Industry insiders and British indie fans with their ears to the ground are getting excited about Some Sprouts. Tony Allen tells you all you need to know about the next big thing…
There is only one short mission statement on Some Sprouts’ website in lieu of a proper bio: “Maybe we don’t live the pop dream, but we are living the dream pop.”
Make of that what you will.
Look a bit harder, and they describe themselves as having: “The impudence of blunt Slacker Rock and the catchy melancholy of a modern Indie Pop act,” with influences including Mac Demarco, Tame Impala, Alt-J, Whitney and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
All very fair information.
Hailing from Germany but writing in English, Some Sprouts’ initial recorded output has seen them catapulted onto many people’s ‘to see’ lists. Two EPs, 2017’s Florescer and IMMT, released towards the end of last year, were in April followed up by their best song to date, Someone You Love (b/w Lucid).
Their debut introduced some beautifully chilled, surfy vibes on the catchy opener Clowns, the midtempo shuffle Like No Other, the sprightly Patty P and the slower, more reflective Like a Cod in the Sea.
If the four-track Florescer was a great introduction to the band and seemed to run the gamut of styles, IMMT really put Some Sprouts on the map and showed the breadth of their offering yet further. Its two standout songs are catchy, indie-pop bops which seem to be crying out for radio play: She Longs for You has become their most successful song, surpassing 3.5 million streams on Spotify, while Separate Waves has broken through the million-stream mark, thanks to the tracks’ inclusion on some pretty influential indie playlists.
However, IMMT’s six tracks also allowed the band to experiment, through the slow-burning acoustic title song and the epic (and epically titled) I Think It’s Important to Realise You Miss Something but Don’t Want It Back. The percussion-led opening track, Mindcrush, is as good as anything the boys have written, while closer Never Leave is another slower tune, but an engagingly tender listen.
Someone You Love continues in the same vein as She Longs for You and Separate Waves, showcasing the band’s pop sensibilities. The moody B-side Lucid, on the other hand, is awash with synths and growling bass.
Formed in the small town of Erding, next to Munich airport, the band is now based in the Bavarian city of Regensburg, between Munich and Nuremburg. But Some Sprouts are in the process of going international. An extensive touring schedule of headline shows and festival appearances across mainland Europe, including support slots for the likes of We Are Scientists and The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr, has seen them gain a loyal fanbase at home and garnered them coverage as far afield as the US and now bookings in the UK.
And that makes sense, because practice makes perfect and they are a tour de force on stage. There is not one song in the set which feels in any way flat live, partly due to the band’s two guitarists who brilliantly replicate their songs’ swirling, intertwining guitar lines. Indeed, you enjoy the songs’ intricate constructions even better as you see them built up part by part in front of you.
In keeping with their recent hits, Some Sprouts can bring a slice of sunshine into even the darkest venues – after all, if you can serve up summery vibes in the cave-like Milla Club in Munich, where the band launched IMMT, chances are you’ll be able to do it anywhere.
Two appearances in the UK this year have brought the band to the attention of British tastemakers and critics, and it seems unlikely they will be Some Sprouts’ last visits outside the Schengen area if their schedule allows.
There was certainly some serious hype around the band in May when they headed to Brighton’s famed Great Escape Festival of new music to kick off the Saturday evening session downstairs in the Latest Music Bar.
The band won over the packed-out, sweaty basement with the aforementioned guitar brilliance wrapped around Alexander Kalus’ throbbing basslines and Miguel Esteves’ drums. Charismatic frontman Joshua Benker’s dancing and stage antics are a highlight of Some Sprouts shows while he also contributes keyboards, his voice holding up excellently live.
The band then built on this solid foundation towards the end of July when they made their second visit to England to play the Boogaloo Radio Stage at Bishop’s Stortford’s Standon Calling. Once again, they made some great links within the industry and gained many new fans who will be hoping for a return in 2020.
And no, LFM hasn’t asked Some Sprouts where their quirky name comes from. And yes, we will ask them about it if we can sort out an interview next time they’re over here.
But for now, know only that Some Sprouts isn’t just something you get on your plate at Christmas before you tuck in to the next internationally famous indie quintet.
Some Sprouts are: Joshua Benker (vocals, synths), Jakob Riepl (guitar), David Gebhard (guitar), Alexander Kalus (bass) and Miguel Esteves (drums).
Stream Florescer, IMMT and Someone You Love on Spotify. Some Sprouts have also posted some remixes of Mindcrush to Spotify and you can download an early live session from Bandcamp here.
Some Sprouts recently announced a tour for October and November, including a visit to London for a show at the Finsbury on 17th October (free entry). Check out the tour details here.