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(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #366 and #367: The Big Moon and Abjects

 
By on Thursday, 14th January 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Original of cropped header photo of The Big Moon by Laura Allard-Fleischl

Editor’s note: we’re making some exciting changes in the way we cover SXSW 2016 this year, especially in the way we preview all the bands that we want to introduce you to before the big event in Austin in March. Read all about our big plans here.

I always love an all-girl group. While there have been more of them in recent years, fully female groups are still relatively uncommon and inevitably, you end up comparing them all to each other. You run the risk of potentially diminish these bands in their own right by such comparisons but overall, it’s reassuring to see women making a respectable dent in the world of music, particularly in the vein of hard-hitting rock, and comparing them to one another is simply to rejoice in their numbers.

London group The Big Moon are a dynamic mash up of indie rock/pop with a similar sound to Manchester’s PINS, yet they appear to be set to hold its own. Juliette, Soph, Celia and Fern haven’t been together that long, yet they create a timeless sound. Their two recent singles, ‘The Road’ and ‘Nothing Without You’ are well worth a listen.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQCY-7_SY6Y[/youtube]

‘Nothing Without You’ is an upbeat tune that you can imagine dancing around to in your living room or playing full blast in your car on a road trip. ‘The Road’, in contrast, is softer and drawling, the jangly guitar hook running throughout the song quirky and playful. Juliette’s vocals are crisp and smooth, with just a touch of grit. Maybe how Haim would sound if they had a tad more Hole about them? The Big Moon have a bunch of upcoming dates in the UK as well, as the Dutch event Eurosonic Noorderslag Festival in Groningen this week.

Like The Big Moon, Abjects are an all female ensemble also from London. Whilst the two bands are equal in gender, Abjects are not entirely similar in sound. This trio favour punkier, garage rock numbers, coiffed with hairstyles to rival the Ramones. Their sound is bold, guitar-heavy and so edgy, you’d be afraid to reach out and touch it for fear of getting cut. [How ironic, then, that the below shot is their current Facebook profile pic? – Ed.]

photo of Abjects in a beauty shop, from the band's Facebook

Their debut EP ‘Gone’ features four catchy, confident tracks with no shortage of energy. The opening hook of ‘Gone’ reminds me of White Stripes, particularly ‘Fell in Love with the Girl’, with the raucous guitar being joined by the brash drums just moments into the song. At times, I can hear Ramones’ own ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, or Sex Pistols caught up in the thrumming guitars and unflinching drumbeats. This mix of garage and punk echoes throughout the EP, and really makes me excited to see what they do next.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RLspHquNmQ[/youtube]

Abjects’ aesthetic, whilst involving punchy riffs and a fearless tempo, feels refined and stylised. Even the EP artwork and 12” vinyl is impressive and evocative of a different era: the pastel background colours layered with the black and white image of the band are a joy to look at and make me wish I owned a record player.

For years, critics and various and artists have been claiming that rock ‘n’ roll is dead. Back in 2014, Gene Simmons of KISS was advising young musicians to forget about learning how to play guitar and focus on X Factor auditions instead. Abjects are the kind of band that can restore faith in the future of exciting, authentic-feeling music.

The Big Moon and Abjects are scheduled to appear at SXSW 2016 in Austin in March.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2016: an introduction and exciting changes to our coverage this year

 
By on Wednesday, 13th January 2016 at 11:00 am
 

As the new year begins, we here at TGTF find ourselves already fully immersed in coverage of this year’s SXSW Music Festival, scheduled for 15-20 March 2016. With only the first two lists of Showcasing Artists officially announced so far, we are already spoilt for choice as we attempt to decide where to focus our efforts, which presents an interesting problem: an ever-growing number of bands we want to cover, but limited time and space in which to do so. It’s a nice problem to have, of course, but nonetheless a challenge. With that in mind, we’ve revamped our preview coverage of SXSW for 2016, most significantly with our SXSW 2016 flavoured Bands to Watch features.

Seasoned readers will know that the SXSW Music Festival is one of the mainstays of our live coverage, typically focusing on UK bands as they attempt to break the American music scene. Last year, we expanded our coverage to include more American and international bands, and we hope to continue that trend in Austin this spring while maintaining our current coverage of up-and-coming UK artists. To that end, we’ve decided to expand our Bands to Watch articles leading into SXSW 2016, in some cases introducing two or three new artists in a single article.

Each pair or trio of artists will be related in some way, but the relationship will vary from article to article. The featured artists might be from the same country or geographic area, they might be on the same record label, or they might represent different facets of the same genre. The focus of each article will be on contrast and comparison, giving our readers a more comprehensive idea of what will be on offer in Austin when SXSW comes back to town.

In addition to our broadened Music Festival coverage, we are excited to announce that TGTF will also have the opportunity to cover the SXSW Music Conference this year.  Our indefatigable editor Mary has been approved for press credentials that will allow her to attend and report on Music Conference panels covering music industry topics relevant to artists, industry professionals, journalists and perhaps most importantly you, the music fans. We plan to include these panels in our already extensive SXSW previews, as well as providing “live” panel articles similar to our artist showcase review pieces.

SXSW 2016 is now just over 2 months away, and we eagerly anticipate another week of great music in Austin! We hope you’ll read and enjoy our new features and in the process find plenty of new music to soundtrack the new year.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpmcSwe318g[/youtube]

 

(SXSW 2016 flavoured!) Live Gig Video: The Crookes get dirty and dusty in ‘The World is Waiting’

 
By on Monday, 11th January 2016 at 4:00 pm
 

Last summer, The Crookes announced they were starting their own label, Anywhere Records, and 2016 sees their own first release with their new venture. ‘Lucky Ones’ will be out on the 29th of January on Anywhere Records and Modern Outsider in the US, which is fortuitous timing, as they’ve been announced to appear for a fourth time in Austin in SXSW 2016 in March.

They revealed the new LP’s first single ‘I Wanna Waste My Time on You’ last September; watch the video for the single in this previous Video of the Moment feature. The second single to be unveiled from the album ‘The World is Waiting’, which fits into the new release’s upbeat nature. Filmed in someone’s back garden, this happy feeling is mirrored in the party atmosphere in the song’s accompanying promo, in drinks, fags and…colored dust? Yes, really. Watch it below.

The Crookes will be out on the road in the UK in February to support ‘Lucky Ones’ prior to SXSW. Read our extensive archive on the Crookes on TGTF this way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZn8ivXYmxs[/youtube]

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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