Some bands I can’t quite tell you why I like. If you described them to me, I might not even give them a listen. I’m not usually a fan of angular music or songs with dancey beats, but for some reason I looked into French Miami back in April and not only did I like them, I became obsessed. When we got their EP down at KZSU, I played it a lot. And I liked their set at Rock Make Street Festival in August. Now their first and self-titled full length is out.
If I had to pin down why I liked them, it’s how they balance melody and the hard-edged, angular and interesting riffs that anchor the instrumentation. Many more of the angular and arty rock bands tend to eschew melody mostly or entirely, but French Miami’s balance reminds me at times of Bakesale-era Sebadoh. They also have a good sense of song structure–they mix up different parts enough that it’s interesting but keep things together enough that it still feels cohesive.
The band’s bio traces their routes to Southern/ Touch and Go bands and I think that may be a necessarily link to why their music was on a fast path to me liking it from the get go: I grew up on many of those T&G/ Southern bands like Seam, Coctails, and–heck–one of my first indie rock CDs had bands like Jesus Lizard, June of 44, Shellac, and Tortoise.
But let’s step back a second here: do you care why I like them? Maybe not. So, let me say something about why you might like them: they build interesting songs out of rockin’ riffs, sweet synths and nice melodies.
They’ve got two shows coming up, including this Friday:
12/19 French Miami, Happy Hollows, Master Slash Slave @ Bottom of the Hill, 10pm, $8, 21+
1/6 French Miami, Maus Haus, Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion release party @ the Knockout, 7pm, free??, 21+
Other local and I’m listening posts (newest-to-oldest):
- Silian Rail
- Dodos (…I’m still listening)
- Two Sheds
- Lightening Bug Situation
- Nyles Lannon
- Or, the Whale
- Ian Fays
- Port O’Brien
- Beatbeat Whisper
- the Finches
- the Dodos