Thursday, January 8, 2015

Bands to Watch in 2015 (part two)

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
Psychedelic rock didn't quite blow up in 2014 as I predicted, it just carried on slowly growing. With the news that both Pond and Tame Impala are releasing albums in 2015. Psych could finally make the breakthrough it's threatened to over the past few years. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizzard are another amazing Australian band, who release two albums a year on average. The last of which, 'I'm in Your Mind Fuzz' came out in December, their first for UK label Heavenly. If these guys can put out another two in 2015 and a UK tour then cult success will surely be theirs. So everything they've put out has been brilliant.  KG+LW are far more fun than the moping of Tame Impala, their songs all sound as if they are melting into your ears, and they're essential listening for any fans of psychedelic rock

Two Birds, One Stone Later cover artI was curious to see what else was on the Clue records label, when I came across the brilliant d├ębut album from Narcs, 'Two Birds, One Stone Later'. It's by no means a perfect record (in fact it's the imperfections that make it such an exciting listen) but it contains a handful of amazing songs, from the epic closer, 'Tall Grass' to riffy monsters such as 'Collisions'. Overall their sound is not quite grunge, not really indie. Imagine Placebo, but a lot heavier, and stripped of all their clean production and radio friendliness, and that may give you an idea. The 'Two Birds..' LP may have been released in 2013, but they released plenty of stuff in 2014, and I'm hoping that they can follow their label mates ALLUSONDRUGS success by gigging, and putting out an amazing second LP in 2015.


Look back through the blogs I've written before and Duke will be the band  that comes up the most, I've followed them from their humble beginnings, playing open mic's at my local pub, joined them on a trip to London last year and seen them gain more support, as they carry on gigging. 2015 may be the year they start to break through, as I have a hunch that if they play their cards right they may get signed. If you're a fan of Ocean Colour Scene and Oasis, or simply prefer good songs to cool trends, then Duke could be your new favourite band.

Ancient Voices

Brummie Hip Hop duo, Ancient Voices, impressed me with their demo tape last year. A completely unique take on hip hop, melodic but gritty, and grimy without being grime, the name is apt, as Maseo Kham's slow deep raps sound a thousand years old. Backed by production that reminds me of the dirty, scratchy quality of early Wu Tang Clan. So far Ancient Voices have nothing like the success they deserve. Their Facebook has under 50 likes, which is bewildering when the music being made is of this quality.

Christine and the Queens
Christine and the Queens are already very successful in their native France, yet in the UK they are sadly almost unknown. This is a shame because pop music of this quality is hard to find at the moment. Not far off from Florence and the Machine or Lorde, Christine and the Queens make beautifully subtle electronica, which is much more lively than the 'London Grammar-eqsue stuff that gets hyped over here. Christine sings in a lovely French tongue which compliments her music perfectly. In fact while you're checking out her stuff, listen to Francois and The Atlas Mountains, another very underrated French group.

Birmingham Round Up

Don't think that I've turned my back on B-town just because  I've included French pop music on this list. I'm currently loving the Superfood album from last year, 'Don't Say That'. Which is far better than I ever thought the band could be. I'm frankly annoyed at myself for not having seen them properly live yet (I'm not counting the time I saw them support Peace). I want to make amends for this in the coming months. Swerve and Curb have both put on blinding sets in Birmingham last year, the former are grungey and raw, the latter are very funky, and britpop-eqsue. I will continue to support them both in 2015. EKKAH and Juice, both have a lot of buzz right now, I've not written about them as i've not seen them yet, but I will be seeing juice support Peace on the 24th. I still have high hopes for the electronic noise of Pink Violence, SWOOPENTHEENG, and The Grapham Water Sailing Club and there is a fantastic blues rock band called Vault of Eagles, who I saw in December and loved.

Other great bands I forgot to mention
Little Death Machine, ANiMA, Fizzy Blood, Only Shadows, The Mighty Young, The Kaleidoscopes, The Vectors, The Stacks, Ghosts of Dead Airplanes, Ratel, Soldier, The Mourning Suns, Marshmallow Palace, Alex Moir, Why? Said The Moon To Earth, Women, A Werewolf, Deaf Inspector, The Coal Porters, Milk Teeth. 

Overall I have no idea whether the bands in these two blogs will break through, regular readers of my blog (if I have any) will know that I've buzzed about all these bands all last year. It's not about success, or who I think will be successful, it's about who made my 2014, and therefore deserves to make your 2015, in some sweaty dive on a week-night, see you there.

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