Friday, 6 February 2009

Sound of 2009

I had written half of a 'Sound of 2009' article for your reading pleasure but I just deleted it without completing it. Why? Er, it's February?! Yeah. That would be going against all industry rules. I mean, come on guys - tipping new bands when it's not January? Like we're going to do that...
Actually, the real reason I scrapped it wasn't because I want to fit with mass media's limitations but rather that at the back end of last year I swore to myself I would never write a 'Sound of [insert year here]' piece. As you might have gathered, I do not agree with the idea that you need the start of a new year to be bringing new groups/music to the attention of the general public. No, I'd rather just be able to tell you about things that excite me as and when, rather than saving it til next January and then hyping them beyond belief, to the point where no one actually wants to listen to them anyway because you're fed up of all the superlatives and hyperbole.
Instead (and to save myself from writing a 1000 word rant on mainstream media and their ridiculous business ideals), we're going to list some bands we think you should listen to. We don't think they'll shape the sound of 09 (hey, they might but we like to think they'll be important past then), we won't call them THE BEST THING EVAH!!!11 and then pretend we never liked them a couple of months down the road and we sure as hell won't be writing about Little Boots or Florence & the Machine. Some are new, some are old. Get over it, kids.
Peruse, listen, fall in love. Do what the hell you want. As follows are Rent a Groupie's current objects of affection:

Your Twenties
- if you're ever invited to my room a) you should feel fucking honoured and b) expect to hear the three YT songs I own, a million times over. They sing songs about Annie from Elastica and make videos that make me feel sick. There's a photo of their single on myspace with a cat. A CAT. Plus, they're playing a warehouse in Whitechapel next week. Get yo'selves down.

La Shark - New X's finest macabre cabaret assaillants. How Patrick Wolf would have sounded if he went to an Arts College rather than running away to the country and killing sheep (ALLEGEDLY). East London art hipsters will think they've died and gone to heaven.

Spinnerette - at least two of RaG will scream at you until they're blue in the face about how much they love Ms Brody Dalle. There's been a hole in our lives since the Distillers split so it is with much jubilation that we can recommend her new band, Spinnerette. Hurrah! Slicker and not quite as brash but still with the raw energy and attitude that made us fall in love with the Dalle in the first place. Consider us excited.

Official Secrets Act - our new favourite pretenders to the Smiths' throne. We've just heard that drummer Alex has been in a road accident so here's hoping to a swift recovery on his part. In the meantime, we're getting very excited about the release of their debut album 'Understanding Electricity' - we've heard it, it's ace. Now we can't wait for you to hear it too. They're currently supporting the Rakes on a short tour of the UK, which brings us nicely on to...

The Rakes! - it feels like 2004 never went away. Which could be a good or bad thing, but is definitely good when you consider it means we can pretend the Rakes' second album never happened. Ok, ok, so it's not that bad, but it was missing that certain je ne sais quois that was so apparent on 'Capture/Release'. It was with fingers crossed and hearts in our mouths that we first allowed ourselves to listen to new single '1989', so thank fuck it was good else we'd all have choked to death by now. Things we like about said single: 1) the chorus the first time round is entirely made up of "la la la la"ing 2) "punks were hanging out in the park" 3) Alan's voice, basically 4) how it sounds like it would just fit snugly on the end of 'Capture/Release' 5) 1989 is when I was born. Good choice of year, lads.

Apollo Sunshine - we spent a whole week in November watching these guys wow Ireland with their psych-pop epic wig-outs. It never got boring. Think the whole Brooklyn psychedelia scene (MGMT, Amazing Baby, Chairlift et al) but less corporate and more interesting.

Tubelord - I'm a bitch for the Kingston scene. No, seriously. I LOVE IT. If I didn't live completely the other side of London, I would be there, like, THE WHOLE TIME. Amazing. Tubelord make "pop songs for rock kids", write hilarious blogs and are generally wonderful, in an infectious "fight pop" sort of way. We heart them much.

White Birds & Lemons - if you're from New Zealand, it's probably a good idea to keep away from RaG's Irish contingent. They'll capture you in a net and then use you to act out their sexual fantasies. This is why I worry for White Birds & Lemons, should they ever be in the same room. There are other reasons why we like them, obviously. We are all about the music, after all. Hit up their myspace to hear clips of demos of their emotive melancholy rock.

Toy Horses - I did have some amaze description written out for these before I stupidly deleted everything. Fuck. Essentially, I called them the British equivalent of Bright Eyes (but with two instead of one. Value for money) and made some racist slurs about the Welsh. Sorry Welshies, I love you really.

Kieran Leonard - Singer/songwriters are pretty much two-a-penny at any moment in musical history, this decade being no exception. What’s rarer though is a visionary, someone with a gift of writing moving, thought-provoking and, above all, imaginatively poetic songs that transport you from the room where you sit to another world entirely. Kieran Leonard is one such curiosity, rising through underground communities to entertain the fortunate who are exposed to his music.

Rolo Tomassi - We heart screaming girls. Not in the Beatlemania-we're-twelve-years-old-thus-would-like-nothing-more-than-to-hold-hands-with-Paul-MacCartney sort of way, mind. More in the I'm-in-an-amazing-hardcore-band-and-am-going-to-show-these-so-called-hard-boys-how-its-should-be-done way. Eva Spence is pretty much one of our favourite female musicians right now, Lord bless 'er. I took some friends to see t'Tomassi at Camden Crawl last year and they were FUCKING SCARED, and if you can't watch a band that you know will terrify your mates, then what have you really got in life? Nothing, that's what.

Brontide - maaaaath roooooock. Hi. We don't really like much music without vocals. We're a bit into words and lyrics an'that, and can't really get to grips with things that don't have witty puns that make us laugh our faces off on the N21 after a night on the lash. What, Brontide don't have vocals? Fuck. Luckily, they make such brutal melodic goodness that we don't even actually realise until, like, the fifth listen or something. Ace stuff.

Line & a Dot - Last summer, one of RaG interviewed Line & a Dot for another site. In that interview, she said her "main goal is to make a song that somebody else can include themselves in and maybe I already have one and don’t know or maybe I’ll get one or never but I just want to be able to make something out of Line & a Dot where I’ve written this song but it isn’t so about me that you can’t run your own movie reel to it about yourself. I want to have a song that somebody can apply to their own lives, nothing to do with me, and appreciate it in that sense but I think it probably will take me a bit of time." I don't know about you, but I think 'For a Long Time' is that song.

The Maccabees - Finally, they return. Our favourite band of 2007 have finished their second album and are heading back out on the road next month, preceding that with three low-key London dates (Camden Barfly, anyone?). At Standon Calling in August they played a set laden with new songs, all of which sounded pretty killer from where I was stood. Zane Lowe's got the first play of lead single 'No Kind Words' on Monday (Feb 9th) at 7:30pm so y'know... turn on, tune in, drop out an'that.

Little Joy - Strokes' drummer blah blah blah. Ignore this minor factor of Little Joy's make-up please. Instead, concentrate on how lush LJ's music is. YUM. It's like being transported to Hawaii in the 60s - not a bad thing at all, in our book. Apparently they're on the wanted list for Glastonbury this year. Glastonbury is sold out. Someone send us some press passes please? TA xxx

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