Now, don’t get us wrong – we don’t want any of these artists’ groups to break up. The total opposite, in fact. But that doesn’t mean we’re not curious what a little extra-curricular musical activity could result in for these 13 songwriters who have made their names in big bands but are yet to go solo…
While the power of Foals’ sonic assault has always been rooted in the alchemy of the band as whole, there’s no denying that the antagonistic firecracker at its centre is where their special spark lies. Hudson Mohawke has already hinted at a collaboration with Yannis but, left to his own devices, a Philippakis solo offering could be brilliantly unhinged.
2Romy Madley Croft
Romy Madley Croft:
The xx are back in the studio, so it might be a little while until the band’s individual members have time to pursue their own exploits. But with Jamie xx’s solo LP ‘In Colour’ bringing the bangers, it’d be interesting to see how the band’s downbeat counterpart fares on her own. Ten tracks of heart-wrenching, emotional purging, anyone? Get the tissues.
The Queens Of The Stone Age rock god has proven over the years that he’s not only a gloriously good vocalist and guitarist with swaggering, riff-heavy tunes for miles, but also a mighty fine producer (see Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Humbug’ for proof). A few months locked away in his Joshua Tree studio then, and who knows what kind of filthy first album he could emerge with?
Yes, yes, we know that he already released a morsel of solo material in the form of 2011’s ‘Submarine EP’, but didn’t that leave you wanting more? Turner’s lilting tales of doe-eyed romance on that OST turned a good film into a great one and marked some of the most understated and underrated work of his career so far. A full solo album please, Al.
It’s no great secret that, though Tom Meighan may be the main vocalist, Serge is the creative force behind Kasabian. Though prizing the indie bromance of this generation away from each other might be a tough ask, it’d be interesting to see what psychedelic meanderings (and Google/bugle rhymes) the guitarist would deliver if he had full control of the mic.
Julian Casablancas has done two. Albert Hammond Jr’s offered up three and an EP. Nikolai Fraiture’s released one as Nickle Eye and Fab Moretti’s released one as part of Little Joy. Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi, however, is yet to turn his hand to a solo record and considering the diminishing productivity of his day job, now seems as good a time as any.
Considering that Bobby Gillespie is the only original member left in Primal Scream – a band who’ve had more than 20 people join and leave their midst over a 33-year career – you could arguably count the band as Bobby’s project anyway. A solo album proper, however, would still be a delight; away from his musical foils, to which sonic highlands would Gillespie go?
So this one’s contentious. Having been together since 1994, when they were wee pubescent teens (that’s nearly 20 years), Muse are clearly quite content as a three-man unit. However, Bellamy’s written a couple of tracks for other people (Adam Lambert and Kimbra, bizarrely) and you can’t help but be curious, can you?
Since Savages’ formation in 2011, frontwoman Jehnny Beth has been marked out as one of the most mesmerising, intense and often slightly terrifying vocalists around. If there’s anyone that could easily command a stage on their tod, it’s Jehnny. Plus, haven’t you always wondered what an Ian Curtis/Siouxsie Sioux hybrid record would sound like?
Way back when, in the late 2000s, The Vaccines’ Justin Young had a solo career as Jay Jay Pistolet. Folky of style and jaunty of melody, he made the kind of music that was resigned to Mumford & Sons opening slots for evermore. Now that Justin’s a fully-fledged indie rock star, however, we reckon he could have a much more exciting crack at the whip.
If there’s one thing that Franz Ferdinand and Sparks’ recent hilariously deadpan collaboration FFS has shown, it’s that Alex Kapranos doesn’t take himself too seriously. Imagine, then, how fantastically arch and dandy a solo record could be? Or – curveball – a totally sombre set of ballads that actively shy away from the dancefloor? The possibilities are endless.
Creative differences: those magic two words that have sounded the death knell for bands the world over. And surely it must be even more difficult to unite your creativity when there’s six of you in the band. A solo album would give Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch a little bit of ‘me time’ to unleash all his wildest sonic fantasies.
On 2014 LP ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’, Bombay Bicycle Club expanded their influences, delving into music from across the world to enhance their London indie pop. The key protagonist in this was frontman and keen globetrotter Jack Steadman. Inquisitive and curious, we’d wager he’s got a damn sight more tricks up his sleeve too.