We’re all guilty of it – we hear one song by a band, and judge everything of theirs by that one song. Then through various circumstances we hear more of their music, realise we like them, and eventually love them, even going back to that initial three or four minutes of grief and realising that first song we heard was actually pretty good too.
This happened to me with the band Pnau. Pnau are an Aussie dance music duo from Sydney, who have become more famous recently for being mentored by Elton John, but more on that a bit later. I first heard Pnau about 4 or 5 years ago, when their song “Baby” become quite popular here, and found itself onto radios and music channels on television. The thing was, I didn’t like this song at first. It was obnoxious and repetitive, and something about it grinded me the wrong way (also, I wasn’t very into this style of music back then, though I have opened up a lot more in recent years). To see what I mean, listen to the song here:
It was shortly after this song became quite successful that I went to a music festival in Sydney, where one of the main headlining bands of the night was Pnau. Deciding that maybe they’d put on a good show, I hung around to watch them, and the crowd, go completely nuts. The show was absolutely amazing, but the moment that I knew I was hooked was when several giant strawberries came dancing onto the stage, as they began to play the following song, “Wild Strawberries”:
It was this song which caught the attention of Elton John back in 2008, and upon listening to that whole album (self-titled) he declared it the greatest album he’d heard in ten years. Both members of Pnau teamed up with the frontman of The Sleepy Jackson to form a new band, which came to be called Empire of the Sun, a band which achieved huge success in Australia and also in the UK, but after only a year, the members of Pnau started to work on a new album, under the mentorship of Elton John, as well as planning in the future to work on a covers album of Elton John songs.
Pnau’s new album should have been hugely successful. Sadly, it wasn’t, and although it received relative critical success, commercially it flopped, despite having a much more mainstream pop sound overall. But, despite this, I quite like the album, and have become quite a big fan of this band, even though I initially thought I would hate them. I’d go so far as to say they are one of the key bands in the last 5 years who have opened up my eyes and broadened my music tastes in previously unfathomable ways. Here is a taste of one of their newer (and quite different) songs, “The Truth”:
What do you think of Pnau? Are they a band you would struggle to like, or do they grab your attention instantly?
What bands have you thought you wouldn’t like, but then did?