Discovering new music in 2017 feat. Noah Noah @ King Tuts
Is there anything more exciting than discovering new music as a teenager? Possibly. Is there anything that will stay with you longer? Probably not. Except for maybe herpes.
I have to admit, I’ve gotten worse at listening to new bands as I get older. I think I’m getting bitter and set in my ways. In hind sight, only one of those things is an evolution. One has always been a constant. Answers on a postcard.
But, with the undeniable quality of the rock, in fact just the music scene, in the UK just now I’ve found myself excited about new music again. 2016 was the first year since 2013 I’ve had enough albums I liked to make a top 20 albums list. Or even a top 10.
So, in 2017 I’m making a point of discovering new music. Luckily, I didn’t have to look far for my first new discovery. When I was asked by Emilie I had planned on catching her set and disappearing, but held a prisoner in the wonderful King Tuts by both the cold weather and Scotrail’s Sunday timetable, I stayed to catch Noah Noah.
Noah Noah reminded me of all that’s good about the quirky pop of The 1975 but replacing that band’s neon 80’s bombast with a 90’s grit. They’re incredibly tight, the melodies are huge and they threw themselves about the stage that way that all bands should i.e. a lot.
That they’re able to incorporate synths around their guitar-based racket without it sounding kitsch or like a gimmick speaks volumes about their song writing talent. They do sound a little rawer live than on record, which suits them better I think in my crusty old punk rock heart, but their mixed instrumentation is really exciting. I’m intrigued to see where it leads them.
So where do you find new music? Not in Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist because the algorithm that builds that is clearly backwards or broken. Or both.
I’d suggest a number of places. Your local venues for a start. I discovered Noah Noah at the excellent King Tut’s New Year Revolution series of shows which showcases a selection of local talent every night for 2 weeks. They do the same in the summer with the Summer Nights series.
Don't sleep on great local talent, every arena filler was once a local opener. Be there while it's still cool.
Outside of that, I’d recommended the always excellent Radio 1 Rock Show, Dan P Carter has his finger on the pulse of eclectic rock music and is always pushing great music, on the mainstream radio no less. What a hero. His beard is nice too.
I’d also recommend the incredible That’s Not Metal podcast who are redefining what high quality, insightful and truly valuable music journalism should be in the 21st century. There isn't anything better talking about rock music in the UK. Or anywhere for that matter.
There are the magazines as well if you’re so inclined. Metal Hammer has just been saved, Rock Sound is still going and you always have Kerrang! or the NME to hand if you need toilet paper while you listen to great records. Though I must admit the NME are killing it with regards to their video content…but that’s all they have going for them. Must try harder.
There’s probably lots of great music bloggers or writers or influencers near you that you could follow as well. I know Glasgow is full of them. All of which are much better at this whole thing than me.
Or, listen to your pal when they tell you about their favourite new band. Never sleep on a suggestion, chuck the top 4 tracks from Spotify onto your commute playlist and see where it takes you. I bet it’ll take you to some amazing shows.
Recapture your youth, find some new music and get your dancing shoes on again and have a wee mosh in your bedroom.
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