OurStage member, former MTV ‘Needle in the Haystack’ winner, and pride of British Columbia Alexandria Maillot just dropped a new single called “Time (On Your Own).” It’s a hypnotic, groove-heavy heavy-groove adorned with sweet and airy harmonies and a single reverbed-out guitar and maybe a baritone guitar riding a riff over the beat. It’s deceptively simple and kind of perfect for mid-summer evenings. She’s got it up on Bandcamp for free or pay-what-you-like download. Get it now.
There are a lot of factors to take into account when getting started as a musician. Everything from defining a genre, to picking a band name, to deciding what’s more important: touring or recording. This week’s Needle In The Haystack artist Oh My! is going through the growing pains of all of these factors, and despite band members living remotely and hectic touring, they’re coming out smelling like a rose. Well, as much as 5 guys crammed in a van can.
“So, we are Oh My!”a five-piece (Adam, Adrian, Emil, Johan, Martin) pop band from the town Sundsvall, located in the northern part of Sweden. We played our first gig two and a half years ago under the name Christopher Walken’s Hair, Oh My! believing that we were sort of a punk band, but soon we realized that we were a much more polished and finely tuned quintet than we had expected, Since then we have worked hard trying to develop and refine our expression to become what we are today.
The last two and a half years of our lives have been heavily shaped by the common dream we share together”the dream about making it as an independent music act without compromising with our own visions, taste and ideas. We’ve always put high value in playing our music live, and as a result our first years as a band has consisted of countless idiotically-long car drives, bad sleep and crummy economy. All this because of a conviction that it is as a live band you have the best chances to reach an audience in a more and more arbitrary music industry.
Right now we’re busy working on our debut EP which is scheduled to be released later this spring. And because of the fact that the five of us are located in three different cities, the work is characterized by a lot of planning and traveling across the east cost of Sweden. So even if we lately have cut down on touring, we still get our fair share of car breakdowns and fast food restaurant visits.”
This week’s free download from Needle In The Haystack artist Oh My! is perfect for those who like to wear their pants on the tighter side. In fact, it’s easy to imagine the their track “21” floating in the background of a sweaty, dark basement filled with colorfully flannel-clad hipsters. If you can’t say “I knew about them before everyone else,” don’t feel bad”this pop song can easily break the divide for pop lovers of all shapes and sizes. Luckily, though, you can watch the music video and download “21” below for free then say you did know about them before everyone else.
This week’s Needle In The Haystack is a mystery wrapped in good tunes. While Oh My! seems to have accounts on a respectable number of various sites, they choose to let the music do the talking, leaving little to be said by way of bios, etc. We do know that the five-piece hails from Sweden, which we had to correct ourselves in thinking was the land of the wooden shoes (that’s Holland, by the way). And that they are “defying the icy chill, delievering the rock, bop and swing.” Our favorite tid bit has to be them citing Christopher Walken’s hair as an inspiration. Isn’t it always, my friends.
Listen and learn more about these Swedish imports below, and stay tuned for more from Oh My! throughout the week.
For fans of: The Strokes, The Kooks, Arctic Monkeys
One of our favorite things about working with independent artists is that from humble beginnings come humble musicians. Nothing warms our ice cold hearts more than hearing a band’s story of how they started in their garage with high school friends and have gone on to truly embrace the fun of music together. Rather than listen to us wax on about the quantities of indie music, who better to discuss first hand than this week’s Needle In The Haystack artist, French Cassettes?
“Coming from a small central valley town with a population of 14,000 has definitely played a large role in how our band developed. Scott and I have been writing songs since grade school and our first actual show was on the bleachers by our high school’s pool. We had two acoustic guitars and just played a bunch of Strokes covers. Our grandma was just as excited for us then as she was when we won the Hayward Battle of the Bands, took second in the Bay Rising Battle of the Bands and were Top 4 finalists in a nation-wide MySpace competition. Every show we’ve ever played has secretly been dedicated to her.
I think even now we’ve earned a reputation as one of the humblest bands in the area. Maybe not the humblest¦ poorest feels more accurate. We just got done recording our newest set of songs where we needed special tools just to turn the busted tuning pegs on the guitars and relied heavily on the lenient return policy of Guitar Center for experimenting with different basses.
Probably the best thing about being an indie band right now is that nothing is off limits. Last summer we were playing a brutal four hour set at a car show and getting paid in cheeseburgers when Scott, apparently struck with inspiration, started playing some spontaneous fifties rock and roll riff which came to be the only song we play live that has never been rehearsed, discussed or even given set lyrics. People have asked me what that one song that goes As long as I’m with you-oooo is all about and I still don’t have an answer. Get to know us even better by listening to our unreleased EP ‘Summer Darling””.”
Sometimes when a band has a million members its easy to recognize. Arcade Fire, for instance, with its huge roster (we’re still not exactly sure whether its nine or ten) throws in sounds, instruments, vocals, hoots and hollers with such veracity into both songs and live performance that its virtually impossible not to recognize this is not your average sized group. While this week’s Needle In The Haystack artist, French Cassettes‘ musician count isn’t in double digits, six is still a lot of people to cram into a practice space” let alone a song-writing session. But the French-pop group makes it work, and somehow seamlessly conceptualizes songs like “Seahorse” with simple execution and clean transitions of what appears to be a lot of different views, like rolling vocals spliced with electrified guitars.
Check out the chaos that goes into a recording session with the French Cassettes below, and download the magic that comes out of it with “Seahorse”.