Here on our tiny island, it truly is astonishing how much bubbling talent we have in the indie community. But sometimes we get the blessing of reaching out and discovering amazing ensembles from our foreign friends. We present to you, ICM Award: Best International Act.
The Lighthouse – Belgium
After finding the Belguim five-piece through SoundCloud last year, I instantly fell in love with their single, ‘Hollywood’. Now we’re in 2017 The Lighthouse have seen a huge surge in attention from performing for Pukkelpop, and an attempt to get ‘Joyride’ from their latest EP into the De Afrekening and MNA.be top 50 charts! Their indie pop is sun-drenched with high pitch synth melodies and funky guitars.
Hippo Campus – America
Hippo Campus have secured that classically dreamy indie-band sound under their belts. Their previous EP, ‘Bashful Creatures’, is safe and easy going; a mixture of cool evening vibes and summery guitar melodies. First impressions of their debut album, ‘landmark’, take us back to when we first found this band during the last few hazy days of summer.
Speaking of their album, they said “we had to go through a process of asking ourselves mundane and stereotypically “sufferable” questions like, “What do we want to write about? Who are we writing for? What’s the point of writing? etc.” Then we figured out that all we had to do was write. Plain and simple. Ask questions later/never.”.
It is this attitude that gave the 2017. Just be the band they want to be, ask questions later/never.
The Academic – Ireland
The Academic are on the verge of taking the indie scene by storm! After a few successful years slowly releasing new music, 6 different singles along with a 5-track EP, these young lads certainly have a repertoire ready to drop an absolute banger of an album. However, it’s their creative flare that we love here at IndieCentralMusic. This year saw The Academic use Facebook Live to create a paradox of delays and overlays. The product of such ingenuity is a perfected build up layered track edition of their very successful single, ‘Bear Claws’.
COIN – America
Nashville quartet COIN released their sophomore album ‘How Will You Know If You Never Try’ in April releasing a blistering punch of summery 90’s vibes and infectious pop anthems that will rock your world. The band have just broken through the UK music scene this year with an eight-date UK tour which finished on Thursday (30th November). COIN have produced an album that gets you hooked, chilled and in complete awe of this album. There are certainly great things ahead.
Cold War Kids – America
Cold War Kids are on their sixth album, L.A. Divine the Silverwater quintet have earnt their right veterans of the Alt-Rock world. Although the album got mix reactions by critics, we believe that the album is a strong statement of the bands’ musical talent and experience. L.A. Divine is a slow burner, heavily piano-based Cold War Kids have created something soulful that reaches into your heart. Now isn’t that what a great band is supposed to do?
Crooked Colours – Australia
Crooked Colours are an Aussie trio who released their debut album ‘Vera’ back at the end of June. The album gave them a huge sure in fans which isn’t surprising when tracks like ‘Flow’ and ‘I Hope You Get It’ clean guitar licks, percussive drum sequences, and lead-singer Phil’s seductive vocals that draw the listener in further with every verse. And Melbourne Hip Hop rapper Ivan Ooze in I Hope You Get It’ brings out different charismatic and distinctive vocals to the album. ‘Vera’ is an upbeat and funky debut album from Crooked Colours, their electronic indie pop style which came just in time for summer.
Phoenix – France
Paris quartet Phoenix are no strangers to experimenting with their music, they have been tinkering away with their sound since they began in 2000. What makes this album extra special is combining English and Italian lyrics into their album ‘Ti Amor’ – which in English means ‘I Love You’. This is a really lovely combination of languages which not many huge successful bands out there do that in their work. Phoenix are an exception to the general rule, which is why everyone loves them, they are different compared to the rest.
Portugal. The Man – America
From across the pond, Portugal. The Man, have exploded across many countries with 2:43 of pure bliss. 232,254,768 listens on Spotify puts their ‘Feel It Still’ track way higher than Foo Fighters ‘Everlong’ (172m) and Kings of Leon’s ‘Use Somebody’ (209m) for example. ‘Feel It Still’ comes off of their 9th studio album, ‘Woodstock’, and has interpolations of The Marvelettes’s. ‘Please, Mr. Postman’, this caused widespread appreciation of the track after the track single handedly combined two amazing artists! But to take the shine away from just that one track, the entire, ‘Woodstock’ album features other incredible tracks such as ‘Live In The Moment’, ‘Rich Friends’ and ‘So Young’.
Imagine Dragons – America
Imagine Dragons ‘Evolve’ marks a significant change in the sound we typically come to expect from Imagine Dragons, with a greater emphasis being placed on the piano, drums and vocals to ensure a more modern, pop-rock finish. Smoke + Mirrors was a big disapointment in my opinion as their debut was an outstanding piece of work, so the lads from Las Vegas seriously needed to buck up their ideas. Thankfully they did.
Otherkin – Ireland
Otherkin have done Ireland proud in 2017. Finally getting round to releasing their self-entitled debut LP, Otherkin have had a great year touring and showcasing their hard efforts across many countries. With an unbelievable 48-date tour, it is no surprise why the album was giving Shania Twain’s LP release a run for it’s money!