Tag Archives: alt-indie

What’s in a name? Introducing Alpha Bet

12 Sep

Alpha Bet Band

Back when we started this blog (three years ago today actually) we didn’t really think about the name too much. It was very ronseal, we were looking for bands from each letter of the alphabet so Alphabet Bands seemed like the natural choice. We didn’t Google it to see if it existed already and we didn’t consider the possibility for confusion that it may cause (we’ve been called so many things in the last three years, alphabet city being one of our favourites, and even confused with the band Alphabeat by many a European radio station (we do like getting tweets about how they are playing our new record mind you)). Nor did we consider the possibility that there would ever be an actual real life alphabet band. But now there is and the guys from Iowa dropped us a line the other day to say hi and introduce themselves to their UK based, non-music making namesakes.

Ok, technically they are actually called Alpha Bet, but while that is not exactly the same (their social media stuff is all Alpha Bet Band) it is close enough and naturally we were quite excited to virtually meet them whilst simultaneously nervous. What if they’re rubbish?

Thankfully they are not rubbish, not in the slightest and so without further ado, on the day they release new single “Clarabella” and on our 3rd Blog Birthday, we’re pleased to introduce you to Alpha Bet.

Comprised of Harrison ‘Harry’ Horgan (guitar, vocals), Skyler Gonzalez (keys, vocals), Erich Martin (bass, vocals) and Peter Weihs (percussion, vocals), the four piece met at the University of Iowa campus and now make charming alt-indie-rock. “Clarabella” is, for the most part, a gentle rocking chair of mellifluous melodies and guitar lines. We say for the most part as there are a couple of fantastic moments where the gentle ebb and flow is broken up by a crash and soft thrash of drums, harmonies and guitars. A little injection of adrenaline to keep you ticking over as the tune swoons and sways.

“Trampoline” has a little more edge and feels even better for it. There’s quirkiness to it, a wry feeling of worldly observation told on a broken TV. We love it. There are elements of TV Girl but if they had Dare Dukes as a guest songwriter and vocalist. It’s just that little bit different, like coming home and finding everything in your house has been moved just an inch from where you left it. There’s a little alt-funk bassline in there to groove to, sardonic vocals, summer breeze harmonies and delightful little guitar picks.

In short, we’re pretty pleased these guys share our name and hope you like them too.

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Free Download: Fishdoctor – “Seasons”

23 Aug


First things first, Fishdoctor is great name; for anything really, TV Show, Movie, Art Installation, Play, Aquatic profession and of course, for a band. Which is where this six-piece from Brooklyn come in, for they are Fishdoctor and as far as we know, they have never cupped a goldfish and asked it to cough. They do make pretty great alt-indie-pop tunes though, with their latest being “Seasons”.

Like time-lapse footage of clouds in the sky, “Seasons” moves and changes with, well, the seasons. Moments of brightness, calmness, coolness and lushness all live briefly within the five minutes of the tune, but it is the haziness of the late summer, early autumn evening in which it resides most. It pulses like a heartbeat, pumping fuzzy indie sounds out into the warm indigo sky above. Michael Rommano’s vocals are suitably retro in feel to complement the vague throwback-pop sensibility of the tune and it feels like the aural equivalent of ‘found-footage’ Which is ironic really as Fishdoctor has also just released a new video for previous single, “Atlantic”, which makes use of that very visual style. You can watch it here.

In the meantime, you can get your free download of the wonderful “Seasons” from the player below and no doubt keep it on repeat as summer gives way to autumn.

Stalk Fishdoctor: Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp

Watch: The Disraeli Gears – “Back Of My Eyes” (live session)

6 Mar

Disraeli Gears

Do not adjust your computer, the world did just get a little blurry around the edges. It’s nothing to worry about though, it just means it is time for a new track and video from one of our Alphabet Bands (‘D’), The Disraeli Gears.

This live session of new track, “Back Of My Eyes”, was filmed and recorded up in Leeds and gives us more wonderfully hazy out music from the band. There is a slightly more urgent feel to this track than on the previously released “Skeleton” and “Heiroglyphs”, and it gives the band scope to rock out a little more. Still though there is gentleness to it, with Teia Fregona’s soft vocals juxtaposed with the guitar jangles and cymbal crashes as “Back Of My Eyes” undulates gloriously across its four minutes of fuzziness.

You can also grab a free download of the live recording after the video, from the SoundCloud player. A studio version will appear on the band’s debut EP in the summer, which we are looking forward to immensely.

Read More: ‘D’ is for The Disraeli Gears

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‘D’ is for The Disraeli Gears

30 Jan

Disraeli Gears

It’s been a little while since we revealed a new member of our fabled Alphabet Bands, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been looking out and listening, we’re just fussy is all. We’ve actually been planning this addition for a little while now, ever since they got in touch at the beginning of December with just one song to share, it was enough to get our attention and at the end of just that first play, we knew we had found our ‘D’. Multiple plays later and that initial love hadn’t abated so we fired off an email asking for more tracks and were not disappointed.

The Disraeli Gears, named after the classic Cream album, make a dreamy kind of indie music that swirls around inside your head, jiffling your mind in an entirely pleasant way. It’s fuzzy and atmospheric but still has the propensity to give you a good rockin’ as well. Debut track, “Skeleton” for example, the one they first hooked us in with, broods for around four minutes, with Teia Fregona’s wistful vocals floating over the light haze of guitars and beats, before escalating into a whirlwind of proggy, shoegazey riffs and crashing drums.

The band’s genesis began in 2008 when Teia emigrated from South Africa to London and met up with guitarist Tom Kitson. The pair has been writing ever since but it wasn’t until 2011 that they decided to form a band, just as Tom was due to move to Leeds. The timing could have been better but it worked out quite well with Tom’s childhood friend, Alex Moorse, joining on drums and Sam Delves (who we’re reliably informed is part-wizard) picking up the bass. We also know that their favourite Muppet Movie is Muppets In Space though we won’t hold that against them (Muppets Christmas Carol is clearly the best).

While the music of the Muppets may not have influenced the band, there are many that have and they name-check the likes of Local Natives, St. Vincent, Jeff Buckley and Pink Floyd as being chief among them. All of whom are present to a point but not to such an extent that makes it obvious. There is no simple aping of a hero or two, the foursome have used their influences as a chef uses seasoning, just a pinch to add to the flavour.

The recently released “Hieroglyphs”, is another slice of shimmering, swooshing alt-rock that gets under your skin. It’s quite compelling, with Teia’s swoony ah-ah-ahs floating dreamily above the dirtier, earthen melodies beneath. Her refrain of “We always wear our hearts on our sleeve” repeating as the track fades, fades, fades; repeating in your head long after it’s done. On “Back of My Eyes” the band shows off a little more urgency and drama amongst the haze as it rises and falls like waves crashing on the shore then drifting gently back to sea.

Listening to The Disraeli Gears is like turning down the sharpness on the world, everything is just out of focus, all soft and distorted slightly. It’s fantastic.

The Disraeli Gears are currently unsigned; check their facebook for gig details and get free downloads of their first two songs, “Skeleton” and “Hieroglyphs”, below.

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