I was at a Goodbye Summer party the other week and I ended up making conversation about music. We chit chatted about a few bands and what not but it dawned on me — and not for the first time recently — that I’m not listening to as many new artists as I used too. Especially in the context of full albums. Most music that I’ve gotten over the past couple years have been a combination of music blogs, demo tracks and mix CDs. It may have been with this recent experience in mind that I clicked into iTunes the other day with the intent to pick up something new.
I ended up looking up We Have Band, a London-based band I originally heard about on the Hipster Runoff blog. Their song ‘Oh!’ was definitely catchy and I added it onto my PDP10 playlist — careful listeners would have noticed their cover of the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘West End Girls’ as the hidden track on that mix. When I went to look for an album to hear what else they had done, I couldn’t really find anything else though I also managed to grab a remix of ‘Oh!’ off of RCRD LBL — checking the site I see there a bunch of new remixes to have a listen!
On my first listen WHB, the debut LP from We Have Band, I was thrown for a bit of a curve. Truth be told, I was expecting something a little more one dimensional, with tracks sounding somewhat derivative. Not that that would necessarily be a bad thing. I found Transparent Things by Fujiya & Miyagi to be of this mono-sonic nature and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
While there’s no denying that We Have Band has a distinct sound, I think there’s a range from tracks like ‘Divisive’ to ‘Hear In the Cans’ to ‘Oh!’. ‘You Came Out’ even manages to employ some whistling that makes you think ‘Young Folks’. The rotating singing duties between husband and wife Dede and Thomas WP along with percussionist Darren Bancroft certainly help. I sometimes find bands that have female lead singers to seem almost like they’re “token” additions — even when clearly very talented, like Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. We Have Band manage to avoid this issue, as Dede contributes effectively to songs with her vocals while seldom being the focal point.
Anyways, I’ve been listening to this album like crazy over the past few days and will be adding the below song to my PDP11 mix. If I had more time, I might have tried to put more effort into rearranging the playlist to make this track 8 — the track generally reserved on my mixes for my favourite individual track.
ps. WHB was released back in April but since I’m just listening to it now, it can be my Album of the Fall. If I was still doing Best of Year lists, I’m sure it would be on that as well.