The undiscovered country…

Heartless Bastards - Erika WennerstromImage via Wikipedia

I’ve been involved in some amazing discussions about discovering long-tail, under-the-radar bands (who are consequently great) lately.  It’s quite exciting.  I wouldn’t have heard of any of these guys even 8 years ago – the wonder of the internet, I suppose.

We take a two-pronged approach here at Penny – we’re both part of the SF Bay Area, our area of genesis if you will.  On the other hand, we’re Northern Irish, born and raised.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the differences of both places lately, of the pluses and minuses of both.

But today I realized the best music I’ve heard all month has come from two bands:  one from the Bay and one from Belfast:

I hit on Two Sheds via the (imho) best podcast in the world –  (Seriously, check it out.  If only all local music podcasts were this great!).   A mix of Heartless Bastards, Holly Golightly and Cat Power:- the starkness of the melodies, the little flourishes of spoons, strings or horns just hit all the right spots.

On the home-front, a good friend recommended DuChampions.  Again, a wonderfully lyrical female at the helm, there’re hints of Broken Social Scene (ok, more like signposts) which is never a bad thing and the part-sung, part spoken vocal styles of some of the tracks are wonderful reminders that it’s not just Van Morrison, Belfast’s favorite son, who can get away with such affectations.  More importantly, the band sounds like they’re laying down their lives for the songs – which’ll make me a follower every time.

So, what’ve you discovered lately that’s under the radar but still blowing you away?  Doesn’t have to be local, or even unsigned – just something not a lot of folks have probably heard.

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