>So, I’m nearly home. As of Monday, the (possibly unique) ANBAD Travelogue/New Band Review Service will be replaced by the simple daily proffering of New Bands, just like in the good ol’ days. In some ways, it’s a shame – writing about bands whilst in a tent pitched on the hill overlooking Karlovac was fun, but tiring. For those who’d like to emulate this attempt, a word of advice: finding wi-fi in eastern Europe is an ‘interesting challenge’.
Conversely, getting back to the metaphorical new band roots is just what’s needed. A three-month, self-indulgent trip around Europe, however, is just what you need if you desire navel-gazing time.
The best band to soundtrack this kind of activity is New Order, a band who I consider one of my favourites almost by default – because, well, it’s New Order. However, my readiness to constantly return to their songs, looking for brilliance, and always finding it, suggests that they connect in some other, more mysterious way.
Now isn’t the time to wonder why, merely to love them for what they are – the producers of the most casually written classic songs ever. The feeling that they have stumbled onto thrilling pop brilliance by accident is always one wonky keyboard stab or clunky lyric away. Perhaps it’s the truth.
Today’s New Band, Apples, like New Order, have a penchant for keyboard-driven jangly pop, and are similarly eager to utilise instruments oft-regarded as uncool. Listen out for the saxophone break in the gloriously chipper song Reason 45 for proof, and then feel your stomach flip next to your heart with pleasure as the dreamiest of choruses bursts: heartfelt, delicious, bitter-sweet, bright.
Just like New Order, Apples’ words, sounds and drive are uncool, unusual and without a definitive plan, and all the better for it. Reason 45 is as good a song as you’ll hear this month, and maybe the next one, too. Whisper it – but it’s an almost perfect pop song. It’s so delightful, so enraptured by the sweet joy of a melody and so enthralled with the simple pleasure of being alive that I can hardly take it. Drown yourself in sunlight, here!