A group of musicians isn’t a proper band until they’ve settled on a name. But in deciding what to dub themselves, ensembles must account for a litany of considerations. The name needs to have a nice ring to it, that’s a given. And of course, similarities to existing bands ought to be avoided – otherwise you’re basically asking for a cease-and-desist letter. It can’t be too predictable either; you want something nuanced and quirky. Ideally, musicians craft a band name that captures the essence of their music. You don’t see Christian Rock bands operating under the moniker Bastards of Lucifer’s Bestial Bloodbath. Sometimes a group hits the jackpot by venturing outside the box to claim a name that enhances its mystique, encapsulates its sound, and looks great on a Hall of Fame induction plaque. So to elucidate some of the more unconventional names out there, we’re asking the same question as Juliet Capulet: “What’s in a name”?
Listen: Sampha’s Sundanza, a collection of early recordings
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