>Today’s New Band – Finneyerkes

If you listen to a lot of music on the internet, I’m willing to gamble that the following question has crossed your mind too. Why are there so many post-rock bands? Answer: because making post-rock looks like an easy task.

Having dispensed with traditional song structure; you can just plug in and improvise, or so it seems. The less you think about what you’re doing, the more the beauty of the sounds flow through onto tape, right?

This is a fallacy, and is also why there are so many drab, tedious post-rock bands all peddling the same glum, unfocused, unwanted wares all over the internet. There is a very fine line between making lovely, semi-conscious noise-fuzz and a knuckle-chewingly lazy drone. You’ll be pleased to hear that Today’s New Band, Finneyerkes, are proponents of the former rather than the latter.

Finneyerkes make strung-out, light-as-air, soundscape-rock. If their actions matched their music, they’d stay in bed all day and dream about perfectly flat, brilliant white, snow-covered landscapes where nothing interrupts the horizon line.

Their songs lilt and lap like a stuporous sea; build up then release. Hear The Listener, its minimal reverberations overlapping and forming a larger image, like a dropped pile of so many photographs. Arshile falls from a mass of radio fuzz and, strangely but beautifully, threatens to become a huge, trancey keyboard-riff. Weird, yes: you’ll have to listen to hear what I mean.

Don’t be tricked into thinking that Finneyerkes make this music easily; it will have taken all the time, patience and frustration that is always required to make songs that sound this lovely. Their music is a genuinely soothing, sweet experience. Great. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Curly Hair


Now wait a second. It’s true that wi-fi has proven a bit tough to come by on the road. But I’m not suggesting for a second that the beautiful, proud nations of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Croatia are lacking in up-to-date wireless computing facilities*, even though being able to catch up with what’s happening to ANBAD while I’m zipping around Europe has proven as difficult as finding a radio station not playing mid-90’s Depeche Mode on loop.

Anyway – when I finally managed to check my ANBAD emails again, and browsed through all the bands suggested by you lovely readers, I suddenly realised that if I didn’t act soon, there would be more good bands to review than there are days in the year. So today, while Slovenian wi-fi is briefly a part of my life again, I’m trying to redress the balance and reviewing bands like crazy.
Thus, clutch to your bosom Today’s New Band, Curly Hair, who were suggested to me so long ago, I can only hope that they haven’t toured, become superstars, had number one albums, descended into Coke Hell and split up in the meantime. This is probably not the case if the glut of new, sweet ‘n’ curious songs posted on their Myspage page is anything to go by.
Blow The House Down is a deceptively slender, sugary love-ish song with fly-away organ tinkling and corduroy-trousered backing vocals. The song is a gently-lulling delight, bringing to mind the innocence and charm of an infant school classroom project singing lesson where the lucid suggestions of the pupils have been used to form a special sea-shanty.
And in High Fives, Low Fives and The Bus Song, they continue their single minded attempt to craft – and that’s what they’re doing, possibly with sugar paper and glitter glue – one lovely song after another.
Curly Hair have discovered a rich seam of these charming, cheerful songs, that will have you clapping your hands in glee, or just out of pure admiration. They’re kind enough to share them with us, in a kind of Cute Indie/Lo-Fi Show ‘n’ Tell. Sit quietly at your desk and enjoy.
*And even if I was, I’d hastily add that its absence is wholly compensated for by the vast numbers of truly beautiful people that cram themselves into each town in these countries

>Today’s New Band – 5 Turns 25

>Music/Life Synchronicity Moment #24986 took place this morning, and this time it featured an early 90’s ambient classic and, er, a road sign.

It was one of those electronic roadsigns, intended to flash up “Sorry for the inconvenience”, and yet, ironically, was inconveniently performing its best impression of a ZX Spectrum loading screen.

The important thing was that the flickering, when not giving epileptic drivers a few anxious moments, seemed to harmonise beautifully with Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb, a song, remember, that found meaning in clouds. I suppose it’s not too big a leap to then find equivalent beauty in a spasmodic sign, which I did. It was a curiously relaxing sight.

If I’d been listening to Today’s New Band, 5 Turns 25, similar confusion may have ensued. They make music that is almost beyond ambient – only one step beyond the sound of a band warming up, and one step behind true coherency.

Elephant Platform aches with the rhythm of an iron lung, sucking and blowing ennui-filled sighs. New Hand, Same Brain twinkles with warm sunshine and summery delight, marshmallow-soft; welcoming but obtuse. Effects Of Colours is hearing shards of a song played far away, and caught only when the wind changes.

5 Turns 25‘s music is a beautiful, organised jumble of sonic texture, thoughtful clutter and deliberate, precise disjointedness. They’ll yank you, gently, from your daily grind/worries/chores, and you’ll emerge, 20 minutes later, in a fug of serenity. Yum yum yum. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – We All Inherit The Moon

>How big a role does luck have in the formation of bands? Imagine you’re a guitarist who wants to make liltingly uncommon, unstructured non-regimented music. What are the chances of finding the the three or so band members who think like you, and aren’t determined to clank out the same old Killers/Kooks/Los Campesinos-lite that most fledgling bands prefer?

I’m no statistician, but you’d have to leave a lot of idiosyncratic adverts in a lot of guitar shops before you found the like-minded souls you needed.

This trawl for understanding band members may well have played a part in the nascent life of Today’s New Band, We All Inherit The Moon. The idea of a long, careful search to find exactly the right person for each role would ring true, mirrored in the carefully constructed, close and delicate songs.

Equally, a slow, organic musical growth spurt – the band forming slowly over time, like tinklingly melodic stalagmites – is suggested in their creeping, wandering sound. However it happened, in songs like Part I, We All Inherit The Moon craft weaving, homeless songs that filter slowly into your brain, and then, just as you realise how comforting its presence is, dissolve into nothing again. Part III is icy but pulsing with warmth. You’ll wait for Part IV to really get going, and then find yourself glad that it never did.

Zen, calm, relaxo-therapy – call it what you want. We All Inherit The Moon‘s music is balm for your mind, soothing like a big hug. Like vines crawling over an old building, their songs will slowly grab you, and you won’t want to be freed. Yum. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Sleep Party People PLUS! Manflu Disaster!


Gah! A New Band A Day is ill, in bed, feeling sorry for itself. The affliction? The dreaded MANFLU. The cure? Plenty of moron-lite daytime TV, Indeterminable amounts of honey and lemon drinks, handfuls of Aspirin, and, most importantly of all, new bands, taken three times a day.
The wonderful thing about Manflu is that complaining pathetically is an accepted symptom, and however much it bugs everyone around the poor victim, the only method of feeling better is to keep whining. Some fevers you have to sweat out. Manflu requires you to whinge until the sickness has abated.
Today’s New Band, Sleep Party People, are almost specifically designed for soothing poorly heads. They create softly ethereal music that recalls the most weirdly calming dreams you’ve ever had. 10 Feet Up seems to slink into your life, seduce you, and then slink out again, leaving you with only the memory of happy times. Our Falling Snow is as cold, gentle and fragile as the freshly drifting white stuff and I’m Not Human At All is just another indication that the pristine, gentle sounds might not be as charmingly naive as first seems.
There’s almost menace in the combining of extreme sweetness and warmth with the sparseness and stiletto-sharp precision in Sleep Party People‘s songs. They’re almost too cosy, too delightful and sweet to be true – some kind of unseen dread is lurking out of sight, out of earshot, but not out of mind. Perhaps it’s Manflu. It’s beautiful terror, whatever it may be. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Dave Osbourn PLUS! The Apocalypse Cometh!

>Why is it that at the exact point that you think that things are calming down, in reality – the reality that you can’t see or feel or taste until it’s poking you in the ribs and sneering – it’s the exact opposite and suddenly you have a bazillion new things on your plate? Thanks, life. Thanks also to Today’s New Band, who, usefully, provided an equally sudden calm today.

Dave Osbourn is Today’s New Band. Dave Osbourn might not even be a band, using friends and acquaintances to pad out his sound. Either way, Dave Osbourn doesn’t have the usual name you’d associate with gentle, electronic-y, folk-y hybrid music. I suppose I expected something more… post-apocalyptic, which is a moderately stupid thing to say, but is an adequate indicator of my mindset, and much more importantly, of the softly troubling music Dave makes.

Imagine the world ended in a nuclear catastrophe, and you were lucky enough to survive, and in the new wilderness you found a radio and scrolled through the dial. Dave Osbourne’s music would be tucked away in the hiss. And you’d feel at ease with everything. Night Time Chances is a bitty, bare, mournful song that only just lifts itself off the floor, but with grace.

In his songs are one or two sounds that are just too quiet to be fully recognised, and the effect is slightly disarming. Right By, a song that almost reaches the dizzy heights of ‘happy’, but not quite, is full of echoing knocking sounds and faint washes of noise to spread warmth and confusion.

He says his songs are meant to be reassuring. They are. Self-intervene and soothe by listening to his songs here!

Coming Tomorrow: we’re all thrilled to welcome new writer Jamie into the ANBAD ‘fold’. His first post will be tomorrow and will not only delight, but inform, it says here. So come, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, tomorrow for his first dalliance with A New Band A Day!

Oh, and apologies for those of you that have been using Internet Explorer and wondering why the homepage has been so mangled. We’re confused too. I’m working on it RIGHT NOW!

In the meantime, try the ANBAD eBOOK for happy memories of when ANBAD worked properly!

>Today’s New Band – Kaiton

>I started a Spanish class yesterday. I already knew a bit of Spanish, or so I thought. This is what I learnt:

  1. That the word for ‘handcuffs’ in Spanish is the same as the word for ‘wife’
  2. The word to describe a cute child is the same as ‘monkey’
  3. That I knew how to ask whether a hotel has a room for two people, for three nights, (preferably with a bathroom), but was stumped when I had to explain what my age and name is.

This minor idiotic trait of my brain – to forget the basics and cling onto the less useful – is actually probably shared by many of you reading this. You want to listen to something new, flighty and inventive that might be either great or awful, not just to plump for the safe dirge of the new Oasis album. This is the musical equivalent of my brain’s linguistic forgetfulness.

This all probably makes Today’s New Band, Kaiton, Spanish for “I need you to to discombobulate my goat”, though the music itself isn’t quite that leftfield. Tingle pulses with the electronic bleeps you’d expect to hear in the monitoring room of a nuclear power plant, all the while building into a driving, wide-open song. Field Study 24 slides slowly by like a big container boat, and making similarly oceanic, large ‘n’ quiet noises.

Kaiton‘s music is exploratory, pushing outwards, here and there, and finding new alleyways to creep down. To call electronic music ‘organic’ is both a cliché and disingenuous, but it kind of fits with Kaiton. Music to watch time-lapse films of plants growing to. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – rs-232

>Electronic music often sounds soulless. Even though bands like Orbital managed to infuse something nearing humanity or nature into their music, the methods for producing electronic music ensure that its very nature is that of robotic precision. This isn’t to say humanity or soulfulness is necessary in music, just that, as music is an output for expression, it’s often tough to convey the feeling that fingers, thumbs and emotion have been involved in its creation.

Today’s New Band, rs-232, is ice-cold and precise. There doesn’t seem to be room for emotion or feeling in the music, but that’s a good thing, as it would seem wildly out of place in music this clean. This is what music made by robots would sound like. Precise, concise, calculated, metallic and shimmering. Song Ping manages to bounce, jitter and, yes, ping, but with a subtle funkiness, if that isn’t oxymoron-tastic.

However, it’s not funk that you’d want to leap up and frug to – this isn’t dancing music. What it does do is drag your mind away from wherever you are – you’ll soon be wandering around rigid and unknown corridors in your mind. Pending Authorisation is creepy, sparse and stark, with quiet clicks, pulse-like beats and chilly metallic sweeps.

rs-232 ‘s tunes may well turn out to be a sonic computer experiment. I half hope so. Listen to it all here, and try not to picture T-1000 from Terminator creeping up behind you as you listen.

>Today’s New Band – Haruki

>We fool ourselves into thinking that weekends are there for relaxation, but like most people, I just end up trying to fit way too much in two days. And so here we are again, straight back into another week, here at A New Band A Day. Mondays are usually characterised by that awful turbulence of re-entry back into reality, and this week, as always, is no different. Something soothing and trouble-free would sit quite nicely on top of my frame of mind right now, squashing down those troubling “Why aren’t weekends five days long and a working week two?” thoughts.

So it was with minor joy when I played Today’s New Band, Haruki’s, music as I sat at my computer today. Haruki are Belgian, but don’t fall into the trap of holding that against them – remember that, for all its dull-as-ditchwater stereotyping, Belgium is the home of the mighty Deus, Soulwax and 2ManyDJ’s. Haruki sound like, well, Zen, maaaaan. Imagine if wind chimes were a pleasant wash of orchestrated noise, and not the sound of randomised hippy awfulness, and you’ll have a rough idea of what to expect.

It’s not all tinkly twee-ness though. Tiny Movements is just that – a series of lovely, minimal bleeps, as if water drops were falling onto a very tiny piano. And whilst In the Garden is the yummy, plucked, acoustic instrumental that you could happily snooze to, I Had it All Planned Out is almost Godspeed! You Black Emperor-like in its grumpy menace.

Haruki, then are most like the sound a lovely summery meadow would make if it learnt how to play happy instruments. Calmness will descend as soon as you listen. And if that isn’t a good deal, I don’t know what is. It’s Monday, and you owe it to yourself to listen here, and adopt the lotus position, quick-quick.

>Today’s New Band – Bleak Black Branches

>You’ve had a busy weekend haven’t you? I know you have. All weekends are busy. You head home after a week at work, intent of some R&R, and then remember that you have to do all the jobs you’ve spent a week ignoring. Then Monday comes around again and exhaustion saps the life out of your body before the grind has even started. Such is life.

So if that’s left you in the mood to reach for the bleach and Ribena for easy mixin’, you’ll love* today’s new band, Bleak Black Branches, who, by the sound of their chosen name, don’t spend their pocket money on fizzy sweets and Hello Kitty merchandise. Whatever their state of mind – and there’s no saying that an absence of E-numbers and mentalist Japanese toys is the sign of a sound intellect – the music they produce is perfect if you need calming on a nerve-jangling Monday morning. In fact, it might even be the sound for Monday night-time too, as If Tired Sleep is the humming, gurgling sound of the blood slurping around your ears as you fall asleep. Circular Cause and Consequence is, comparatively, frighteningly upbeat – circular, looping and organic.

The songs mostly fade in, drift by and seep out of your mind again a few minutes later. It’s all a bit 1977-David-Bowie-Brian-Eno-side-two-of-Low, introspective, cold and yet warm. This is a good thing. Listen to Bleak Black Branches at their MySpace page here. Excitingly, all the songs are available to download from here.

*”be condemned into an even tighter circle of introspection by”