Given the colossal size of North America, it’s somewhat natural for us NME correspondents from over this side of the Atlantic to look for musical communities and trends located to one region.
New York and LA are of course the two main hubs of musical activity but every once in a while, you come across something that spans the entire country and recently, it’s a Spectorish fuzz-pop sound that has been embraced and adopted by both by the Silverlake scenesters and the hipsters in Brooklyn.
On the west coast you’ve got Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast who have clearly taken some of their cues from classic girl group tunes. On the other side of the country, The Drums, Crystal Stilts and The Vivian Girls might not be super-chummy with each other, but they at least sound like they share some melodic headspace.
So if they don’t all swap second-hand records and drink cheap beer in the same bars, then what explains this sudden bi-coastal upsurge of classic pop sensibility? Personally, I’m willing to put my original 7” of ‘Be My Baby’ on The Raveonettes being one of the main progenitors.
In the UK, they’ve never been a band that indie types have taken to en masse but in the USA, they’ve enjoyed a solid and immovable cult fan base ever since their first album ‘Chain Gang Of Love’ arrived in 2003, earning them props (and those all important opening slots) from groups like The Strokes, Interpol and Depeche Mode.
Now, the Danish duo of Sharin Foo and Sune Rose Wagner (who are un-coincidentally based in LA and NYC respectively) appear to have given birth to a new generation of pedal-powered bands.
Don’t believe me? Well have another listen to Best Coast’s ‘Boyfriend’ and tell me you don’t hear echoes of about five different Raveonettes songs in its lilting melody and reverb soaked vocals.
Still not sure? Then here’s The Drums’ ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ being given the beats and noise treatment by The Raveonettes. The Brooklyn pretty-boys are self-confessed fans and asked them to remix the track personally. It might not be to your personal taste but you can’t deny that the Danes’ distorted re-working fits the Drums’ love of a catchy tune perfectly.
And finally, here’s The Dum Dum Girls paying the most obvious homage by covering The Raves’ ‘Heart Of Stone’.
It doesn’t end there either because this crop of new bands carrying The Raveonettes’ influence continues to grow rapidly. Check out the Radar blog for fuzz-pop gems from Frankie Rose And The Outs and Tamaryn for proof.
And if the surfy vibe of The Vaccines' much touted demo ‘If You Wanna’ is anything to go by, maybe that love for the Raveonettes is about to blossom in Blighty too. Wouldn’t be before time either.