Browsing articles from "June, 2011"
Jun 20, 2011

Walk The Moon – “Anna Sun”

Walk The Moon may have more than a fair whiff of cheese about them – the face paint laden Cincinnati, Ohio quartet recall likes of Panic At The Disco (who they’ve actually supported), The All American Rejects and The Killers in their college-radio tailored jams, but that hasn’t prevented them from becoming one of 2011′s most talked about new bands.

It’s not hard to see why, either – one listen to the likes of ‘Anna Sun’ and ‘Lisa Baby’ will have you shaking your hips in an instant, and if you’re an AR man, the sound of a cash register ringing loudly in your head (as far as we can see, the band remain unsigned). This is indie-pop at its purest and most carefree form, that only a real scrooge would resist.

Gig wise, they’ve been a busy bunch in the last few months – an avalanche of buzz at SXSW (of course) led to debut UK appearances in May (a handful of London shows plus a slot at The Great Escape) and a recently completed tour with Grouplove back in the States. We imagine something equally high profile is in the pipeline just now.

Certainly, we haven’t heard a catchier song this year than the aforementioned ‘Anna Sun’, and its “We got no money, but we got heart” refrain is sure to strike a cord with the mp-free generation. Indeed, if Walk The Moon aren’t a household name by next year, we’ll eat the laptop this article is being typed on. Their self-released debut LP is available from their Bandcamp page for a paltry $9 USD – grab it while you still can…

MP3: Walk The Moon – Anna Sun

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Jun 11, 2011

Introducing: Merlin Wall (+ free 6 track EP)

Over the last twelve to eighteen months, we’ve seen the likes of US bands The Soft Pack, Surfer Blood, Best Coast and Cloud Nothings achieve international recognition and plaudits with their their own brand of fuzzy, lo-fi and seemingly half-arsed (but nevertheless convincing) surf pop.

It’s a genre that’s certainly en vogue, something that’s no doubt been picked up on by Chicago’s Merlin Wall, whose six track EP ‘Crushin’ From Afar’ embodies this particular musical movement with its West Coast longing, plug and play feel and effortless knack for a juicy hook. There’s also a hint of Interpol / Joy Division in their prominent bass lines (see ‘Chick Track’ and ‘Hey Babes’), which all in all makes MW a very interesting new proposition.

Of course, in today’s less is more, keep-’em-guessing environment, where posting even a rudimentary press shot is seen as placing your cards on the table too early, there’s very little information about these guys online. What we can decipher, however, is they’re playing gigs in their hometown right now, and garnering a bit of local interest. In fact, when we tipped our buddies at RethinkPopMusic off about the band, they booked them for a show at Martyrs in Chicago that very night (24 March), which made us marvel at the wonders of 21st Century communication if nothing else. As for the gig – apparently they went down well.

Whether or not they do break out of this scene remains to be seen, of course, but you can follow their progress via their Tumblr page, and (just in time for summer) download the aforementioned EP for free below. If you live in Chicago, perhaps head down to one of their shows (and let us know what it’s like).

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Jun 10, 2011

Introducing: Strangers

Brand new London three piece Strangers are still in the embryonic stages of their career, but are already gathering some healthy industry (and online blog) buzz.

Dark, synth driven eighties pop with hints of The Cure, New Order and Depeche Mode is the realm we’re in here. Nothing new, certainly, but it’s all delivered with front man David Jones’ convincing and quintessentially British vocal (which you might remember from his tenure with previous band The Departure), which stands to set them apart from the plethora of other enthusiasts of a similar era.

In line with the age of immediacy in today’s fast-moving, digitally oriented world, they’ve wasted little time in getting something out there. “EP1″ was released as a download on 21 March through their own label, and contained three original tracks which suggested Jones hasn’t lost his knack for writing melodramatic pop with big, radio-ready hooks (particularly on the regal sounding “All That I Wanted” and the club land ready “If I Found Love”).

If that wasn’t enough for us to get on with for now, “EP2″ is currently in the works and slated for a July release – its lead track the atmospheric, equally big-sounding “It Was A Sin”, currently doing the rounds online right now. There’s also a 7″ on the way, via Killing Moon. Busy times indeed.

With the band now fully formed, live shows are all go, and are sure to be announced around London and further afield in the coming weeks and months. The Strangers enterprise is off to a promising and savvy start – we’re excited to see where it goes from here.


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Jun 10, 2011

Nottee – “Don’t Waste Your Light On Me” / “Share This”

Twenty something Swede Nova Drougge, aka Nottee, has been around for a little while now. Emerging onto the blogosphere in early 2009 with two sterling, pop heavy demos (‘Control’ and ‘Young Modern Life’), she got lauded by many a music authority and even appeared on Kitsune’s Maison 8 compilation in October of that year (usually a barometer of what’s simmering right now).

A handful of London club shows took place in mid-2010, and then Nottee seemed to disappear without a trace, rather than capitalise on the steadily building buzz. We can only guess she returned to her native Gothenburg to hone her sound – the results of which are manifested on current sparkling double A-sided single “Don’t Waste Your Light On Me” / “Share This” (which came out in March through Swedish label Emotion).

Its polished, high sheen sound is certainly one for fans of current pack leader (as far as Swedish female singers go) Lykke Li, or harking a bit further back, Fleetwood Mac or Carly Simon. Indeed, Nottee has pure, dancefloor-friendly (or soothing, morning after) pop at the top of her manifesto – and with any luck, things should pick up properly sooner rather than later. We haven’t heard a great deal better in the last few years for sure.

MP3: Nottee – Control

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