You wait for ages and then two come along at once! In the last few months I've heard two bands, both called the Avenues, both different, both great.
The first outfit called the Avenues - I can't remember where I first heard of them, but I knew I had to see them, which we did at the Liverpool 2008 IPO show that Debbie mentioned in yesterday's blog entry.
This band was one of the most outstanding groups of the whole festival and quite exceptional. Both their superb music (harmony/lead vocals and songwriting was impeccable) and a dexterous knack of connecting and entertaining the audience - which by some sleight of hand made the act seem effortless. All this was a tremendous joy to behold and we were suitably blown... - away, that is! The ability to evoke the sound of classic harmony bands of the past like the Association, The Turtles, Brooklyn Bridge, Orpheus, Harmony Grass, and the Beach Boys whilst injecting something contemporary and quintessentially English was uncanny.
They have an EP at the moment which you can download from 7Digital. This includes one free taster track 'Should've been Sarah' (georgeous harmonies with a nice jazz chord thrown in here and there for exotic effect). Additionally, you can hear more at their MySpace website. There's promise of an album, which frankly, we can't wait to hear.
The second I heard via the LastFM social music site - where you can download 2 EP's and 1 album track for free - yes, true and rather amazing they are too!
They've been around for a big fat 7 years, but I could find virtually nothing about them on the 'net. Why such anonymity I can't fathom? It's an absolute travesty of course, but there you are - the music industry in naughties is a place of devastating unfairness.
What do they sound like? There's an alt country/rootsy vibe - one the singers reminds me of Michael Stipe from REM. Some of it's very accessible like 'Empty Bottles' and evokes the Jayhawks, possibly. Other songs are more edgy and put me in mind of Wilco/Uncle Tupelo side of the Alt Country movement.
Anyway get them for free while you can and be a devil, buy their album.
Downloads: - The Avenues (Nashville)
These Years Come To Rest EP
When It Was Me EP
Avenues, Streets & Boulevards (Album)
This has been the first of an occasional contribution or two by Debbie's husband, also known sometimes as Mr Qwerty