What does it take to make your band a success in the music industry? Good music? A charismatic frontman? Good looks? An obvious single? Well, yes, all of these will help, but the labels are also looking for this element they refer to as ‘traction’, before they indulge in you. This golden factor is harder for musicians to design, and is what the likes of Simon Cowell are ultimately masters of for their artists. Transfer first appeared in 2009, self-recording and self-releasing their debut UK album, Future Selves, but due to a lack of impact first time around they’ve decided to re-group and set about re-launching the album for a second time this September (19th), as if it’s brand new.
Lessons have obviously been learned from the first outing and over the last year they’ve gained plenty of new traction which has lead to them earning signatures with the Cool Green Recordings label. The first bit of useful grip was through a key set of support slots to more established artists. They’ve supported the likes of White Lies and Brandon Flowers over the last few months, which is no surprise as you can hear a similarity, particularly with the latter, which is most evidenced with their excellent tune, Losing Composure. Packed within it is the same romantic indie feel as The Killers whirlwind songs, although Matthew Molarius’ vocals are more akin to the likes of Alexander Ebert.
The second piece of traction has been through the video for the their next UK single, Take Your Medicine, which should see a release on October 3rd, soon after the album. The video is a serious effort – how often do you see over a minute’s worth of film credits at the end of a music video? – deservedly picking up several awards. It was created by Radium / Real FX and directed by Nader Hussaini. They’ve perfectly channelled the weird and wonderful elements of the band, with a batch of sublime, dark animations. You won’t see a more impressive video all year.
Their music is very rich and theatrical, with several influences, giving it a variety of different faces from the pop, indie, psychedelic and rock genres. Like A Funeral is like a missing Simon & Garfunkel ballad, whist White Horse and Sinking Sailing has a set of layered vocals reminiscent of Pink Floyd, which hover over some traditional Black Sabbath-esque rock themes. The tune Wake To Sleep is brave and bold, like a Flaming Lips piece of drama, with added strings and horns. All of these tracks show off their ability to make a big noise whilst sticking to an obvious melody, making theatrical tunes that are grand in design, but accessible to all.
The San Diego quartet take their new album on tour throughout Europe in November, although we may have to wait a little longer before we see a return to the UK. Apparently the live set is equal to their sizeable anthemic sound, so hopefully our wait won’t be too long. Only time will tell if this new label-backed second attempt at a career launch will see them succeed beyond the boundaries of their home city, but with their recent gigs and incredible videos they finally seem to be delivering a more complete package alongside their enjoyable songs. (MB)
TRANSFER – LOSING COMPOSURE
TRANSFER – LIKE A FUNERAL