Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Returning to the endless search for new talent

Where to start the endless search for new talent when you've been away for months? Well, start with the obvious - who's been on my myspace?

Joe Palen's from San Diego, CA, USA - and wants to tour the UK one day he tells us. And his myspace is full of some nice acoustic numbers. OK, so Hey Joe isn't a patch on the song it shares a title with; but I don't think it ever could be - and it's still a nice bouncy little song. Country-esque perhaps, it's totally inoffensive, and thoroughly enjoyable on a weekday evening.

Continuing the international theme, Dikta is from Iceland. No, not where Mum goes, the country - one assumes at any rate. In their e-mail, they said that we had a similar taste in music - and yes we do. There's nothing really radical in any of the myspace tracks - Just Getting Started could easily be a number by Keane; some like Breaking the Waves are a bit 'rockier' (if that's a word), but not dangerously so - there's nothing wrong with anything. I suppose that means that the risk is of them falling into a generic pit of similar sounding bands, as there's nothing that makes me jump up and scream about them being the next big thing. Still, all it takes is one breakthrough single and the rest are very radio friendly, so they can't be written off either.

If Winston describes them as a "Hot New Band", they're definitely worth a listen to - especially if he describes them as 60s throwbacks, which is a particular favourite of mine - so I introduce to you to the Junior Victors. Got to say, not quite what I was expecting - maybe I was thinking more Last Shadow Puppets - but still enjoyable. I actually think that Juvenille Deliquent is more punk than 60s - but not Sex Pistols style; where as Jennifer Mundane reminds me of Elvis Costello. Listening to the whole set of tracks available on their myspace, their description as "IndiePunkRockRollPowerPop extravaganza" is surprisingly accurate. Yet, once again, a potentially dangerous melange of styles is pulled of with style so that it works, and is very enjoyable. Definitely worth a listen.

Finally, a bit of self discovering, and fresh from the recent trip I though a search for "French pop" might yield interesting results. A bit of a dangerous approach, not knowing what could turn up - but amazingly the first myspace profile I actually stayed around to listen to wasn't that good. guaraniz are from Ile-de-France (that's the region around Paris, if you don't know), and sing in English and French. They've also grouped themselves into folk, and the guitars (particularly in Soul of Liberty) match that. OK, production values mean it's very accompaniment heavy - but if you listen to hear the actual tune, I don't think you'll be disappointed. La Havane is distinctly French (not just with the lyrics), if a little bit too discordant - you're almost left wondering if they're wrong notes or meant to be like that. It's the sort of music, if I was still over there, that I'd be happy to hear whilst sat outside a little bar with a demi-pêche on a pleasant evening; and they're infinitely better than what you often here on the Metro in Paris. Which is ultimately a bit of praise!

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