Lazuli is taken from Bloom, the fourth full length album by Baltimore-based Beach House. The album builds on 2010s Teen Dream to further develop their distinctive sound yet stands apart as a new piece of work. Lazuli is a great example of the many layers of Bloom as it is uncomplicated and meticulously constructed to ensure there is no waste. The album was recorded in 2011 at Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, TX and mixed at Electric Lady in NYC. The band co-produced the record with Chris Coady.
Daughter is vocalist/guitarist Elena Tonra, electric guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella. Daughter came together in late 2010, and have watched their star gently rise, collecting fans one-by-one as their demo tracks started to spread amongst enthusiastic friends and bloggers online. Landfill is taken from the bands self-released debut EP, His Young Heart which immediately caught attention of critics and fans alike. After becoming one of the most buzzed about bands at the 2012 SXSW and CMJ Music Festivals, Daughter’s success was punctuated by a hauntingly beautiful and delicate performance on The Late Show with David Letterman, before heading out on their first sold-out North American tour this fall.
Dutch Uncles are a British indie-pop band from Marple, England. Known for their use of atypical time signatures within a pop context, as well as the androgynous vocals of Duncan Wallis. Founded while in college, they became Dutch Uncles in 2008 and released their first album in 2009. Following on from supporting the band on its European tour, Paramore guitarist Taylor York mentioned Dutch Uncles as one source of inspiration for their 2013 album.
Their sound harks back to another era of indie-pop. Indeed, they rewind the compositional clocks a whole generation, with whispers of Orange Juice and Dexys Midnight Runners in the band’s musical make-up. Since using their own record label to release only 500 copies of their debut EP in 2009 this band has steadily built a community committed to their cutesy, carefree anthems from a bygone pop period. Fans can recognise the snappy riffs and taut percussion, this added to the mainman’s purring baritone combine to great effect.
Dan Croll is a fabulous solo artist with enough facets for a whole band. He’s the electro boy with links to the folk scene, a multi-instrumentalist whose songwriting prowess has impressed everyone from former Beatles to legends in the world of fashion and design. He started 2012 with one of his demos (Marion) as a Q Essential Download and another (Home) picked up by Steve Lamacq on 6 Music and ended it with his debut single From Nowhere, which we’re sharing with you here, being hammered by Radio 1.
Summer Camp’s musical style has been described as “21st-century alt.pop” and can be seen to draw influence from 1960s girl groups and 1980s synthpop. Featuring lyrics which are often quite dark they deal with failed relationships, conflicts and teenage obsessions. This multi instrument playing married couple from England can also be seen to draw inspiration from American culture from the 1960s–1980s. Fracturing techno, torch song balladry, oilsmoke rock’n’roll and soulful synth pop that merge sublimely, capped off with lyrics featuring tales of romantic dislocation and repair, this band really do incorporate modern alt.pop.
Filled with catchy choruses Seasfire could be described as a modern day pop band but they are far more than that! The different dimensions that Seasfire explore throughout their tracks force them to stand out from your average band. Their Bristol heritage comes in swathes of moodiness and a stripped back sound that focuses on piano and vocals initially. Lead singer Josh Thorn’s vocals waft across the backing with a range that seems to soar over the low intensity of the music. James Sinclair (drums, electronics), Joe Labanowski (piano, electronics, synths, vocals) and David Callaby (guitars, vocals) are all on board to showcase however that the band can travel in many different directions and are not scared to experiment with what we expect.
Cloud Control are a delightfully self-deprecating bunch. Born and raised in the spectacular Blue Mountain region within minutes of each others houses, Alister Wright and Ulrich Lenffer had never even written a song before Ulrich’s sister Heidi entered them into a battle of the bands competition at Sydney University. Only Jeremy Kelshaw, with the odd stint in ‘High School thrash bands’ under his belt, was studying music. ‘Don’t get me wrong,’ says front-man Alister, ‘we’re all really passionate about music, but none of us had been in bands before. I’m used to it now, but I used to stand rooted to the spot on stage, thinking ‘Oh. My. GOD. What am I DOING?’
Hailing from Perth, Australia, POND formed in 2008 as an all-inclusive, ego-free collective spawned from numerous other interlocked bands and projects: Mink Mussel Creek, Allbrook/Avery, and Tame Impala. Even if you’re from the most insular, incestuous musical scene in the most isolated city on the planet, people will still stand up and take notice if the music you make is as good as POND’s.
Notching up gigs in disused office blocks and hotel basements to name a few, it was with little incredulity PINS should record their debut EP in an industrial estate. A natural confines for the chilling thrum of near whispered vocals, gutter-grimed guitars and the tribal, thumping percussion. Pins whilst steeped in the entrancing abrasion of their local Mancunian heritage, bring something new to the foreground, something unique.
The most difficult question Breton are ever asked is a fairly standard one; “What kind of music do you make?”
Their inability to answer is the essence of everything they do. Perhaps because they are forever dipping into pools of resources that span many genres and a broad field of influence or, perhaps it is because they simply don’t know. A better way to fathom the often cryptic output of the band would perhaps be to ask them “How?”
From their base in South East London, a former bank now aptly named ‘bretonLABS’ they can be found capturing and cataloguing a wealth of found sounds which they use in all of their audio-visual work.
D/R/U/G/S was formed in late 2009/early 2010, after Craig Owens was let go by Chiodos. The band’s members were announced in several YouTube video updates on Craig Owens’ official YouTube page. The band’s members included vocalist Craig Owens drummer Aaron Stern, guitarist/vocalist Nick Martin, guitarist/vocalist Matt Good and bassist Adam Russell The band played their first live shows to sold out crowds at the Pike Room inside The Crofoot in Pontiac, MI on November 28 and 29, 2010.
Comprised of dual vocal/guitar/bass/drum machine players Paul Baker and John Fedowitz, NO CEREMONY/// rose from the ashes of Skywave in 2007 as its other member, Oliver Ackermann, moved from Fredericksburg, Virginia to New York City and formed A Place to Bury Strangers. The duo made its recorded debut in 2008 with full-length Disappear, layering new wave elements amidst the noise, with a self-titled record following in 2009.
Hugo Manuel began Chad Valley as a solo project alongside the Oxford-based band Jonquil which he heads. In 2010, he released his eponymous debut EP via Cascine, which consisted of four tracks. His second EP, Equatorial Ultravox, was released in 2011 leading to wider recognition for Manuel. Drowned in Sound described this release as “wistful in tone, but it’s no nostalgia trip and summer or not it’s a consistently blissful and thrilling EP that bodes well for any forthcoming album.”