Clocks, Alexandria Quartet, The Specimen, Montag - MySpace Monthly: June
With summer holidays fast approaching and people jetting off to places where it doesn't rain incessantly in June, MySpace has been an infrequent destination for many people. For one thing, its overly commercial and touristy demeanour is becoming off-putting. For another, there are 3,037 new bands added to MySpace every other minute. Or something like that anyway. For that reason, our intrepid writers, like Expedia or Thomas Cook, tell you the best places to go on your summer travels through the MySpace jungle.
Another diamond from Canada is our first discovery for this month. Combining layers of sparkling electronic beats and beeps with gentle vocal harmonies, Vancouver-based musician Montag (Antoine Bèdard) has discovered the secret to electro pop to fall in love with. The multitude of sounds used are woven around one another with a careful touch that allows each to flourish so that the melodies sweep you along. Latest album Going Places includes collaborations with friends such as Owen Pallett, Au Revoir Simone and Stars' Amy Millan. The result radiates optimistic warmth and a brightness perfect for summer.
For something a little closer to home, try Clocks, hailing from sleepy Epsom, and seeking to revive '60s-infused passionate songs about everyday life. With a nod to Yeti and a small glance towards the La's, shrilled guitars, big harmonies and incredibly catchy sing along choruses, the band have huge potential to become regulars on your radio. The quartet played the Orange Tent at Glastonbury this year and are currently in the process of recording their first album with Eliot James (he of Bloc Party, Fields and Little Man Tate). Hear the brilliant single 'That Much Better' (Hungry Kid Records) which was released in August 2006, and three further demos at Clocks' MySpace.
In the capital, the regally titled Alexandria Quartet request to direct your attention toward their violin-aided, minor chord tapestries that snarl and swell in equal measure. With groundings in a gritty image of Samuel Pepys' London, this Quartet promise no light relief in their sombre but hypnotic music that echoes a hoarse, evocative Bob Dylan in full flight.
Our last recommended destination this month is one-man project
The Specimen. Aka Matt Gorney, his dancey blend of new wave and Britpop is certainly something you'll want to inspect. A warning on his MySpace profile reads: “This is not art-rock. This is not emo-rock. This is not electro-clash. This is not just a dance rock hybrid or future punk pop. This is The Specimen plain and simple.” So here's what it does sound like: the cacophony of sounds created when two locomotives, one driven by Of Montreal, the other by Mystery Jets, crash head on. A velvet voice and fuck-all attitude tie it all together quite nicely.
The hot spots in June's MySpace Monthly were located located located by Louise Evans, Matt Churchill, L.A Bryan and Tim Miller.