2012 brought a about a whole host of slightly geeky, awkward-sounding indie bands. Well, maybe not a whole host, but it did bring two biggies - Scottish Art School boys Django Django; and the puzzlingly popular (in a good way), Mercury prize winning Alt-J. Teleman can be filed right next to these; with their layered, guitar driven tracks. Cristina, the first track they've released, is a fantastically strange mixture of slow pace yet an upbeat feel; slightly strange lyrics about a girl the lead singer is obsessed with (again, see Alt-J). Whilst currently unsigned, they've been playing live at a few festivals and featured on Radio 6; so could be the next big thing in the niche world of nerd indie rock.
London Grammar are a band who manage to seamlessly mix a beautiful yet powerful voice (belonging to the group's lead singer Hannah Reid), with relaxed and laid back electronica. The band have been called the new XX (high praise indeed), but that's slightly misleading as London Grammar have a very unique sound; flirting from the understated-ness of James Blake, to the more brash tones of AlunaGeorge. I've personally seen them reduce a crowd of excited festival goers at Dot-to-Dot to an awed silence (even after technical issues delayed the set by 10 minutes). Their EP is certainly one to watch out for.
A mostly electronic French act with undertones of disco? Electro-Franco seems to be in great health recently; and Juveniles are the latest in that proud tradition. Their eponymous début album is an eclectic mix of upbeat, slightly disco tunes like Fantasy (above); the Friendly Fires-esque 'All I Ever Wanted Was Your Love'; and tracks lifted directly from the early eighties (Strangers). At times, they sound reminiscent of Brighton synthpoppers Mirrors (currently missing in action; last seen supporting Delphic in 2009. I may have been their only fan. I have a signed album. Come back guys). Maybe it's time to put down 'Get Lucky' and give the youngsters a listen. Well, at least before putting Get Lucky back on.
Dan Croll is the name of the lead singer and his band. Hailing from Stoke (via Liverpool), this indie band create bright and breezy songs perfect for a sunny summer afternoon (whatever one of those is). According to Wikipedia, Dan was lucky enough to have a one-to-one with Sir Paul McCartney whilst at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. We can only live in hope that he won't force the band to to release a cover of Hey Jude (I doubt he will, as Hey Jude is pretty much the only thing Macca does nowadays). I'm looking forward to Dan Croll's album; even if there won't be any sun to enjoy it in.
Black Light Dinner Party
I'm unsure how 'new' this band is, as the single above was initially released in 2011; but there's been no sign of an album as of yet. However, Black Light Dinner Party are a group of eclectically named Americans with a sound to match. In parts, they sound like Delphic played at half speed (the good, Halcyon era Delphic as well); with shades of Passion Pit and the chart-conquering Bastille thrown in. Heavily synth dominated, but not gratingly so; with the wispy voice of the lead singer floating in the ether, the band are certainly a unique sound.
So, those are five new(ish) bands of 2013 that I like. Hopefully you'll like them as well.
P.S. If Mirrors are reading this, please make more overly synthy music.