There’s some bands you just love their sound so much you eat up anything they put out. You want me to check out a band tell me they sound like a) RHCP b) Conor Oberst or c) Vampire Weekend. Let’s just say, Hertfordshire’s Declan Mckenna does a very good Ezra Koenig.
He hit the biggest festivals last summer, is touring his ass off early 2016 supporting Lison, Mystery Jets and the Foals as well as headline gigs in London and Paris ready for when he becomes unignorable later in the year.
Alright, forget Christmas, it’s over! It’s back to the gym, it’s back to work, right?
Wrong! There’s still plenty of food, work can wait but great new music can’t and while it’s fine to keep eating in the name of Mr. Christmas we’re all done with the associated music.
If you liked the last band I posted, Halsey or Paramore or just female fronted rock bands in general you’ll welcome this Lowell trio like the person you were suddenly drinking with last week like long lost friends, that you don’t remember ever being introduced to.
Halsey– New Americana
I mean, songs that reference other artists tend to be a little cheap because you might just like the song because it makes you think of someone you actually do like. But she tags Nirvana and Biggie Smalls which seems scattergun, borderline cynical. Same when people mention like James Dean or California or whatever as it’s just taking advantage of positive neuro-associations that the singer has no right to piggy back on. Just my take on it anyway.
She’s got a great voice but she’s heading for pop and sure the lilt is delibs for the hook but it does sound nice which is all you need sometimes.
Boy on Guitar– Things get Better
I read an interview around 10 years ago in which Ben Gibbard said he hoped to write a song that flowed as well as “Float On” by Modest Mouse. I probably didn’t think about that review again until I heard this song.
The guitar is light and rhythmic in the mould of Josh Jones’ Evangelicals and the vocals from Genesis Jennings soft and vulnerable without being twee. Just gorgeous to listen to over and over again.
I heard this first on the indie rock playlist, as ever the ultimate resource for the best music that isn’t Taylor Swift or whatever the devil you listen to these days.
I love a good mystery and Reddit always comes up with some good ones. Lately I’ve become obsessed by people hearing amazing songs in grocery stores that seemingly don’t exist elsewhere in the world.
This is the future. The same future that gave us unreleased J.D. Salinger works in torrent form, the one with the terrabytes of top secret information made available through security hacks and freedom of information requests, as well as the personal celebrity photos of course. With that in mind I find it interesting when something isn’t available on the internet when there is a demand for it as well as many people putting a concerted effort into finding it.
And still Carnival of Light sits in Paul McCartney’s drawer..
So a few years ago someone heard a song with the lyric “Little Fly” being sung by a guy with an Anthony Kiedisesque delivery in Walgreens, it supposedly didn’t exist beyond the outer limits of that store’s PA system.
Long story short, they made the guy who wrote it re-record it and release it and here it is-
Brian Irwin– Little Fly
And so it seems stores are avoiding the Taylor Swift copyright fees by spreading the word of local artists. That sounds like a great idea but what happens when you can’t find a song?! Like this guy.
I’m great at finding obscure and impossible to find music and yet I’m getting nothing more than anyone else who is trying is. It sounds like a great track but as with this guy the other day, the dream of a great song can be better than the reality.
shh bby is ok.
When a video’s got 28 million views on YT it’s gotta be some OK Go choreographed one take viral shit but having checked out this Canadian 19 year old’s debut single “Here” I gotta say it’s purely on the merit of it being a unique and highly appreciatable track with an effortless and idiosyncratic vocal delivery and delightfully fresh and relatable lyricism.
She’s just been nominated for that BBC sound of 2016 thing so check her out before she gets too hot
So I better get this out there right now because it’s going to come up with a lot of the bands I saw a decade ago were featured on a popular teen drama known as The O.C.
My GOD was into that show. I tried my best to be Seth Cohen, started skating, dressing like him and named my cat after him. We were all young and impressionable once, I just like to take things to another level.
Now Jem is one of the more poppy artists that were on the show and so this was a fork in the road for me, was I really the kind of guy who goes to pop shows? The answer thankfully was no, the nearest I got in the next 10 years was a misguided segue to a Ting Tings all ages show.
I’d obviously been to an amazing gig a couple of weeks before and was pumped to go to another, this was a much different scene however.
I’d ordered a Tesco delivery for this evening so I was forced to talk to my housemate and get him to receive it for me. I mean, this gig was a while ago I need to really grasp onto any memory I can.
So I was a member of the Jem music forum, one of those old ones that anyone could make. Shoutout to Taf, Gemma and BBOFH whereever you may be!
Those old forums were a weird time. Bizarre.
Anyway, I now knew what a support act was so I could check out what a Mattafix was before the show! Turns out they are a reggae fused indie band who had a song so good that I still listen to it all this time later…
Big City Life
I certainly during that half an hour felt that often a support band might just have one song that people will know and they’ll be waiting for that impatiently before they’re unceremoniously told to bugger off so the main act can come on.
It’s worth mentioning that Mattafix were actually about more than just one good song, they had three. To & Fro and Gangster Blues are also worth a listen. Otherwise don’t get too excited…
My views on support bands changed soon after, very soon after and forever but back to the present… the present being 2005…
Jem released an engrossing debut album in 2004 with original and innovative work that I was interested to see how it would be performed live. Unfortunately it turned out it was via a DJ, something I very rarely saw in the hundreds of ensuing gigs. I met the DJ and band after the show as I still thought that was what you did, it was a sad day once I realised this wasn’t always the case.
I must say that the gig was so close to the record that it confused me as a green-horned gig goer. I mean I’d heard the whole point of live music was experiencing something you couldn’t at home.
The gig was fine but certainly missed the spark of a raucous crowd and the punk ethos of non-mainstream artists but the venue was fascinating, acoustically it was perfect for its intended purpose and it was carpeted which I certainly didn’t see much of as time went by.
Another staple of my gig going life was not bothering to work out what I was doing after the gig so I was stuck wandering around until the first train back to Bournemouth at 6am and let me tell you, Bournemouth is way further away from Portsmouth than you’d think like I literally thought they were walking distance. Haha I had no idea of geography even of England but going to so many cities to see bands changed all that.
I also learned the beauty of hotel rooms, in fact the following year I stayed in a hotel right across the road from the same venue but I had no idea about any of that back then.
She released another album 4 years later which did fine but I’ve never listened to, my taste had changed significantly by that point. Apparently she’s working on a new album right now too, if you’re interested.
Typical setlist from that era: