The Buzz – Five New Bands You Need To Hear This Week

1. Car Seat Headrest – Mesmerisingly eclectic Yank driving all the old men crazy

Rumoured to be the subject of a huge bidding war among UK labels at present, Seattle’s Will Toledo has already got about ten Bandcamp albums under his belt, stretching back to the turn of the decade. He’s still only 20, and it’s nigh on impossible to characterise his music, which veers from straight up garage rock (‘Tybee Island Horse Ghosts’) to Pink Floyd-inspired epics (‘The Ending Of Dramamine’). Chuck in a few clever acoustic tracks that sound a little like The Strokes covering Elliot Smith (‘Stop Smoking’), and you have the makings of a major new talent.

But really, this is just scratching the surface. While not always appearing pretty – often his recordings are so lo-fi they make Jeffrey Lewis sound like Duran Duran – his music is beguiling and easy to get lost in, with its sonic soundscapes recalling the intimacy of Kurt Cobain’s recently unearthed pre-fame mixtape. The next step should really be a simple one for Toledo: sign to a decent label, collate the best stuff and start bugging the wider world to sit up and take notice. (MW)

2. Flesh World – Two US DIY punk linchpins join forces

Formed by two US DIY punk veterans – Jess Scott from SF noise-poppers Brilliant Colors and Scott Moore from queercore legends Limp Wrist – Flesh World may shout about “sturdy swiss hikers” like outdoorsy Boy Scout types but don’t be fooled by their wholesome song titles; they shoot them into scuzzy sonic oblivion. Kicking up hazy clouds of reverb and tearing through white-hot riffs at breakneck pace, with Jess Scott’s bittersweet vocal coo in tow, the band splice together classic golden-era punk with the heft of hardcore and louche-ness of jangle-pop for a sound that’s pure carnal pleasure. Following a string of US shows this summer, including dates with Total Control Lust For Youth, the band hit will UK in September, playing a nine-date tour including two shows in London at Oval Space on the 5th and New River Studios on the 12th. Debut album ‘The Wild Animals In My Life’ is out now via Iron Lung Records. (ACW)

3. Crepes – wryly endearing Melburnian guitar pop

Having blown into Melbourne from the Australian country town of Ballarat, Crepes are the next Bright Young Things in Antipodean guitar pop. Debut EP Cold Summers is full of breezy, nonchalant slacker tunes with charmingly dry lyrics, and the title single could just as easily be a 1950s prom slow-dance ballad with its nostalgic sparkle and dreamy harmonies. Tim Karmouche, who’s already proven his brilliance in Melbourne psych-garage band Hollow Everdaze, lends beautifully breathy vocals and stellar songwriting to the totally unassuming, keyboard-laden tracks that are gaining plenty of traction around Melbourne. Among Fraser A. Gorman’s favourite new bands (“The EP is an absolute cracker,” he says), the boys are playing a showcase at Bigsound in Brisbane next month. (ME)

4. Childbirth – Seattle supergroup are no joke

The fact that Seattle’s Childbirth have often been called a ‘novelty’ act by the people that praise them completely misses the point. The all-female punk trio, made up of members of Chastity Belt, Pony Time and Tacocat, first bleeped on our radars when they dropped ‘I Only Fucked You As A Joke’ last year. The video saw them adorned in maternity ward robes and deftly wielding stratocasters as they playfully inverted the language of male jock America. The canny and satirical gender destabilisation continues on their latest track ‘Let’s Be Bad’, which is taken from their debut LP ‘Women’s Rights’, arriving October 2. Julia Shapiro’s chorus of ‘let’s be bad, it’s a lady’s right!’ is the sound of double standards everywhere getting into the sea. Wry, lo-fi, and packing more zing than a jar of Colman’s, hell really hath no fury… (TH)

5. Palm – Maths sans the nerdyness

Based in Hudson, quartet Palm have just released the lead single from their debut LP ‘Trading Basics’, which is out November 6 as a joint venture between Inflated Records and Exploding in Sound. Marked by cacophonous syncopation, the messy intro deftly tumbles into a highly calculated and mechanistic symphony of interlocked guitar stabs. Vocalist Eve Alpert finds a melodic line through the lurching soundscape that’s eerily resonant of Josh Homme at his weirdest. Math rock they may be, but colossal bores they are not. (TH)

Words: Matt Wilkinson, Matilda Edwards, April Clare Welsh, Tim Hakki