In the past year 18 year old Newcastle based singer/songwriter Beth Jeans Houghton has garnered a reputation as an antidote to the current crop of acoustic songstresses. With her alternative blend of experimental folk, Beth has been hailed by the NME as "a Joni Mitchell for the anti-folk generation". With influences ranging from Frank Zappa, Vashti Bunyan, Fourtet and Love, Beth has cultivated a sound that is truly her own.
Wild Beasts are a 4 piece band from Kendal, United Kingdom now based in Leeds, UK. Their debut single, Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants backed with The Old Dog was released on Bad Sneakers Records on 20th November 2006. Their second single Through Dark Night backed with Please, Sir was released 23rd April as their last single on Bad Sneakers. In February 2007 the band signed to Domino Records.
Led by Lucksmiths lead mouth Tali White the Melbourne (Australia) based 6 piece line up is its most rockin' incarnation yet featuring lead-cellist/bassist Cressida Griffith, Sax Prodigy Gus Rigby, drummer about town Phil Collings, trumpet from Roger the tall man Clark and guitar magic from Basic Shapes Gerry Eeman. The favourite band you may not have known you had, the Guild League make music that you'll want to hug hard.
What has become The Finishing School today began as a humble acoustic trio in 2001, under the guise of EmcTrio. This soon grew to include a cello and drum kit. Armed with this array of strings and percussion the EmCQuintet began to flirt with audiences all over Adelaide. As the seasons passed things changed, as they do. An electric bass was found, and then later a cello was lost, and various musicians found their way in or out of the band.
Everything Everything are based in Manchester, hailing originally from the Newcastle/Northumberland area, as well as Kent. Their music has been described as 'surrealist neo-classical avant-pop for the digital age'. Influences include: Michael Jackson, The Beatles, The Smiths, Ezra Pound, Steve Reich and Destiny's Child. Debut single 'Suffragette Suffragette' b/w 'Luddites and Lambs' was released in December 2008 on XL imprint Salvia to widespread popular and critical acclaim, garnering support from such Manc luminaries as Stuart Maconie, Marc Riley, Dave Haslam and Johnny Marr.
Visions of Trees are two London musicians who became friends over the summer of 2009 and began recording together in a local basement shortly afterwards. Their sound is a disembodying reconfiguration of tribal-electronica, awash in echoing techno-ambience with vocals that range between cavernous and soothing. Good for meditation, catharsis, transcendance, epiphany, celebratory dance or any number of things that won’t easily let you split your attention.
The New Pornographers are a Canadian indie rock group formed in 1997 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Their sound is influenced by that of such power pop bands as The Cars and Cheap Trick, but they use much more sophisticated rhythms and chord changes. Although it was widely reported that the New Pornographers got their name from a pamphlet put out by televangelist Jimmy Swaggart condemning rock ‘n’ roll as “the new pornography,” Carl Newman has stated that he came up with the name after watching a Japanese film called The Pornographers.
Dappled Cities (formerly Dappled Cities Fly) are a five-piece indie rock band from Sydney, Australia. Their music has been described as art rock or experimental pop. Their guitar-based songs typically combine melodies with the complex time signatures and tempo changes associated with post rock. Occasional falsetto vocals and the use of effects pedals (delay in particular) are also characteristic of their sound.
Dean & Britta is a musical duo consisting of Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, both former members of Luna. Wareham had formed Luna in 1992 after leaving his first band, Galaxie 500. Phillips joined Luna in 2000, replacing bassist Justin Harwood. Their first album started out as a Wareham solo project, but when he heard Phillips' demos, he asked her to join him. After Luna broke up in 2005, Dean & Britta spent the next year working on film scores (most notably Noah Baumbach's movie, The Squid and the Whale), and promoting the documentary film of Luna's farewell tour Tell Me Do You Miss Me.
MGMT is a neo-psychedelic/alternative group which formed in 2002 in Brooklyn, New York, United States. The band consists of multi-instrumentalists Andrew VanWyngarden (vocals, guitar, keyboards, drums) and Ben Goldwasser (vocals, keyboards, synths, drums), both alumni of Wesleyan University. Recently confirmed as official band members are Matthew Asti (bass), James Richardson (Guitar, Backing vocals), and Will Berman (drums), who also played and wrote parts of Congratulations.