Belated Nova Syndrome (or, BNS) : A Study

29 Jan

He's old, but he'll die. So I like it.

Cast your mind back to 2004. Maybe you were still at University, maybe you were even in High School.  It’s February, and an indie rock band named Franz Ferdinand release a single called “Take Me Out”.  Triple J give it a lot of airtime, and it’s generally recognised as a great single. 6 months or so passes, and Franz Ferdinand come up in conversation. The conversation goes like this.

Some Dude: “Hey man, what’s in the discman?”

You: “Franz Ferdinand, Dark of the Matinee is a killer track”

Some Dude: “Franz Ferdinand? Fuck man, didn’t you hear? They’re playing Take Me Out on Nova now.”

You: “Fuck”

And so it was that dudes everywhere had that conversation, and slowly Franz Ferdinand were no longer cool. This is the Belated Nova Syndrome, or BNS for short. A progression from independent radio to overexposure on commercial stations will cause a fan base to divide and dissipate. It happened to Franz Ferdinand, and it’s pretty much happened to Mumford and Sons.

For those who aren’t aware the Triple J Hottest 100 is always wrong, as not once has Party Hard by Andrew W. K been named the best song of the year even though it always is. It might not be coincidence that the first criticism I heard about Mumford and Sons was delivered in the same sentence that described their ubiquity. I understand that cultural choices are very important to people and their commercialization can feel like they’re being taken away, but at a certain point you have to decide whether their popularity affects the quality of their music. For the record, I still like Mumford and Sons, Sigh No More is a good pop record, and I await the inevitable The XX backlash when normal people find out about them.

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2 Responses to “Belated Nova Syndrome (or, BNS) : A Study”

  1. Captain Meat Trousers February 2, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    The beauty of Mumford and Sons is HOW FAST it happened. FF had at least a decent grace period, most indie darlings do. Hell, I still remember a time when I unironically took pleasure in Coldplay songs.

    Glad I know better now!

    …I think?

    • liamjordan February 2, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

      I haven’t heard anything past Franz Ferdinand’s first album, which I still think is pretty great. There’s about a guy playing the banjo really fast that makes me enjoy Mumford and Sons, but the shine did fade a little after seeing 3 minutes of their awful Laneway set. And for the record, Coldplay are not now, nor have they ever been, a good band.

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