Seadog launch Transmitter EP

Seadog are the baby of Mark Benton, erstwhile guitarist with Man Ray Sky, Grand Palace and occasional others. Five years on from their first EP,  a double set of beautiful soft pastoral songs which sounded like some lost singer-songwriter classic from the early 1970s, comes the new Transmitter EP, something a little tougher and wilder. The songs themselves have been part of the Seadog live set for several years but they’re now getting a well-deserved release on the excellent Bleeding Hearts recordings label.

Brighton music blog were there for the launch.

First up were Such Small Hands, centred around Melanie Howard’s beautiful vocals and dark break-up anti-love pop songs. Instead of a second guitar, Chris played a “keytar” which was a strapped-on extended keyboard. it’s a bit of a shame he spent most the gig bashing away at just a couple of keys because it looked like something that could be really interesting. Fortunately Melanie provided more than enough entertainment.

Such Small Hands

Next up were The Creaking Chair, including Seadog drummer Ryan Bollard, who played an enticing mix of Krautrock and early 70s English whimsy like Kevin Ayres, with some funky interjections too. It was a good mix that had the audience nodding in appreciation.

The Creaking Chair stand

Finally, main band Seadog with a slightly augmented line-up, playing the new EP and other songs, sounding nervous and rough-edged at first, but then coming beautifully alive. The new songs have the lovely harmonies of the first EPs, with great songs like Haunted which have a classic twisted poppiness. Then Max plays the childlike xylophone introduction to ‘Transmitter’ and a lovely warm noise envelopes the room. The band have a fine sound, Mark Benton’s sweet vocals provide a strong lead and some well-crafted songs help ensure this is a band to watch. Here’s hoping they stop with EPs and collect together an album soon.

Seadog

Seadog in the Green Door Store

In the meantime, Transmitter is available in a variety of formats – CDs, downloads and soon-to-be-available vinyl. Catch Seadog at their next gig at the Northern Lights on 17th January. In the meantime, here’s a live version of Haunted

Mark Benton of Seadog

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Brighton Music Blog End of Year Top Twenty, 7 – Cate Ferris / Disappear EP

Cate Ferris’ live performances have always been a joy to behold – her voice always surprises and her effortless use of her looping kit belies the true skill involved. There’s always been a question mark over how that transfers to record though. She recorded an EP at Tim Bidwell’s Clockwork Owl studio a couple of years ago, but by his own admission he just let her do her own thing. Since then she’s built a studio in her home and the Disappear EP is the first fruits of that endeavour, transforming four live favourites into tracks which stand on their own without having to be impressed by her one-(wo)man-band live show.

New Music

There’s an unwritten rule that if you’re going to release any music, you do it in the first eleven months of the year. That way it’s out there in time to be included in any end of year lists, and you don’t end up competing for anyone’s attention with X-factor contestants or Greatest Hits compilations. But obviously nobody told the musicians of Brighton – we’ve got sixteen different tracks for you in this post.

First up is the new release from David Harks, who’s been posting up other tracks from his Lomo EP over the past few months. The title track Odyssey is now out there, and the whole EP is available to buy on iTunes, out now on his own Jumjum Records imprint.

Next we have the first new music from Brighton Music Blog favourite Anneka for a while. End of It is built up from a number of vocal lines sung by her, with mournful harmonies and percussive exhalations. Apparently the track (which is available as a free download if you click through and follow the links) is a taster of more to come in early 2015.

Ital Tek has been busy working on his next album this year so hasn’t appeared too active to the outside world. Last Christmas he gave away a free download of one of his tracks and this year he’s doing the same, with new tune Crossed Wires:

Fickle Friends are also giving away a track for Christmas. If you head over to their bandcamp page you can grab their cover of Gorgon City’s Ready For Your Love

Sticking with tracks for Christmas, here’s Crayola Lectern‘s seasonal offering. (No More) Happy Endings is a little cheerier than last year’s SFXmas, and gives us some a hint of what we might expect when the band finish recording their second album:

Soccer96 have a new EP out on Wotnot records on 7″ and download, entitled Jupiter Masterdrive. The title track is a few minutes of wonky hip hop and is called Constellation. To hear the rest of the EP and buy it on either format head over to the band’s bandcamp page

A lot of people were quite excited about the recent news about Twin Peaks returning, and we can probably count electronica band Dark Train amongst that number. Their latest offering is a cover of Julee Cruse’s Falling which featured heavily in the original series.

We loved Cate Ferris‘ Disappear EP which came out earlier this year. Last week saw the release of the sister remix EP, suitably entitled Reappear:

Another new EP is the new release from Man Ray Sky (currently hosting their launch party at the Hope as I type).  The EP name and lead track is the breezy Ether Song:

Kanzi‘s debut EP isn’t out until January sometime (I’ve read several different dates on different bits of the internet), but you can check out lead track Two Hearts now:

Troves debut double a-side single came out back in September on Nude Records. Keeping interest up for the release is a new video for the beautiful track Afterthought:

Anushka have released another single from their Broken Circuit long player. Kisses is a different version from the one on the album, with the addition of of extra vocals from guest MC Trim. I’ve also also just seen in the PR email I got that I missed out on a live performance from the band last weekend. Sorry!

If you fancy some electro pop then get your ears around Astrid’s Tea Party‘s debut single. What’s in it for Me? is up as a free download for a limited period and will be followed up with an EP in early 2015.

Math-pop band Orchards new single Chemystery was released last thursday. It’s taken from their new EP which is due to drop in March next year:

Rooster Cole has uploaded a few tracks to Soundcloud and has promised more music and more live shows for 2015. Here’s one of those tracks, the quirky Bird Don’t Sing:

Finally we finish up a video from Battery Operated Orchestra. Flouro Sushi is taken from the band’s debut album Incomplete Until Broken, out now via Bandcamp.

Brighton Music Blog End of Year Top Twenty, 8 – Fujiya & Miyagi / Artificial Sweeteners

News of a new Fujiya & Miyagi album is always welcome, and May’s release of the band’s fifth long player Artificial Sweeteners didn’t disappoint. The first taster we got was the acid house number Tetrahydrofolic Acid which hinted at a new dancefloor led direction for the band, with analogue synths over pulsating beats. While the rest of the album was certainly more electronic, long term fans would have been pleased to hear that they hadn’t lost their krautrock groove.

Brighton Music Blog End of Year Top Twenty, 9 – IYES / Breathe

If your main exposure to the local music scene is through the live route, then you might assume that IYES have had a pretty quiet year – By our calculations they’ve only played in Brighton once, supporting Raleigh Ritchie a few weeks ago at the Haunt. Actually though, they’ve been pretty busy. In the spring ‘Til Infinity, which featured in out 2013 list, got a 7” release backed with their cover of Crazy in Love, and there have been numerous remixes which have appeared (including a turn for Jack Garratt, who’s hotly tipped for big things next year). More recently they’ve signed to Sony and had their track Glow feature in mobile phone ads and get scheduled for release early next year. They have had one proper single this year, the sultry, effervescent, MNEK produced Breathe:

Brighton Music Blog End of Year Top Twenty, 10 – Fickle Friends / Swim

Right now we’re in deepest midwinter, less than a week away from the shortest day of the year. Thankfully though, it won’t always be so – Give it a few months and it’ll be spring. The days will be getting longer and the weather will be getting better, and then out of nowhere we’ll have a day that almost feels summery, where you leave your coat at home and bask in the warmth of the sun for the first time in months. Swim by Fickle Friends sounds like that day feels.

Hip Hip, here’s some Christmas cheer

This particular part of BMB tends to be a bit of a Grinch this time of year and would be minded to bury any band who recorded a Christmas song deep deep deep in the cold cold snow. But this year the little cockles that warm must have reached my heart because there have been what even I consider to be some very fine seasonal offerings from the local Brighton crew. The BMB mainstay will be back to restart his best-of-the-year list shortly, but in the meantime, here’s some jingle jangle sweetness for you.

We mentioned the Random Acts of Vinyl xmas EP a few weeks ago, but it’s so good we’ll mention it again. This time we’ll feature the Delta Bell, with Kate’s beaut of a 60s Phil Spector-influenced song Hey Santa Claus!

Next up are our favourite bentcousins, with an anti-Christmas break-up song. It’s simple and endearing, perfect for this time of year really if you’re sipping brandy alone and wrapping presents for one. .

Danny Green was a longstanding Brightoner, part of the Willkommen team and a regular feature on this blog thanks to two outstanding albums until he upped and moved to London earlier this year. However, as Laish he is still one of the finest writers of songs of a Brighton persuasion and he has just released a seasonal EP, with sad confessional songs that recount a depressing stay in a freezing Berlin, inform us that we are unlikely to get a present from Danny this year, and in his annihilation of Silent Night, a reminder that the usual drunken debauchery will probably end up in fighting. I love this a lot.

Finally we have a new upcoming release from electro-pop Becky Becky, out on Monday. it’s the usual dirty disco weirdness that we enjoyed on their album this year and you’re bound to love it. Here’s taster track, Bells Ringing, which should give you a flavour of what we’ll get on Monday.