Happy Easter! Can you still say Happy Easter a few days after Easter? Who knows. I’m saying it regardless. Anyway, here’s this week’s new music roundup, kicking off with the brand new track from Black Honey. This is called All My Pride and is taken from their forthcoming Headspin EP:
There are a lot of excellent women writing and recording songs around Brighton at the moment and Elin Ivarsson has joined the top rank with her self-titled debut album, released last month on local Hidden Trail Records.
Opening song ‘Leaving song’ is a beguiling pop-folk ditty, wherein the singer proclaims she’d rather be alone than be with the person she’s leaving. It’s arrangement is light and joyful, and typifies Elin’s Swedish-born sound.
Thereafter the ten songs on her album pick up a delightful range of soulful, folk-influenced tunes. Elin has a warm deep tone, sometimes sounding like she’s telling fairy-tales, like in the charming dancing ‘Luka’, other times sparse and moving. There are some beautiful arrangements to the songs, with gorgeous strings from the likes of Willkommen’s Will Calderbank, which make a song like ‘Lotty’ delightful.
Other favourites include the excellent ‘Sunday 5am’ with it’s keen observations on bedsit living and references to The Well-Tempered Clavier and Edgar Allen Poe. Or ‘Laurels’, a bouncy joyful meditation on living and loving, with some gorgeous violin from Andrew Stuart-Buttle. Or ‘Another day will come’, a yearning moving discourse between movement and stillness, of freedom and entrapment. However, it’s hard to pick a favourite as the full set is uniformly excellent.
All in all a very find debut and well worth your time.
Listen to ‘Leaving Song’ below, recorded for Stripped Back Bare sessions. You can hear the full album and purchase it from the Bandcamp website https://hiddentrailrecords.bandcamp.com/album/elin-ivarsson
There’s a whole crop of terrific female singers coming out with some beautiful records in Brighton at the moment and we’ll try to blog about a few of them.
First off is this lovely EP by the enigmatic Jane Gilbert. We don’t know much about Jane except that she’s originally from Scotland but now living in Brighton and she’s produced a beautiful collection of songs that excel at promoting her gorgeous voice and top class songwriting chops. Sounding something like a cross between early 70s California and mid-2000s Portland, but very much her own self, think Joni MItchell crossed with Alela Diane The former illustrated well in the opening song ‘Better Man’, the video for which is below, and the latter in the superb sparsely delicate closer ‘Coloured Sky’.
You can hear Jane perform her songs live at The Greys on Tuesday 22nd March (free entry).
And her EP can be purchased for download over at bandcamp
It’s been a while since we’ve done a New Music post, so here’s a round up of some of the things we think you should be listening to.
Two thirds of Dream Wife are from Brighton, but their third member Rakel Mjöll is from Iceland. Brighton’s been home to Icelandic musicians before – Emiliana Torrini lived here for a number of years – but she never rocked out like this. Dream Wife’s new release EP01 is out now on Cannibal Hymns, and this is the title track Hey Heartbreaker. The band play a late night set at Sticky Mike’s on 1st April at the new-ish Busy Doing Nothing night.
Brighton Music Blog favourites Fear of Men announced the follow up to 2014’s Loom LP this week. The band’s new record is called Fall Forever and is out on 3rd June on Kanine Records. The first taste of the band’s new material is the lead single, Island, which you can hear below, more shimmering and less jangly than Fear of Men of before, but still just as beguiling:
To celebrate the launch the band are off on tour, firstly supporting Eagulls on a handful of dates over the next week before they head off to the states to play half a dozen dates at SXSW in Austin, Texas, and a headline gig in New York. After a fortnight’s rest business turns to touring the UK, stopping off at the Prince Albert on 10th April:
April 4th – The Hare and Hounds, Birmingham, UK
April 5th – The Hug and Pint, Glasgow, UK
April 6th – Aatma, Manchester, UK
April 7th – Start the Bus, Bristol, UK
April 8th – The Victoria, London, UK
April 10th – The Prince Albert, Brighton, UK
April 11th – The Boileroom, Guildford, UK
April 23rd – The Wedgwood Rooms, Dials Festival, Portsmouth, UK
June 8th – Rough Trade East, London, UK
June 11th – Long Division Festival, Wakefield, UK
An album of remixes from folk duo Lutine seems surprising. And it is.
In 2014 Lutine released an excellent album of traditional folk-styled songs called ‘White Flowers’, featuring some beautiful harmonies and subtle instrumentation recorded in the church at Stanmer village. Now they’ve taken the bones of those tracks and invited a range of different artists to try their hand at remixing them for a collection titled ‘Died of Love’. The results are quite extraordinary and haunting.
The opening track below remixed by Laura Cannell is in some ways the most traditional, although the Sarah Angliss and Stephen Hiscock mix of the sublime ‘Sallow Tree’ also falls within their earie early-70s British horror movie soundtrack vein. After that it gets even weirder, with a ghostly mix of ‘Death and the Lady’ by Michael Tanner, an hypnotic choral approach by Kemper Norton and a brilliant brutal noise-fest by Bela Emerson, before the music descends into some dance-based mixes until ending on Pete Wiggs brilliant reinvention of the gorgeous ‘So It Goes’.
This is a highly original and fascinating reinvention of the folk idiom and a memorable release from the Brighton duo of Heather Minor and Emma Morton which is well worth searching out.
‘Died of Love’ is available to download from March 4th from Front & Follow