Brighton Music Blog Advent Calendar Day Twenty Three – GAPS / Cascade

RZ9A4653esAccepted wisdom is that if you combine electronic music with folk, you get folktronica. Most of the time you do (and Le Juki’s album Capillaries was a fine example of this), but GAPS have broken the mould with the first few singles. Instead of glistening electronica, GAPS use bigger beats more suited to the dancefloor. Their debut was a double A side – Keep You backed with the track we’ve chosen for our Advent Calendar Cascade. Of all of the tracks we’ve picked throughout December, Cascade is arguably the most Brighton – It starts quietly with nothing but the sound of seagulls and acoustic guitar before the beats and the keyboards kick in, building up hypnotically throughout the track.

GAPS single launch at the Green Door Store

Last night GAPS rounded off a mini tour to promote their debut 7” with a hometown gig at the Green Door Store.

The first support came from The Hundredth Anniversary, who were more together yet more relaxed than I’ve ever seen them. It’s still shoegaze, of sorts, but the angular drumming and tight rhythm section elevate them above the competition. The second support took things in a completely different direction – Laurie James Ross, better known as Eagles For Hands, played a set of House music using a table full of electronics controlling different channels and vocal samples. Sometimes things went a little bit garage and on some tracks the direction went a little bit deeper, but throughout the whole continuous set the Green Door Store sounded fantastic. Definitely one to watch.

The evening belonged to GAPS though. Their single Keep You / Cascade was released yesterday, and the duo were celebrating with a local gig. Ed was on the left on synths, drum pads and two microphones and Rachel filled the rest of the stage with guitars, more drums and more microphones. Their music has been described as folktronica, which probably fits with what they do on paper but doesn’t truly do justice to their sound. The best known examples of the genre seem to be electronica with a bit of folk added to make things more interesting or vice versa, but what we heard last night was a much more equal union of the two. AA side Cascade, with its long quiet seagull laden intro before the beats kick in, was dropped into the set early on, with flip side Keep You saved until the penultimate track. Discounting the gremlins before the end of the set GAPS played a great gig, making a sound that’s familiar, but unlike anyone else in town.

GAPS single launch gallery (click on the pics to view large):

GAPS – Keep You / Cascade 7” is out now on Sexbeat

GAPS next play live at 234 at the Green Door Store on the weekend of 3rd and 4th August.

June Top Ten

Here’s our regular monthly post of what’s hot on the Brighton Music Blog stereo over the last month.

1) Electric Soft Parade – Summertime in My Heart

We’ve probably listened to more Electric Soft Parade this month than everything else put together, and our top ten probably should just be the tracklist of Idiots, but what fun would that be? Summertime edged out in front of the other tracks, mainly because it’s the current single.

2) Milk & Biscuits – Hairstyles

Hairstyles is the second single from Milk & Biscuits forthcoming album Spirit Nap, and it’s great. It’s a bit Belle & Sebastian, a bit retro pop, and has a video filmed all around Brighton:

3) Us Baby Bear Bones – Swamp

We’ve been waiting for “What Starts With a U Ends With An I” for ages, and it was well worth the wait. A few of the tracks had appeared on YouTube, but the EP was the first chance we’d had to listen to Swamp over and over:

4) The Beautiful Word – Particles

When we first posted up the video for Particles back in May we said that it could well be the best thing they’ve done. After repeated plays, we’re pretty much sure it is.

5) New Union – Staying Friends

Staying Friends is the lead track on the New Union’s eponymous EP which came out four weeks ago. All four tracks on the EP are great, and the artwork for the 12″ is just as classy as we’ve come to expect from the band.

6) IYES – Lighthouse (BBC Introducing Session)

For their recent BBC session IYES swapped the electronics for a cello and it sounded lush. Unfortunately it’s long disappeared from iPlayer, so here’s the original:

7) Gaps – Cascade

We posted up the video for Gaps lovely, hypnotic upcoming single Keep You a couple of weeks ago, but we ended up listening to it’s AA side Cascade even more. The Guardian agreed with us and made them yesterday’s New Band of the Day! The single will be released on 15th July on Sexbeat.

8) Curxes – Further Still (Avec Sans Remix)

We featured the original version of Further Still in our April Top Ten, but this month a remix surfaced which reversed the vocals, giving the tune a completely different melody:

9) Champione – Bear vs Bear

We only got the chance to give Champione’s tunes a listen last week, which means they haven’t had that many listens which is why Bear vs Bear is only at number nine. This, and the rest of the Home EP, are definitely going to get a lot more listens over the next few weeks:

10) Rivieras – Weekend

Rivieras got in touch on twitter and pointed us in the direction of their latest EP, a four tracker called Weekend. We liked what we heard, but we spotted that it had been up on Soundcloud for at least six months, so didn’t really sit alongside the new music that we write about most of the time. It’s definitely worth a listen though. Here’s the title track: