The Fiction Aisle – Heart Map Rubric

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Tomorrow The Fiction Aisle release their debut long player Heart Map Rubric. Thomas White’s latest project is a big departure from his previous indie exploits – Electric guitars are out, in are brooding orchestral arrangements and jazz solos. The album is currently being streamed over at Never Enough Notes and is being released on Chord Orchard, a label set up by Tom specifically to release Fiction Aisle records.

The album launch takes place Friday night at the Unitarian Church with support from Capt Lovelace and Nick Hudson. More details of the gig can be found on the facebook event page.

 

New Brighton Music

It’s been a few weeks since our last New Music post, and we were playing catchup with that one, so there’s a lot of ground to cover. Here’s a selection of our favourite tunes that have come to our attention in the last couple of weeks.

First up is Our Girl with their debut single Sleeper, the coolest four minutes of guitar music we’ve heard in a while:

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Sea Bed Interview

We’re big fans of Sea Bed here at Brighton Music Blog, and when we heard that they had a new single we thought that would be a good time to catch up with them. As with most things on the blog at the moment we’re not quite as up to speed as we’d like – the single was released as a digital download at the end of October – but we dropped them a line anyway…

Hi Sea Bed, how are you?

Busy, tired and looking forward to the new year now. We have a new live rig that we’ve been putting together the last few weeks and inbetween all of that have loads of exciting gigs to rehearse for and of course… Keep writing!

Back at the end of July you announced a new single which has only just got released. What can you tell us about it?

So the single Akira is a techno pop song we finished up earlier this year and released through indie label Four Thieves. It’s kind of our first real statement as Sea Bed emphasising our love for both the underground and more mainstream artists of the last few decades, but still carrying over an air of mystery as to what we will do next release wise. We have known each other for a while now and both writing and performing with very clear intentions compared to previous projects we were in has allowed our creative freedom to flow and make something we feel is unique on record and on stage.

akira-dvd-cover-artIs the song anything to do with the 80s manga film of the same name?

The lyrical content is about awakening and what road you choose to take with the important decisions in your life. With that in mind, there are strong parallels to the film. Realising that you have the power within you to positively alter your destiny is what the song was originally written around and in the manga, Tetsuo (the antagonist of the film for those who don’t know) has supernatural powers awakened in him but uses them for destruction and revenge.

The 12″ of the single sold out weeks before the release date. You must have been pretty chuffed with that?

Absolutely, It’s amazing to have support from a label like Four Thieves who believe in what you’re doing enough to get the music out there in whatever format possible. Most importantly it’s people like yourself who go out of their way to support and listen to new music that keeps the whole thing alive.

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You always have great visuals at your shows, and the band photography that you’ve had done is really strong. How important is the visual side of things for you?

100%! We take it as seriously as the music and try to have a hand in everything we do so that it doesn’t lose sight of what Sea Bed is about. We have found in the past Very quickly other people can steer your image down some very unimaginative routes. I think artists had a larger window of time pre and early internet age to really craft their identity visually and sound wise but now every minute detail that is posted can be clawed back through time by search engines so we have to be completely satisfied with whatever art forms we release under Sea Bed.

Talking of live shows, I see you’ve got a date in Shoreditch in for January. Are there any more Brighton dates lined up?

Yes that’s for the Ibiza Rocks festival, their equivalent of BBC introducing which is amazing! Brighton will see us playing the Green Door Store on the 19th November and Patterns on December 10th, hopefully beta testing our new chunky live setup.

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When you posted on Facebook about the new single coming out you hinted about an exciting new release coming in 2016. Is there any more that you can tell us?

Without giving away too too much it will be another vinyl and digital release through Four Thieves only we are doing a full EP with them! So all new tracks, a big remix for the A side and video to accompany it which will be early 2016 when everyone has recovered from the post Christmas and New Years hangovers.

You DJed last week at the launch party for Via Tirana’s new single. Are there any other local bands you think we should be listening to?

That was a great night, ended the party with a track by Clouds called Chained To A Dead Camel which for most of the people left in there made them lose their shit!

There are some really sick electronic acts around Brighton at the moment. We are vibing Troves, INWARDS, Karl Toon, Foreign Skin, Mount Bank and in the more traditional band world there is a mental new Soul act called Bathcat and the guys in Big Society. That and all the usual suspects like Demob Happy and our good mates in Black Honey which most people are raving about at the mo. Brighton’s got a good thing going on.

Album preview – Ingrid Plum / Plangent

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On 25th Ingrid Plum releases her debut album Plangent. Where her earlier work was based around vocal interpretations of traditional and modern folk songs, sung solo with a knack for bringing a whole room to hushed awe, her first full length introduces instrumentation and other musicians adding to the mix.

The launch of the album takes place tomorrow at St Andrews Church on Waterloo street and will be the only performance where most of those who contributed to the record will be joining Ingrid on stage. These include Rachel Dey (Do you Feel What I Feel Deer, Restlesslist, Milk & Biscuits), Al Strachan (Sons of Noel & Adrian, Crayola Lectern) and Tim Cottrell (Das Fenster). Support comes in the form of folk songs from Jo Burke and poetry from Gary Goodman.

Here’s a taster of what you can expect – the video for Do Not Come Into Darkness – produced in characteristic homespun style. If you can’t make along tomorrow, Ingrid will embarking on a headline tour in the spring.

Bella Spinks ‘Debut’

Bella Spinks has been drip feeding some beautiful songs into the internet for a few years now, with the occasional live appearances providing a tantalising glimpse of her talent. Now at last we have a proper release of four great songs via her debut EP, fittingly entitled ‘Debut’. A little bit of theatre, a little bit Kate Bush, a little bit of balladry, and an awful lot of soul. But mainly just great song-writing, music-playing and rich-warm-vocals.

Go listen here:

New Brighton Music

Here’s a blog post I started writing back in SEPTEMBER. I’ve been terrible about writing blog posts, but at least the excuse of a five month old baby is a pretty good one. Normally I’d write a paragraph to go with each track, letting you know about release dates and launch parties, but in the interests of actually getting this posted, here without any introduction is some of the (now not so) new music that we heard around six weeks ago. To everyone who’s sent us tracks since, watch this space. Hopefully the next update won’t take as long!

High Tyde – Do What You Want

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Nik Barrell – Growing Peaches in Oxfordshire EP

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Nik Barrell’s new EP ‘Growing Peaches in Oxfordshire’ is a joyful affair.

Whereas most singer-songwriters tend to put their head down and head for the hills of despondency, Nik Barrell has taken the opposite approach and written five songs full of positivity and happiness. In the hands of a less skillful songwriter they could become cloying but it’s a tribute to Nik’s skills that these songs are not that.

The opener ‘Growing Peaches in Oxfordshire’ has a sunny laid back feeling, like some of the best jazz-inspired Louisiana songs, and was perhaps influenced by the fact the songs were written while Nik was on the road in America. Another song, the bright and breezy ‘New Orleans’, makes clear Nik’s tribute to the classic American songsmiths. ‘It’s Your Choice’ is a song about fixing the problems of the world, asking the listener to ‘be the change you want to be… be the one who understands… and do it right’ all over a foot-tapping gypsy-esque rhythm.

Our favourite song is the last one on the EP ‘People Are Good’ which is a refreshing contrast to the negativity that it’s easy to subscribe to if you watch too much of the news (“you’ll get the idea, that there are no good people round here” as the song says). But Nik sings that he’s travelled the world and found that people are fundamentally good. It’s a lovely feeling, and a refreshing one in this cynical age.  You can hear the song at the top of this review.

Nik has a beautiful warm and romantic voice, which makes for repeated listening. He is ably supported on the EP by James Fiddes Smith whose excellent backing vocals add additional warmth and whose mandolin gives extra depth to the accompaniment. There’s also Tim Cotterell’s violin and Mark Strain’s bass, which contribute to the richness of Nik’s gentle guitar playing.

Support Nik Barrell in making more music and purchase the CD here

 

(Photograph of Nik Barrell by Mike Rowbottom)