Here's what's been coming into the HFTB inbox of late....
It's not often or ever that a band from the Midwest plays as little as five shows before finding themselves on stage at an event currated by one of New York City's most well known day-to-day culture blogs. Benjamin Davis (vocals, guitar & synth) and Sebastian Schultz (drums) - the guys behind Cincinnatti's Bad Veins - were just as surprised as anyone else to find themselves performing at Gothamist's Movable Hype show this past January.
The story began as a solo act with Davis piecing together ideas he had swimming in his head in the wake of his former bands dissolution. He put down dense orchestral tracks that resonated with a fuzzy melancholy, and featured vocals sung through megaphones and telephones. Though he was making headway recording material on his own, it became clear to Davis that he'd be short a pair of hands if he ever wanted to replicated the recording on stage. Enter Schulz, a French born but American raised drummer that had just seen his own band call it quits.
Davis quickly found Schulz to be exactly what he needed. The latter's impassioned drumming took the music to new heights, allowed Davis to kick his stodgy drum machine to the curb, and most importantly gave Bad Veins the opportunity to take the stage. Lucky breaks are few and far between on the musical landscape, but for Bad Veins they came upone theirs at their second ever show, when a band they were opening for stumbled upon their sound check. Upon hearing their supporting act warm up, Atlanta's Snowden were instantly impressed. They traveled on to New York on tour and told stories to venue bookers, writers and friends about this great new band they played with Cincinnatti. Before long opportunities sprung up for shows, and a couple of phone calls came in from record labels. Weeks later they were playing Brooklyn and Manhattan.
To date Bad Veins have played a little more then a dozen shows, yet have already shared the stage with the likes of Snowden, Viva Voce, Silversun Pickups, Apples in Stereo and O'Death.
Give them a listen here....
"Gold & Warm" (MP3, right click to download)
Be their friend on MySpace....
Bad Veins on Myspace
What whould happen if a group of life-versed adults tacked the themes of young love and youthful naivety within a sixties' pop format? Well, you're about to find out. The Icicles create young people's music with a reflective palette. Sweet pop melodies remain with listeners indefinitely. The band's debut, A Hundred Patterns, dazzled music fans as well as ad exec for Motorola, who used the single "Sugar Sweet" in a national campaign. The group's newest effort is an ample offering of cheery tunes perfect for a summer day. Engineer Britt Myers (Essex Green, Dressy Bessy) joined the band in the studio to ensure a unique sound, and helped to set the group apart fromt he other girl-fronted pop offerings on the indie scene. With a sound that isn't far from indie frontrunners Camera Obscura and guitar lines reminiscent of The Cure, this band is quite a treat.
A Hundred Pattern (Full Album Stream)
Fiction Like Candy
On record and on stage, singer/guitarist/songwriter Genna Giacobassi, bassist Randy Marshall and drummer Keith Sevigny bare their all playing music that invokes the immediate feelings of love, desire and bitter betrayal. Don't let the content of their songs fool the casual listener -- Easily recognizable are nuances of Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello, The Beatles, Wilco, and Cat Power. However, explore deeper into its sonic landscape and you'll also hear the love of Motown, The Ramones and Cheap Trick bubbling underneath with its simplified anthems that draw from a time when rock compositions were short, tight and blunt, with dangerous excitement. Giacobassi's flexible vocals and circuitous lyrics may at times seem emotionally vulnerable, but the strength, a nod to her Midwestern roots, powers through the mix with true intensity. Paired with Marshall's muscular bass lines and backing vocals and Sevigny's energetic and articulate drumming, Fiction Like Candy disproves genre pigeonholing and creates songs that simply rock. While still retaining the atmospheric depth of their delicate, lo-fi EP La La Lo, (2005) their second EP, Brand New Fancy Truth, (Release date: February 6th, 2007) is more abrasive, challenging and darker. Overall, the music may defy genres, but that is what makes Fiction Like Candy special -- it refuses to settle for a predictable sound, preferring instead to go for the heart and the throat.
Fiction Like Candy was just a glimmer in Giacobassi's eye when she started writing songs and performing in coffee shops in San Francisco in 2004. Though she enjoyed playing solo, Giacobassi was determined to form a band. After she put up a posting on Craigslist asking for potential bandmates, she was lucky to unearth Marshall and Sevigny, and before they knew it, they had formed a family-like bond that is the glue holding the band together. While never denying their influences, Fiction Like Candy steps away from the current imitative trends to focus on what naturally emerges from their union rather than trying to force a sound or construct a mood. The end result of Fiction Like Candy's music can be described as jittery, gossamer, plaintive and infectious. Criss-crossing the country in a tour van has helped solidify the trio's relationship and sound, making them a mighty force to be reckoned with.Further setting itself apart from the Indie scene, Fiction Like Candy has dubbed itself "The Nicest Band In America." They are certainly down-to-earth and playful, and they are dedicated to making the band easily accessible to everyone who loves its music and comes out to its shows. It's hard to resist a band that takes the time before and after its gigs to talk to friends, fans and random souls that wandered into the bar to get a drink and became captivated with a sweet rock and roll band called Fiction Like Candy.
Stream their new EP - Brand New Fancy Truth
Be their friend on MySpace too...
Fiction Like Candy on MySpace