2009 promised and delivered so much in the way of good music, lets hope this year can be the same.
1. EX LOVERS
Ex-Lovers are a London based band who had a good 2009. Last summer saw the release of their debut singles “Just A Silhouette” and “Photobooth” and then in September they released the EP “You Forget So Easily”. The title track was the standout but other tracks such as “New Years Day” were enough to draw them favourable comparisons to Elliott Smith and The Cure. Almighty praise indeed.
They begin this year by heading off on a few gigs this month and then starting a 3 week tour of Britain on the 20 February. I’ll be taking in the Aberdeen show. If they can start off this year as they finished the last one then 2010 could be a very big year indeed for this loveable quintet.
MP3: Ex Lovers – New Years Day
I’ve previously posted “Just A Silhouette” and “You Forget So Easily” so if you like what you hear, go download them too.
VIDEO: Ex Lovers – Photobooth
Brooklyn-ites Zaza are slowly making a name for themselves with their take on the sombre side of shoegaze. Their Cameo EP was littered with haunting sounds and glistening vocals and hazy cymbals. Never veering off far from their influences the band still manage to create a sound all of their own. If you let them they’ll take you on a musical journey.
The band are playing SXSW this March, so it won’t be long before the secrets out. Get involved.
VIDEO: ZaZa – Sooner Or Later
These guys are darker and more evil than an alleyway on Sauchiehall Street in the early hours of a damp, winter Sunday morning. The lyrics are dark, the music even darker. Swirls of feedback and threatening chords mixed with almost tribal sounding beats. Then there’s the deep and quite frankly scary voice of Gabriel Bruce. They remind of a band i fell in love with a long time ago, the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. They have the same psychobilly and gothic undertones throughout everything they do, including their dress sense. There is definitely a visual element to the band, they also have that “shock” value too and although the band themselves may deny it i feel that it isn’t intentional. I don’t think they are trying to shock (well not too hard anyway), i think that its just simply their idea of “musical and visual expression”. This dark and evil image they portray is how they feel about society and so this is how they’ll perform on stage, this is what they’ll sing about etc. I’m probably wrong but that’s just my opinion. Intended or not, the menacing look works and it certainly adds to their cult status. The music speaks for itself though and if the image they have helps them along the way then brilliant. I just hope these guys get the recognition they deserve in 2010.
Ok. so the above picture doesn’t look that menacing but that’s them being nice. If you want menacing, check the video for “Crypt Tonight” below.
VIDEO: Loverman – Crypt Tonight
These two could have stepped right out of the 80’s. I’m probably not alone in guessing that the era of New Romanticism from that decade have hugely influenced them. They have the same aching lovelorn lyrics, style and drum machines. And they’ve certainly blown the dust off of a few twenty five or so year old synthesizers. What i like most though is their ability to tell a story in a song without getting to “into” it. If that makes sense, which it probably doesn’t again. They dress slick, they sound slick and they’re destined for a big year.
Another really appealing thing about Hurts is that you can dance to them, so get yourself along to one of their shows this year and dance like it’s the 80’s. Yes, even if you missed/were too young for that era. I totally missed that scene (i was born 1985) but it won’t stop me loving and wanting to dance along to Hurts disco anthems.
5. PULLED APART BY HORSES
This is Leeds noise punk at it’s finest. Leeds has produced a lot of good music over the last few years or so. The Tupolev Ghost and The Music to name but two. Pulled Apart By Horses are the product of cult Leeds band Mother Vulpine splitting up. The members went on to form PABH and also one of last years tips, Dinosaur Pile Up. But lets focus on Pulled Apart By Horses. They are effectively a bulldozer of noise. Aggressive in output yet the melodies remain. It’s beautiful noise. A lot of times band this heavy end up losing their sense of melody, not these guys. They sometimes garner up an almost Disco feeling. They’re also a mouth watering prospect as a live act with the ability to keep a crowds attention, which in todays “scenes” can be a pretty hard thing to do.
S.I.T Wolf X