I have been playing NO's "Stay With Me" over and over today, and can't quite believe I hadn't chased it up back in 2012. It is a beautiful song, and weirdly, a sadly beautiful video - about crash test dummies. When I feel I have done a band a disservice by not featuring them adequately previously, I will post multiple songs in a row. Today we have "Whats Your Name" from early in 2013, in a short film written and directed by Ryan Reichenfeld. The intial single shot introduction is impressively set-up and executed. The song itself, is another poignant offering from NO, and has been on a similarly high level of rotation to "Stay With Me" in my office today. I have included the band's website link below, as well as a link to their latest single from their new album "El Prado" due out in mid-Feb. The new single's name is "Leave The Door Wide Open". I am looking forward to the video for this song, which is a promising harbinger for the new album. It sounds like it could work on radio as well.
NO | What's Your Name
First pointed out to me by Los Angeles-based advertising executive Blake Crosbie when I was over there last week, I have subsequently found out this band I had not really been hooked into, has not only been starting to make waves in the USA, but also has a lineage that goes back to Steriogram, the Grammy-nominated band that almost made it. Many of those members have moved onto other illustrious careers including managing Lorde and Mt Eden in the USA, and launching NYC-based hair product businesses (www.fatboyhair.com). Bradley Carter, vocalist and guitarist from Steriogram has been quietly doing the hard yards out of Echo Park in LA as frontman and leader of NO for some time now. The band has signed with record label Arts & Crafts, with a new album due for release in February. NO have been compared to The National, the Killers and Interpol and I think these influences, and many older ones are pretty clear. But it is it's own thing, and I like it - a lot. "Stay With Me" was released as a single in 2012 and the video is a classic. I remember seeing this back then, loving the crash-dummy idea and it's execution, but didn't really chase it up. "Leave The Door Wide Open" is the first single from the new album, "El Prado". I have provided a Soundcloud link to that song below. In the interim, go build some visual empathy for crash dummies with the "Stay With Me" video. "No" deserve to do well, with great material, well-delivered, and a work ethic to enable the break-out luck to turn up. Their website is also linked below.
NO | Stay With Me
Eddie Johnston, a Wellington high school student, has been quietly building what is now turning into an emerging global profile through two monikers..."Lontalius" which covers his indie, lo-fi sounds, and "Race Banyon", his electro-pop identity. It hasn't hurt that musical friend Lorde has been forwarding links to his material to her rapidly growing social media audience. I first came across Eddie through his Lontalius identity late in 2012 and have bought pretty much everything he has done since then. This is a man with a future, which may well come faster than he anticipated. There are probably tracks I would rather see with a video (such as the Race Banyon song "Only Sixteen") but the "Plastic House" video is still worthy, and a beautifully executed visual realisation. I initially thought it was self-done but now understand USA native Linnea Nugent directed, edited and produced it. I have provided a link to her other work on Vimeo below. The song is from last year's "The World Will Never Know About Us" available at the link below. I have attached a Race Banyon link as well. Go buy it.
Lontalius | Plastic House
School for Birds have been on this blog previously, with singles "Mod Love", and "I Need". With a background of writing strong pop material in bands such as the Nixons, Eye TV and Exiles, there is no doubt as to the talent Sean Sturm and Mahuia-Bridgman are able to lever off...though I am not sure how focused the principals are on building a major career around this latest iteration as they have achieved strongly in their "real life" careers. But "School for Birds" is a very good album. I would not be surprised to see some sort of net-based viral success, especially considering all three singles have excellent videos. Go to the link below to buy the album.
School for Birds - Before Sunrise
Sometimes I hear Eden Mulholland's songs and they seem like, well, just a little too much effort. There is a clear construction regime at work which verges on the contrived, but in the end, what are beautifully crafted songs do emerge from the often quite sparse soundscapes he puts together. "Mekong Delta" has taken a little longer than usual to creep up on me, but "that" chorus, combined with textural dynamics and contrasts between verse and chorus work beautifully. The video is well-photographed by Erynne Mulholland on a Canon 550D - and it looks great. Amazing what one can do with a DSLR really. "Mekong Delta" is from the "Feed the Beast" album released mid-2013. You can buy it at the link below. I own it.
Eden Mulholland - Mekong Delta