We’ve reached Group D of our World Cup of Music and due to the unyielding and might I suggest authoritarian controls of the earthings! editorial team who insist we make submissions months, sometimes years in advance, I clearly have no idea what actually might be happening in the early games of the actual World Cup itself. But as I look out through my ice frozen window on to a snowy landscape in the midst of a harsh English winter, I’m reminded of Iceland and tentatively suggest that they will hold Argentina to a brave 1-1 draw in their opening game, and who knows Messi might be frozen with fear and miss a penalty too… [AW]
There is no doubt that Argentina do have an excellent alternative music scene too, and although every country is almost impossible to sum up in one paragraph, that seems particularly difficult with this country. So try duo Riel for starters, and then there’s hugely popular bands such a El malo a un policia motorizado, the more folk based Lisandro Aristimuño and Mi Amigo Invencible. But with a huge selection here’s a band who have just started to make a good impression in the last year or so: Las Ligas Menores, with a really nice song “fuego artificial”.
Nigeria might be slightly less well known for its guitar based alternative scene, but that is our focus for the group stages, and there are bands that have received some publicity. One Last Autograph made an impact a couple of years ago with their heavier take on indie rock; I’ve seen references to Threadstone quite regularly; I like what I’ve heard of the Rising Rain, too. But my choice to represent Nigeria is the band the Isomers, an indie rock band with soft melodic vocals, who’ve just released this track “There’s A Lunatic In Your Town”
Croatia are next up in this group, and they have a real mix of musical styles to think about. On the softer indie soul slash folk slash rock side of things, F5 have made an impression abroad; Sowas impressed me a couple of years back with their album; Valentino Boskovich show their folk and general wide range of influences; and more recently I’ve listened to Them Moose Rush who have a really distinct sound. But my Croatian choice is indie pop band the Orange Strips – they released a really good album a few years back, and slightly more recently released this song “Paperboy”.
Of course, big things are expected of Iceland in our World Cup of Music, a country with must have more musicians per head of population than any country in the world. Where do I start in the alternative music world? The brilliant Agent Fresco probably, then there’s Fufanu, When ‘Airy Met Fairy, Rythmatik, Baula, Knife Fights, old favourites such as Mammút and Bang Gang, and then duos such as Pascal Pinon and the young Between Mountains. And that’s without mentioning big stars abroad such as Of Monsters and Men and, of course, Sigur Rós. But somewhat controversially I’ll not even refer to the Icelandic band VAR, for my choice of CeaseTone as the Icelandic representative with songs that fuse rock, indie, pop, electronic sounds and guitar – this is the sensational ‘Humble History Song’’.
Group Winner: Iceland
[Next week: we’ll give Andy a break – we’ll have more on Monday.]