It is common for a starting band to be asked to compare itself to bands that are more recognizable. As one example, the website NoiseTrade.com requests such input from each band that intends to post an album on the website, so that visitors to the site can use the information in deciding whether to take the time to sample the songs on an album.
Right now, it’s very common for bands to compare their sound to that of Mumford & Sons. In fact, the two authors of this blog like to think we have the Mumford sound as we caterwaul our way through a CD on the drive to a concert. In reality, one of us (but not both) has a good voice. But even at our best, we don’t remind anyone of those Scottish guys.
But sometimes comparisons are accurate and helpful, even if the comparison is to Mumford & Sons (Phillip Phillips “borrowed” the sound for the song “Home”). In fact, there are times when a comparison is undeniable. Here are some examples of bands channeling other bands.
In an earlier post, we mentioned this one. Phoenix is the more recognizable band in the comparison. This Phoenix is located in Versailles, France, rather than Arizona. We are looking forward to seeing the band at Coachella in April. Then, there is The Royal Concept, a Swedish band. Below is “Lisztomania” by Phoenix and “Gimme Twice” by The Royal Concept.
"Lisztomania" by Phoenix
"Gimme Twice" by The Royal Concept (FLR download)
Our second comparison involves The National, an Indie band formed in Cincinnati, but now based in Brooklyn. The National started in 1999 and has performed as headliners at festivals in various countries. The "clone" is No, a Los Angeles band. Below is “Sorrow” by The National and our favorite song by No – “What’s Your Name.”
"Sorrow" by The National
"What's Your Name" by No
"What's Your Name" is available as a FLR download, since No is allowing free downloads as a "thank you" to the exposure given the band by the very Indie-friendly KEXP in Seattle, Washington. The KEPX site is http://blog.kexp.org/2013/01/07/song-of-the-day-no-whats-your-name/
Third, if you are a fan of Muse, but not a fan of their recent album, then the Detroit-based Fur will help. Below is “Starlight” from Muse and “Another Satellite” from Fur – even the song titles seem related.
Fur is allowing free and legal downloads of a different song, namely “Irreversible," also thanks to KEXP.
"Starlight" by Muse
"Another Satellite' from Fur
The KEXP download for the FLR download of "Irreversible" by Fur is http://www.digitalwell.washington.edu/dw/1/51/2a/2a082508-787a-40a8-b98a-e9b3a3cf6df7.MP3
Next, the more recognizable band is NEEDTOBREATHE, who we found far better than we thought when we saw them at the Austin City Limits Festival last year. The "clone” is Sketches – but you have to compare the second voice and the banjo player at the 1:22 mark of Sketches to the NEEDTOBREATHE song. Sketches is another band from Sweden, while NEEDTOBREATHE is from South Carolina.
"Outsiders" by NEEDTOBREATHE
"Remnants" by Sketches, go the 1:22 mark to judge - another FLR download, but needs an email address
Finally, there is the Bret B. observation that sparked this post. Lord Huron is from Los Angeles. Lost Lander is a Portland, Oregon project of Matt Sheehy. But Yukon Blonde does a good Lord Huron as well, at least in the song “Fire.” So, there are three songs involved in this comparison.
"Cold Feet" by Lost Lander (Currently, if you go to the Lost Lander site, you can download the song for the price of your email address - http://lost-lander.com/)
"Fire" by Yukon Blonde - the Soundcloud version has been deleted, so we go to Youtube: