Record labels. We need to have a serious talk.
Now, we like music as much as the next guy. Heck, we pretty much obsess over it. We’re those guys who take over the nearest stereo and put on a new band that we’ve been addicted to ever since we saw them in the grimy back room of a London pub, casually ignoring our friends’ pleas to ‘turn off this rubbish and put Katy Perry back on’. We’re the ones queuing up for hours in the freezing cold every Record Store Day, safe in the knowledge that we’ll soon be the proud owners of THAT limited-edition Bears Den seven inch. We’re the ones who spend days trawling through blogs and magazines, killing countless otherwise-productive hours by discovering endless new bands for us to fall in love with. Long story short, we love music.
However, we’ve noticed something that we think is a pretty major issue. There’s just not enough sunkissed Californian indie-pop in the world. Yes, you’ve made your Mumford and Sons, you’ve signed your Sam Smiths and you’ve blown up your Becks, but you just haven’t shown us enough of what the emerging songwriters of the West Coast have to offer.
We’re sure you’ll agree that this is a serious problem. Fortunately for you, we think that we’ve found the solution.
Los Angeles indie boys Mini Mansions are special. There’s no doubt about it; their songs are glorious slices of Californian sunshine, driven forward by the pounding rhythms of Queens of The Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman, the smooth basslines of Zack Dawes and the shimmering keyboards of talented multi-instrumentalist Tyler Parkford. They also happen to be a pretty great live band – their set at Plymouth’s Pavilions (as part of the band’s stint supporting newly crowned Kings of British Rock, Royal Blood) is an exercise in how to please a crowd, complete with mass-singalongs and a light show to rival that of the night’s headliners.
The band use their short set to showcase new songs from their forthcoming second album The Great Pretenders, as well as select cuts from their small back catalogue. Of the new songs, Death Is A Girl stands out – it’s a pounding and catchy piece of quirky indie-pop goodness, and it’s possibly the band’s best song. Otherwise, early single (and set opener) Sherlock Holmes is a definite standout; a brooding and angst-filled exemplar of the band’s songwriting talent, it ensures that the crowd are firmly engaged with the band by the end of the first chorus. Charismatic frontman Michael Shuman has the crowd in the palm of his hand throughout the band’s set – he’s clearly picked up a few tricks from Queens of The Stone Age bandmate Josh Homme, as he confidently commands the stage from behind his distinctive white drum kit.
Mini Mansions are one of our favourite new bands here at One on One Music, and we think that they’re going to be massive. They’ve clearly got the songs – their new album The Great Pretenders is packed full of the sort of indie anthems that fans are sure to adore, and it’s probably the only album this year to feature both Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner and Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson. They’re also one of the best live acts we’ve seen for a while – they manage to effortlessly transition their songs to the live arena, and we’d even go as far as saying that they sound even better live than they do on record. They’re in the middle of a huge world tour in support of Royal Blood, and you need to make sure you head down to a show. You won’t regret it.