Sometimes the online hunt for new music becomes something akin to those geeks you see aimlessly wondering the beaches with metal detectors. A blogger’s trawl around the Internet looking for awesome tuneage is often a lonely, slow process, as we go ‘SoundClouding’ or ‘Bandcamping’ for hours at a time. OK, so it’s not quite as weird as metal detecting but you would imagine an afternoon on the hunt is regularly just as fruitless. So why do we do it? Why waste the time? Why sift through hours of god-awful music time and again? Well, even though there is undoubtedly lots and lots of rubbish music out there, and there’s a whole stack more of average songs out there too, but in reality our detecting rarely ends in a big fat nothing. Quite the opposite, if you know where to hunt, you will regularly return with diamonds. The process may be a marathon and it may require the kind of patience and dedication more familiar to Olympians, but the rewards can be so magical that the endless online touring is worth it.
Today’s recommendation is a great example of a glittering gem amongst the sand. As you know, there’s a lot more music bloggers out there than beach-sifting metal detector geeks, and perhaps bands like this are the reason why. It seems like half the Internet has also now started to uncover this new trio in recent weeks. Coverage on enormous music sites such as Pitchfork, Consequence Of Sound, Prefix, Spin and Stereogum will do that to a band’s exposure. Divine Fits are the trio at the centre of the online sandstorm and their somewhat convoluted story soon needed clarifying. Thankfully we learned that one of our favourite PRs, Rhian, had them on her exceptional roster, so she kindly clarified that Divine Fits are something of a super-group. They are Britt Daniel, the singer from the established Texan band, Spoon, Dan Boeckner, guitarist from the Canadian indie bands, Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, and Sam Brown, best known as the drummer in the American punk outfit, New Bomb Turks. Together they have recorded an album, called A Thing Called Divine Fits, which they’re all set to release on Merge in the US and on Anti Records in Europe, at the end of August.
The debut single, My Love Is Real, arrived as a teasing stream last month and is set for an official release on July 31st. It seems like it will be Boeckner leading the musical direction, as this is far more towards the left-field pop end of any spectrum, especially when you consider the guitars involved in the other protagonist’s bands. It has a juddering beat/clap pace that taps along lightly from the outset, before keyboards are introduced in squelching bursts, apparently played by an additional member, Alex Fischal. It soon has a gorgeous swagger to it, as a voice confidently swings into view in a playful style reminiscent of James Murphy. Surprisingly they plan on sharing the vocals equally between Boeckner and Daniels on the eleven-track album. It’s with their tune, Would That Not Be Nice, that the heat is turned right up, as not only does the swagger become unstoppable, but Boeckner’s vocals tear all over it in a gravelled echo. It’s melodic and baggy and full of ideas, reminiscent of the brilliant Jagwar Ma.
So often we see super-groups or members from defunct bands join up and set about releasing new music without allowing any details about the identities to be released. This secrecy hides their former lives and usually only serves to irritate those providing some journalistic coverage, so it’s great to see this group up front from the start. They’re in the photos, they’re seen talking things through step by step on their Facebook page, as they go through the recording process, allowing their story to be told in full. It gives context and reasoning behind their design and their output. It also suggests that they’re proud of their work – former or current – standing tall beside the music. They want to be found. They want you to get to know them. With music this fantastic they can consider us well and truly teased for the album, which will surely be yet another glittering gem that we can look forward to uncovering. This is why we hunt. This is why we sift. The next time you see one of those metal detector guys perhaps consider that maybe, just maybe, they do it because they too are secretly uncovering valuable returns on a regular basis. Ever wondered that? You will now. With this new trio our radar detectors are well and truly howling at us. (MB)
DIVINE FITS – WOULD THAT NOT BE NICE
DIVINE FITS – MY LOVE IS REAL