This Week In New Music (16th November 2013)

Gems, The Bohicas and Solids feature in Neu’s weekly round-up.

It’s a funny time of year. Yesterday marked the last day where critics and self-professed ‘tastemakers’ were able to submit their votes for the 2014 ‘BBC Sound Of’, which is billed by an awful lot of people as the be-all-and-end-all of new music prophecies, even though breakout successes like London Grammar avoided the poll in 2013. The timing this grand event has led, in some cases, to a relative onslaught of bands suddenly releasing New Tracks! New Videos! New Everything! in an attempt to get noticed at the right time. Most voters have probably had their minds made up for weeks, though. Neu’s highlights of the week have shunned the cause and the occasion, mostly because they’re all in their (very) early days and because they’re US based (bar one), doing their own thing without time being a factor. Turning the ‘It’s 2014 soon!’ reminder to ‘off’, the following have made a big impression over the past seven days:

GEMS - Ephemera

It’s not like they’ve been around forever, but DC duo GEMS have - by intention or default - successfully shaken off any ‘they sound a bit like Beach House’ accusations that emerged upon their arrival. ‘Ephemera’ is anything but a slice of Hawaiian guitars and toe-dipping bliss. It’s chilled-out, sure, but its head is in a completely different place. Lindsay Pitts’ vocals are so ridiculously assured, leaving ‘footprints’ in the snow with an unidentified loved one. It sinks out of focus, swerving out of the light, right up until the moment it hits a glistening chorus of pretty unencountered beauty.

The Bohicas - XXX & Swarm

Ambition doesn’t get you everywhere automatically. Domino-signed The Bohicas (who are essentially Swanton Bombs in a new, more exciting guise) have backed up the big ideas loading up their debut ‘double video’ with some spitting, venomous musical goodness to boot. ‘XXX’ couples sex, drugs and really bad hangovers with a rampant, murderous charge for a soundtrack. The blood and guts and really-dodgy-crime that persists in this Eugene & Dominic McGuinness clip is something to behold, but it’s the music you end up getting lost within.


Kids go to shows to lose their shit. Nothing’s changed there. If there’s an excuse to hang off ceiling and climb up walls with sweaty palms, people are going to take it. Solids are going to receive an awful lot of comparisons to Japandroids. But in the long run, it’ll help them. Youngsters will get word that there’s a new band in town ready to send basement venues into a frenzy, and they’ll turn up, turn out in their most disgusting clothes, ready for action. Signed to Fat Possum in the US, it’d be a crying shame if Solids didn’t in turn make their way to the UK for the kind of gigs every bored teen is crying out for.