Northampton five-piece OhBoy! recently released their single ‘Hey Princess’, followed by the fuzzed-up ‘Dirt’ (watch the video below, it’s well worth it for the elephant alone).
To celebrate their recent signing to Canvasclub in the US (they’re with our pals Alcopop in the UK), the band have put together a playlist featuring some of their favourite independent bands and labels.
“As a band, we’re pretty independent” they explain. “We engineer everything ourselves. Jay’s gotten pretty good at sticking a mic on something and pressing the record button. We also write, direct, and co-edit our videos.”
The Dandy Warhols – ‘(Tony, This Song Is Called) Lou Weed’
Jay Brook: Way before the mega deal with major label Capitol Records, The Dandy Warhols put out this incredible first album on the Portland-based independent Tim/Kerr. This Dandys and Jonestown scene was a signal of what was to come in the next ten years. Of course the press at the time weren’t ready for it and trashed it. NME said it was ‘an awful lot of stoned noodling and pretty much sod-all else’ and Q Magazine described it as ‘what the Portland quartet sound like on bad drugs’, but it spoke to me. I love this first album. It’s a little more lo-fi than their later stuff but the vibe is so strong.”
Silversun Pickups – ‘Lazy Eye’
Jay Brook: Independent label Dangerbird have rarely let me down. I love pretty much everything they release.
‘Lazy Eye’ by Silversun Pickups was the first of their output I heard and it slapped some sense into me. I was growing progressively more and more disillusioned, playing for a parade of country singer-songwriters and Silversun Pickups reminded me how awesome a fuzz pedal can be. The band have moved away from the sound I fell in love with but I still play their early albums all the time.
Pedro the Lion – ‘Penetration’
Label: Jade Tree
Lee Irons: I love this album. The guitar sounds are awesome, so simple and effective. Lyrically the whole record is sad, sarcastic and damn right hilarious. This track is no exception: “Have you ever seen an idealist with grey hairs on his head, or successful men that keep in touch with unsuccessful friends? You only think you did, and I could have sworn I saw it too, but as it turns out it was just a clever ad for cigarettes”.
Ex Models – ‘It’s on Television’
Label: Ace Fu
Lee Irons: Bit of a rogue choice this one. For some reason, when I was thinking of American artists on independent labels this song popped into my head straight away. It’s a great way to open an album. Like someone has opened a door and 45 very excited puppies have run through it all at once. Again, great guitar playing/sounds. Like two Andy Gill’s trying to out-do each other.
Turnover – ‘New Scream’
Label: Run For Cover
Meg Amirghiasvand: Run For Cover is one of my favourite independent labels. They’ve put out stuff from Basement, Mewithoutyou, Pity Sex, Citizen…basically a bunch of my favourite bands. My favourite release that the label has put out in recent years by an American band is Turnover’s ‘New Scream’. I am pretty much obsessed with any reverb or chorus-heavy guitars and this album has them by the bucket-load, particularly due to singer/guitarist Austin Getz’s use of a Roland Jazz Chorus amp on the record. Summery, poppy, emo goodness.
Title Fight – ‘Shed’
Meg Amirghiasvand: Title Fight’s ‘Hyperview’ is without a doubt one of my favourite records, but I also love their earlier stuff, especially ‘Shed’ which was released by SideOneDummy Records. If you know anything about the early 2000s pop-punk/hardcore scene, you’ll know how influential this label is. They launched the careers of bands like The Gaslight Anthem and Gogol Bordello, as well as Title Fight. This record is everything I love about post-hardcore music; it’s the type of stuff your Mum tells you to turn down, but it’s melodic enough that you might catch her singing along when she thinks you’re not listening!
Ben Folds Five – ‘Philosophy’
Mark Nicholas: This was the first album by Ben Folds that I heard and it’s still my favourite. Easily in my top ten albums of all time. It’s raw in places but shows off the talent of Ben and the band superbly. Who said a piano-led power pop trio would never work?
Todd Rundgren – ‘Long Flowing Robe’
Label: Ampex Records
Mark Nicholas: I’m a huge Todd fan and the first track from his debut album truly sets him on the path of genius. It’s got to be one of the catchiest songs I’ve ever heard.