New Music – Lion Bark, GAPS, Fickle Friends, Lonesome Heights, Half Hour Hotel, Cleff, Woodland Blue

We’ve got a bumper New Music post this week, with seven new tracks to share. First up is Lion Bark with a video for their track Longhorns, which originally appeared on Soundcloud back in November:

We mentioned Foreign Skin’s remix of the new GAPS single I Know It’s You last week, but that was just a preview (which we updated when the full remix got posted), and we like it so much that we thought we’d give it another mention:

Fickle Friends are having a launch party for their debut single Swim tonight at the Green Door Store. In advance of that they’ve posted up a remix of the track – Soundcloud describes it as the Paperwhite remix, but we’re not sure if that’s just a name that they’ve given it or whether paperwhite is an act without any presence on the internet as yet:

Lonesome Heights new single is out on 8th February. It’s nearly four minutes of fresh indie guitar pop and it’s called Come out Swinging. The band will be supporting Wave Pictures at the Green Door Store, which happens to coincide with the release date:

Half Hour Hotel have put up a new song onto Soundcloud. The anthemic indie track is called Warcry and you can grab it as a free download via the band’s facebook page. Half Hour Hotel will be supporting The Boxer Rebellion at Coalition on 4th February.

Last year we wrote about Alexandra King’s band Limbic System. She’s now got a new project called Cleff and you can see their first video Restart here:

Finally we have the video for Bodies, the new single by Woodland Blue, which you can buy on iTunes here.

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Birdengine, supporting Samantha Crain

Lawry Tilbury III aka Birdengine has a small red label that dangles from his guitar with the word ‘Happy’ inscribed on it. I now know that ‘Happy’ is the name of his guitar. Not that you can label his music, so maybe it’s doubly ironic.

Brighton-based Birdengine hasn’t been playing live much of late so it was a real treat to find him and Happy in the tiny Komedia Studio Bar, supporting the American touring songsmith Samantha Crain for a Melting Vinyl gig.

It’s hard to believe it’s been two and a half years since the The Crooked Mile was released, one of the best albums to emerge from the psych-folk scene. Not a happy record, it’s full-to-the-brim with melancholy imaginative gothic folk tunes, from which the sublime Ghost Club was a stand-out tonight. We were also treated to the stunning Heads off Dogs from his first album released on Drift records, and a number of new songs involving increasing use of a loop pedal which helps add a fuller sound to the trademark Birdengine pluck and strum. We were also treated to a charming jazz interlude thanks to the previous owner of one of the Birdengine guitar pedals, with Lawry’s usual hesitant interaction with the audience forming a kind of obscure sub-genre of rapping. Maybe.

It was good to see Lawry back in action, and a new album will hopefully start to emerge shortly.

Birdengine Birdengine BirdengineSamantha Crain is touring to promote her new album Kid Face, which is well worth exploring – one of three excellent female songwriter’s albums released over the last month and which I’ve been enjoying this week (see also New Yorker Nicole Atkins’ excellent Slow Phaser and Brightonian Sharon Lewis’ classy Roses at the Top, more of which some other time). The small studio bar made for a lovely intimate venue and hopefully Melting Vinyl will use it more.

Samantha Crain

Photos and words by Jon Southcoasting

Gigs of the Week

In an effort to be a little more on the ball than last week we’re posting up our Gigs of the week on Monday night. As it happens, we need to this week because there’s a lot of great gigs to mention, a few of which have already cropped up in these pages.

SC.We posted up about BirdEngine supporting Samantha Crain over the weekend. That’s happening on Tuesday night at the Komedia, and we’ll be along to cover that.

On Wednesday night, Metronomy play a one off date at The Old Market to warm up for their European tour taking place in March. Their new single is the title track from forthcoming album Love Letters is out on 11th March, and has a video directed by Michel Gondry.

Talking of new singles, Fickle Friends are holding a launch party for their debut single Swim at the Green Door Store on Thursday night. There’s a remix of Swim which we’re going to be sharing with you very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

mbThere’s two gigs on Friday night that we’d be seen at (and hopefully with a bit of planning we will be spending a bit of time at both). Milk & Biscuits gig at the Green Door Store has been in our diary for a while. They’ll be supported by labelmates Octopuses and Prince Vaseline. Meanwhile down at the Blind Tiger it’s the first Les Enfants Terribles of the new year and it’s got a slightly different format for 2014. The night will run from 9pm-2am and now has DJs as well as local bands. This month Transformer, Dog in the Snow, Normanton Street and NYX all play live.

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momotaroLast, but by no means least, on Saturday night Momotaro are holding their album launch Second Side at the Green Door Store. The band gave us a copy of the album when we interviewed them last week and it hasn’t left our stereo. See you down the front, and maybe at the afterparty at the Eddy.

Coming up : Samantha Crain supported by BirdEngine​, GAPS remixed by Foreign Skin

SC.Normally a lot of our posts are looking back – to gigs that we’ve been to, or to music that’s been put up online. Today we’re being a bit more proactive and telling you about two things coming up soon. The first is a gig – Next Tuesday, Melting Vinyl are bringing Samantha Crain to Brighton with BirdEngine in support. Samantha Crain, new label mates to Brighton’s Fujiya & Miyagi having just signed to Full Time Hobby, is touring to support her expansive yet intimate new album Kid Face, and is playing at the Komedia on 28th January. We’ll be there early for to make sure we don’t miss local support BirdEngine, who has promised to include tracks from his upcoming album in his set.

Our other preview is of a remix that’s due to hit soon. GAPS new single I Know It’s You hit the shelves on 9th December last year and a video of a remix by Foreign Skin has been posted, previewing around a minute from the full track which is due very soon. We’ll post up the full thing when we see it but until now here’s a taster of what’s to come:

UPDATE : since writing this post, the full video has been posted to facebook here.

Great Escape Festival 2014 Announcement

Yesterday the best New Music festival in the country made its first line up announcement. The Great Escape Festival, taking place from 8th-10th May this year, released a list of over a hundred names, including a good representation of local talent. Royal Blood, Theo Verney and Yumi & The Weather are in there, as well as honorary Brightonians (by virtue of their Source cover feature) Traams. There’s still a chance to apply – Artist registration is open until the end of January, and more details can be found here.

TGE14

Here’s the full list of acts announced so far:

AMBER RUN / ANDY SHAUF / ARC IRIS / ARTHUR BEATRICE / AS ANIMALS / AUTOBAHN / BABY IN VAIN / BABY STRANGE / BEARD OF WOLVES / BEAUTIFUL BOY / BENJAMIN CLEMENTINE / BLACK CITY LIGHTS / BLAENAVON / BROKEN TWIN / CHARLI XCX / CHERUB / CHLÖE HOWL / CIRCA WAVES / CLEO T / COURTNEY BARNETT / D/C / DARK FOR DARK / DARLIA / DENAI MOORE / DIVE IN / DOLOMITE MINOR / DOOM SQUAD / DOUGLAS DARE / DUNE RATS / ELLA EYRE*/ EROTIC MARKET / FABIENNE / FAT WHITE FAMILY / FEMALE SMELL / FEMME / FLUX PAVILION LIVE / FLYTE / FTSE / FUTURE ISLANDS / FYFE / GIANNA LAUREN / GINGER AND THE GHOST / GLORY GLORY / HANNAH GEORGAS / HERMITUDE / HOLY STRAYS / HSY / HUMAN PYRAMIDS / JAAKKO EINO KALEVI / JAY ARNER / JEREMIAH JAE / JEREMY NEALE / JUNGLE / KELIS*/ LABYRINTH EAR / LEON T PEARL / LONELY THE BRAVE / LOVEPARK / MAJOR LEAGUES / MARIKA HACKMAN / MATTHEW AND THE ATLAS / MAX MARSHALL / MICKEY LIGHTFOOT / MONEY FOR ROPE / NEW DESERT BLUES / OLIVER WILDE / ORVAL CARLOS SIBELIUS / OY / PAWWS / PHOX / POWDER BLUE / REJJIE SNOW / ROSIE LOWE / ROYAL BLOOD / RUSSIAN RED / SAINT RAYMOND / SAMARIS / SATELLITE STORIES / SEPTEMBER GIRLS / SHOPPING / SHY NATURE / SIN COS TAN / SLAVES / STUBBORN HEART / SUNDARA KARMA / THE BONY KING OF NOWHERE / THE CREASES / THE CROOKED BROTHERS / THE DARLINGTONS / THE OSCILLATION / THE SCENES / THEO VERNEY / TOVE LO / TRAAMS / TRAUMAHELIKOPTER / TRAVIS BRETZER / WET / WHITE LUNG / WILSEN / WOMANS HOUR / YOUNG SUMMER / YOUTH MAN / YUMI AND THE WEATHER

Gigs of the week

Somehow we’ve lapsed back to posting about our Gigs of the Week on Wednesday, but it’s a quiet week this week with not too many gigs to tell you all about. Next week is looking busier, and I promise a bumper post much earlier in the week.

Komedia

The most interesting gig we’ve seen isn’t wholly a gig – it’s half gig, half film. To celebrate the launch of the new Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis, Dukes @ Komedia are holding a special event on Friday night, showing the film then hosting a folk gig in the Komedia studio bar downstairs featuring Cate Ferris, StevieRay Latham, James Riley and Lewis Todhunter. Also on Friday night, Oh Captain are hosting their video launch at the Green Door Store.

Moving onto Saturday night, Dirty Weekend in Brighton are launching their new single at Latest Music Bar, and Neon Saints Brass Band are playing at the Gladstone.

Momotaro / Second Side Interview

Momotaro release their debut album Second Side on 1st February. I caught up with Peppi, Rosie and Dave to talk about their first full length long player.

RZ9A3852es

Over the course of last year Momotaro put up around half a dozen tracks onto Soundcloud – all now removed – which form the backbone of the album. What appears on the record are re-recorded versions of these, showing a Second Side to the songs, hence the album name. “When we first started to write music together we were writing a song every single week, we were so excited by it. We were never really doing things by the book and we literally churned them out and I think that helped us develop.” said Peppi, “We would write a song, learn it, then when we’d play it we’d come away from the gig thinking it could be so much better and that led to the newer versions of the older songs.”

Second Side

It’s not just the songs that have evolved over the past twelve months – the way that the band work has changed too: “At the beginning we didn’t have what we have now, where we have ideas as a trio. Before someone would throw an idea into the pot but we wouldn’t know what to do with it, but now it’s more like a collaborative sound” Peppi told us. Even the band’s setup onstage feels like a more even share of duties than most bands, with Rosie’s electric drum kit given equal prominence and not tucked away at the back, and Dave and Rosie swapping instruments. One thing that’s key for the band is that despite playing electronica, they’re not using laptops. Asked about their favourite tracks on their album Warm Step comes up, an old song which has completely changed “It’s less digital – we got a ukulele which seems to have added quite a lot to our set overall” said Rosie

As well as the album coming out on 1st February, the band are hosting the launch party on the same day at the Green Door Store. First support is local electronic indie band Faux Flux, who Momotaro have played alongside a number of times, and who the band see themselves alongside as part of a growing local electronic music scene. “There’s definitely a scene that we were never part of before. We seem to see a bit of a correlation, we keep playing with similar acts. It’s really surprising and lovely to find all these bands through what we’re doing”. GAPS also get a mention – Rosie has known Rachel for years before either band were formed – as do IYES who the band regularly see when they’re both rehearsing at Brighton Electric.

Second support is the Sunday Best signed Lucky Elephant, who have been in the music industry in one form or another for fifteen years. It turns out that Peppi has known Sam from Lucky Elephant for quite a while: “I’ve known Sam for about ten years, he was in Boomclick when I first knew him. I didn’t even know I wanted to do music until I saw his studio. I worked with him in London and I started playing guitar and he offered to record one of my songs in his little home studio. I went round there and I was “WOW – I want everything that you have!”. He got me into music, I can safely say that. We always said that we must make sure we play a gig together one day and I never ever thought that we would, and now he’s supporting us”. Momotaro will be returning the favour supporting Lucky Elephant at their album launch, also at the Green Door Store later this spring.

One of the tracks on Second Side is already experiencing a life of it’s own. Blue Soul is currently being used on Australian YouTube Surf Magazine The Barrel’s latest video. Through a series of contacts and coincidences some of the bands tracks got played the film makers, and ended up with their lyrics about “swimming up” accompanying videos of amazing waves. The band said that they’d like to use more visuals alongside their live music. Dave said “It’s definitely something that we’d like to see more of. We’re so busy making the music that we haven’t yet really had time to get into too much visual stuff but in the future we’d love to”. Some projections were prepared for their Source New Music show at the end of last year but technical issues scuppered that – maybe 2014 will show another side to the band.

For now though, the band’s focus is to get the album out there, playing it live and getting it heard by as many people as possible, and you can do that by heading down to the Green Door Store on 1st February.