Some families breed talent. The Smiths, for example. Those kids have more earning potential in their pre-pubescent pinkies than I'll ever have. Willow Smith's new single, Whip My Hair, is a serious club banger. This girl is charting at #27 on US R&B and she's ten. When I was ten, I was, I dunno, about ten times less coordinated than this kid. And she's climbing Billboard charts! Her first name is also Willow, and because I'm lazy, this will segue us into my point:
Remember The Willowz? Frontman James Follin has a solo project called Guards. Heard of Cults? That's his sister, Madeline Follin, and her boyfriend Brian Oblivion. James plays guitar on that, too. Much like Cults, Guards popped onto the internet out of nowhere with nary a band bio or Myspace in sight. Despite this fact, Cults went-blog viral; if there's any decency left in the Internet, Guards'll blow up soon as well.
I asked Richie how it all came about, and here's what he said: “Well it
started out as me just writing some songs for my little sister to sing
and then basically I decided to sing on them and I sent it to her to
check it out and she posted it on Twitter…so it was all kind of an
In July, the 7-track Guards EP was posted to bandcamp. It's pretty great! You'll find both catchy pop and slower ballads on the EP, powered by guitar, drums and organs. When he brings in guests the songs only get stronger; apparently James Richardson (MGMT) and Caroline Polachek (Chairlift) helped out. And his sister, too. It's tagged as “alternative doom new wave power pop rock & roll New York” on bandcamp. “Alternative doom” conjures up images of moody goths, and this definitely isn't gothy. It's just strong music with a huge tonal range, all tied together by James' fantastic vocal ability and songwriting chops. The dude's gotten into folksy stuff before, and you can hear that in the EP, where it works just as well as the moodier songs and breakneck-speed pop.
Here's their news: Guards recently signed to Windish Agency, they've got two records out in the next two months (a 7″ on Small Plates records and a 12″ on 3 Syllables) and they're playing their first ever show at CMJ (Yours Truly/Altered Zones Showcase at Glasslands Oct 22nd.)
Pretty damn good for an accident.