Welcome to the Indie Update, where we check out indie music across genres! To kick off this feature I’d like to look at a band that represents both of my favorite genres of music, rock and indie.
Hailing from Scotland, Franz Ferdinand was formed in 2002 by Alex Kapranos (lead vocals and guitar, keyboard), Nick McCarthy (rhythm guitar, keyboards and backing vocals), Bob Hardy (bass guitar), and Paul Thomson (percussion and backing vocals). Julian Corrie (keyboards, synthesiser, guitar and backing vocals) and Dino Bardot (guitar and backing vocals) joined the band in 2017 after McCarthy left in 2016. Franz Ferdinand started their career off strong when their first 2 singles, "Darts of Pleasure"(2003) and "Take Me Out" (2004), reached the top 50 in the UK’s Singles Chart. They released their self titled album in February 2004, which featured 3 of their top singles: “Take Me Out”, "The Dark of the Matinée", and “Michael”. They have released 4 additional studio albums since then, with their latest album, Always Ascending, coming out earlier this year in February. This new album featured the singles “Always Ascending” and “Feel the Love Go”.
The Avett Brothers combine a variety of different genres in order to create their unique sound. The Avett Brothers was originally founded by Scott (vocals, banjo, harmonica, guitar, piano, kazoo, percussion) and Seth Avett (vocals, guitar, piano, kazoo, percussion), however they have had several additional band members in the past. They are currently joined by Bob Crawford (vocals, double bass, electric bass, trumpet, violin, mariachi bass, kazoo) and Joe Kwon (cello, musical saw, backing vocals, cowbell, kazoo, piano). The band has produced 9 studio albums and made countless appearances at festivals and as guests on numerous shows.
Most people know Bastille from their song “Pompeii” (January 2013), which peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart, and became the most streamed single of all time in the UK until June 2014. “Pompeii” was featured in several soccer video games, along with the move Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014). Other music from the band have been featured in a handful of FIFA video games as well. Dan Smith created Bastille as a solo project, but the project quickly expanded to include 3 additional members: Kyle Simmons (keyboard) , Will Farquarson (bass and guitar), Chris Wood (drums). Bastille’s third studio album, Doom Days, is scheduled to be released this year, but there is no scheduled release date yet.
Corbin Smidzik has had a couple different monikers since starting his music career in 2013. He released his first mixtape, Forest, under the name Spooky Black. In 2014 he released a mixtape (Black Silk) using the name Lil Spook, but the same year he released another mixtape (The Stand4rd) and an EP (Leaving) under his original name, Spooky Black. Shortly after that, he changed his name again to Corbin. Corbin uses SoundCloud to release all of his music, but rarely hints that he is working on new music until he posts it. In September 2017, he released his first studio album, Mourn.
I recently heard a new song, “Big” (2018) on SoundCloud, and it got me hooked on the band Lemaitre. Lemaitre was found in 2010 by members Ketil Jansen and Ulrik Denizou Lund. Originally from Oslo, Norway, the two met as classmates and formed their own band. They are now currently based out of Los Angeles, California. Since 2010, the band has produced 9 EP’s, 1 studio album, and a number of singles and remixes. In February 2016, their song “Cut to Black” was used by Facebook to promote “Friends Day”. Later that year, their song “Closer” was used in a commercial for the new Google Pixel.