Little Brothers

Who: Little Brothers, who are, apparently, brothers. Whoda thunk? Brothers Michael and Tony Weis team up with their friend Jason Anderson to record in Michael’s basement studio and write awesome songs for … their own amusement? Michael says that they don’t tour at the moment and that they do pretty much everything they do on their own. Michael also says that he doesn’t imagine that will change anytime soon, but I have to respectfully disagree. I’m hardly an oracle on these matters, but I think these guys have a very promising future ahead of them as a band.

What: Indie rock with bits you won’t really expect: a little bit of disco-ness, some ska, a touch of Kenny G (in an awesome way)? There is definitely something about this sound that is rooted in the 70s, and maybe also the early 90s, but it’s really hard to put your finger on exactly what it is.

Where: Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Why: Honesty? I’m not sure! I think I avoided posting about Little Brothers for a while simply because I had no idea what to say. This always happens to me when I really like a new band. Don’t you find it’s so much easier to describe what you don’t like than what you do? I think I like that there’s something quite 70s (my favorite time period, musically speaking) about their sound, that their singer (I’m not sure which of the lads is on vocal duty) has a wonderfully odd captivating voice, that these are songs you can’t help but dance to, that “I Miss Those Days” (being in a bit of homesick phase right now) makes me cry a little, that these three dudes are clearly doing this just because they love it and you can hear it in every song.

When: Right now! Little Brothers’ debut EP, “Nostalgia Trip 2011”, is available right this second from bandcamp, on a pay-what-you-like system, and it seems like they’re recording more this summer. Visit them on bandcamp or facebook.

Low Cut Connie

Low Cut Connie

Any regular / long-term reader of this blog will know that I’m a really big Ladyfingers (aka Adam Weiner) fan; I’ve written about a couple of Ladyfingers albums already and love them so much, I never feel like I’ve managed to do them justice. Adam’s a great talent, has a fantastic and utterly unique voice, and makes music I can honestly say I’ve never heard the likes of before.

Now he’s teamed up with a whole group of dudes (there’s not too much information available about them just yet) to create Low Cut Connie, a bona fide, gen-u-wine rock & roll band. Putting on their debut LP, Get Out The Lotion, you feel immediately transported to a dark, dingy, kind of seedy bar in some backwater town. They’re playing in the back and every once in a while, someone throws a beer bottle.

Actually, my brain makes an immediate connection between Low Cut Connie and the earliest Beatles – way back in Hamburg or the Cavern Club. Known for being quite wild before Brian Epstein made them all shiny and tidy, the Beatles during that time were pure rock & roll. Listening to Low Cut Connie feels very much the same, like there’s nothing but undiluted rock in their veins – except that Low Cut Connie doesn’t have to be censored the way that even the wild Beatles would’ve been. I mean, they’re adorable and all but, c’mon, we all know the young Beatles weren’t as innocent and sweet as they looked. Low Cut Connie is just that little bit filthy, in the best way possible – making Get Out The Lotion feel both modern and old at the same time.

Low Cut Connie is getting some seriously good press already – they’ve apparently received great reviews from Rolling Stone and Robert Christgau – and not for nothin’. I’ve been a Ladyfingers fan for many years now, and I really hope this will be the project that finally gets Adam Weiner and his pals the recognition they deserve. Go grab the album now (pay what you want) from their official site and check them out on tour at a town near you.

7: Kate and After

Kate and After

Who: Kate and After

What: Indie pop, in a general sense – boisterous and cheerful, great for dancing about the room and singing along to.

Where: Unsurprisingly from Sweden (Gothenburg), apparently the kingdom of happy indie pop.

Why: Because they do what they do really well. They remind me deeply of the first Stellastarr* album, which I loved so so so much, but they never lived up to again. Kate and After picks up where Stellastarr* left off after their debut – danceable pop with a slightly manic edge that keeps things interesting. And keeping in mind that Kate and After is still very young (their debut single was released less than a year ago), they could definitely put out some really fun music in the future.

When: Kate and After’s “Things To Do” EP is out now and free to download via their website. The artwork features the exact Doc Martens that I wanted so badly when I was a teenager back in the ’90s (sigh, I miss the ’90s) and this only makes me like Kate and After just that little bit more.

Kate and After – The Pretender

6*: The Black Knights

The Black Knights

Who: The Black Knights

What: “Voodoo trash blues”, as described by the band themselves. To me, they sound exactly like an unholy union between The Black Keys and Queens Of The Stone Age.

Where: From Salford, England.

Why: Honestly, I can’t get the above description out of my head – that just really is what The Black Knights sound like to me. They’ve got the raw, minimalist edge of The Black Keys, with a touch of their bluesy-ness, combined with Queens Of The Stone Ages moaning (I mean that in a blues way, not in a Coldplay way), hard rock brand of sinister. I can’t help but feel like I’m not exactly the target audience for this band, but that’s only based on the vampire-horror image their artwork gives them. I’m glad I didn’t make any assumptions based on that, because, to be totally honest, these guys are better than I ever expected them to be.

When: The Black Knights’ debut album, Sickle Sell Saturday Night, is out now on Recreation Records, and available for a pittance via bandcamp.

The Black Knights – Bad Blood

*Ok, so clearly I can’t do even these little posts every day. I did try though, I swear. From now until I’ve finally caught up on these emails, I’ll just stick with numbering these posts.

Day 4: Amanda Merdzan

Amanda Merdzan

Who: Amanda Merdzan

What: Semi-cutesy indie-folk that’ll definitely put you in mind of Kimya Dawson.

Where: Perth, Australia

Why: Honestly, I can’t vouch for anything but the song offered below, I haven’t had a change to listen to more yet, and it’s not like this is a brand new sound or anything. But something about the lyrics in “The Last Song” one got through to my cold, cold heart when I first played it – remembering how much you’ve forgotten about times gone by, loves lost, rang a little true with me and put a tiny tear in my eye. (Don’t tell anyone, ok?)

When: Amanda’s Into The Gallery is out now and available from iTunes and the like, or from emusic here. If you like what you hear and happen to be in NYC, Amanda will be playing shows there for the next few months, so look her up.

Amanda Merdzan – The Last Song

Day 2: Stars and Sons

Stars and Sons

Who: Stars and Sons

What: Pure indie pop, done up very lush and kind of explody.

Where: From Brighton, UK (just a fun coincidence that yesterday’s band was from Brighton, MA)

Why: Stars and Sons’ PR people sent along two tracks and the first one I listened to, “Fights Already Fought”, didn’t grab me at all. There’s a really good chance I might’ve left it there – it was pleasant enough, but almost not enough to investigate further. But I pressed on anyway for whatever reason and was immediately grabbed by the keyboard hook in “If It’s Good For Me”. This is the kind of pop that will be perfect for dancing about to, whether in your living room or a club, and that you would actually like to see in the charts.

When: Stars and Sons’ debut LP, Good Morning Mother is out now (buy here from Amazon UK), and current single “Futureproof” is getting radio airplay as we speak.

Stars and Sons – If It’s Good For Me

Day 1: Royal Hideouts

Royal Hideouts

Sorry I had to leave you all for a while, but I’ve spent the last three weeks cleaning out our inbox in order to provide you with some lovely music. Ok, fine – I didn’t really spent all three weeks going through mail. I spent the first two avoiding it because it was overwhelming, then a weekend with my nose stuck in my laptop, then another week listening to a lot of interesting music I found hiding out in there. Now the unread mail is under control, but the stuff I’d actually like to post about is piling up. My solution isn’t a great one, but the only way I can get these bands mentioned in a semi-timely fashion: I’m making a little new-band-worksheet and will try my best to fill out one per day until things are caught up. They won’t be the most detailed posts ever, but they will at least get some good music out there onto the internets as quickly as is possible for me. So here we go, Day 1:

Who: Royal Hideouts (blog, myspace), a one-man operation whose background is in electronic music but is now giving rock a whirl, on Bad Panda Records. In case you don’t already know, Bad Panda is a “free-download netlabel releasing a new Creative Commons licensed song every Monday”.

What: Fuzzy indie pop reminiscent of The Jesus & Mary Chain with a little surfer-pop in the mix, done with an electronica edge.

Where: Originally from Brighton, Massachusetts

Why: Because this one kind of snuck up on me. I really did nearly delete the mail without further investigation, but I’m sure glad I didn’t. When I was only half paying attention, it kind of felt like stuff I’ve already heard. But when I stopped and really listened, I realized there was a lot more in there than I’d originally thought. Royal Hideouts manages to be poppy and comforting as well as interesting and vaguely experimental. Find out more over at Bad Panda’s Royal Hideouts page.

Royal Hideouts – Deaf Sister