Bands I Fell In Love With In 2013.

13 12 2013

I had a lot of bands in mind with this, but there was one person in particular I was excited to write about here with pure respect and admiration. I read this evening that this person, The Child Of Lov had died. I’m a sentimental person, and for the most part I think it probably does more harm than good. The heart is still torn over Lou Reed’s passing; that’s something I don’t think I’ll ever get my head around. Anyway, this is dedicated t0 The Child Of Lov- with love and honesty, this one is for him.

There have been so many bands and singers that truly blew my mind this year. I don’t like to listen to one style of music, I find that to be pretty dull. I’ve never enjoyed the company of anyone who just listens to one kind of music. Yes my heart is in Punk, but I’m open to all kinds of music (aside from dance, I don’t enjoy dance music.)

I’ve attempted to shorten this to 10 bands/singers that really meant something to me this year. Some I found accidentally, and some found me. You’d have to ask them if it was an accident or not.

VIRALS- I saw them live twice this year, both times supporting Crocodiles. Shaun is an excellent frontman. He doesn’t speak much to the crowd, and I like that. I’m not one for bands talking a lot to the crowd, I’m not really sure why. Virals are a brilliant band who just have this massive thrashing feel to their sound. Their sound is the harsher side of summer. The side where you’re bored with everything and you roam the streets kicking other people’s rubbish along the way as you walk somewhere. Anywhere. So long as it is away from where you are. They were an absolute joy to watch live, one of the few bands that you just couldn’t get tired of watching.

Mikey & The Drags- I adore Garage Rock. I love how for me, it has that same brutality and passion as Punk had. Mikey & The Drags captivate everything that Garage Rock means to me. Their sensual grooves and a bite to their sound that just makes them tower above the rest, they make you wish you were in a band. In my dreams I am, ha. For me, this band are enough to make anyone who doubts the current state of music a firm believer again. Their songs are short (think Ramones) and make you want to thrash your body about- into walls, into people, deep into the music. They’re a band that need to be played louder than most just so they can set your body free.

Frank’s Daughter- Reinforcing my love for duos, Frank’s Daughter are spectacular. They formed in Brooklyn over whisky and wine, so it is no surprise that they were destined to make gorgeous music. Frank’s Daughter make music that is full of nostalgia, but not wanting to hold onto the past. They make you recall certain life events with a small grin on your face- content with moving on in your life and as a person. It is like they are guiding you through, holding your hand through it all when everyone and everything else has turned its back on you.

Savage Sister- I think I first wrote about them this year? All I know is that I adore their ethereal sound that glows in bands such as Tamaryn and Beach House. Savage Sister are that band you play late at night with the lights off. It doesn’t matter what is floating around your head- they just make it alright. Their name may sound a bit aggressive but their sound is anything but. They calm the soul in ways nothing else has really come close to. Savage Sister make music that is the soundtrack to those pleasant dreams that you never want to end. You could live in your head if you want; that way the dreams will never end.

Ancient Times- One guy making his own kind of noise. Another exceptional talent on the exquisite Soft Power Records. This Brighton wonder-kid is truly making his own scene, leaving a trail of baffled yet mesmerised listeners in his path. I likened George’s vocals to Morrissey’s this year when I wrote about him. I guess this would put small-minded buffoons off him, but I’m sure there are more that are attracted to this, fortunately! His vulnerable voice is what did it for me. When you can hear every word sung with pure emotion, that’s when you know you have found something truly special. Again, I hope 2014 is just as good to him as 2013 has been. He really does deserve it.

Roses- Another band from LA that cause me to occasionally be bored with England are Roses. However, Roses have that 80s Manchester feel to their music. Romance mixed with cynicism, best way to be at times. Maybe most of the time. When I listen to them, I try to figure out why I love them, but I just can’t. I think that’s part of why I love them. Roses have something about them that just makes you want to keep on listening. They make you forget all the bands you are currently into, and you just cast all your attention over to them. Although they are from LA, they don’t posses a “typical” LA sound, and for me, I think is part of the attraction. Roses are a band I’m excited to hear more from next year and beyond.

Girl Tears- Again, another excellent band from the Westcoast that blew my mind this year. I said they sounded like the Ramones and The Cramps having it off with each other. I still stand by that. They smack you in the face with their rambunctious and infectious sound, whilst freaking you out at the same time. Some bands try to do this, but they seem to be lacking something. I don’t know what, I just write about music I love. I stay away from music I don’t like. There’s no point wasting thousands of words on something I don’t like. Girl Tears aren’t afraid to be different, and their sound is so natural and bold. They make you want to throw stuff about. Throw your limbs about if you want, just to be safe. Yeah they are brutal but in a way that isn’t too “shocking.” They’re just a loud band that are extremely talented. Easily one of my favourites this year, no doubt.

The #1s- Playing with a sense of urgency that makes the listeners ears prick up immediately, The #1s are an exceptional band who are just a joy to listen to. When you listen to them, you straight away pick up on just how exciting they must be to see live. Their songs are fast and punchy. Hit repeat so it never ends; creating new moments each time. You scream the words back them until you feel your throat is beaten and scratched. They make music that is easy to relate to- for all those everyday frustrations that you just need to pour out of yourself; The #1s do it for you in a way you wish you could. Maybe one day you will, but for now you’ve got bands like this doing it for you. But hey, one day we must stop being lazy with our emotions.

Woman’s Hour- With all the brutal sounds I seem to enjoy listening to, I must balance it out. Woman’s Hour are another exciting band on Luv Luv Luv Records (listen to Only Real- he’s exceptional too.)Woman’s Hour are an exceptionally delicate band. They are fragile with their words and sounds. They carefully craft music that can break and mend the heart. They of course, do something to the soul too. Fiona’s voice is like Jessie Ware met Sade and went into the afterlife to bring Aaliyah back to us. Everything about them is so precious, and I think it is obvious that 2014 is going to be very good to them.

The Child Of Lov-  It’s hard to write about someone who’s music really blew you away, only to find out you’ll never hear anything from them again. The Child Of Lov made music to loosen your limbs to. He had that genius quality to his music that is found in the likes of Burial, Jai Paul and Kindness. He was just a joy to listen to. It’s hard to get your head around something like this. I listen to Fly, and it’s hard to imagine that nothing like this is going to come from him again. Of course what we have is beautiful, and of course notion of what could have been does come kicking in. We’ve got the music. It may only be one record, but it was one record that truly blew my mind this year. He had an alluring mystery to his music. You were (and still are) left with a sense of wonder and thousands of questions when you listen to his music. Obviously other questions now arise, but like I said- at least we have the music. He’s at peace now, and I guess that’s something we can take comfort in.

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MIKEY & THE DRAGS.

10 06 2013

Creepy sounding Garage Rock is my favourite. Such as The Gruesomes to Scotland’s finest, The Creeping Ivies. If it creeps me out and has a Garage Rock feel to it, I’ll fall in love with it. If it doesn’t make me feel like I’m in 2013 (and what a shit time to be in) then I’ll be a loving fan for as long as time will allow me.

Mikey & The Drags are a bold yet sensual Garage Rock band that will make the most stiff-jointed person throw their limbs about in a flailing fashion; the pleading vocals and thrashing instrumentals are all played with such vigor, which places them miles in front of anyone else trying to do this style. They make music that is effortlessly rambunctious, every note is a pleasurable punch to the face. You cannot help but declare yourself as their biggest fan as soon as you’ve heard the first few seconds of Spill Your Guts. If I had any musical talent, this is the kind of music I’d want to make. Immediately influential; enough to make you wish you had some musical talent. I listen with frustration and the desire to create something. Yet all I can do is write about how fantastic Mikey & The Drags are, somehow that seems enough. For now.

They play with such power and with a purpose. They play with such bite that you cannot help but be in awe as soon as you hear them. Every time I hear music like this I wish I was a million miles away from where I am or back in a time where this style of music was everywhere. By everywhere I mean basement bars that had questionable health and safety regulations. Back to a time where music had some rawness to it; fortunately we have Mikey & The Drags to kick up a storm and are making something of worth.

A lot of bands that fall into the Garage Rock genre seem to want to play ridiculously fast, causing you to not really appreciate the music as much as you’d like. I’m all for playing as loud and as fast as you can- but Mikey & The Drags seem to have really captured the true essence of Garage Rock yet made the genre their own. Not many can do that, and if they do they sometimes get it wrong. Mikey & The Drags do it so perfectly and brilliantly.

Their songs may be short, but they have that unity feel that is seen in bands such as New York Dolls to The Vagrants. They have a gang vibe to their music. They dress exquisitely; everything just fits their sound wonderfully, which makes everything they do seem so effortless. They aren’t trying to be a certain way just to be “cool.” No one is cool, it’s a redundant phrase. Unless you’re Lou Reed, then it exists. Other than that, we’re just the disciples of him aching to be as poetic. Fortunately Mikey & The Drags have got it right. This is ferocious and fearless music as its best; much-needed and massively appreciated.

I think I need to start some kind of petition to get them to the UK or maybe someone could send me to America to see them. Either option is fine by me.

You can listen to Mikey & The Drags’ soulful and thumping sounds right here : https://soundcloud.com/mikey-20

Play as loud as you can and let your limbs be wild and free. They unleash all that’s been dormant inside of you for far too long. If anyone is going to drag out your inner beast, let it be these guys!