Posts Tagged ‘INDIE




This four piece band from the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne have been around too long to qualify for a post on The Recommender’s main section, (as that’s reserved for the discovery of only the freshest cuts), but today we focus on a new video they’ve released that’s so special we simply couldn’t resist giving it our spotlight.

For those unfamiliar with the band, they jam out the kind of edgy guitars familiar with Foals, with the added twinkle of Vampire Weekend. Perhaps an obvious yet helpful comparison could offer up the aesthetic of The Maccabees. It’s music packed with many strengths, all poured over with intelligent lyrics, as the group claim as much inspiration from reading books as they do musicians for their heartfelt atmospheric stories.

And so to this remarkable video, directed by Aoife McArdle, (who has also worked with the likes of Clock Opera and Shy Child). It does something very special and it’s caused us to sit up – watch it below and we are sure it will capture your attention too.

Like a series of photographs, the video paints us a real landscape of council estates, hooded teenagers and a working class counter-culture. Our country isn’t all green, rolling hills, or a cosmopolitan London – it’s a awash with sites that are run down and bricked up. A land of rust and broken glass, of detritus and fry ups, of the plastic and synthetic.

The genres that this band dabble in are so often associated with the middle classes, with descriptions like ‘math rock’ or adjectives such as ‘intellectual’ banded around, yet this band have created a video for their new single, Isles, that serves up an image of the UK that most British people need to see, let alone those readers from abroad.

The lyrics yearn with the voice of an observer trying to pull hope from the bleak constraints of a broken land. They speak of never “looking up to see the stars” and of the ignored hope inside the working classes, before hitting an anthemic, touching chorus. It’s a Britain a lot of us have seen but it’s rarely re-visited by many.

View All Photos | © | Little Comets

It’s the honesty and visceral imagery inside the song and particularly its extraordinary video that shows us something as endearing as it is repulsive to those outside of it. It’s a Britain where we are found to be as proud of our grit as we are our authenticity. It’s Sean Meadows’ England, or Mike Smith‘s poetic ship yards. That’s this countries majority – we are there – this is ours.

The band fell out with their major label, Columbia, over issues surrounding their previous album, so they now find themselves in a new position, releasing through the independent label, Dirty Hits. If this fresh beginning continues to produce charming tracks of this calibre then freeing themselves from what they’ve called the “grizzly clutches” will prove to be a well placed slap in the major label’s faces.

Watch the video, stream the single, which is released on the 18th October, and download the orchestral version which they’ve handed to us as a free addition. You can also catch them live as they tour the UK throughout October, often in support of Darwin Deez at selected shows.






We’ve never covered OK GO on The Recommender before.  The main reason is that their music is a bit shit.  Oh alright, that’s a little harsh, but their music definitely suffers from heavy doses of averageness – a plight befitting many bands, guaranteeing them a miss on this blog, as we are proud bunch of very picky bastards.  So you would be forgiven for asking why we open our books to them today?

Well, there’s one outstanding feature of OK GO, which obviously is NOT their music – it’s their incredible videos.  They clearly save their inventiveness and effort for these astonishing showcases and as a consequence have become Youtube sensations – at the time of going to post this they had a total of 73,179,142 views on their Youtube channel for their main videos, winning awards for being the most creative music channel of any band on the giant website.

If that quantity of attention turned into sales of their singles, they would find themselves dominating the world’s  charts.  However, being great at one thing – perhaps the world’s best even – is something to be proud of.

Having watched their latest production, the brand new video for White Knuckles, which they uploaded just yesterday, we thought we would list five of their best to date, including their first sensational hit with Here It Goes Again.  We think you will agree that each video grows in both it’s scale and cost, but also in its grandeur, effort and results.

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1HERE IT GOES AGAIN (over 52 million hits)- This creative spark, produced four years ago, set off the inspiration for exceptional videos and spawned a thousand treadmill-based copies by fans, even having its idea ripped off for an advert.

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2WTF? (over 616,000) – The first of a new batch of videos created at the end of their relationship with major label, EMI.  Directed by Tim Nackashi, it’s the most colourful of all the videos – with bold hues becoming a bit of a theme for future productions.

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3THIS TOO SHALL PASS (over 16 million) – The fist of the new videos for their 2010 album, Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky. This was the second version and most popular of two videos made by the band for this single.  We think you will agree that this giant Rube Goldberg-inspired set is a step up in scale, as well as song-writing.

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4END LOVE (over 2 million) – This summer saw the production of this new video with its stuttered time-lapse photography.  It’s nothing short of exceptional and must have been a mammoth effort to complete – notice that they even have to go to sleep mid-video at one point during the lengthy process.

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5WHITE KNUCKLES (over 800,000) –  The latest release from the band – this video arrived only yesterday, but already has over 800,000 views!  Once again it shows off an inventive video that you just know must have taken hundreds of attempts before they nailed it.

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We want to conclude by asking our readers which video they think is the best, but also which tune you prefer? Are the new songs stronger, perhaps raising the band’s appeal and finally providing the complete package?  How does the new video compare with its predessors?




To get your attention marketing has to be clever these days.  Very clever.  We now live in such a noisy and crowded environment, with millions of messages reaching us on a daily basis, that it’s virtually impossible to get noticed unless you do something remarkable.  It seems that, for the most part, traditional media has struggled in the age of the internet, even though they may be brilliant, they’re simply too slow and cumbersome as organisations to adapt.  We are over a decade into the wider public’s adoption of the internet, yet some of them are still failing.  The music blogger seemed to step in to this gap as naturally as a boxer to the ring, being as equally linked to their community as they are the musicians.  It was therefore only a matter of time before the bands cottoned on to this and started to sidestep traditional media, utilising our reach and hit their public.  It also married perfectly with the new DIY approach that bands were taking up online – who needs the traditional routes to market anymore?  This streamlined, interactive, direct approach has worked well for some time now and a precise example of how bloggers and bands can work together recently arrived with a video for The Pass.  The four piece from Louisville, Kentucky, who have perfected the art of monumental dance indie anthems, approached the excellent music blogger Zach, from We Listen For You, and requested he made a video for their tune Vultures.  His idea, (see the video below), was to create a collage of props and images that represent the names of over 39 music blogs.  What it lacks in polish, it makes up for in charm and outright fun.  As you would imagine, it swept around the blogosphere and Twitter like wildfire, as folk tried to guess all 39.  The winner received a copy of The Pass’s full length debut album, Burst.  Everybody seems to win in this clever – but by no means underhand – piece of marketing.  This is one of the buzz bands to watch for in 2010, with hit after hit in the waiting.  This kind of masterful, throbbing, upbeat indie is of the highest order, with bubbling synths and giant choruses.  Sounding in part like Passion Pit, it’s actually the album that The Killers would love to be able to make, if they weren’t so lost in the game.  They put it up for streaming in its entirety on their Soundcloud today.  The Pass officially release their work on September 21st, on Sona Blast Records, and we are pleased to state that it’s an LP that’s just as packed with fresh ideas as their commercial approach.   (MB)

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here

Hear them here

Hear them here




This five piece from Newcastle are carving out something fresh and enjoyable on the northern circuits, getting described by some as progressive indie.  Any genre with the words ‘progressive’, or ‘prog’, attached to it usually makes us wince at the potential self-indulgence, but this band create music that has plenty of breathing space and never stares at its own shoes for too long.  They generate stacks of melody, as each tune arrives in waves of charm and sophistication.  This is music that gets the girl simply by winning over the parents first.  On the track, The Waves Roll Back And Forth, they stay in first gear, creating more of an atmosphere than a song, with a Brian Eno-styled ambience, but don’t be fooled into thinking that there’s no meat on the bones of this band.  On their stand out track, The Woods, it begins with a gentle refrain of fear, that kicks into a full paranoid march after a minute and a half, as the pace strikes up.  The dissident lyrics “don’t want to go to work anymore” share a complaint that most of us have felt at some point in our lives, especially on a Monday morning.  It’s a fantastic piece of well-rounded work, self-released by them earlier this year.  The song Grandfather’s Bones once again starts by creeping up slowly like an incoming tide, before finding its full flow and climaxing in a smash of cymbals.  This is a band that makes full use of its numbers, regularly making their songs very much feel like there’s five people contributing.  The stand out instrument though is the lead guitar, which tinkers up front like a star striker, often starting and closing each tune.  We are pretty sure it’s unintentional, but their tune, Higher Bridges, has the timeless riff from Tears For Fears‘ tune, Everybody Wants To Rule The World, wound throughout it.  This is no bad thing and is the kind of delightful element that will continue to gain them attention – something that’s already had Tom Robinson give them some 6 Music airplay and a listing as a ‘featured artist’ on’s Breakthrough section.  The North East continues to produce some the UK’s most interesting music, (did it ever stop?), with bands well equipped to make the rest of us sit up and take note.  On the current evidence, Grandfather Birds are set to be near the front of the charge as one of the most mature and interesting of the lot.    (MB)

Find them here:         Myspace

Hear them here:        GRANDFATHER BIRDS  – THE WOODS




Welcome aboard number 7…

Pounding up and down the Indie and Electro streets once more, I hold aloft for you special people yet more selected peaks from the world of good choonage. This time we got two DJ’s found blasting air horns from ‘Blog House’ heaven and one tidy European pair of dreamers. These DJ’s are very well known to the blog world already, but I simply cannot resist posting about them myself. However, the last entry may not be known to your ears. Check them all though, coz they’re ALL good…

I’ll start at the beginning. Seems the best idea…OK, first mentioned in previous post The Gig List 6 this super-fly DJ is a mash up in human form. KISSY SELL OUT – the Designer, the Fashion Icon, the Global DJ, the Radio One Talent and all round Remix-Master, grew up soaking up Nirvana, warped into a Drum n Bass freak through his formative years and came out of it all a pioneer of Indie-Electro remix super-sets. And he’s only 23 years old!! Easy on the ears, his taste for blends are as good as they get. With a massive remix back catalogue including Chromeo, Mark Ronson, R.E.M and Gwen Steffani, amongst many others, he specialises in turning the pop world into ultra-slick dance-floor filler. Truly outstanding.

Find him here:

Hear him here

Second in command in this edition, is another sublime Blog House DJ, this time from Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The electric LE CASTLE VANIA, (aka Dylan Eiland), has been busting dance floors globally. With his trademark Emo-style, white-lightning hairstyle, skinny jeans and trainers that look like they were bought in a Nike boutique in a planetary system many light years away, his array of colours only serve to add to his level of cool. Dropping super-massive beats you will see Dylan pumping fists and jumping up and down behind the decks as much as the adoring fans on the dance floor in front of him. Excitable and contagiously energetic, his banging remixes and original productions are fuzzy, chunky, pounding electro of the highest order. Tasteeeeee.

Find him

Hear him here

Coming in third today are a gorgeous girl/boy pairing from Zurich, Switzerland, going by the name of DIVISION KENT. They bounce out melodic electronic music with a guitar sound and a sweeping atmosphere. It’s really quite beautiful. I attach my favourite track below for you, Superstitious. They are two albums in now, with their latest work entitled ‘Gravity’, so please go and track that down if you fancy more.

Find them here:

Hear them here

Hoping to get a new Q&A completed shortly with both Kissy Sell Out and Le Castle Vania posted up real soon, so look out for those in the future. I just gotta catch them when we all get a spare minute. This blog is growing so fast I may even have to source another contributer to match the demand, so watch this space.

See you back here real soon…



OK, time for another tidy little mini-post…

I will be doing this when something, no matter how random, passes past me that I cannot help but share with you. Could be from any genre in any format, just so long as its blindingly brilliant…and this one is!!!

A couple of years ago I saw the band KASABIAN live. Now I’ve been to a shit load of gigs, (13nr Reading Festivals and 4nr Glastonbury’s amongst many, many others), and seeing Kasabian pretty much reset the bar for everything I’ve seen live since. That’s everything, ever.

I cannot recommend an Indie band more than this lot when it comes to a right show. I came across this Youtube post and it took me back there. The way frontman Tom Meighan draws you all in and involves the crowd is one thing, but above all, its the way the whole band seem to give it their all and genuinely get wrapped up in the moment as much as the crowd.

I challenge anyone to give me an example of a better ‘show-closer’ than LSF. Here it is live from a gig last year. Enjoy it – particularly 3mins and 18 secs in when he lets the crowd go for it. Brilliant, just totally brilliant!

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Mike Bradford (MB) - Creator and Contributor (UK)

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