For the most part, I have found 2008 to be a very disappointing year for music. Most artists I’ve favored the last couple of years failed to impress with their latest efforts such as The Fratellis, The Kooks, Dirty Pretty Things, and Mystery Jets, just to name a few. Not to say it’s all been bad, I really loved the new releases from The Charlatans and Primal Scream, but these are groups who have been doing this for well over a decade. There seems to be very little new talent arising.
I trip to Club NME in Hollywood earlier this week broke the spell of the mundane. I saw two wonderful new groups, Friendly Fires, and The Virgins.
St. Albans, UK has blessed us with Friendly Fires. This band takes pop electro music and will have you thinking that they invented it. The originality of their music is only complimented by their off beat personas. The chemistry between lead singer, Ed Macfarlane, and guitarist, Edd Gibson is fantastic. Both members show true passion for what they are doing, and not only do they keep their audience entertained, but they jump right into the middle and join them. They will have have you dancing and singing along to the songs, regardless if you know them or not. Their self-titled debut album will be released September 1st, 2008. I know I will be right up front to buy it.
“Paris” by Friendly Fires
The Virgins were not new to me. I’ve followed them for about a year now, but to be quite honest I waited til the day before I saw them to buy their album [It was released about a month before that]. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I had already known their EP very well and liked it. I was not expecting to love this album. The Virgins first started to gain popularity when their entire ’07 EP was played on Gossip Girl. Their heavy base lines give them a sound very reminiscent of the 70’s. The best way to describe their latest release is this: Fun. This New York band has set out on a mission to give music fans a good time, and they have succeeded. Like Friendly Fires their exchanges with each other keep the audience entertained, but they also make sure to get everyone involved as well by clapping along or shouting out the lyrics.
What makes these two groups so special is you can tell that they’re doing what they’re doing because they love it, not just because they are trying to pay the rent. Both of these young bands are quickly gaining well deserved popularity, but keep down to earth and real. I’m very glad to learn that the end of new talent is nowhere in sight.