I’m not a fan of end of year lists. There’s the forced ranking of things, introducing subjectivity and pitting people against each other. There’s the fact that you might not remember things from the start of the year as well as recent tracks, or that some songs sounded great in the sunshine but right now it’s cold, wet and miserable. So instead, here’s a few tracks from 2018 that are highlights for us. No particular order, no claims that one is better than another, just what we think are a bunch of great tunes. There’s a few maybe more obvious bands missing (naming no names) – it’s been a brilliant year for Brighton Music – but some of the bands you might be thinking of haven’t been in touch, or haven’t got back to us when we’ve been in touch. Given how successful they’ve been they obviously haven’t needed a blog like us, and it’s not like we’ve been short of great music to post this year. Anyway, we’ve tried to post bandcamp links where we can, so if you like what you can hear, you can click through and buy from the site where the biggest proportion of the price goes back to the artist: Continue reading
We Are Millionaires by Pete Fij & Terry Bickers was released back in July, quietly understated but at the same time accomplished and powerful. The band describe their songs as being miserable, which you can’t deny, but there’s also a majesty to them too. Most of all though, they make it look effortlessly easy, which everyone knows is the really tricky bit. Continue reading
This year, AK/DK released their second full length long player Patterns / Harmonics, a further refinement of their anarchic analogue kraut-punk-techno sound and the follow up to 2014’s Synths + Drums + Noise + Space. As great as they are on record though, it’s live where the band shine and their album launch at the Green Door Store in October was our gig of the year.
We haven’t managed to make it along to many Bleeding Hearts Recordings related things this year, but we’re still fans of what they do with their regular monthly nights ploughing a different furrow to everyone else. They’ve only put out one record this year, which felt (to us at least) like it was a long time coming. Since the recording of the three tracks on grasshopper‘s Nothing Like Us single they’ve changed guitarists a number of times, but have now settled on a line up which has added some meat to the post-punk bones of their previous post-punk incarnation. Where so many guitar bands in Brighton opt for a grungey shoegaze sound it’s always refreshing hear grasshopper (which you can do on the 3rd January at the Green Door Store)
We’ve put a couple of bands in our top five who only had short form releases, whose music we love and we feel still deserve a place in our list despite not having released an album. The first of these is Anneka, who released her Life Force EP at the end of April on Anti-Ghost Moon Ray. The tracks managed to be both electronic and organic at the same time, layering synths over ethereal vocals and blurring the distinction between the two. When we met up to do her Brighton Rocks shoot in May she told us that there was a follow up planned at some point so hopefully we’ll see that soon in 2018. Continue reading
We gave you numbers 25 through to 11 last week, now it’s time for the bottom half of our top ten
10 : Saint Etienne
Home Counties is one of our most listened to albums this year, and Saint Etienne would have score even higher if more than just one of the trio lived in the city. Pete Wiggs is also half of The Séance DJ duo alongside James Papademetrie, and have just released a track called Chetwynd Haze on compilation All The Merry Year Round for the experimental music site A Year In The Country.