By: Emily Zemler
Although they are one of many British buzz bands preparing to break in the United States, Blackbud has the distinction of not actually sounding anything like their peers. The U.K. threesome isn’t dance-rock nor do they sound like Joy Division might be high on their list on influences; rather, Blackbud crafts hushed, eclectic songs that owe far more to the ’60s and ’70s than they do to the oft-tributed ’80s. Blackbud’s recent Heartbeat EP, anchored by the haunting title track, recalls the atmospheric rock of groups like Fleetwood Mac and Cream while evoking the layered, spacious guitars of Radiohead.
Formed 2002 by singer/guitarist Joe Taylor, drummer Sam Nadel, and bassist Adam Newton, Blackbud collaborates across styles and influences, sharing as much love for Jeff Buckley as they do for Jimi Hendrix. The threesome met prior to the group’s formation while at school in Wiltshire where they all played jazz together, another influence that unites them. Heartbeat is the trio’s second EP, following their debut, Livewire, and it offers merely a taste of Blackbud’s classically-influenced rock. The group has played a hefty 200-plus shows, including a slot at the revered Glasonbury Festival, but only now are they venturing onto U.S. soil. Participation at this year’s SXSW is sure to change that, however, and American music fans can take a welcome time out from all those bands that worship Ian Curtis.
Blackbud U.S. tour:
3/16, Austin, TX (SXSW) 3/17, Austin, TX (SXSW)3/18, Austin, TX (SXSW)3/21, Los Angeles, CA (Cinespace)3/22, Los Angeles, CA (Spaceland)3/23, San Francisco, CA (Cafe Du Nord)