Yes, I know that 2009 isn’t over yet. But it’s getting late in the year, and I’ve already fallen in love with five great bands this year:
Au Revoir Simone (Brooklyn, New York) – Three chicks and a bunch of synthesizers, Au Revior Simone sounds like the illustrations in a child’s book of fairy tales come to life… and I mean that in the best way. David Lynch loves them, and once you hear them you’ll understand why (if Twin Peaks were to be remade today, he’d probably use Au Revior Simone instead of Juliee Cruise for those scenes). This is my favorite song by them by far, and here’s a live version of the same song in HD.
Asobi Seksu (Brooklyn, New York) – There are so many good bands from Brooklyn these days! This band is two people – Yuki Chikudate and James Hanna, with some friends helping out on occasion. I am completely blown away by this song, which combines the drums and bass from early U2, guitars inspired by the Cocteau Twins, synths from OMD and the kind of breathless female singing made famous by The Sundays and Sixpence None The Richer to create something that not only doesn’t suck, but is actually kind of awesome.
La Roux (London, UK) – The bottom line with La Roux is that if you liked Human League, Heaven 17, Yazoo and all those 80s dance pop bands, you’ll love this. If you don’t, you won’t. Although lead singer Elly Jackson is the daughter of Trudie Goodwin (a popular English actress who played on the ITV crime drama The Bill from 1984 to 2007), this band labored in obscurity for a couple of years before becoming white hot in the UK, with one #1 single and one #2 single this year. This song rocks.
The Hampdens (Melboune, Australia) – They’ve been around for a few years, but this is one of those bands whose album kicked around on my hard drive for a coupla years before I ever gave it a serious listen. They remind me of The Cardigans in the sense that this is poppy sounding music with really bleak lyrics if you pay attention. Plus, lead singer Susannah Legge is strangely hot.
Flunk (Oslo, Norway) – They’re not groundbreaking or unique, but they do a mellow synth-pop thing that you can easily groove on. I really have a thing for lead singer Anja Øyen Vister’s voice… her accent is yummy! Here’s my favorite song by them.