New indie rock band Spector hits the music radar

Jennifer Suh

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Looking for a fresh and undiscovered sound? This London-based band of five stylish British men is still so new that a full-length album has yet to be released, but BBC has already nominated them for BBC’s Sound of 2012 due to their love-at-first-listen appeal.

Spector started as a one-man project by 23-year-old Fred Macpherson. Now, the band has grown and circulated with the release of their first single last April. While they have only released three singles so far, they have been on the rise. The Guardian introduced them as the new band of the day last May and they were covered in New Musical Express’ first issue of 2012. Even Alex James, bass player of fellow London-based band Blur, has recently recommended Spector as the band to listen to for the new year.

Spector has a different sound than other indie rock bands in many ways, but their music includes many elements that are similar to some of the great musical groups of the past few decades. Spector has put a spin on the popular rock sound of The Strokes, The Killers and The Walkmen.

Spector’s first single, “Never Fade Away,” starts off with a catchy and repetitive chorus.Its jazzy groove is effortlessly ear-catching. A mix of consistent synth and rather simple beats continue to add personal style to the track. Toward the end of the song, the tempo speeds up, the beat gets more elaborate, and Macpherson’s vocals crescendo until all instrumentals slowly fade out and return to the refrain from the song’s beginning.

The second single, “What You Wanted,” is a relatively upbeat, Two-Door-Cinema-Club-style track. Macpherson’s relaxed, laid-back and almost nonchalant vocal style resembles Julian Casablancas of The Strokes. His distinctive vocals stand out especially in the S.C.U.M remix of the track the band offers as one of its free downloads.

Different from two of their previous tracks, “Grey Tie and Shirt” is a much slower and groovier track that has a Glasvegas vibe. Its sound is rich, paired with a simple rhythm and melody making it a catchy, stuck-in-your-head tune.

Before their upcoming fourth single, “Chevy Thunder,” was on the radio for the first time on January 5, BBC Radio One described them as an “alternative boy band” on Twitter. But trust me, Spector is incomparable to Backstreet Boys or ‘N Sync. Although they are a relatively new indie band, they don’t perform in the expected casual t-shirts and jeans. Instead, they are always dressed in classic British style, donning slim-fit dress shirts and blazers. Aside from their style, Macpherson is dynamic and energetic as he commands the stage. He has a very personal and eccentric stage persona.

Currently working on their debut album, scheduled to be released this year, Spector will headline a UK tour in February, open for Florence + The Machine’s tour in March and perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this April.

– Jennifer Suh

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