7 Overseas Bands You’ve Gotta Hear, Vol. I: Last Dinosaurs, The Black Atlantic, Street Chant, Bodies of Work, I Only Date Models

Every few months or so, a music publication or blogger will tag a certain overseas country, region or city as “emerging” or “up and coming” or “place to be” for new indie and alternative rock music, and the gazillion sub-genres that branch outwards from that trunk. For a while it will be one overseas area, like, say, Manchester in the U.K., or Stockholm, and then some other critic will crown some other location, like Prague, while another insists only weeks later that it’s all happening in Melbourne.

We thought it would be much easier, and more interesting, to expand the new and wildly popular playlist series, 7 Bands You’ve Gotta Hear (or 7 Bands for short), into sub-categories, since there are so many bands and songs that we have posted and will be posting for weeks and months to come. Due to the positive response to the first installment of 7 Bands, and after we reviewed reader comments and web stats, we decided to expand the series into geographical categories.

Some people may be understandably skeptical that we have received over 1,200 submissions from bands and artists in the past six months, but it’s true. So, we’ve been going through them one by one, which can be draining and tedious at times, but it’s all worth it when we come across a fantastic artist or band that we never heard of before. In fact, we’re almost sure that this is the first “big” exposure on a U.S. indie rock music site for many of the artists in today’s 7 Bands installment.

Little by little, we’re getting through the approximate 1,200 submissions (and counting), and sorting out the bands we like the most by first listening to the songs they submitted, and if they get our attention, we then put them into a playlist which we listen to numerous times over a couple of weeks time. In that process, more songs are omitted, and others rise up, until we have a robust mix of just the songs that impressed us the most.

From there, we then go and review each chosen band’s complete submission. Really, it doesn’t change anything at this point – we don’t care where they’re from, if they’re DIY (which most are) or signed to a label, who they have opened for (or if they’ve opened for anyone before), what their bio says, and who are their biggest musical influences. All that really matters to us is the music, and that’s all we’ve ever cared about.

We don’t expect everyone to like every band we feature, but if most people come away with a couple songs added to their MP3 player, or even a new favorite overseas band, then we feel like it was a success and worth the great deal of time it takes to make these featured playlist posts possible. We can’t wait to see what all of you think of these bands, and we’ll be keeping count of which songs are played and downloaded the most. And there is SO much more to come, so stay tuned to IRC.   The bands in this issue of 7 Bands are:

Last Dinosaurs – Brisbane, Australia
The Black Atlantic – Groningen, Netherlands
Street Chant – New Zealand
Bodies of Work – London, England
I Only Date Models – Nottingham, England
Genuine Hamony – Karlstad, Sweden
Luciano Sprovieri – Los Angeles via Sao Paulo

The Last Dinosaurs are an indie rock band from Australia

Last Dinosaurs – Brisbane, Australia

In their native Australia, indie rockers Last Dinosaurs have been selling out shows all over the continent. No wonder. The band serves up brimming, energetic, blazing indie pop rock that is perfect for a summer barbie party, and even more, for live shows. We expect to see and hear more from this band in coming months, and are very interested in how IRC readers will respond to the band.

We think that others who stop by the cafe and hang out to listen to the two singles we’ve included from the band will wonder, as we have, why we haven’t heard of this band before.  One would think that a band with this level of pure talent, splendid songwriting abilities, and near perfect execution would be a big deal. Maybe we can change that right here and now. What do you think? As far as we can see, they’ve only be previewed before on a couple U.S. based blogs.

It’d be great to get this band to SXSW 2012 and see what the reaction is from the attendees. Hopefully they can get visas and get booked at U.S. and European venues and festivals. It’s basically a no brainer that Last Dinosaurs have the potential to be hugely successful to an international, rock-craving populace, which has a huge appetite for new and talented bands. And the same can basically be said for most of the bands in this series. If you enjoy the music you hear in today’s post – most of which is likely new to most of you – then you will really enjoy what we’ve got in the pipeline for upcoming editions of 7 Bands Overseas.

Now, back to Last Dinosaurs. This first track, “As Far As Your Concerned,” was the band’s debut single last summer, and it really struck a chord in the land Down Under. Their debut EP, Back From The Dead is out now and the band has embarked on an extensive Australian tour.

“As Far As Your Concerned”Last Dinosaurs from Back From The Dead

“Honolulu”Last Dinosaurs from Back From The Dead

Last Dinosaurs on MySpace


The Black Atlantic – Groningen, Holland

The Black Atlantic is an acoustic indie folk pop band based out of Groningen, Holland. The Black Atlantic’s music is an introspective and intimate affair of story-telling that relies heavily on vocal harmonies, and melodies via soft strummed guitars and banjos, pianos and minimal percussion. The band often evokes natural imagery to express their stories on love, death and family.

The Black Atlantic has toured in various incarnations around the world, mostly in North America, the U.K. and Europe, and have opened for bands such as Nada Surf, Patrick Watson and Saturday Looks Good to Me. In 2009, the band released their debut album, Reverence for Fallen Trees , most of which was recorded during the autumn of 2008 in a log cabin in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. TBA are recommended if you like Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Sigúr Ros and Patrick Watson.

“Fragile Meadow”The Black Atlantic from Reverence for Fallen Trees

“Heirloom”The Black Atlantic from Reverence for Fallen Trees

Download Reverence for Fallen Trees for free.

The Black Atlantic on Myspace

Street Chant – Melbourne via New Zealand

Over the past couple of years, New Zealand indie rock band Street Chant, have made quite an impression in their homeland, and little by little, outside their Down Under domain. In fact, their mini blog hit, “Scream Walk,” made the rounds, but less so in the U.S. In fact, the single appeared on some blogs’ and music sites’ top singles of 2010 lists.

Now based in Melbourne, Australia, we think Street Chant is the only band in today’s post that has performed at CMJ. Their appearance last fall at New York‘s famous CMJ was one of the most anticipated out of hundreds of artists and bands vying for any piece of territory where they could plug in and jam. For each of Street Chant’s performances during CMJ week, the venues were packed with lines waiting outside. The track included below, “Scream Walk,” was one of the songs that propelled the band to a position of being chosen to perform at CMJ.

A few weeks ago, the band’s publicist sent us a new single, “The Fatigues” from the band’s April album release, titled Means. So, we have a newer and older track to offer.  The raw talent, overwhelmingly positive press and word of mouth about Street Chant have definitely earned them a place among our 7 Overseas Bands You Gotta Hear.

“The Fatigues” Street Chant from Means

“Scream Walk”Street Chant from Street Chant EP (2009)

Bodies of Work – London, England

Since forming in 2009, London DIY band, Bodies of Work ,have created a small discography of dark and glittery alternative pop music, capturing melodrama with flashbulbs and sequins. Lead by compulsive frontman, Martin Bjorck, Bodies of Work has found common ground alongside Lizzie Holdforth (synth/vox), Chris Morgan (drums), and Andy Wright Becker (bass), thriving on musical extremes, as evidenced on the band’s EP debut, Flyers, which features soaring synths and gritty guitars intertwined with a powerful and sophisticated rhythm section.

The band’s musical skills and talent are showcased throughout Flyers. On the stand-out track, “Feathers”, by the second time the chorus came around we found ourselves singing along and tapping our feet. But the EP’s most accomplished track, “Flyers,” features a minor, catchy synth riff accompanied by the Interpol-esque guitar driven chorus.

We think Bodies of Work are just waiting to be discovered by indie fans everywhere, including the all-important U.S. market. Surprisingly, not much has been written about Bodies of Work on music sites or blogs in the U.S., and their band name is not particularly search engine-friendly. But, we’re hoping that today’s post will bring the U.K. band more interest from across the pond.

“Flyers”Bodies of Work from Flyers EP

“Feathers” Bodies of Work from Flyers EP

Bodies of Work on MySpace

What others are saying:

“Expect big things from Bodies of Work” – Richard Bowes, London Tourdates

“With songs of this caliber they won’t be quiet for long” – Record Collector

“Bursts with vim and vigour and unabashed catchiness… performed with conviction and passion” – God is in the TV

I Only Date Models – Nottingham, England

In October 2010, the Nottingham UK indie pop band I Only Date Models dropped their debut LP, This End Tomorrow. It’s no surprise that less than a year since forming they’ve become one of the most popular new bands in Nottingham and were recently featured on the BBC, the all-important foot-in-big-door broadcast for aspiring young UK bands since the 1960s.  Based on these two songs alone, we’re listing I Only Date Models as a UK Band to Watch in 2011.

The track “This Ends Tomorrow” is almost immediately an instant indie hit if there ever was one, so we would not be surprised if it ends up on the upcoming Top Ten Songs mixes. Since today is Saturday, the track doesn’t quite qualify for inclusion on this week’s Top Ten, so we’ll have to wait a week to see, but we’ll be watching the numbers all week and will let you know via our Twitter Glitter.

In edition to “This Ends Tomorrow,” the boys also sent us the riveting guitar-drive rocker, “Tunnels,” another track that is not hard to imagine as a hit single. While the argument could be made that the sound is a bit too polished to be “indie” we beg to disagree – the band are unsigned. That makes them much more indie-legit, if you will, then many other bands that are labeled indie.

We can hear the comparisons already (so we won’t even mention them), but we were surprised to find out that no one in the cafe has ever heard of I Only Date Models before, especially for our readers in the U.K., where IODMs are building a growing audience of fans.

“This Ends Tomorrow”I Only Date Models from This Ends Tomorrow

“Tunnels”I Only Date Models from This Ends Tomorrow

IODM list among their musical influences deadmau5, Skrillex, Biffy Clyro, Phoenix, and Phil Collins.

Genuine Harmony – Karlstad, Sweden

From the city of Karlstad, Sweden, the four-member, unsigned indie pop outfit, Genuine Harmony, formed in 2008 and recorded their first demo in the autumn of 2009. About a year later, after winning two music contests and playing at different venues around Sweden, the band released their EP, A Thousand Times Before.

The band has had some good press coverage in Sweden and in scattered areas across Europe, but not much at all in the U.S. Maybe we can help change that. While most bands do not list their band members’ names in their submissions, even though we highly recommend it, Genuine Harmony did; the band is made up of Simon Öman (vocals, guitar, songwriting), Christoffer Zetterlund (guitar, vocals, songwriting), Ola Nilsson (bass) and Jakob Bäckman (drums).

Genuine Harmony have opened for bands we’ve never heard of like The Fast Forwards, Magnus Weideskog, Starboys, Snowstorm, and Jacks n’ Jokers, and consider among their biggest musical influences bands like The Beatles, Arctic Monkeys, The Kooks, The Kinks, The Libertines, First Aid Kit, Those Dancing Days, Mando Diao, and more.

“Flowsnakes”Genuine Harmony from A Thousand Times Before

“You, Me & Coco”Genuine Harmony from A Thousand Times Before

Genuine Harmony on MySpace

Luciano Sprovieri – Los Angeles via Sao Paulo

From São Paulo, Brazil, DIY singer/songwriter and pop musician Luciano Sprovieri wrote his first song when he was only eight years old. As a self-proclaimed lover of melodies, Sporvieri continued to pursue a passion for music, and a penchant for songwriting, from that moment to the present day.

In 2005, he fulfilled a personal dream to move to California. Since then, he turned his attention to releasing a debut album last fall called Drifting By. In the box on the submission form for ‘Bands Opened Up For,’ Sprovieri indicated none, but did not elaborate. His personal musical influences include Return to Forever, Weather Report, Marisa Monte, Gilberto Gil, Milton Nascimento, George Benson, Luis Gonzaga, Jethro Tull, Eric Clapton, Air, Marvin Gaye, Pearl Jam and many others

“Ocean” Luciano Sprovieri from Drifting By

“Shattered” –  Luciano Sprovieri from Drifting By

Luciano Sprovieri on Facebook

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  1. You all must be high. They all suck but one ,Jeff the Brotherhood knows something about rock.

    1. Thanks Jessie – we totally agree (hmm, wonder why…) 🙂

      Don’t miss today’s 7 Bands series – this time, 7 bands overseas.

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