Bombay Bicycle Club "How Are You"

Bombay Bicycle Club "How Are You"
I don’t know many 16-year-olds making music that goes beyond the usual Cobain-worship or snot-nosed punk. Then again, I don’t know any 16-year-olds, to be frank. But one of England’s worst named bands (Google them and the first result is a London restaurant whose takeaway is "so good even Gordon Ramsay swears by it”) are also one of the country’s best new bands — and youngest (though I have the funny feeling in the press’s eyes they’ve been 16 longer than humanly possible). And yes, they’re playing the Underage Festival in the coming months. How cute!

Winners of the Road to V contest, which earned them a spot playing the V Festival two years ago, Bombay Bicycle Club sound as if they could rely on their elder siblings to sculpt their taste in music. They love the guitars, but make the most of them, as you can hear bits of everything from Arcade Fire and Editors to Pavement and My Bloody Valentine in their compositions.

They released an EP last fall called How We Are (produced by Jim Abiss, who’s worked with Editors, Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys) on their own indie, Mmm… Records, which had the confidence of a band at least five years older. The standout is "How Are You,” which opens up with some pitch-bent notes that prove they’re no strangers to Loveless… or maybe just Silversun Pickups, but nonetheless, they know to explode into a flurry of time changes filled with danceable rhythms and emotive guitar lines. What grabs me most is Jack Steadman’s unique accent, which quivers in the same offbeat manner as Antony Hegarty. It could/should be the defining mark of this band, who at such a young age, have all the potential in the world to be headlining V Festival and bigger in the coming years.

Bombay Bicycle Club "How Are You”