Chosen by The Drums
Ones To Watch: The Non Chalants

It’s safe to say that The Drums know a thing or two about music. With a critically acclaimed debut and guitarist Jacob Graham’s decidedly misanthropic Holiday Records - a digital release-only label offering free weekly music - they’ve clearly got their finger firmly on the pulse. So we felt pretty confident giving them control of our Ones To Watch section this month.

We asked the Brooklyn quartet to let us in on some of the bands currently tickling their aural tastebuds. And from scuzzy feedback to toe-tapping twee, we’ve been given an exclusive insight into the musical tastes of Brooklyn’s indie darlings du jour...

The Non Chalants

1996: a bunch of scuzzy anti-heroes decided to form band and call it The Non Chalants.

OK, maybe they are not strictly a ‘Ones To Watch’ band per se, but as their sonic outpourings have always been confined to the US underground, their presence over here is hardly known. And it is unlikely that they will ever penetrate the mainstream, partly due to their unpredictability and largely due to their insistence on “playing, not promoting” their music.

So they have integrity, we can give them that. And they’ve also got intrigue: an M.I.A drummer adds a mysterious dimension to this band’s history. “He just vanished. We kind of fell out around the time I left for the East Coast and we just never found him again,” explains singer Joe E Jennings, his voice tinged with sadness. “We don’t know if he’s alive or dead.” But life goes on, and so does the music.

With their feet fixed firmly in the Nineties, The Non Chalants sound a bit like the melodic love child of Yo La Tengo, MBV and Stephen Merritt. Bittersweet, crackly and feedback friendly, they have kept those scuzzy fires burning for nearly fifteen years now and are in no hurry to douse the flames anytime soon...

The Drums say: “Clean, slow and melodic, and Joe’s a genuine weirdo, you know? He writes these really great melancholy almost shoegazey pop songs. They have a track that goes: “We just want to rock and roll forever”, and I just think that's the coolest thing”

Words by April Welsh

Where: Silver Lake, Los Angeles
What: Scuzzy shoegaze
Unique fact: The band currently reside in Hollywood.
Get 3 songs: ‘Rock And Roll (Forever)’, ‘Bodyguard’, ‘Roses By The Thorns’

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