Unless you’re under the age of thirteen, you rarely hear anyone say that his or her favorite group is One Direction. You’re likely to hear that he or she thinks Louis Tomlinson is so cute or fawning over Harry Styles’ hair, but never will you hear an individual praise their music.
That’s just the nature of the boyband. There’s a certain age a person hits and he or she can no longer claim that One Direction, or any other boyband for that matter, is his or her favorite group. (And because you’re likely online without parental supervision, you have bypassed this age range a long time ago.)
As you grow up to become an adult who has to wear suits and sensible skirts and heels to your place of employment, you need a music taste to match. They say that no outfit is complete without a smile—but that’s bullsh*t. You need the right soundtrack to get into your element. Keep scowling.
If you’re listening to One Direction, you like pop music. Perfect. You’re looking something to sing and dance to while maintaining your fervent Anglophilia.
Sorry, there are Canadians and Australians on this list. Let’s broaden our musical horizons, shall we?
1. The Sessions
The Sessions, unfortunately, were a band that formed in 2005 in Vancouver, Canada. They had won the world’s largest battle of the bands, Emergenza, in 2006. Following their win, they recorded an EP named The Sessions Is Listed as In a Relationship with producer Bob Rock. The band went on to tour the United States in 2008, but shortly broke up after.
Don’t let the sob story prevent you from listening to The Sessions! They are a band that does not fool around when it comes to the bass (their bassist was ranked the second top player in Canada). With pop music sensibilities, jangling guitars, just the right amount of synthesizer and a crooning vocalist, you’ll forget that One Direction ever existed.
Essential Tracks: “My Love” and “Cordova.”
2. Hungry Kids of Hungary
Look, I don’t understand the name either.
Hungry Kids of Hungary was an Australian band who formed in Brisbane in 2007. Vocalist, Dean McGrath, sounds like a far-more refined Ezra Koenig.
Put it this way: they were doing Vampire Weekend far more impressively than Vampire Weekend was doing Vampire Weekend.
If you’re looking for grass-stained sound, sweet-sounding piano lines and a moving bassline, neatly bound together by an accent, look no further than the Hungry Kids of Hungary. It’s feel good, painfully upbeat, indie pop. You’re a liar if you say you’re not a sucker for that. And I mean, an opening lyric of “Wake up / The sun is in my eyes / I’m wasted / But It’s no surprise,” could easily become your weekend morning motto.
Essential Tracks: “Scattered Diamonds” and “Twin Cities.”
3. Two Door Cinema Club
My favorite part about this band is that it seems that they insist on playing up on the neck of the guitar. It’s as if the first ten frets of the guitar do not exist.
Forming in 2007, the three-piece Irish band skipped going to university to play in a band (there’s something romantic about that). They released their first EP, Four Words to Stand On in 2009 and garnered the attention of the French label, Kitsuné.
Two Door Cinema Club is a band that effortlessly mixes pop music sensibilities with an indie band attitude. The band features simple, jangly guitars with a loud bass line and the occasional electronic flourish. With Alex Trimble’s sweet, sing-song voice (and being a cutie to boot), you’ll forget all about Niall Horan.
And yes, you will eventually understand what the f*ck Trimble is saying in the chorus of “Something Good Can Work.”
Essential Tracks: “Something Good Can Work” and “Eat That Up, It’s Good For You.”
4. The Wombats
The Wombats formed in Liverpool in 2003 at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. It wasn’t until 2007 that the group released their debut album, A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation.
The Wombats is a band that is aggressively British in all of the best ways. Think edgy guitars, pounding bassline and a voice dripping in that wonderful accent. Its music that’s genuinely fun and full of energy. They’re a band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously, but creates delicious indie pop music for constant consumption—no matter the hour.
Essential Tracks: “Let’s Dance To Joy Division” and “Tokyo – Vampires & Wolves.”
5. The Kooks
The Kooks is painfully British in all of the best ways. Forming in 2004 at Brighton Music College, the four-piece took their name from a song on David Bowie’s Hunky Dory and proceeded to record a demo tape that resulted in attention from several record labels. Their debut record, Inside In/Inside Out (in my top ten favorite albums ever) was released in 2005.
If you’re looking for tunes with attitude, The Kooks have you covered. If you’re looking songs that will somehow break your heart in thirty seconds or less, they have that, too. Luke Pritchard does not try to mask his accent and subsequently makes his voice certainly one of the most distinct. Somehow, this culminates in his accent amping up the emotional factor of his songs by thirty. This band broke into the scene when (something I like to call the Third British Invasion) Brit-Rock and Brit-Pop was becoming big again. Revel in the frantic guitar chords and lay back in your couch and enjoy.
Essential Tracks: “Eddie’s Gun” and “Naïve.”
Your favorite band is no longer One Direction. You’re welcome.