Band To Watch

Band To Watch: Freelance Whales

By Amrit Singh / September 30, 2009
With the nature of tips we've received on Freelance Whales -- both from the wide array of tipster-types (industry kids, concert goers, streetwalkers catching them playing on a corner) and the neighborhood they all inhabit (Williamsburg) -- we sorta figured this band would fall squarely into the prevailing washed out/hypnagogic fuzzbucket hazed-pop thing before… More »

Artist To Watch: John Carpenter

By brandon / September 18, 2009
It's fitting the Jersey-born New York-to-Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist John Carpenter shares a name with the man behind the Halloween franchise: There's something autumnal and spooky about his soulful, romantic rock 'n' roll. See, for instance, "Seasons," the A-Side of his new Mexican Summer 7": It sounds like vintage Scott Walker fronting the Zombies. (To… More »

Band To Watch: Pictureplane

By brandon / July 15, 2009
Pictureplane, aka 24-year old Denver-via-Santa Fe multi-media maker Travis Egedy, popped up on some radars this past April via his remix of HEALTH's "Die Slow." Before that, he remixed Crystal Castles, collaborated with hometown New Mexico bud Zach Condon, and self-released his debut full-length Turquoise Trail, which Lovepump reissued digitally in March. Now… More »

Band To Watch: Blue Roses

By Amrit Singh / June 30, 2009
Not to be confused with Dan Bejar's labor of love, Blue Roses is the performing name of Yorkshire singer-songwriter Laura Groves. Back home, she's landed at the fertile NME/BBC/Guardian intersect of critical kudos, but things States side are set to launch with the XL release of her self-titled, self-produced debut next… More »

Band To Watch: Crocodiles

By brandon / February 25, 2009
When we gathered up our favorite artists' year-end lists No Age included Crocodiles' "Neon Jesus" as one of their top 10 "shredders" of '08: "[Crocodiles are] a great new band from San Diego. This song is a real good kinda early eighties electro punk pop jam. It is super catchy." All true, but… More »

Band To Watch: Hospitality

By brandon / February 12, 2009
Hospitality are a minimalist Brooklyn indie-pop trio fronted by Kansas City expatriate Amber Papini, who also handles guitar and piano. Her voice is immediate and unique, at times like a Mo Tucker but with stately Jesy Fortino/Tiny Viper intonations. Or Amelia Fletcher, fronting a super spare NY-based Heavenly or Talulah Gosh. She's backed by… More »

Band To Watch: tUnE-YaRdS

By brandon / February 6, 2009
Before Amrit headed out to see Beirut at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg the other night, we knew to be on the watch for Merrill Garbus, aka tUnE-YaRdS, which is why he showed up early with a notebook. On record, Garbus's one-woman DIY workshop concocts an impressively assured sort of lo-fi World (a… More »

Band To Watch: Suckers

By brandon / February 3, 2009
After listening to any of the four tracks on Brooklyn quartet Suckers debut self-titled EP you won't be at all surprised to learn that Yeasayer's Anand Wilder produced it, along with Chris Moore (TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). Think "2080" minus the kids. The group, which includes BTW Quinn Walker, construct… More »

Band To Watch: The Rayographs

By brandon / January 29, 2009
The Rayographs are a UK trio. At first listen they're reminiscent of Grace Slick working with the Breeders, but they tap into a dark psychedelia that's quite different than the sounds created by the sisters Deal. A closer approximation would be a piano-free White Magic. It's lame to affix a bunch of female compariso… More »

Band To Watch: I Was A King

By brandon / January 27, 2009
The Norwegian band I Was A King is the brainchild of Frode Strømstads. The new self-titled album, which follows 2007's Losing Something Good for Something Better, features Serena-Maneesh's Emil Nikolaisen on bass, drums and a co-production credit, alongside guest spots from Sufjan Stevens, Danielson and Ladybug Transistor, among others. But even without "star" contributions,… More »

Band To Watch: Real Estate

By brandon / January 23, 2009
The words after the backslash at their MySpace are "Let's Rock The Beach," but Real Estate are more about the lovably down-and-out Jersey Shore than a pristine Caribbean. The quartet mention Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood NY, Jersey City, and Brooklyn as their location (that's two out of four, which counts), the Boss and "New Jersey"… More »

Band To Watch: Cold Cave

By brandon / December 3, 2008
Cold Cave is the brainchild of Philadelphia's Wesley Eisold, ex-Some Girls, Give Up The Ghost, XO Skeletons, and currently Ye Olde Maids, etc. We're calling his newest project a Band To Watch, but Eisold received some high-profile press when Fall Out Boy reportedly plagiarized lyrics from his influential hardcore outfit Give… More »

Band To Watch: Threatmantics

By brandon / November 13, 2008
Threatmantics are a scruffy Welsh rock trio that throw some wrinkles into the scruffy rock formula: Instead of a lead guitarist, they have a lead John Cale viola, and their drummer does double-time with a keyboard. The two guys mixing up the elements are brothers: Heddwyn (also the vocalist) and Huw Davies. Ceri Mitchell,… More »

Band To Watch: Surf City

By brandon / November 11, 2008
Surf City is a young quartet from New Zealand. They used to be called "Kill Surf City," but there's an unfortunate band in England with the tag, so now the Jesus & Mary Chain reference isn't as obvious at first sight, though sonically, it remains. More than that, though, you'll hear the various jangling/darkish… More »

Band To Watch: Blank Dogs

By stereogum / September 4, 2008
Blank Dogs are actually singular: It's the insanely prolific one-man Brooklyn-based band of Mr. Blank Dog. We don't know too much about the biography of the guy behind the bedroom new-wave pop/punk and he's usually covering his face with masks or bedspreads, but that's fine. The aura of anonymity allows you to focus o… More »

Band To Watch: Fredrik

By stereogum / August 22, 2008
Earlier this year we shined a light Swedish pop outfit the LK and their electro lovely, wintry gem "Stop Being Perfect." Had we known the band had a side project sooner, we probably would have written sooner. Instead, we came upon Fredrik de novo, clicking and listening to a few tracks on a… More »

Band To Watch: Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band

By stereogum / July 31, 2008
Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band are a new Seattle quintet with a long name. We've been enjoying their self-released Weepy EP, so we thought we'd post something from it. "Dull Reason"'s a an angular, noodling summertime pop jam with hills and valleys and multi-vocal harmonies. The seasoned-sounding collection was recorded by Scott Colburn (Animal… More »

Band To Watch: The Neighbourhood Council

By stereogum / July 8, 2008
After two weeks of reader-tipped BTWs from Lawrence, Kansas, we mentioned there seemed to be something going on in that city, despite William S. Burroughs up and dying a few years ago. After the proclamation went out, we received notes from people in other cities and towns and territories, letting us know that,… More »

Band To Watch: Hospital Ships

By stereogum / July 1, 2008
As we pass saturation point for press coverage of Montreal, Portland, Brooklyn and et cetera, it seems Lawrence, Kansas is poised for its coming turn in the music media trend piece carousel. At least from what we're hearing; this marks two straight BTWs from the burgeoning midwestern artistic oasis. We gave the treatment to… More »

Band To Watch: Rooftop Vigilantes

By stereogum / June 27, 2008
We get a lot of emails, many of them from publicists. It's fun when you receive an email straight from a band, when they include a rickety link to an MP3 that doesn't work, but you make the trek to their MySpace anyhow, take a listen, and discover they kick ass. This doesn't happe… More »

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