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Top 10 New Bands To Watch Out For


Another year is almost over and now it's time to look back and remember those bands that broke out of obscurity and mediocrity to become the bands we remembered and the bands we will continue to keep an eye on in the new year.

1. Telegram

In the tradition of recent young English bands reviving glam rock and krautrock, such as Toy and Charlie Boyer, Telegram have arrived at the party in perfect time. They've only officially released one song so far - 'Follow', and yet they've already toured with Temples and are about to support The Palma Violets. These guys have been so busy playing shows that they haven't had much time to lay down many tracks, but if 'Follow' is any indication of what these guys have to offer than it is certainly a good one. 2014 will be their year to make a mark with hopefully some kind of EP or album release. The group are perfectly signposted by lead singer Matt Saunder's melodious Welsh accent, which gives their songs a unique flavour, whilst honouring the wonderful clash of glam and rock n roll that defined the careers of icons such as Brian Eno and David Bowie.



2. The Creases


These two guys have caused a bit of stir with their surprise deal with Rough Trade Records that made everybody pay very close attention. With one single and one video these guys still have a lot to prove and that is what 2014 will be for. It seems like a bit of a catch 22 for the duo as they never expected such success from The Creases, a project that allegedly began on a random drunken rainy Friday night, but I'm sure by next year the hype would have died down - giving the band some room to breathe and be creative. The Creases' sound is languid and lazy garage pop/rock and trying to make it anything else, anything more layered and deep, would ruin what's great about it. But I'm sure these guys know this, which is why they're out their touring and getting their voices heard before stepping back into the studio for the really hard part.


3. Fuzz

Ty Segall is a prolific guy. He's released eight solo albums and he's a member of seven bands, including Fuzz. Fuzz are a power trio that evoke seventies hard rock and dirty garage beats. They're not the kind of music you show your mum unless she was a flower power child, in which case she'll probably love it. They released their self titled mighty beast of an album this year and if Segall's strong worth ethic is anything to go by, hopefully by next year we'll have some releases and maybe even some shows in Oz; provided Segall hasn't started another band by then. 


4. James X Boyd & The Boydoids

To many a Brisbaner's dismay James X Boyd and his band the Boydoids released one amazing record earlier this year and than James moved to Europe almost immediately after its release. But this does not mean he is not one to look out for, in fact, the move to Europe has done little to stifle James' creative motivation. Just yesterday he released a new album (available on bandcamp) with original guitarist Michael Fletcher, who also moved to Europe this year. James is best known for his involvement in twelve piece party band Velociraptor, but that is not a good reference point for his solo music. James' sound is intimate and melancholic, with lyrics that are simple and poetic; evoking deep emotions seemingly effortlessly. It's the kind of music that reminds you of being home and feeling desperately human. 

Listen to the new album here: 

5. Temples

These guys have been toying with their fans since late December 2012 with fantastic single releases, but no sign of an album until recently when they announced an album release date for the 10th of February 2014. Their sound is like Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd, but more radio friendly with lyrics that make relative sense and songs that clock in at around five minutes as opposed to fifteen. Frontman James Bagshaw has the kind of face and attitude to carry the band far and to top it off he also has a Marc Bolan hairdo. With only a few single releases it would be incredibly over presumptuous of me to say their talent was as robust as T-Rex, but if the songs on their album are as consistently good as their singles 'Shelter Song' and 'Colours To Life' than in a few years time I may just be comparing Temples to T-rex in ways other than their hair styling finesse.


6. Savages

When a girl band tries to keep up with the boys sometimes it can just feel tacky. But not with Savages, in fact these girls are ahead of the boys in many cases with their dark and edgy blend of post-punk revival and new wave. Savages' songs feel important and that's why they are so immediately engaging. The sound is dramatic and deep, as well as being emotional and evocative without being cheesy. Like a lot of great new bands Savages' sound is a hybrid of their heroes' music, but the result is not some kind of mutation. Instead by combining the melancholic sound of bands like Siouxsie and The Banshees and Joy Division with a more upbeat punky tempo, Savages create a new sound  - their own sound. The group is from London, like so many great new bands, but will be touring with Laneway Festival this January and February.

7. Jacco Gardner

He's not a band, but if I could bet my money on anyone of these artists I would choose Jacco Gardner. He released his first album this year, 'Cabinet of Curiosities', my absolute favourite new album of 2013. Jacco is another a powerhouse of a musician. He's a producer as well as being a musician himself, producing not only his own music, but also that of other bands such as the wonderfully ambient Earth Mk II (who I would also suggest you check out right now). He was probably one of those musical prodigy type kids if I had to guess a background story. He comes from Amsterdam, but his sound is defined by a very convincing British accent. Jacco sings all of his songs in English as he prefers the sound of English words. It also probably had something to do with his musical upbringing consisting of Syd Barrett era Floyd amongst other British invasion legends, although if you listen closely enough you can hear the European/Netherlands accent peeking through. Jacco's sound is heavily influenced by sixties psychedelia, particularly British psychedelia, but is made more whimsical by a dream-pop baroque influence. There is some kind of curious yet melancholic quality about his music that reminds me of being a child and it is utterly bewitching.

8. Chvrches

I don't enjoy having to type this band's name into a search engine because I almost always get it wrong on the first go, but I do enjoy listening to them and so will many other people by 2014 as they hit Australian shores for Laneway. At first listen Chvrches sound like generic electro pop, but if you give them a chance there are layers and depth to their music that separate them from everybody else (that and Lauren Mayberry's pixie-esque Scottish accented vocals).Their music is dreamy, textured and most importantly - it's fun.

9. Bo Ningen

These guys have been around for awhile, but they're still a little under the radar. That will hopefully change come 2014 as they visit Australian shores for the first time as apart of the Big Day Out lineup. When I saw the line-up this year I was pretty keen for some of the bigger bands like Blur and Arcade Fire, but once I saw Bo Ningen was apart of the line-up I had my mind set on going. Bo Ningen are from Tokyo, but are signed with Stolen Recordings (London), which is why their sound is more suited to that area. They look innocnent enough - ethereal, peaceful hippies if anything, but give them one listen and you'll change your mind. Bo Ningen are pulsating acid rockers. They make noise rock that upon a first listen may just sound like that, discordant noise, but if you listen closely their melodies are rich and layered. Oddly enough their self titled album 'Bo Ningen' is actually their second album, but I wouldn't give their first album 'Line The Wall' a miss. These guys are a well kept secret in Europe and I plan on exposing it as much as I can, starting with this article.

10. Kikagaku Moyo

To finish off this list I have another Japanese band from Tokyo, but these guys actually sound exactly the same as the way they look. Kikagaku Moyo make psychedelic rock music if you hadn't already gleaned that from their look. But their sound is no fun-loving, surf garage pop like most bands that claim they are a psychedelic group. No, these guys are true to the word to the core. They make heavy psychedelic music, heavy being the key word. They're the kind of band that don't hold back anything, much like Bo Ningen, but in an entirely different way. Their music is subtle, but still powerful. I saw these guys at the Brisbane Psych Fest (which they organised) and they totally killed it. They are also a sight to see, assuming some kind of elevated elegance as if they are majestic alien begins with their long hair and imposing style. Like Bo Ningen their music is appreciated more so overseas as there is not much of a psych scene in Tokyo apart from the monthly psych nights Kikagaku Moyo run. Which means hopefully we get to keep them to ourselves.

11. Bonus Band - The Furrs

These guys are literally the newest band here having formed a few months ago (with the current line-up), but they are definitely one to look out for. They only yesterday released a handful of songs on Bandcamp, all of which show strong promise for the future. The Furrs are raw and real; edgy garage mixed with sixties pop and Brian Jonestown shoegaze, Velvet Underground 2-chord tunes, Bob Dylan esque lyrics that probably still needs some work before it can  become more than just an 'esque' variety of lyrics, and melodious vocals that recall Karen O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The Furrs are still firmly in their infancy and it shows on their recent recordings, but given due time something really nice could develop out of this fusion of rock influences. 

Listen to their EP here: 

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