The 1960s brought many wonderful things: tie-dye tees, “special” brownies, and of course, an onslaught of British rock ‘n’ roll. The British Invasion has come in several waves since, with legends like The Beatles and later on, The Cure. Even today fantastic new talent continues to spill overseas from the U.K.
However, other countries have produced similar musical talent and thankfully, it’s much easier for them to develop a fan base in America now than it was 50 years ago.
While the British Invasion is hardly a thing of the past, let’s take a look beyond the motherland to discover more imported talent from the last dozen years. Here are four bands with accents as swoon-worthy, and melodies as infectious as anything to come out of England.
Of Monsters and Men
Of Monsters and Men, originating from Iceland, made a splash in the folk/pop scene this year when the catchy track “Little Talks” became an Internet sensation. The band has since released a full-length album entitled My Head is an Animal. It’s not hard to see why it is such a hit: one can’t help but be charmed by Nanna Bryndis’ quirky yet powerful voice, especially when perfectly complemented by co-singer Raggi Porhallsson. Together, they create chillingly beautiful vocals over the band’s full-bodied, clap-along melodies. The sound is fun, uplifting, and impossible to resist.
French pop-rockers Phoenix made quite an international debut in 2000. The band’s most recent album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, was a smash hit with two chart-topping singles and a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album. The band is known for its bubbly, synth-heavy pop. However, it’s been hinted that its next album (to be released any day now) will go off the beaten path and head into more experimental territory.
Jens Lekman has a better command of the English language than most of the people who were born speaking it. While his music is pop-based with jazz influences, it’s worth a listen for the lyrics alone. He manages to make them poetic, insightful, conversational, and humorous simultaneously. His music gives listeners a peek inside his wonderfully eccentric mind, and if ever there was a mind worth peeking into, it’s Lekman’s.
Though The Vines were about 40 years late for the British Invasion of the ‘60s, they sound like they should have been a part of it. This Australian rock band mixes ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll with ‘90s grunge, creating a sound that is both gritty and totally toe-tapping. The drummer and rhythm guitarist were dismissed from the band since the release of its latest album, Future Primitive, last year, making the group’s future uncertain. Hopefully, The Vines can work out any differences, but in the meantime, enjoy the band’s homage to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in the 2011 video, “Gimme Love.”