B-Sides: Three Bands to Watch

Toss out those 2010 Best-of lists, here are three bands to keep an ear out for in the new year!

Bachelorette aka Anabel Alpers wears psychedelic sunglasses
Bachelorette is the project of New Zealand’s Annabel Alpers. Her electronic pop mixes ’60s harmonies and ’80s synth with contemporary and unique composition. Her first stateside release was 2009’s My Electric Family, but last November Drag City re-released her first two albums, Isolation Loops and The End of Things. You’ll find two albums worth of beautifully looped vocals (see “And the Earth Knew Absence”), simply plucked guitars, and lyrics that veer from the quirky to the melancholy. It’s perfect timing to get hooked on her sound that’s dreamy and fun, quiet yet catchy before an entirely new Bachelorette album comes out in spring!

Here’s her video “Her Rotating Head,” from her 2009 album My Electric Family. Not to get too academic, but I think both the video (If a YouTube commenter is correct, the background imagery is from a retro video called “Women are customers too!”) and lyrics (“She’ll walk behind you, she’s eternally yours to reject and explore/Her body of plastic and joints of elastic can look so elegant with her rotating head”) deconstructs the objectification of women’s bodies. And the song is great.

Palo Verde
The two women of Palo Verde wear yellow suits. One plays a guitar and one is behind a drum kit.
If you like dark, pared-down, and unapologetic un-catchy music check out Palo Verde, a two-piece powerhouse of a band. Lauren K’s smashing drums and Terrica Kleinknecht distorted guitar are like a metal show that could fit in your living room. Don’t expect some pop song that will be stuck in your head. Their songs grow slowly and organically, turning into a swirling growl of psychedelic guitar and mesmerizing drumming.

Streaming their songs online just barely do justice to their sound, and if you get the chance to see them live you’ll be treated to some of the most intense drumming of your life. (Don’t forget to bring your anti-face melting serum). Watch Lauren K in action here and prepare for ten minutes to come sooner than you thought (Invincible Summer’s Nicole J. Georges is in the vid too!)

Hercules and Love Affair
Five members of Hercules and Love Affair
Hercules and Love Affair is your one-stop go-to for feel-good electronic dance. Their line-up of Andrew Butler, Kim Ann Foxman, Nomi Ruiz, has added vocalist Shaun Wright to the mix, who sings lead in their latest single, “My Home,” which is off their upcoming album blue songs that will be out from Rough Trade later this month. Stream it below or watch the video on the Guardian.

Hercules & Love Affair - My House by Freeman PR

by Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

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2 Comments Have Been Posted


wow. very cool. thanks for the introduction to annabel alpers, i cannot get enough.

One more new band suggestion

I have to add Wild Flag. Just saw them last week. They really rock. When half the band was in Sleater-Kinney, what do you expect?

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