Welcome to the August edition of Thank Folk For New Bands! The heat has quickly died down and we’re all recovering from the last few months of holidays, sunburn and festivals, so we have gathered together some of the best new bands around to help ease you back in to the real world again!
I stumbled across this band quite a while ago whilst they were still based in Glasgow, and after forming there in 2007, they have since moved to London and continued to release and play more of their harmonic, melodic folk-pop. The duo, consisting of Abbie on piano and percussion and Andy on strings and drums, and both on vocals, have voices that seem made for each other and their alliterative names are just another reason why these two are two perfectly matched up musicians. Their recordings so far span from the self-affirming I Am Man with a chorus powerful and catchy enough to have stayed with me for weeks, the potentially stompy and sing-a-long worthy Last Week and the ballad-esque lament After You. Judging by the range shown in these, I feel that they’re a band who wouldn’t hold anything back live, and who have a lot more to give in the future.
Based – London
Find Them At – www.facebook.com/applesimhome
Newest Release – Last Week EP
Listen To – Last Week
Seamus Cater & Viljam Nybacka
Cater and Nybacka, as well as sounding like a rather worldly pair, give the impression of being very experienced and traditional folk musicians. Every song on their debut LP The Anecdotes is intelligently crafted and full of all the integral parts of folk through the ages, yet is still able to sound fresh and bright enough to lead a band of sprites through a forest. I say this because each song sounds like some epic narrative they are relating, forcing your complete concentration, whilst being backed by oddly subtle, cleverly abstract and entirely complementary music. This mix of reinvention and tradition comes from the array of instruments – including the concertina, ukulele and re-tuned harmonicas – and the stripped back, only-when-necessary use of them that Cater and Nybacka employ. With The Anecdotes, Cater and Nybacka have shown that they have it in them to be around for a while yet.
Based – Amsterdam
Find Them At – seamusandviljam.bandcamp.com
Newest Release – The Anecdotes
See Them – No current upcoming shows, but a UK tour is soon to be announced!
Listen To – Greenland Bound
I think the first thing I should tell you about Lone Doe, after telling you to give his music a good listen, is that James, the solo man behind the music, recorded the entire album at home. I say this to his credit, because the album in question, Upon First Blush, sounds more like it was recorded in a cathedral with its echoes and resonance, reminscent of Bon Iver and the Antlers, and sounding like it could fill any venue, let alone his bedroom. There is an experimental quality to his music, and the layering of sounds and harmonies means his songs seem to grow until you refuse to believe it was made by one man. As his name suggests, his lyrics have a lamenting, yet hopeful quality to them; as he longs for lovers and urges on new beginnings, you become unwittingly, but not unwillingly, drawn along with him.
Based – Leeds
Find Him At – lonedoe.bandcamp.com
Newest Release – Upon First Blush
Listen To – N.Y.E.
Singer, accordionist and winner of The Musicians Benevolent Fund’s ‘2012 Emerging Excellence Award’, Anja McCloskey, boasts a rather impressive CV after playing in a number of different bands and working with many solo artists; but it is her solo work that is getting her a justified amount of attention at the moment. The quite unique half-German half-American accordion player has already toured her debut EP across America and she is soon releasing her debut album, before setting off on a string of dates across the UK. It’s an album which I found very difficult to pick a favourite track from; each song is packed with a full, organic sound which plunges you into the dark recesses of Anja’s mind before pulling you free in a wonderfully Germanic frenzy of unexpected arrangements and soaring, bohemian vocals. The album feels like spinning happily through a sepia-toned Eastern European carnival, filled with lamentation, romanticism and plenty of accordions.
Based – Southampton
Find Her At – www.anjamccloskey.co.uk
Newest Release – Debut album out September 3rd – An Estimation
See Her – 7th September, Album Launch at King Johns Palace, Southampton
8th Googies Art Cafe, Folkestone
9th Latest Music Bar, Brighton
Listen To – Italian Song
Like The XX after a light coat of sugar, Karen Sheridan, the woman behind Dublin band Slow Skies, makes the kind of music to which you can just close your eyes, and happily let overcome you. Her sweet, echoing voice, which at once floats softly and tears powerfully through your ears, is backed by the ethereal sound of soft ‘kitchen cabinet percussion’ and resonant guitars, and is that kind of relaxing, captivating music that we all need to sit back to in the summer, and come home to when the holidays finally end. The beauty of Slow Skies comes from Sheridan’s ability to complement subtle, effective arrangements with her yearning vocals to create a back catalogue of unique and seamless songs. At a time where the women of a growing folk-pop movement are themselves growing in popularity, Slow Skies, with her enchanting style, stands out in an already unique genre.
Based – Dublin
Find Her At – www.slowskies.com
Newest Release – Silhouettes EP
Listen To – Ice Cream