On the Brink of Greatness? How ‘The Blue’ could turn to gold for NAMES
NAMES, a South London-based indie-pop trio, are one of those bands on the precipice of something incredible. One viral TikTok away from blowing up and going on a world tour to the delight of their adoring fans. This band of brothers (well, school friends turned band) – Ike, Ru & Tom – nurture their tracks from conception to birth (a.k.a.: writing to recording to producing to mixing). A completely self-sufficient approach, but ‘The Blue’ is as polished as it would be if Mike Crossley (producer for the Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg, The 1975) had a hand in it.
The band kicked off their journey with a debut single in 2022, quickly gaining momentum and selling out The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch for their headline show. This initial burst of success set the stage for 2023, a year dedicated to refining their music and live performance style, and, although NAMES were recently featured on BBC Introducing, I’m astounded to go onto their Spotify and see that they, at the time of writing, have 149 monthly listeners. 149. I’m sorry, but I thought we were having an indie sleaze renaissance?? Did we not get the memo to include these guys? They absolutely CAN and WILL sit with us. With their next single, ‘Our Terminal City’, to be released in December 2023 and more shows to be announced in 2024 (and the promise of the festival circuit), surely we can bump up those numbers.
Listen to ‘The Blue’ from NAMES on Spotify
‘The Blue’ makes me anything but. It’s high energy. The drums are undoubtedly the beating heart of the track, propelling us through, and the vocals have such a rich, fun tone to them. I have a soft spot for singers who have a bit of an accent (think Matty Healy in the 1975’s self titled album but less whiny). Favourite line: ‘I hope you’ll let me dream with you’.
At this point, I’d had the song on repeat for twenty minutes to properly get a feel. Next up: binge their whole discography. ‘Nothing’s In The Right Place’ is an indie-rock-pop banger (take me back to 2013, baby, I’m ready to be hurt again) with a Coasts / The 1975 / Inhaler vibe. There’s some utter magic mixed into ‘Give In’ with a gorgeous arrangement of electronic strings. ‘Nice Guy’ has a fantastic accompanying music video from Blend Films.
My bottom line: these tracks are uplifting, catchy and the perfect soundtrack to a misspent youth. Now, get listening please – we’ve got some work to do. Check out their music on all major streaming platforms and follow them on Instagram to stay updated with their latest releases and shows. And if you’re hungry for more music reviews and discoveries, check out what else we’ve listened to this month here.