The Affair, Olympus Mons, The Parlotones, The Bobby Mcgees, Heat From A Dead Star - NOW HEAR THIS!
Welcome to NOW HEAR THIS! The first in a regular feature that aims to root out the best in new, emerging and under appreciated talent both online and offline. Ok, so it's essentially a re-imagining of previous monthly GIITTV column "Myspace Monthly," broken free of the shackles of only utilising Murdoch's social networking platform. These are new tunes from up and coming acts that we think are worthy of more than a few moments of your precious time. So turn off corporate FM for ten minutes and let these little beauties delight and challenge your lugholes. NOW HEAR THESE!
First up our intrepid American unsigned Sub ED Emily Tarrantella tells us about an exciting new female fronted group:
Welcome to the next wave of feminism. The fun kind of feminism. The kind with high heels and guitars. Today we've got the Long Blondes, Gossip, Howling Bells, CSS, and legions of upcoming young ladies with more spine and spunk than any of their male counterparts. Number one on my list for the next big thing to make boys cry is The Affair.
The Affair aren't a girl-group so to speak. They're a group with a girl, and what a girl - Kali Holloway, lead singer, has a voice that could make Beth Ditto curl up into a little ball. She's a mixture of Blondie and Ronnie Spector, with her own modern style. I love everything about the Affair. I love their sexy, bawdy lyrics (see “The Chase” or “Jailbait Date”). I love their flashy guitars, prominently displayed on every track.
Most of all I love the sheer ballsy bravura of this band - constantly confident, almost-overconfident, the Affair aren't like any other girl-group. Pick up debut Yes Yes to You and say Yes Yes to The Affair.
Our London based scribe Angus Reid has been busy sorting through the best and worst of the underground in the UK and picked out a gem:
Olympus Mons are one of those interesting bands that combine things that shouldn't necessarily work, and pull it off. Imagine, if you will, Kele from Bloc Party fronting the first Mars Volta album, then bend some chords around a bit for a little woozy charm and throw in a fair portion of indie as well. In what could be viewed as a personality crisis in the wrong hands, Olympus Mons manage to swing deftly from Kooks-esque sing-a-longs to frantic guitar and drum workouts that would have all but the most ardent music fans jaws dropping. Your mileage may vary depending on your tolerance for boppy indie, but when they hit their stride, it's remarkable.
Matt Churchill has been keeping his ear to the ground and presents two acts that he thinks will enter people's subconciousness in the next year or three:
An Anglo-European trio, Puggy are gathering a large live following, excited by their astonishing gigs and cleverly written music which enraptures anyone fortunate enough to hear it. With an album already in the bag, the group are preparing an assault on the big time, discussing deals with several interested majors.
Sharp and cutting, their songs are fragments of so-far unheard genius which as a whole combine to become something quite spectacular, particularly when given a stage to perform on. With energy in abundance and an over-flowing capacity to write catchy songs, Puggy could very well be onto something very, VERY interesting indeed.
With a string of Number 1's in their native South Africa, this irresistible quartet are about to hit the big time. The foursome write brilliantly catchy tracks that are perfect for that wonderful golden glow of a festival at sunset.
The band are traditionally influenced; Radiohead, The Smiths and Travis have all contributed to the development of their sound, which, bizarrely, is as positive as you can get with two guitars, bass and drums. Fast paced melodic indie-types, the Parlotones are ones to watch in 2008.
Finally GIITTV chief Bill Cummings throws two sonic curveballs in your direction:
The Bobby Mcgees
“Oi you!!!” “Oi you ovaar there!!!” my first encounter with Jimmy McGee and he could be mistaken for a Glaswegian drunk hollering from a stage in Cardiff's SWN festival in mock anger. A Scottish glitter donning bearded seadog, a miniature ukulele wielding Billy Connolly with a glint of danger in his eyes, then there's glamorous Brightonian lady Eleanor McGee with her high heels and higher notes and Graeme McGee on double bass. Together they make up the Bobby McGees, a band who eschew lazy boundaries like “twee” and “anti folk”, like a couple who are one moment kissing the next pulling kitchen knives on each other. With earthy black humour, both uproarious and tuneful, these delightfully pretty / sinister waltz's rape and pillage the work of the Moldy Peaches or The Pogues. If John Peel was still around the McGees would be playlisted every single night. You could get their stripped back EP “S'amuser com des fous” out on ace label (who send you penny sweets) Cherryade late last year, but to truly “get it” you simply MUST see them live - you'll never laugh so hard or sway so daintily to songs about Jar Jar Binks, Danny Baker and Audrey Tatou. Twisted genius.
Heat From A Dead Star
Heat From A Dead Star are three French men who now reside in London producing a illuminating brand of post-rock/alternative whatever, it's just "a bit good rock.” Take a song like “Elusive Ways,” built like a big fuck off tank: 65days style bass and spooky guitars morph into the sound of crying monsters, and twisty time signatures barrage their way through brick walls, briefly reminding me of the missing in action My Vitriol. They ain't no one trick ponies either, the dead chamber strum of Lighthouse inhabited by ghostly vocals or winding down dark forests brings to mind My Bloody Valentine or the ethereality of early Mogwai. Currently holed up in Steve Albini's studio in Chicago, HFADS are potentially stratospheric.
Standby for more picks next month, if you have a tip, or a band you think we simply must hear, then send them our way to firstname.lastname@example.org