Ah, the one hit wonder. There’s always been a few artists/bands who’ve hit the jackpot, producing a song which captures a nation’s, or even the world’s imagination, until it is over and over and OVERPLAYED! Thereafter, the band are judged by the heights of that one song, and most usually fade into obscurity. Well here are a few blasts from the relatively recent past, who hope to correct their fortunes, after the very same situation struck them!
1) Cage the Elephant
Cage the Elephant, burst onto the scene 5 years ago, with lead single ‘Ain’t No Rest For The Weekend’, filling the airwaves globally, and turning the band into a force. Their star dipped slightly since, with sophomore album, ‘Thank You, Happy Birthday’, not gaining a lot of buzz. However, the third LP has just dropped, and it’s not a total reinvention, just a lot better, the punk-rock has soothed a bit, to create a more enthusiastic sound. ‘Come A Little Closer’, is pretty reminiscent of the now broken-up Razorlight, lead singer Matt Schultz echoing the vocals of Johnny Borrell. Things look promising then, as their success never really dimmed in their native US, and this new release surely gaining them some more praise on these shores, with prominent spots at the Summer festivals of 2014 a definite!
The Scottish quartet first found commercial success almost 10 years ago, as ‘Take Me Out’ hit no.3 in the charts in 2004. That was part of their debut album, the self-titled hit that was a great collection of songs, and one that I listen to even to this date! ‘Do You Want To’, was the next big thing just the following year in ’05, but the album it came from, ‘You Could Have It So Much Better…’, was disappointing, similarly was the next LP, ‘Tonight: Franz Ferdinand’. Indie rock fans are rejoicing at the minute, as recently released record, ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action’, is a return to the sparkling form which saw them grab attention in the first place. The title is a lyric from the lead single, ‘Right Action’, which is reminiscent of ‘Take Me Out’, in the respect it is spiky, has a riff you have to keep listening to and is likeable. I must listen to the album more, but it is encouraging for the Scots.
3) The Naked and Famous
New Zealand’s second-biggest export, after my faves Flight of the Conchords of course, The Naked and Famous were first brought to the attention of the masses, with their eclectic tune, ‘Young Blood’, which brought US success. They toured all around the world, between 2010-12 performing in 200 shows in 20 countries all over the place. This summer has seen their second LP be released, and it’s nice. Technically, they haven’t really been away long, but it’s a return for the New Zealanders, who’re practically worshipped in their homeland.
4) Empire of the Sun
Empire of the Sun look like a bunch of eccentric, ‘artistic’ college kids messing around. But electronic duo, Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore, from Australia, create some nice beats. ‘Walking On A Dream’ and ‘We Are The People’, were their breakouts, becoming anthems of 2009. With both men having other musical interests, it took a while for them to return to their avant-garde side project, but this year has seen them get back into the groove, with a promising follow-up. The album seems more coherent with the bombardment of ideas going on, but lacks the standout singles that ‘Walking On A Dream’, the album, had. Still, an interesting project continues!
5) The Black Keys
Some may argue that the Keys never went away, and to be fair they haven’t. They’ve conquered both their US homeland and the United Kingdom, with a triumphant sub-headliner slot at Reading & Leeds last summer, and have continued to tour around the States since. They first hit the mainstream with single ‘Tighten Up’ coming from 2010 album, ‘Brothers’, album number SIX! They quickly followed this up with ‘El Camino’, in 2011. Singles like ‘Lonely Boy’, ‘Gold on the Ceiling’ and ‘Little Black Submarines’ cemented their reputation, and for many, they’re becoming recognized and known to by name, rather than ‘that band’.
Can you think of any others? Let me know in the comments below!