It’s hard to ignore the classics, but it’s worse to overlook the rising stars. Each month, we pick five artists worth lending your ears to. March’s picks highlight up-and-coming acts changing electronica, hardcore and garage rock.
NOTES: Transitioning from a trio to a four-piece with Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley on drums, Disappears have perfected this craft of taking the art of shoegaze and pummeling you in the head with it until you mellowly ask for more. As witnessed on their recent 2012 cut Pre Language, they’ve created a niche for it. First the Chicago-based band make you take note with a steady garage rock swing and then when you’re not expecting it – as guitarist Brian Case’s monotone poeticism arrests your thoughts – it explodes with psychedelia bursting out of corner. As Case puts it, “Delay, reverb, repetition. Finding the right combination of these is always good”. Caution: it’s also addicting.
NOTES: Lock yourself in a room, throw on a few records/make a playlist of Ty Segall, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, My Bloody Valentine and even some Siamese Dream, and take the time to get lost in it. What you’ll find is a bit of the essence that drips from the sound that San Francisco outfit Young Prisms seem to make and have honed over time, with their latest effort In Between being an exhibit of how a young act can manipulate tempos and styles to not be squished next to everybody else. It may not be clear from far away, but up close and personal, it’s sonically pretty.
NOTES: Though he’d much rather prefer the title American Opera, Michigan’s own John Bonham takes the delicate parts of life – new feelings, losses and pain – and strings them together with a heartfelt voice and a palette of styles. Recordings such as “Sand And Seed” and an “Empty Cup” aren’t quite traditional alt, as they burrow into the different levels of bluegrass and Americana folk, but they entwine to create a specific style, one that sits next to Tim Kasher and The Tallest Man On Earth. Equally, Bonham’s realistic songwriting tendencies come to life in waves and on a live scale, the rich storytelling is almost more astounding than anything else in recent memory.
FILE NEXT TO: Cursive, The Tallest Man On Earth, Monsters Of Folk
NOW PLAYING: Demo/Listen (Feb 2012 – Independent) // Bandcamp
NOTES: Bastions, much like the rest of the UK hardcore scene, find themselves knocking on the door of originality, trying to find a way in to be accepted rather than disregarded and banished to the hellhole of “metalcore that sounds the same”. The only difference with the North Wales foursome is they’re not eager to wait and have instead made their own entrance. Abiding by their preference to not be called metalcore, Bastions push forward a raw and relentless mentality, that while it chugs forward with brash metamorphoses (“Visitant”, “Onset”), it still clearly projects a focus on originality through lyricism (“I left myself open to these wolves, organs exposed”). As Tom Aylott, a writer for the UK publication Rocksound, put it – their music is “a gritty and urgent beast that satisfies the ubiquitous desire of hardcore bands to get to the fucking point”.
FILE NEXT TO: The Chariot, letlive, Norma Jean
NOW PLAYING: Hospital Beds (Nov. 2011 – IATDE Records) // iTunes
NOTES: Much like Washed Out’s Within And Without and Animal Collective’s sober side, Jack Colleran’s project Mmoths starts with a stutter until your ears are engulfed in euphoric textures which you only feel like slowly falling into. That comfort is what makes the Irish composer’s work appealing. After starting out as a Winter project to pass the time, the 18-year-old Newbridge native has garnered a lot of respect from artists like Flying Lotus, and even though numbers like “THNKS” and “Heart” come off as bedroom tracks, they perceive a dreaded hangover/lets go get wasted in the woods behind our backyard-feel that’s completely hip, swallowing and genuine.
FILE NEXT TO: Washed Out, Neon Indian, Memoryhouse
NOW PLAYING: Mmoths EP (Nov. 2011 – SQE Music) // Official Website