Best DIY & Indie Debuts of 2013, Vol. I – Great White Buffalo, Tournament of Hearts, Make Haste, Constant Supply, Will & the Indians
There have been many albums released in the past few months that we either did not have time to get to when they were initially released or that we only learned about after they were initially released. Many of the albums highlighted in this new installment of Recent Releases We Almost Missed are debut EPs and LPs from new bands and artists to watch in 2013.
Los Angeles DIY indie rock quartet Great White Buffalo have been creating a buzz in the LA scene since 2011 and are definitely a new band to watch for DIY music lovers in the L.A. basin. GWB have been mentioned often in the past year or so in the same sentence with other new artists emerging from the City of Angels, including IRC favorites Lord Huron and Father John Misty.
Great White Buffalo’s self-titled debut EP, released on January 30th, was engineered and co-produced by Grammy award-winning producer Phil Allen (Adele, Aerosmith). The heavily layered six-track EP echoes influences like The Strokes, Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon, while remaining true to their own unique style and sound that has garnered the band so much attention in the past couple of years.
The band performed at San Francisco’s annual Noise Pop Festival in February and Austin‘s famous SXSW, where bands are made overnight every year. GWB have opened for bands like The Revivalists, Harriet, Oedipus, YLUV, and their musical influences include The Strokes, The National, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, and Queens of the Stone Age.
“Thanks for Nothing” – Great White Buffalo from Great White Buffalo – Jan. 30th
“Teeth” – Great White Buffalo from Great White Buffalo
Tournament of Hearts – Los Angeles, California
Tournament of Hearts is a Los Angeles based indie pop rock band that has made a name for itself creating well-produced, forward-driving, anthemic songs, featuring hi-fi vocals and choruses, guitar hooks of A-minors crashing up against D-major resolutions and reverb-drenched snares that have captivated small and large gatherings at guesthouses throughout Hollywood since their formation in 2011.
The five young men that make up Tournament of Hearts started out recording midnight sessions with a like-minded engineer from Interscope Records, who encouraged them to up their game by abandoning the lo-fi style they started out with and record sprawling pop songs with R&B influences and hi-fi vocals. The result of these recording sessions was the February debut of the album Local Maximum, seven songs about starting fires, peeping toms, and disposed lovers. The band has opened for artists such as Boyce Avenue, Clara C, Joseph Vincent, Jayesslee, and Satellite, and consider among their top musical influences The Killers, Oasis, and Kasabian.
Not long after creating a buzz in the LA scene, the band was invited to perform at SXSW festival in 2012, which was followed by a West coast tour of high energy shows that continued to expand the band’s fan base. The blog, Local Music Nation, picked the band as one of the ‘Top 10 Bands to See’ at SXSW. Currently, the band is signed to the DIY label Greenzone Records.
“Shake It Off” – Tournament of Hearts from Local Maximum – Feb. 14th
“Another Minute” - Tournament of Hearts from Local Maximum
“Indie rock is something no one is told to listen to by anyone except yourself. It’s the realest thing in music since Mozart played harpsichord with his tiny kid-fingers.” – Bryan Morton of Tournet of Hearts
Constant Supply – County Donegal, Ireland
Originating from County Donegal in northwest Ireland, the alternative rock duo Constant Supply features James Gillen (guitar, vocals, drum machine, keys) and Conal Sweeney (bass, keys), who together write and record atmospheric and melodic compositions marked by a pulsating drum machine beats. In 2011, Constant Supply dropped their debut EP, Alleviate, to critical and fan acclaim in the DIY scene, resulting in the EP being re-released by the U.K. indie label, Takeaimfire Records later that summer. Leading up to their debut EP, the duo recorded an in-studio session in 2FM’s renowned Studio 8.
As was the case with their debut EP, the duo recorded their debut LP, The Coast Ain’t Clear, with Villagers‘ band member Tommy McLaughlin in his Attica Studio in London. The LP, dropped in March, is a terrific accomplishment with heavily textured songs that feature layer upon layer of guitars and vocals, spectacular bass tracking and catchy, metronomic drum beats. Their sound has often been compared to a fusion of influences like Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Pavement, Slint, and Nirvana. Gillen wrote that “hailing from the northwest of Ireland has its advantages and disadvantages when you are in a band. On one hand, you are far from the vibrant music scenes of the larger cities and their many venues. On the other, you have freedom to develop your own unique sound free from the distractions of what everyone else is doing.”
“Capo” - Constant Supply from The Coast Ain’t Clear – March 25th
“Requisite” – Constant Supply from The Coast Ain’t Clear
Ontario Musician Make Haste’s Debut EP
Make Haste is the lo-fi, dance-driven synth pop moniker for T.K. Dallman, a Dundas, Ontario musician and producer who dropped his self-titled, debut EP in March. The songs on the EP focus on the deterioration of relationships and the heartache that comes along with such human drama. While Make Haste is only a year old, Dallman already shows great potential as an electro-pop force to be reckoned with in Canada, as well as in the States. Like so many under-the-radar artists, he simply needs more exposure. From that point on, it’s only a matter of time before a buzz is built around his music.
From the aggressive, haunting opening track, “Easier,” to the hazy, end-of-summer anthem, “In A Daze” (featuring Lesley Davies of Bad Passion) to the dance beats and shimmering synths of “Should Have Left,” Dallman taps into a number of his personal musical influences, from Crystal Castles, Sufjan Stevens, Justice, Elliott Smith, James Blake, Junior Boys and Passion Pit, in addition to the more ambient sounds of Evenings and west coast producer Teen Daze. As the engine behind Make Haste, Dallman has previously opened for artists like Sexy Merlin, Reptile Youth, and Vimes.
Dallman gave a very honest answer to the question – ‘what is indie rock?’ – that we ask all artists on the IRC submission form. “Indie rock means a bunch of different things to different people. Even my definition of it changes. Sorry.” No reason to be sorry, dude, that’s about as close to our own view of ‘what is indie rock’ that we’ve received since we started asking the question last year.
“Should Have Left” – Make Haste from Make Haste EP – March 15th
“Easier” – Make Haste from Make Haste EP
Sydney Band Crosses Radar with Debut LP
Will and The Indians is a four-piece Sydney, Australia rock band formed in early 2009 and just released their debut album, Wrong End of Town, in March via Laughing Outlaw Records. The band started out as a trio of high school buddies, consisting of members William Thackeray (guitar/vocals), Kabir Bhalla (guitar/vocals) and Matin Gouniai (drums). In 2010, the trio added bassist Michael Watson. By 2011, the new quartet began to really hone their skills when they entered the recording studio to begin laying down tracks for their debut album. Many months were spent overdubbing and mixing their tracks, and after hearing some of the track, the independent label Laughing Outlaw Records offered them a recording contract. The band draw from The Libertines and The Strokes as well as the 1960′s British Invasion bands like The Kinks and The Beatles. The band has opened for artists like SURES, Little Red, and will open for The Rubens next month. The band’s motto is “to relive the magic of the 60s in the modern world.”
“What If I Said” – Will and The Indians from Wrong End of Town – March 1st
“Resignation” – Will and The Indians from Wrong End of Town