7 Overseas Bands You’ve Gotta Hear, Vol. IV – My Empire of Sound, Deaf Phonetics, The Wakeup Suzzys, E-MUTE, Opioids, Ka Tet
The fourth volume of 7 Overseas Bands You’ve Gotta Hear features profiles and songs from seven overseas bands that have captured our attention in recent months after submitting their latest album releases for review. Surely you will find at least one band, and hopefully more, from this special edition of bands you’ve gotta hear (but probably haven’t), whether it’s the electro-pop punk of Deaf Phonetics from Oslo or the Scandinavian duo My Empire of Sound or the edgy, yet lush melodies of London band E-MUTE. Maybe it will be the Israeli post punk band Opioids or The Wakeup Suzzys, perhaps the rock and roll punk cowboy music of Brazil’s TFDT from Brazil, or the Irish rock trio Ka Tet.
Deaf Phonetics – Oslo, Norway
Led by Fredrik Ihler, Nordic Records band Deaf Phonetics, formed in 2010, writes and performs electronica-injected pop with a punk attitude and surreal lyrics. The Olso, Norway-based band recently released their first debut DIY album, Amperkine, and have toured around Norway and Sweden “armed with a crazed punk drummer with a lap top, loud electric guitars and a girl singer who wants to be your best friend.” The band’s lead single, “Like A Clown,” has received national radio airtime in Norway and the band also performed live on Oslo television. They include among their top musical influences Team Me, Sex Pistols, The Beatles, At The Drive-In, Green Day, and Matt and Kim.
“Like A Clown” – Deaf Phonetics from Amperkine
“Halloween” - Deaf Phonetics from Amperkine
My Empire of Sound – Sweden and Denmark
The Scandinavian electro-pop duo My Empire Of Sound recently released the single, “Autobahn Lullaby,” a dreamy, somewhat melancholic, song that tugs at the heart strings. The track is off the band’s long-awaited self-titled debut album, which has been well-received, especially in the UK and Europe (although the band is making inroads to the United States as well), following its official release in February. My Empire Of Sound consists of Swede John Alexander Ericson (Alberta Cross, The Northern Territories, Stjarna) and Sidsel Marie Søholm from Denmark. They include among their major musical influences Fever Ray, Leonard Cohen, Portishead, Pj Harvey, Depeche Mode, Lykke li, and Kraftwerk.
After they spread a couple of self-released songs on the web in 2011, the male-female duo created a buzz within the indie music blogosphere in 2011 after posting their debut single, “Early Morning (A New Beginning).” The track was the most popular new track on Indie Rock Cafe with over 10,000 streams and downloads, and it reached No. 2 in the Scandinavian Chart Base Top 100. Musicohm.com wrote: “Like a Swedish-Danish She & Him…the pair complement one another adroitly, ascending to join this year’s best and brightest as a result.” In addition to “Early Morning,” the band also recorded “For The Lovers You Left Behind” in Ericson’s studio apartment in Berlin in one sitting.
“Autobahn Lullaby” – My Empire of Sound from My Empire of Sound – Feb. 28th
“For The Lovers You Left Behind” - My Empire of Sound from My Empire of Sound
Bonus Track: “Midnight Warriors”- My Empire of Sound from My Empire of Sound
The Wake Up Suzzys – Tel Aviv, Israel
From Tel Aviv, Israel, the DIY rock band The Wake Up Suzzys are basically unknown to indie lovers in the U.S. The Israeli band formed in the summer of 2012, and told IRC: “We love playing fast rock and roll influenced by old American movies, Fender guitar and big money; it’s all about fun, fun, fun. ” This is evident in the single that bares their namesake and on the second track, “Lady’s Man.” The band ‘s sound is incredibly upbeat, fast, and hook-heavy, almost like new wave meets punk pop. The tracks the band sent in for review from their self-titled, debut album released last year. The band released their self-titled, debut album on May 1st, that includes the song of their namesake, “Wake Up Suzzy.”
“Wake Up Suzzy” – The Wake Up Suzzys from The Wake Up Suzzys
“Lady’s Man”- The Wake Up Suzzys from The Wake Up Suzzys
E-MUTE – London, England
London has always been a city that turns out various forms of music, the home of musicians of every type, and venues of every size. A DIY musical project, E-MUTE features musicians who have worked with artists such as Moby, The Drifters, Scott James (Stereophonics), Chaka Khan, Vanessa Mae, Pip Williams. In 2012, they united to create a new fresh sound under the banner of E-MUTE, which is actually the moniker of the band’s vocalist and piano player. The other members referenced include Tolis Zavallaris on guitar and vocals; Svetlana Vassileva on bass and Darren Ashford on drums.
The band’s sound – featuring lush melodies, dark edgy rock, electronica and philosophical lyrics – has been described as Franz Ferdinand meets Muse, and joins up with the Foo Fighters and Depeche Mode. Their debut EP, Too Proud To Say Loud, was produced by John Robertson and Jesper Mattsson (Skye, Thomas Dybdahl, Lene Marlin, Grace Jones). E-MUTE’s musical influences include the aforementioned bands, plus Radiohead, and The White Stripes
“Flying” – E-Mute from Too Proud To Say Loud
“Clock Moves Forward” – E-Mute from Too Proud To Say Loud
Opioids – Jerusalem, Israeli
Opioids are an Israeli indie post-punk band formed in October 2007. They started out as a guitarless-trio, but in March of 2009, they recruited a guitarist and have been performing around Israel ever since. Their debut album, Temporary Phase, was released in July 2012, drawing inspiration from 80′s music that served as the soundtrack of their developing years, and other themes, such as night-time, cats, pollution, and lace. The Opioids musical influences include Christian Death, Joy Division, Sex Gang Children, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure and The Dresden Dolls.
“Flatcat” – Opioids from Temporary Phase
“Premortem” - Opioids from Temporary Phase
Ka Tet – Galway, Ireland
Ka Tet are a Galway, Ireland three-piece rock band whose sound focuses as much on three-part vocal harmonies as it does on crunchy guitar riffs, gripping rhythms and chunky bass undertones. The band have toured throughout Ireland extensively during the past couple of years, including well-received performances at festivals like Knockanstockan, Indiependance, Vantastival, Gateway and Helium. The trio has also performed at dozens and dozens of venues all across the isle. They have shared the bill with bands such as Feeder, Ash, Jape, Scroobius Pip, God is an Astronaut, Ham Sandwich, R.S.A.G and Director and cite their top musical influences as Pearl Jam, Biffy Clyro, and Them Crooked Vultures.
Late last year, Ka Tet signed with the small Irish independent record label, Ruby Music. They will release their debut album in August, from which they sent in two advanced singles for posting.
“Let My Lady” – Ka Tet from Arcadia – out August 1st
“Bob n’ Charlie” – Ka Tet from Arcadia
TFDT – Sao Paulo, Brazil
The members of Sao Paulo band TFDT started out playing back in 2005 as a way to get free drinks and beer. We really don’t know much about them other than they love Johnny Cash, The Stooges, The Ramones, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and MC5. The band combines these influences to create what they call “rock and roll punk cowboy,” which also is the title of their latest EP. While TFDT started as a riotous live rock band, over time their sound matured to include the country influences that resulted in an interesting mix of ‘outlaw cowboy’ country rock and punk, as their self-identified labeling suggests. They’ve opened for bands like Eddie Spaghetti, Fabulous Bandits, and Canastra.
“Stuck” – TFDT from Rock and Roll Punk Cowboy EP
“II” – TFDT from Rock and Roll Punk Cowboy EP