I did my musical basic training in the early eighties (yes, I’m that old) a time of amazing musical progress as the barricades that had been kicked down by punk were truly trampled into the dust. Now they say that music is cyclical, I believe them as a lot of the sounds that made up my record collection from back then can be heard in a new crop of Swindon bands.
I guess young musicians often find music that is new to them in the record collections of their parents, one of the advantages of the aging process is that, being a similar age, the bands of my youth are being referenced once again.
The obvious one is Sahara Heights, an ambient drifting sound anchored with just enough backbeat to give it structure and reminding me a lot of Power of Dreams, a band I was fanatical about as the eighties came to an end. White Lilac (pictured) has been an interesting band to watch develop. Faye Rogers, in a brave, year zero attitude, has turned her back on her previous pastoral, innocent, folk-pop sound, re-launching her band under the new name and delivering a brooding raft of ethereal beauty, chiming guitars and Cocteau Twins style atmospherics.
Coco Esq similarly incorporate sonorous washes of guitar as textures behind the more solid building blocks of their music. Dynamically clever, broodingly post-punk in their references and a wonderfully passionate stage presence means that they are another to watch out for.
Music is sometimes like a Rubik’s cube, turn it in the right sequence and all the colours line up and suddenly you have your own little scene of associated bands and ideas. Welcome to the new, nu-gaze revolution.
originally published in The Ocelot March ’15