Princeton, Darwin Deez, Fool’s Gold, Drums, Surfer Blood - Rhian Daly's Tip Tape for 2010
Rhian Daly 15/02/2010
If 2009 was all about women, then 2010 is the year of our brothers (and sisters, obvs) from across the Atlantic. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are videos from 10 of the bands I'm going to spend the next 12 months salivating over, from the garage rock fury of the Soft Pack to the mind-bending synthpop of Neon Indian. They're all American and they're all absolutely blimmin' aces. If these don't make your heart beat even the tiniest bit faster, you might as well give up now.
Princeton - Shout It Out
Oh, Princeton. They had me from the baroque string intro to Calypso Gold, no effort required. Then the track morphs into some sweet, shimmering pop beauty and that was definitely it. You can listen to the whole of their album Cocoon of Love on their myspace (myspace.com/princetonmusic), of which Shout It Out is one of the stand out tracks on an entirely gorgeous, swooning record that will hopefully be released on these shores soon. Until then, totally buy Calypso Gold from ace new 7” label Jodie & Victor.
Darwin Deez - Constellations
Darwin Deez is, for all intents and purposes, essentially a Brooklyn hispter writing songs in the same kind of vein as the Strokes but with less nonchalantly cool posturing and more 'aw'-factor. Constellations will probably feature on his forthcoming debut album, due out in April around which time he'll also be touring the UK and Europe, where you'll also be able to check out his claim that he can “dance pretty good” and covet his fantastic range of sweaters.
Fool's Gold - Surprise Hotel
Everyone is aware of Fool's Gold by now, right? The 11-strong afrobeat-influenced Californians who tend to prefer singing in Hebrew than English. It could all be a bit overwhelmingly alien but somehow (probably down to the fact every song on the album is killer good) it works.
The Drums - I Felt Stupid
The new most-hated band in the whole of the indie community? Quite possibly. Why? 'Cos they're four sexy-as-hell boys who're seemingly obsessed with 50s American teen culture and try to emanate that at every possible opportunity. On stage, singer Jonathan Pierce dances flamboyantly and guitarist Jacob Graham spends more time jumping around with a tambourine than actually playing guitar. Yes, they're slightly pretentious and yes, they don't exactly fit with the die-hard indie ethics of authenticity and keeping it real but put all that aside and take just one listen to the Summertime! EP, rife with lush 50s pop melodies and irresistible choruses. They seem to have perfected the art of writing euphoric songs that actually deal with less jubilant emotions, as well as that of mock fighting in videos. As their myspace url says, The Drums forever.
Surfer Blood - Floating Vibes
Surf-grunge Floridians Surfer Blood(pictured above) were one of the standout bands at last year's CMJ conference in New York and have been gaining momentum ever since. Their debut album Astro Coast is already one of 2010's most anticipated releases, and for good reason - namely super tunes like Floating Vibes and Twin Peaks.
Avi Buffalo - What's In It For?
I'm not going to lie - I know barely anything about Avi Buffalo. That voice is pretty fascinating, though, right? And check out a song on their myspace called Summer Cum, which literally includes the lyric “I got lost in your summer cum.” Actually beautiful.
Sunshower Orphans - Strawberry Shortcake Derelict/Nobody's Sorry
“Sunshower Orphans are a couple of lowlifes born and raised in the same godforsaken stretch of earth as The Ramones and Kevin Shields, and are at least twice as good as either,” comes the bold claim from the New York group's myspace page. Tempting though it is to agree with them, they're not quite as amazing as they suggest although they do do a mean line in dreamy lo-fi pop that might not have the aforementioned My Bloody Valentine main man worried but should definitely get him interested.
The Soft Pack - Answer to Yourself
Tipped by most last year, it didn't really work out for the San Diego-based Soft Pack. 30 people at most watched their storming set at Glastonbury, in a tent that was rammed half an hour before they came on for Just Jack. They've finally finished their debut eponymous album though and with it in the bag, 2010 should fare much better for them. Full of garage rock fury delivered in a couldn't-care-less manner, it's a definite early contender for album of the year. Lead single Answer to Yourself is particularly great, as shown in the sneering performance below.
Perfume Genius - You Won't B Here
'Discovered' by Los Campesinos!, Perfume Genius is one boy from Seattle who makes beautifully ethereal, disarming gems that are also the most gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking songs made this century. No word of a lie.
Neon Indian - Terminally Chill
Some kids on Youtube seem to think Neon Indian might be an MGMT side project. They are wrong. The mind-bending work of Alan Palomo, Neon Indian is far more out-there than anything Andrew Van WynGarden and Ben Goldwasser have come up with thus far. Like 80s glam rock without the pomp meets 21st century synth-pop.