Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The Notes - New Waves

There are certain clichés that any self-respecting music blog tries to avoid, but inevitably at some point falls head first into. One example is the line “Here’s a band that we’ve been meaning to post about for a while.” We’re pretty sure it’s a pointless line – nobody really cares how long the writer has known about the band do they? But just in case we’re wrong here’s a band that we readied for posting at Breaking More Waves last September in preparation for their appearance at Southsea Fest 2010, but plans were shelved when the band cancelled due to illness. Now we’re catching up and present to you the music of The Notes.

The Notes are a UK based three piece consisting of Sam, Lauren and Aaron plus their vintage drum machine. They make a lo-fi sound that has elements of d.i.y, new-wave and indie-guitar. There’s a retro fuzziness to their music that captures both elements of the C86 movement as well as 50’s / 60’s surf rock.

The band has roots in Southampton, just twenty miles down the road from Breaking More Waves home city of Portsmouth. They recently released Wishing Well, their debut album which you can purchase from their Bandcamp page on a name your price basis. For those who really must know we paid £2.50 - not a lot, but better than downloading without consent. However if you’re feeling flush and nostalgic you can buy it on a big slab of aqua blue vinyl or a more limited white/gold haze version direct from Bleeding Gold Records. Wishing Well is an album full of twangy guitar playing and bashful languid female vocals where every song clocks in around the two minute mark. Jaunty upbeat numbers like opener Awake hide lyrics about saying goodbye. “Shouting farewell, to all of this strife, pushing aside, all the things I don't like, forgetting all that keeps me awake at night,” are the words here, yet often the lyrics are difficult to determine – the vocals just being one instrument forming the atmosphere.

Although we’ve yet to see The Notes live, their on line availability means it’s easy to sample their wares (other new bands take note). With Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace (R.I.P?) and Soundcloud all positively embraced, the band are gradually beginning to pick up blog coverage and spread the word. Their sound may be old fashioned but their approach in getting their music out there is most certainly not. And the word is that if you like things slightly foggy sounding but with endearingly shambolic noisy riffs and grooves, then The Notes could be for you. Imagine Dick Dale jamming with The Shop Assistants and The Vivian Girls in a back garden garage and you’ll be getting somewhere close.

The Notes are never going to set the charts alight – even The Shop Assistants only managed 1 week at number 100 and that was in a time when fans of indie and new wave actually paid money for albums – but their sound will be appreciated by those who like their music with little filtering and a sense of nonchalant coolness.

those days, those nights by the notes

lighthouse by the notes

Instrumental10 by the notes

sheltered by the notes


lesley said...

oh my. it figures just as i'm getting into the instrumental, it cuts off on me. yeah, i can get into their sound. very popular these days with the surf rock scene taking over but they have a unique spin on it... i would listen! even if you took too long to tell me about it. ;) i'll forgive you this once since i'm about three songs in for them now... but just this once, mind you!

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Glad you're liking - now if you do why not throw a bit of money their way and grab their LP, even if it's only for a small sum....