Back in 1984, in the UK, if you described yourself as being into indie music everyone had a pretty clear idea about what that sounded like. The chances were that your record collection would contain something (or everything) by The Smiths, The Pastels, The Wedding Present and Cocteau Twins. Those jangly guitar sounds ran through the veins of any self-respecting ‘alternative’ band from that period.
These days it isn’t really clear what indie is anymore. Take a look at some indie playlists on Spotify and you’ll find there is Indie R&B (Ella Mai and Craig David are on that), Indie Pop (everything from The 1975 to Jade Bird) to Fiesta Indie, whatever that is (it seems to include Confidence Man and Hot Chip).
But here is a new Brighton based band called Winter Gardens, who have a sound that is resolutely old school indie and it’s all the better for it. Their debut single Coral Bells, released through Austerity Records (a label name very suited to our times in the UK) came out on general release last Friday on 7” vinyl and is limited to just 100 copies. It jangles, riffs and stutters in a rather frantically charming way and the vocals from lead singer Ananda have just a hint of Liz Fraser from the Cocteau Twins about them. There’s a lot of out of the box energy in the music that contrasts with the voice that I can easily imagine coating itself over something a little slower and softer- but perhaps that will come later? Sometimes groups just have to get the adrenalin out of their system first.
For now, however, Coral Bells shows Winter Gardens having lots of promise with their stark dreamy post-punk sound.
Winter Gardens - Coral Bells