Tony Marks hosts his New Music Show on Juice Radio, the largest independent station in our home city of Brighton, where he delivers contemporary releases on four shows each week. We first appeared on his show at the start of 2011. He invited us in to show off music that The Recommender had discovered each month from within the blog world. We appeared every month through last year and here we are once again kicking off 2012. Every show’s been an absolute blast, allowing us to deliver The Recommender in a completely different way to a new audience.
You can find all of the shows that we’ve appeared on at this link. Below we have the last two shows from January and February. As always, among our meandering rambles, we tried to deliver a broad, fearless range of new music, from Alpines, to Discopolis, to Rangleklods and Golden Fable. 2012 is already looking like a bumper year for exciting new music, so any additional format that allows us to cram it into your ears is a good thing. Our next show is due to go out live on March 27th. (MB)
Right at the close of the year we come across one of the tidiest finds of 2011. We have fallen completely head over heels in love with this new band and predict that once you too have hit play on the below buttons, you will also be devoting a little piece of your hearts to them. It’s been another good year for discovering new music, with a multitude of interesting finds, so topping it off with this new group seems like the perfect way to draw down the curtain on these last twelve months. Our Best Tracks Of 2011 post will be up on the blog over the holiday period so you can clearly see all it’s highlights. Right at the last minute this new band will easily rush straight into that post too.
If there’s been one theme running through this year’s discoveries it’s the appalling choice of band names. It’s not necessarily the actual titles that are the issue, more the massive lack of understanding search engine optimization. We guess music is what their best at, which is fair enough, but surely the A&R’s and labels should advise them better? We’ve had bands such as Friends, who arrived in an SEO-abandoned WTF moment. Citizens! foolishly thought some punctuation might help matters. Typing Escort into Google is highly unlikely to uncover the excellent New York disco band. Although a little fun can be found with Leisure, Theme Park and Amusement, who all might prove a little safer on search engines, but no more helpful when it comes to locating their music. More recently we had Neon Gold’s Foxes arrive, having adopted a moniker that clearly ignores not one but two UK bands of the same name, (albeit one had added a not-very-different-at-all exclamation mark to their title in a hopeless attempt to be distinguished). Even the Slough shit-piece Brother had to shift their title to Viva Brother following a legal challenge from an Australian band of the same name this summer, when perhaps a change of musical direction would have been preferable.
And so we come to today’s recommendation, Alpine. Not only will their SEO take you to numerous businesses offering anything to do with European mountain ranges, but there’s also the Arizona rock band of precisely the same name. That doesn’t even give mention to the UK duo that are high on hype, Alpines, although the addition of an ‘s’ at the end might just stave off the major label who they signed to earlier this year. Names aside though, this new band’s tunes are perhaps the best of the bunch, which goes to prove that it’s the output that ultimately matters most. Here is a six-piece from Melbourne making the kind of extra-special music that will have people stretching that bit further to reach them. They’re gearing up for their début album, which is to be released early in 2012, and considering their releases to date it’s already looking like one of the most exciting releases of the year.
Absolutely everything we’ve heard to date from the Melbourne-based band has been of an exceptional standard. Having formed in 2009 they quickly gained some useful early coverage on Australia’s Triple J radio station, which ultimately led to them signing with Sydney’s Ivy League Records by the summer of 2010. Their debut single, Heartlove, came out late last year introducing us to their female-fronted indie pop, with an emphasis on the drafty, left-field end of that genre’s spectrum, perhaps best associated with Scandinavian bands. Consider Le Corps Mince De Francoise covering Lykke Li songs and you get a sense of the excellent pop that they’re trying to design here. That single was found at the centre of their debut, five-track EP, Zurich, which arrived in November of 2010 and which proved to be one of the most consistent EPs we’ve heard in recent times. The highlight amongst the five highlights is their second single, Villages, which combines their signature moves of layered vocals and sweeping guitars in a knock-out potion.
Their tunes cause an instant lift for the listener, but nothing prepared us for the rise delivered by the first single to officially arrive from the expected debut album. Hands arrived in the second half of 2011 in preparation for next year’s hype and it’s an absolute winner. It initially creeps in the room without fuss, but quickly turns on the style, especially with the peaked vocals and waves of riffs that wash up and down in volume. It’s as deadly as a classically beautiful woman chewing bubblegum, delivered in distinctly classy sections, yet all of it coated in an instant pop appeal. If you thought their video for the Villages single was worthy of your attention then you should check the new one for Hands. It’s yet another stylish and beautifully created short film, directed by Luci Schroder and involving more seductive women in their underwear than any others this year. Or perhaps any year? All this sets everything up fantastically leaving us in a tantalisingly poised position for the full debut album next year. Beyond any names or titles, both the videos, and more importantly the music, is well worth clicking to page six of Google’s search results for. (MB)