it, all the time, and telling you all about how great it is. Even aunts and uncles go to the trouble to book the babysitter and scoot off to the local mega-drome to peer at Green Day or Keane every month or so.

That tall guy who always stands in front of you, at a gig, yesterday

Live gigs have always been engrained in pop and rock culture – but recently, the level of attendance has rocketed, by anyone’s estimations. Manchester, for example, has historically had a vibrant live scene, and yet now, there are more bands playing than ever before.

I could visit any part of the city on any night of the week and find any number of gigs, from the Arctic Monkeys incongruously playing in front of 20,000 punters, to Wild Palms playing for a small clutter of the curious, the rabid or the drunken.

So how did this come about? Why now? Is it just fashion? Will the bulk of today’s gig-goers move on to spending their cash playing croquet or crazy golf as soon as that becomes de rigeur?

Possibly – people, you and I included, are fickle. In two years, who knows? Bands that are charging high ticket prices now are simply making hay while the sun is shining.

I think there’s another explanation too: anyone who works in ‘the industry’ will tell you that live gigs are what ‘drives cashflow’ now. Bands make a pittance from record sales and grab the bulk from selling gig tickets and those £20 t-shirts on sale in the foyer.

Live gigs are the one thing in the music industry that can’t be replicated for free: a bootleg mp3 or shaky mobile phone footage just doesn’t compare.

"Dude! Like, I'll be totally the first person to put this on Youtube... oh."

I listened to a talking-heads meeting of important record industry types – all men, all under 40, all masking the fact that they weren’t entirely sure where the industry was going – at Manchester’s In The City Music Conference a while ago.

This was where I heard this eye-opening/watering statistic: bands – even, say, U2 make only 10% of their earnings from record sales, and the remainder from touring and merchandise.

Compare this with the scenario only ten years ago when any given band would make a bare minimum of 50% from CD sale, and allow your mind to quietly boggle.

Could careful manipulation of our tastes by record companies and other industries be behind the gig-going boom, then?

Probably: look at all the excruciating mobile phone adverts that push the joys of (astonishingly anodyne) live music, and then next time you’re getting sweaty in your local fleapit venue, look at the number of idiots filming a gig on their phones.

Then think about the money that is being drained from consumer who pays for the T-shirt in the foyer, the gig, the phone to film it on, the data allowance to upload the video to a website, and the money the website makes from advertising bands that are soon playing live… repeat to fade.

So it’s our fault, wanting music for free, illegally grabbing it en masse, and then allowing ourselves to be led by the noses to live shows. Still, if this has meant that we’re now attending lots of gigs, that’s a good thing, right?

Well, yes, obviously. But then no, not so obviously. And I’ll reveal why in Part Two, next week…

Photo 1 by Mags

>Today’s New Band – Miracle and The Soul Interpreter PLUS! Beer Heaven! Beer Hell!

>The National Winter Ales Festival rolled into town yesterday, and, being the troopers we are, your brave A New Band A Day correspondents did our duty and duly attended. If you want to see what the Internet looked like in 1997, go to the festival’s website here. Stepping into the Coliseum Of Ales, and being presented with a bewildering number of beers, ciders and perrys, we cast off the shackles of decent behaviour and got well and truly stuck in.

The beauty, and indeed, horror, of a beer festival, is that the words “So many beers, so little time” buzz urgently like a neon light in your head. Everyone at a beer festival knows that the temptation to try this, that, and the other will ultimately end in disaster, and yet plough on regardless. And lo, that is exactly what happened to us too.

So today my poor head is being nursed in a perhaps-too-touchy-feely, caring way by Today’s New Band, Miracle and The Soul Interpreter. Their songs linger between the shimmer of house music and the grind of R&B, and a step removed from either.

Whatafuckingfailure is a jazzy piano loop, aching vocals and a sense of emotional doom. It’s pared back and lean, leaving plenty of room for the lightly downbeat gloom.

Doideeboid is buzzy, hummy and similarly sparse; its clicking drums occasionally interrupted with punchy bursts from a gospel choir. Sleazy and slick, this is the song that man you shouldn’t be tempted by would whisper in your ear, as one hand rests on the small of your back.

That Miracle and The Soul Interpreter are bold/daft enough to pull off a cover of the Steve Miller Band‘s Abracadabra by turning it into a funky, dancefloor creeper is confirmation of their talent. They sound slick and confident. Get seduced, here!

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 11th January 2012

Now that the ANBAD Midweek Mixtape is merely a conduit for another picture of Alex James pouring molten cheese onto something, the pressure is well and truly on.

Sometimes it’s a struggle to find a suitable, current, timely cheese victim. And sometimes, Justin Bieber dresses up like Gary Glitter, and it all seems just a bit too easy. Thanks Justin.

And so, on with the first Mixtape of 2012.

FIRST! Since being named Britain’s Best New Band by, er, ANBAD this time two years ago, Egyptian Hip Hop have been relatively quiet. And now we know why. It’s because they’ve been making this stupendously droning, otherworldly remix of a Regal Safari track.

 

SECOND! Little Jungles have made a song by more conventional means that touches the same ethereal qualities. It’s a surprisingly glossy, fairly gorgeous swoop through rock’s rainbow. Mmmm.


 THIRD! Norwegian creep-popsters Philco Fiction have made a song that fools you into thinking that it is covering conventional ground, when it’s actually zooming off into the stratosphere. Smart.

 

FOURTH! File Under Fiction know the benefits of a deep, twanging bass sound. It pops the whole song, the whole band into a specific RAWK place. This is fine, just fine.