Independent music is a very hot topic right now on the music scene. It used to be that indie bands were really only popular within a region and with local fans, but with the internet becoming a dominant force for indie music there are now thousands of bands to choose from. Wading through all those would be a huge chore. But BC is here to help! We've scoured our Band of the Week database to re-introduce you to bands likely to achieve huge success in 2009.
Green River Ordinance (GRO)
With two albums under their belt this Texa-based band was one of the hottest unsigned American rock/pop groups on the college circuit. Now signed to Virgin Records this group of five truly hot young guys (Josh Jenkins, lead vocals; Jamey Ice, electric guitar; Joshua Wilkerson, electric guitar; Geoff Ice, bass and Denton Hunker, drums) are preparing to release their first major label record called Out of My Hands (release date is currently February 24th 2009). Judging by where they have been – two independent albums selling tens of thousands of copies and two sold-out national tours – it’s obvious these guys are destined for huge mainstream success. Check out GRO’s first two albums, The Beauty of Letting Go and Way Back Home at their MySpace space.
The Attic Lights
As a result of successful tours of Europe and Japan and several critically acclaimed performances including T in the Park back in 2007, this Glaswegian alt-country/alt-rock band were the object of a bidding war between major labels. After eventually signing to Island Records this genre defying band has finally released their major debut album Friday Night Lights to wide acclaim and success. It has also been announced that Attic Lights have taken on the daunting task of singing the new Minder theme song (cult-hit British comedy-drama from the 1980s, that is being remade for British television). Kevin Sherry (vocals, guitar), Colin McArdle (vocals, bass), Jamie Houston (guitar, keyboard, vocals), Tim Davidson (guitar, pedal steel) and Noel O'Donnell (drums, glockenspiel, vocals) are most often compared to Teenage Fanclub as a result of their flawless four-part harmonies but are more accurately described as Wilco-esque with pop sensibilities. Check out Attic Lights MySpace space.
The Ruse’s melodic, soothing, cultivated sound will leave you in no doubt of who their influences are; U2, Coldplay, and Travis. The frontman, John Dauer has a voice like a good dram of whisky; smooth, mellow, and rich combined with his moviestar good looks you know he was born to be a heart-throb. The Ruse’s sound is so overwhelmingly Brit Rock that you will be sure they are from London, Glasgow, or even Dublin. But you’ll be surprised to find out that they are actually from New York, Atlanta, and L.A. With two fabulous, accomplished albums, numerous EPs, an appearance on MTV’s The Hills, a stint as the house band at The Viper Room club in L.A., and much critical acclaim behind them, they have recently released a third album entitled, Midnight in the City. Until now The Ruse have just been waiting for the right offer from a major label but with this third album it is unlikely they will remain unsigned for long. Being this good now means they must, eventually, become rock gods. If you're this talented, you really have no choice in the matter. You can hear examples of their rock godliness at their MySpace space.
This Irish band’s sound is an updated mixture of '80s bands like The Smiths, The Cure, and Echo and the Bunnymen. Frontman and primary lyricist Paul Finn has the enviable ability to strip away the everyday mundanities of life and articulate the longing and desire for more. Strong melodies enveloped in synth, glittering, jangly guitars, Finn's rich, fervid vocals and intelligent witty lyrics make for a spellbinding experience. All of this is evident on their radiant, lush, nearly flawless – come on, I had to – debut album Achieving Vagueness released in the autumn of 2007. It was even nominated for the Irish Album of the Year 2007 by the Choice Music Prize (the Irish Mercury Prize). Currently The Flaws are working on a new album that is due out late 2009. If you’re interested, check-out The Flaws MySpace space.
No not The Cary Brothers, but Cary Brothers, a singer-songwriter whose music has been featured on TV and in film, most notably the television show, Scrubs and Zach Braff’s indie film, Garden State. Brothers' music is filled with quixotic, emotional themes and lush, textured soundscapes; his sumptuous voice exudes a warm sensuality, and luxurious romanticism while still maintaining strong indie-rock flavour. In 2007/2008 he released his debut full-length album Who You Are which won Best Rock Album of the Year by the Indie Acoustic Project. A remix of the album track “Ride”, remixed by Tiesto, was a huge hit this year in the clubs throughout Europe. This summer he toured Europe, including many stops in the UK, headlining the Hotel Cafe tour.
I recently chatted with Cary about what he was up to now, and what we can expect from him in the future. He was excited about recording a new album, saying, "Whereas the last record was six years of writing and studios and piecing together songs like puzzles, this is a very relaxed process. It is happening organically, but with all of the collected wisdom of the last few years of life, and being on the road. Can't wait to get the new record out…" And you can look for that early in the summer of 2009. For more information about Cary, or to hear his music you can find him at his MySpace space.