What’s happened to all the bands man? In the past few days I’ve been listening to some of the highest ranked albums of NME’s top 50 of 2014 list, ones I haven’t heard, including the likes of FKA Twigs, Caribou and Aphex Twin. All have one thing in common? Yep, they’re all bloody solo artists or DJs!
Don’t get me wrong, I love solo artists and DJs, and these albums are great and I can see why NME have raved about them and have henceforth put them high up on their ‘top albums’ list. However, looking at the BBC Sound of 2015 also, I don’t know where any bands are actually coming from.
The list includes new talents such as James Bay, Rae Morris, Shamir (from Las Vegas) and my new favourite duo (not band, duo), Slaves. I don’t count duos as a band, purely because there isn’t enough members for them to qualify as a band in my opinion, this is purely a qualitative theory. The only actual ‘bands’ on there from what I can see are Wolf Alice, Sunset Sons and Years & Years (who, actually, are great, but just play drum machines, bass, keyboard, sing and press a few buttons). I mean, is that what defines a band in this day and age?
Maybe it does, maybe I’m getting too old for my age. I actually like Years & Years but I don’t know if I’d call them a band. I’d certainly say that they draw a crowd in. I know this as I saw them support Clean Bandit in Bristol and I thought they were mega. Oh great, now I’m sounding like a fucking hypocrite.
What I’m trying to point out is that there needs to be some chemistry. You can’t have music without chemistry. If you make a living out of making music on your own just like Aphex Twin has, then great! There’s no way I’m gonna knock anyone for that. In fact, I would whole-heartedly encourage their creativity every step of the way!
There just seems to be a lack of actual BANDS around at the moment. If we don’t produce some more bands then the Brit Award for ‘Best Band’ will disappear. And let’s be honest, it’s been pretty much the same three winners or nominees for the last five years. Fucking Kasabian, fucking Muse and the fucking Arctic Monkeys. (By the way, I love all these bands. Christ, I’m contradictory).
In a few years time I’d love to see more of a balance between solo artists/DJs and bands. Shall we aim for the Sound of 2017 to be 50/50 then? Yes? Great.