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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Discoverer 80: new indie findings

Last new indie discoveries of 2013, before locking myself at home to prepare the best-of-the-year lists!

The Fauns. Based in Bristol, UK, and formed in 2007, initially as a trio but expanding into a quintet (sextet live) by the time they released their self-titled debut album in 2009, on its own Laser Ghost Recordings label. With no promotional campaign, they gained radio support from BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq, selling over 5000 copies purely by word of mouth. Tours with The Telescopes and supporting slots with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Durutti Column and more recently Savages followed, but also some issues that didn't allow them to come out with new releases until they signed to Invada Records, with sophomore LP "Lights" arriving this December. Shiny and atmospheric shoegaze, with a cinematic quality and the inviting, poppier vocals of Alison Garner. Lushy and extremely addictive tunes. 
Alba Lua. Initially a trio but now a quartet, they hail from Bordeaux and Paris, where they are based. Formed in 2010, their first EP, "Ballad of Joseph Merrick" came out that year. Several contractual and personal issues stopped them from playing for a while, until 2012, when they anticipated their debut album with killer tune "When I'm Roaming Free". The buzz was built thanks to the praise from Pitchfork or Stereogum and their addition to the South by Southwest Festival. Finally, on May 2013 "Inner Season" was released on Roy Music. A joyous LP with fantastic, dreamy melodies, somewhere in between dream-pop and a folkier version of Real Estate with the peculiar, feminine voice of Clem Alptraum. Not to miss.
Two Seconds to Midnight. Scottish singer-songwriter Zig Payton and Californian string player Hannah Hens-Piazza were in Queens, NYC, in 2008 rehearsing in a wine bar before it opened to the public their acoustic side-project, intended as an entertainment between other projects. But when Detroit drummer/producer from Josh Moyer joined the duo, a proper band was born. With the help of some musician friends they released their debut LP "Architecture" in 2010, followed this October with their self-titled sophomre release. Here's the hurt, the hole, the bliss, the fire, propelled in tunes where warm strings melt with icy guitar lines and poignant lyrics. The Radiohead comparison suits them well, not only in terms of sounding similarities, but also in what regards to freedom and ambition to push them forward musically. Ladies and gentlemen, is almost midnight and we are floating in space.

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