The Midlands was once a buzzing scene that broke bands such as Black Sabbath – but of late, there is a new wave of music coming out of Birmingham that’s grabbing the ears of the nation and fusing a range of different sounds. One of the most prolific names around town in the past two years has been The Arcadian Kicks (facebook/twitter) – a female-fronted five-piece with influences that include Fleetwood Mac, Sonic Youth and The Horrors. Their new material is a dark combination of echoing guitars and the powerful vocals of lead-singer Rebecca Wilson. It’s a sound that caught the ears of another Midlands music legend – Jon Brookes, drummer for The Charlatans, who signed the band to his record label One Beat Records.
The first of their new releases under One Beat Records, a track called You Play The Girl, features some warbling lead guitar chords and a great bass riffs but also a range of catchy lyrics that edge into the pop-world cautiously. The track was released as part of a Gap Clothing compilation and is available on free download.
Last week The Arcadian Kicks released the video for their newest offering – I Wanna Take You Home – which serves up similar melodic guitar lashing with catchy lyrics. The video itself is shot entirely in black and white and barely features the band. With plenty of alcohol abuse and pretty girls smoking, it’s a typically fitting video.
I Wanna Take You Home and You Play The Girl were both recorded with Mike Chapman, who produced many of Blondie’s albums. It’s a combination that seems to have moved the band towards a fusion of different genres and sounds, away from their typically indie roots. In fact the previous line-up even featured back-up vocalist and keyboardist Rebekah Pennington occasionally playing saxophone, which the band seems to have not utilised in the new tracks. Nevertheless their live performance is energetic and polished and the growing audiences at shows is a testament to band who may just be on the brink of national success.