Hot International Artists 2011
Warpaint Are Warpaint Los Angeles’ answer to the Mercury Prize winning The XX? The all girl band of slowcore fuzz merchants have been getting the music press and hipsters hot n’ heavy from Pitchfork through to The Guardian. Are they any good? If you like your music intense and lyrics considered, these guys evoke comparisons to Mazzy Star, Cat Power and of course The XX. Think woozy hushed vocals and layered guitars both heavy on treble and reverb. No overnight success, these girls have been going for around 10 years, but it’s certain the connections to Hollywood actors and musicians they picked up since moving to LA in 1999 sure helped. In Australia in February for the Laneway Festival, they’re the perfect soundtrack to languid summer afternoons lolling on the grass with a joint or a bottle of wine.. Check them out
The Vaccines Ridiculously hyped by the music industry in the UK, so much attention so fast usually sets bands up for a spectacular fall. Supposedly only together since the middle of last year and featuring a cousin of one of The Horrors, and a former nu-folk one man band who used to trade under the name Jay Jay Pistolet, this band should by all rights implode and be one of those ‘oh what happened to them acts?’ However, when you’ve put together some singles that have the snotty nosed scorn of the early Jesus & Mary Chain, the urgency of The Clash and the pop smarts of The Strokes' first album, you can understand why people are excited Check them out
The Naked & The Famous Kiwis who are currently on a rollercoaster ride to fame as the world sits up and takes notice of their shoegazey dream pop, these guys have been compared to MGMT and Passion Pit, and we'd say there's a good chance they’ve been dipping in to older siblings’ record collections to discover Ride and The Cure. Named by the BBC in their Sound of 2011 as ones to watch, the Auckland five piece are selling out some pretty big venues. Signed to the UK’s legendary Fiction Records, the Tone Deaf scouts were unsure they had the songs yet to really break through when seeing them at a showcase last year, but with a promising sound and look they might just whip one out of the box. Check them out
The Joy Formidable Fronted by guitarist, vocalist and blonde bombshell Ritzy Bryan, this Welsh trio make a racket reminiscent of The Breeders and My Bloody Valentine - a glorious cacophony of pop hooks, fuzzed out guitar washes and dreamy female vocals. During a promo tour of Australia last year Tone Deaf saw them play in front of less than 100 people at the Worker’s Club in Melbourne – they’re now signed to a major in the US and have big shot management and marketing behind them. Check them out
The Smith Westerns With a name based on word play around an infamous US gun manufacturing company, The Smith Westerns are frighteningly young – most members still in their teens and looking like a cross between your typical black skinny jean clad indie band and a prototype grunge outfit, such is their penchant for flannelette shirts. However, their musical chops are of a slightly lo-fi glam band with an obvious obsession for T-Rex rather than Motley Crue. Throw in adorable harmonies and Mick Ronson-esque lead guitar breaks and you’ve got a winning combination. Check them out
Funeral Party Shouty dance punk out of small town Whittier, California, this band could easily be accused of being the West Coast’s answer to The Rapture. Featuring enough cowbell to almost be an obsession, the band also add in the guitar spikiness of Wire and the buzzing bass of Joy Division to complete a rather attractive package for indie enthusiasts. Check them out
Everything Everything Art pop punk out of Manchester, this skittish concoction marrying the spiky guitar of Talking Heads, nonsensical lyrics and even some of the tribal drumming best exemplified by Adam and The Ants have been riding a wave of interest in the UK and there’s talk of them breaking Stateside. Check them out here: Check them out
Factory Floor Synth pop noir out of East London that sounds like it should come from Sheffield or Manchester, the throbbing sequenced drum beats and two finger keyboard playing recall New Order at their more experimental. Add in the mournful vocals that sound like a reincarnated Nico on The Marble Index and it’s almost like you have music you can dance to while simultaneously slashing your wrists. Check them out
Yuck Sure, not the most appealing of band names, but what they don’t have in their moniker, they sure make up for it in shoegazey pop which recalls the dreamy vocals of Mazzy Star and the languid fuzzy riffing of Ride and Lush. Conveying a stoned, dreamy countenance which conjures up the woozy feeling of coming up then settling in for the ride in the fuzzed out tones of Dinosaur Junior, this London based band are hotly tipped by many tastemakers and may just have the melodies to hit the bigtime.Check them out
Mona Bedecked in quiffs and looking like they played small parts alongside James Dean in movies, this Nashville, Tennessee band play loud anthemic rawk, their guitar sound reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age with the stadium bluster of U2 thrown in for good measure. Managed by Saul Galpern, who was once Suede’s manager, this band are sure to go down a treat at festivals and before too long, in stadiums near you. Check them out
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