We'll be at SXSW the week of 10/03/14, so if it's more quiet than usual here, that's why! Check out our
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 7th March 2014 at 6:00 pm
It’s been a long week, and it’s time for something fun. What could be more bonkers than Franz Ferdinand‘s Nick McCarthy dressing up like a woman with a fur hat and lipstick cavorting around Bavaria? (I did a double take: was that really the same guitarist I met last October?) You just have to watch the hilarious video for ‘Erdbeer Mund’. You can thank us later.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 6th March 2014 at 6:00 pm
Summer Camp‘s new video for ‘Crazy’ is just as advertised. See what we mean by watching it below. The song features on the band’s self-titled second album released in the autumn of last year, out now on Moshi Moshi.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 5th March 2014 at 6:00 pm
Manchester’s The Kill Van Kulls have revealed their new video for ‘Wishing’, which is prefaced with the knowledge that they self-recorded this and have never acted before. But that doesn’t really matter for a rock band though as long as the music’s good, yeah? (Well, I guess if you get claustrophobic and don’t like Mancunian in close quarters, this might make you anxious…) Watch it below.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 4th March 2014 at 6:00 pm
Ahead of their appearances in Austin next week for SXSW 2014, CYMBALS have a brand new video out for ‘Erosion’, featured on their latest album on Tough Love Records, ‘The Age of Fracture’. (Carrie reviewed it here.) A spinning skull, waving blades of grass, computerised pastoral scenes, robotic dogs and cats – it’s all here. Watch the video below.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 4th March 2014 at 12:00 pm
Here in America, we don’t have the BBC. If you switch on your radio here in Washington, most of what you are going to get on the corporate-owned radio stations are same old top 40 mainstream hits every hour. Thanks to the internet, music fans young and old have the opportunity to learn about bands far beyond just what mainstream radio is telling us what we should like, and I think that’s amazing. It’s very important to me that TGTF brings attention to great new music and bands to people of all ages, but probably the most important to educate about good music are the kids. They are the key to music’s enduring future. Without them, we’re destined to a future of major label manufactured Mileys and One Directions, with indie music unsupported and underfunded, dwindling away. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I come from a very large family (you should see the size of our Thanksgiving get togethers), and one of our most avid readers is my cousin’s daughter. She’s a junior in high school here in the DC area, and because she’s been very interested in what we do at TGTF, I’ve been bringing her to shows with me, and she’s been so eager to learn about new music. I was thinking about her when I started thinking about how I was going to write this Bands to Watch, as the kids in the band in question are around Kara’s age. They might be young, but the more important thing is that they’ve got heart. And from what I’ve heard from them, they’re pretty damn talented too.
The Busker’s Sons are a young rock group from Macclesfield, the town generally most famous as being the birthplace of Ian Curtis and Peter Crouch, though our John thinks of it more recently as the place that birthed the Virginmarys. I used the word “young”, as they’re all in college now, and they only just formed last summer, having met each other in high school, though three of them – singer Alex Briscoe, guitarist Harry Gold and drummer Micah Whadcock – had played in another band before this one.
I hope this doesn’t result in a tidal wave of Tweets in my direction – but it probably will, now that I’ve opened my big mouth – but I found the five-man strong group on Twitter and did some investigating, which led me to their Soundcloud. (Note to new bands: if you aren’t already on Soundcloud and you aren’t using it to your advantage, you’ve lost the plot.) Earlier this year, the band self-released an album, ‘Northern Ignorance’; if I had no idea how old these guys were or where they were from, I’d assume they were 1) older and 2) already signed. Why do I say this? I’ve seen some pretty bad opening bands in my time as a music editor, bands that can’t figure out how to write a proper melody and/or write lyrics that mean something and aren’t just words thrown together without much thought; I’m stood there in front of the stage, wishing I was somewhere else. But somehow The Busker’s Sons have already figured this all out – and winningly – well before they’re even legally allowed to drink. I’m imagining this is same kind of epiphany Martin had discovering The Orielles.
It can be hard to find videos of a new band. When I went looking on YouTube for one of the Busker’s Sons, I found this surprising gem filmed in what I’m sure is some bandmate’s bedroom. Very rarely can us music writers see the evolution of a song from an earlier stage to the recorded version, but you can with ‘Disguise’ by watching the video below, followed by streaming to the album version from the band’s Soundcloud. The track appears on the album but was an earlier song released previously on an EP. It’s good. It’s really good. It got stuck in my head after the second listen.
The ‘Northern Ignorance’ album showcases a variety of styles, which signals to me the band haven’t settled on exactly what direction the Busker’s Sons plan to go in. ‘Bury Your Head in the Sand’ displays a harder edge, with Briscoe channeling Alex Turner and Ian Brown, and the stomping rhythm of ‘Mose’ further proves they could be a rock band versus a pop one. The sweet melody of ‘Over My Shoulder’ will make you think early Beatles, while the guitars of ‘Magazines’, another album standout, morph from the those of early frantic Two Door Cinema Club or Hot Club de Paris into those of the Libertines, then back again. The LP also features two covers, the Beatles’ ‘Come Together’ and Editors‘ ‘Munich’, both of which benefit from Briscoe’s higher register, with the former sounding more comfortably bluesy than the Fabs’ original, if that’s possible.
‘Northern Ignorance’? Hardly. While the band cite their local heroes Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Smiths and Joy Division as major influences, they don’t sound like they’re copying any of them. If they can keep on writing gems like these, The Busker’s Sons have a good chance of making a name for themselves and maybe one day, we’ll be writing about them, just like those other legendary bands from Manchester.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 3rd March 2014 at 6:30 pm
Electro soul act Jungle will for sure be wowing SXSW 2014 audiences next week, and ahead of that, they have a brand new video for new single ‘Busy Earnin’. Is this a 21st century episode of Fame or what? Watch it below.
Read Martin’s Bands to Watch feature on Jungle here.