New Artist Alert: Lola King and the Kickstarts

A possible next big thing from Britain?

A possible next big thing from Britain?

You know, one of the sad things you find out about when you become the music correspondent for an Anglophile blog is that, when you get started, you find out how little you really know about the music scene. You may even find out about a whole mess of pop acts who have inexplicably become insanely popular in Britain (think Cher Lloyd and One Direction) and are slowly encroaching on American shores. But still, there’s quite a few acts (more often than not indie) that prove to be the kind of music truly worth fighting for. In recent days, I’ll count acts like Florence and the Machines, and the xx as acts like this, and I hope someday that this list will include an act like Lola King and the Kickstarters.

Last year they were selected by BBC Introducing to play at Hackney Weekend and have since been played on Radio 1, BBC 6, BBC3 and Ch4. Their debut double a-side single Bounce Together/This Is Not a Love Song is due for release on 20th May 2013; in the meantime the single is available as a free download.

But before I give you the link, let me try to explain what you’re in for. They’ve been compared to No Doubt, The Streets, and Florence and the Machine, but none of them really capture what you’re in for. The only artist singer Lola King can truly be likened to is herself. The first side, “Bounce Together” has one of the catchiest melodies I’ve discovered in quite a long time. The song is one of those songs where the guitars switch from acoustic to electric at the flick of a switch. It’s an uptempo number, and the hard-rocking guitar solo, played by Lola King’s brother Dan, while it, at times, doesn’t seem organic, still sounds excellent. The other side, “This is not a Love Song,” a synth-driven number more consistent in style than “Bounce Together.” It’s less catchy, but still an excellent song. Overall, they look like a fun group. If I heard it while surfing channels on the radio, I’d gladly stay and listen to it. Overall, the closest thing I can have to a complaint about the band as a whole is that Lola has the thickest Cockney accent in music since Billy Bragg, which can make it difficult to understand the lyrics. Sadly, there is no lyrics sheet available, but, given that I also enjoy Tool, a band dedicated to the twin principles of incomprehensible singing and no lyrics sheet, I have no reason to complain.

Their single is due for release on 20 May 2013, but in the meantime, you can visit their official website here, and download their songs for free there. By all means, go there, if for no other reason than you want to make sure that people get that there’s more to British pop than One Direction and Cher Lloyd!

Or, you can also see their Hackney Weekend performance here: