The Neighbourhood has nothing to be sorry about with their debut EP

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Buzz-band is a term that has been fluttering around the Internet for quite some time now.  It’s meaning is pretty straightforward: it is an underground indie band, formerly unknown, that comes out with a single worthy of Internet hype.  The problem with most buzz bands is that their buzz-worthy attributes typically falter in their next album, or even their next released single.  That is why I disagree with labeling the recent indie Internet phenom, The Neighbourhood, as buzzworthy; they are clearly destined for so much more.

Just take one listen to their second single, “Sweater Weather.”  No really, take some time, leave my ramblings and give it a listen.  I’m sure many of you will return—or not—gratified for the advice: it’s a great song.  The strong influence of rhythm and R&B is heard immediately in the highlight of the upbeat drums and bass, and this is wonderfully accompanied with the introduction of smooth vocals, simple scalar guitar, and a bright synth.

Their first single, “Female Robbery,” has received just as much hype, and for good reason.  Once again heavy on the drums and bass, but what sets “Female Robbery” apart is its darker tone, fully complemented by the masterfully mysterious lyrics.

I’ll admit, I may be largely invested in this band for selfish reasons.  Their frontman, Jesse James Rutherford, used to play the drums and has hip-hop influences, something similar to my life.  Also, my friends and I first heard the song “Female Robbery,” in late February, less that a month after its release.  While this may seem an irrelevant point, and more me trying to brag about being a hipster, it’s not, and dear lord I’m not.  This is just the first band that I’ve been able to hear from their very, very, beginning and it’s been exciting to see their slow rise from invisible LA indie band to internet domination.

The band is also exceptionally mysterious.  It’s a quintet based out of LA, with Rutherford as the frontman.  However, I couldn’t tell you who plays what instrument.  In fact, there seem to be few people within the blogosphere that can.  Their website doesn’t even have any biographical information.  The shroud of mystery surrounding them is part of the reason people like them so much, they’re not out there for fame and glory—yet—they’re just producing great tracks, (and all of these tracks are available FREE online…just keep reading).  Their mysteriousness also perfectly parallels with the way they blend the genres of rock, R&B, and folk in a way only an indie band can.

After being intrigued about this band for some time, news of an EP being released was just what I needed to start my summer.  When I first heard “Female Robbery” it was like when a child first thinks he hears the chimes of an ice cream truck, not yet visible, a block or two away.  The tune immediately wets the lips, while the anticipation—the not knowing when it is coming, if it ever even is—makes the gratification so much greater.  And much like how an ice cream truck has never let me down after that first, satisfying lick, the Neighbourhood’s EP, titled “I’m Sorry…” has quenched my music thirst for…well at least a week or two.  Which is saying something.

Best thing for last, their 5 track EP is available for free download on their website.  All the tracks are well worth listening to again and again.

Here ya’ go: 

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  1. Mike Nelson says:

    Just recently discovered these guys and I’m already hooked! I can’t wait to see them when they come through NYC for a few dates this fall!

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