For the past 4 years Myspace has been deteriorating in a dark corner of the Internet, dragging a whole generation of bands with it and revisited for nostalgic purposes only. The site has now relaunched with a completely fresh look and the promise of staying true to its roots on the creative side – and that can only be a good thing, right? Look back on the glory days of Myspace and you had a social network that changed the way people discovered new music and provided an unmatched platform for bands to promote their material. Maybe it was a little overhyped, but if you remember the generation of artists that thrived with the social network, a relaunch can’t be all that bad.
When I think of a Myspace circa 2004, I think of the website that introduced us to The Arctic Monkeys, pioneered the whole new rave movement and had people worrying about the important things on a social network – like whether to put Late of the Pier ahead of Cajun Dance party in your top friends, or what bedroom-recorded Jamie T track to belt from your profile. Sadly, that same social network started to disappear along with the bands that succeeded with it. So, what happened to some of the buzz bands of the Myspace generation?
Late Of The Pier
If I had a Myspace friend for every person with a LOTP lyric in their bio, I would have had enough friends to launch a successful new rave career. Unfortunately, that wasn’t how it worked and all you really needed was a wardrobe full of neon and a KFC bucket for a necklace. My point is that a lot of people liked Late of the Pier and they actually managed to last until 2010 (apparently they are still on hiatus?) Most of the band tried out a few less than memorable side projects with Sam Eastgate, the formerly known Samuel Dust, producing Egyptian Hip Hop’s debut single W’ild Human Child/Heavenly’.
Ever since Dev Hynes picked up that trademark pink guitar the projects seemed to keep flowing, whether it was under Lightspeed Champion or most recently, Blood Orange. For founding members, Rory Attwell and Sam Mehran, things didn’t exactly surpass the heights of Test Icicles after the band’s split in 2006. Whilst Dev is producing for the likes Solange and Sky Ferreira, Sam and Rory have had a few under the radar projects and still seem to be recording tracks in their bedroom. Not that there is anything wrong with a DIY recording – remember Dev’s garageband EP’s?
Cajun Dance Party formed in 2005 and possessed the exceptional ability to make every drainpipe kid dance like they were suffering from an epileptic fit. Their first and only album ‘The Colourful Life’ was released in 2008 after a series of successful demos uploaded to their Myspace page. Then in 2009, members Daniel Blumberg – the one that used to run through buttercup fields to the sounds of indie yearning – and Max Bloom left the band to form Yuck, ditching high-held guitars and yelping for dirty riffs and laidback drawls.
The bassist for Laura Marling, The More Assured and Hares was one of the most sought after Myspace ‘celebrities’, and I use that term loosely. Essentially, he made heaps of girls flutter their eyelids by wearing a pair of colourful drainpipes and performing music videos from rooftops. Fast-forward five years and he is apparently the inspiration to Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and playing minor roles in films. So minor, I struggled to find a clip starring Slinky, so here’s a video from The More Assured that has all the ingredients for 2006 success – pink jeans, awkward guitar stances and a heartbroken chorus.
Klaxons (pictured above) were one of the most successful bands from the Myspace generation and much of that can be credited to the first couple of songs uploaded to their page in 2006. They then went on to win the 2007 Mercury Prize for ‘Myths Of The Near Future’ but struggled to reach the same heights with follow up releases. The band are currently working on their third album and an honorable mention has to go to keyboardist, James Righton, who is now engaged to Keira Knightly. I wonder if he had that in mind when he was inducing glow stick raves with the presets on his Casio keyboard?
Combining strained regional vocals with exuberant acoustic guitars, The Kooks first record ‘Inside In/Inside Out’ could be recited word for word by a generation of teens. Their rise to fame wasn’t necessarily down to Myspace but their decline seemed to mirror that of the social network – it was a downward spiral after that 2006 debut. They released a total of three records but the last thing I remember reading about the band was a story about Luke Pritchard having to kick Alex Turner in the head. Everything else seemed to be shoved aside and filed amongst a generation of ‘remember the…’ bands.
And of course, Jamie T, who entered the depths of a Myspace-less black hole, with his last album released in 2009 and never to be heard of… until now. Yes, that’s right, it was as if the London troubadour answered my countless pines for a return to our ears and finally resurfaced from wherever he has been hiding for the past 3 years. It may not be the grand return we were hoping for, but the brief yelp on Tim Timebomb And Friends (the latest side project from Rancid) rehashed ‘Wrongful Suspicion’ is hopefully a sign for more to come. With that, I leave you with this appearance from Jamie T, fresh from the year 2012.