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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

#16: Parma Violets - NME's New Favourite Band.




The deliciously saccharine named Palma Violets have been a band for less than two years but that hasn't stopped them taking the underground by storm, and now, in 2013, the band look destined to break through in to mainstream stardom.

Hailing from Lambeth, London, Palma Violets have just recently signed to Rough Trade Records after they were the only label that didn't show up to their gigs bearing cases of beer and packets of cigarettes.

Drawing media comparisons to the likes of The Libertines and The Strokes their garage-pop sound has more in common with The Vaccines than either of the former. Indeed, singer and bass player Chilli Jesson sounds more like The Vaccines Justin Young than perhaps even Young himself does.

Hotly tipped as a band to watch out for; Parma Violets have appeared on Later With Jools Holland and graced the cover of the NME, twice (most recently with BBC Sound of 2013 winners Haim) and all this before even having released an album. But with their recent signing to Rough Trade, that looks set to change. Debut album 180 gets released on February 25th ahead of a small UK tour to promote it. Not only are they embarking on their own headline tour, but they're also part of this years NME awards tour, which in the past has given rise to such indie royalty as The Killers and Arctic Monkeys to name just two.

Does this mean that Palma Violets are destined for greener pastures? I think it's pretty safe to say so. Given the incredible support the band have garnered over their short life span. Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe selected their (second) single 'Step Up for the Cool Cats' as his “Hottest Record in the World” which is somewhat hyperbolic in that while the song itself is a strong single and catchier than a cold the band have yet to develop their own stylistic sound and still obviously owe a lot to the bands that influenced them.

That said however first single 'Best of Friends' and it's B-side 'Last of the Summer Wine' are much more on point with 'Best of Friends' especially standing out. Sounding like The Vaccines if they jammed with Black Kids playing Ramones covers in a sweaty club in NYC, 'Best of Friends' is a sure fire festival favourite this Summer. The flipside 'Last of the Summer Wine' is a slower, much more mellowed out song in which the vocals bring to mind Stephin Merrit of The Magnetic Fields fame while the guitar is jangly and completely complimentary of the organ that plays behind it.

While not quite up there in the Parthenon of indie immortals just yet; Palma Violets blend of garage-rock and indie-pop sensibilities suggests they are well on their way to making a name for themselves further afield than the bedrooms of indie scenesters. Sweet, Summery and sure to put a smile on your face, Palma Violets are definitely ones to watch out for in the months ahead. 

Watch the official video for 'Best of Friends' here

 Photo: Richard Johnson/NME