Thursday, October 30, 2008

Best Of SXSW A-Z: "J"

Only one mentionable band for "J" - it was bound to happen sooner or later...

Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong are helmed by ex-drummer of The Pipettes, Joe Van Moyland, and after forming in early 2007, have already supported the likes of Babyshambles and the Kaiser Chiefs. Their debut album was scrapped before it was released, but not before review copies had been circulated to the London music press, with NME giving it 8/10. That said, the NME gives anyone who hasn't released their debut yet 8/10 provided they have indie cred. Which these guys apparently do.

MP3: Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong - Lonely Buoy


Iglu & Hartly's press statement proclaims "Never follow, always lead the pack with new unbelieveable hot shit." Not a bad philosophy really, and if this cut is anything to go by, that means eclectic genre-hopping with an anthemic hook to keep it all together. 'In This City' smells distinctly of summer... and also MGMT, which is no bad thing.

MP3: Iglu & Hartly - In This City

It's probably a good indication of just how long it takes to get through an A-Z list when a band splits in the time it takes to get to their name. Synth-pop duo I Was A Cub Scout, of English heritage, mined a lovely melodic vein with a kind of rag-tag sound, their genetic make-up indebted to indie songwriters and electronic leaning blips and bloops. Alas they split back in June, leaving behind a debut album - "I Want You To Know There's Always Hope" - full of potential.

MP3: I Was A Cub Scout - Pink Squares

Fronted by boy/girl combo Simon and Julia Indelicate (is it just me or is the matching surname a little passé now?), the two had previously met at performance poetry meetings before hitting off as a band. If their artwork is anything to go by, they've got a great sense of humour despite their high-brow contentions to 'raise the bar' of the British music scene.

MP3: The Indelicates - Julia, we don't live in the 60s

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Best Of SXSW A-Z: "H"

On Jussayin', H.I.S.D. (HUEston Independent Spit District) remind me of LA hip-hop outfit People Under The Stairs in the best way possible. Subtle production, with beats that could not possibly swing more, and samples and brass hits in all the right places make this track a perfect summer track. Their debut album, "The District" is available now.

MP3: H.I.S.D. - Jussayin'

I never knew there was a Jamaica in New York, but there is, and that's where HEAVy is from. They cite their influences as ranging from Minnie Riperton to N*E*R*D, and Sam/Sam's Return makes good on their promise - crisp beats mixed with soulful vocals make a track that is just the right side of jazz hip-hop.

MP3: HEAVy - Sam/Sam's Return

Heavy Claws have a song with a sweet analog synth hook. What more can be said? Except for the fact that they categorised themselves as electronic/dance/DJ, which is kind of a misnomer.

MP3: Honey Claws - Shout Out

Department of Eagles Do Daytrotter

In Ear Park has been on heavy rotation lately, and I must say, I almost like it more than Daniel Rossen's other, more well-known band, Grizzly Bear. Good news then, that Daniel and Fred have recorded some cuts from the album (plus two unreleased tracks) for the Daytrotter guys.

MP3: Department of Eagles - Daytrotter Session