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
Here’s this week’s new music post, which kicks off with the return of a Brighton Music Blog favourite after nearly four years:
Artist: Cate Ferris
Track Name: Rise
Taken From: Rise single
Release Date: 20/07/2018
In case you hadn’t realised, this weekend is The Great Escape festival, probably the most important musical event in the local calendar. There’s a few Brighton bands tucked in the main festival, but the bulk of the homegrown talent features in the line-up of the Alternative Escape – a sister festival that runs side by side where for most events you won’t need a wrist band, or have to shell out any money to see some fantastic live acts. There are literally hundreds of bands playing over dozens of events so to help guide you through the weekend here’s our pick of some of the BN postcode-based performers you can catch.
The fun begins on Wednesday night with Late Night Lingerie vs The Great Escape at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, where can catch the first of Demob Happy‘s many sets of the festival as well as Skirts last ever gig. Inspired Artists Agency who represent quite a few Brighton bands are taking over Latest Music Bar on Thursday, and we’re hoping to pop in for The Slytones at 2.55pm and Moulettes who play at 6.30pm. There are 20 bands over 28 sets on at The Mesmerist on thursday, on the stages put together by Liberty Music PR, amongst others. If we had to pick one it would be Phantom Runners who are on at 9.40pm. Bleach is being taken over by Strong Island Recordings and Pic & Vinyl on thursday, where Brighton Music Blog favourites Curxes take to the stage at 5.40pm. Over at London Road’s newest cafe Presuming Ed, Cate Ferris tops their line up. Miamigo play their debut show at Patterns (formerly Audio) at 6.45pm.
Brightonsfinest are in charge at Latest on Friday, and they’ve got a cracking line up. You could pop in at any time and see a great local band, but we’ll be popping in for GAPS at 2.45pm and Spit Shake Sisters at 7.45pm. The Mesmerist also has a pretty good line up, with Black Honey and Oslo Parks catching our eye. One of Brighton’s most written about bands at the moment are The Magic Gang, and they head up the DIY / Echochamp showcase at Bleach, playing at 10pm.
Moving on to Saturday, Earworm events and Northbrook college are hosting proceedings at Bar Rogue where we’re tipping Flash Bang Band at 6pm and newcomers Bloom at 6.50pm. The Fiddlers Elbow are having a street party, which is a great idea since I couldn’t get in to see the bands I wanted to last year. If I were you, I’d be down there for Yumi & The Weather at 4pm and Tigercub at 5pm. Marwoods Cafe are hosting some more gentle gigs over Friday and Saturday, but expect things to get a bit more riotous when Black Rooster Black Shag take to the stage at 8.10pm on Saturday night. Tyrannosaurus Dead play their last ever gig in Brighton at Fitzherbert’s a part of Cupboard Music’s line up. They’re only playing one more gig after that, and that’s in London, so expect it to be rammed. Hotel Pelirocco also have an all Brighton line-up – Time for T headline at 10pm, but get down there for 3pm to catch grasshopper who are fantastic. Bleeding Hearts are putting on a gig on Saturday afternoon at the Rialto theatre, which will be the first opportunity to buy headliner Clowwns debut album. It’s not an official Great Escape gig, but it would be churlish not to give them a shoutout. Finally, one of the very last gigs of the weekend is KLDSCP’s party at Sticky Mike’s which doesn’t even kick off until 1am. Mount Bank, who’ve put out one of favourite EPs of the year so far are playing, so hopefully we’ll still be standing by the time they’re on.
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.
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.
September was yet another great month for Brighton Music. We’ve barely kept up with posting the new music that we’ve heard throughout the month, but these have been our favourites:
1 GAPS & Maya Jane Coles – In Dark In Day
GAPS collaboration EP with Maya Jane Coles was an easy choice for our number one spot this month. We were fans of GAPS before this release, and In Dark In Day made us love them even more.
2 Gazelle Twin – Belly of the Beast
Live show of the month had to be Gazelle Twin’s headline post at last week’s Spectrum night at the Dome Studio Theatre. The tracksuit and obscured face was the perfect visual representation of her leftfield claustrophobic electronica. We could have chosen any track from her new album Unflesh, but we’ve gone for Belly of the Beast.
3 Cate Ferris – Giants
Giants has been a staple of Cate’s live sets for quite a while, so we were pleased to hear it get released on her new EP Disappear. It’s even better live – if you’re about this weekend get down to the Level where Cate is headlining the Lantern Fayre around 8-8.30ish on saturday night.
4 Dog in the Snow – Africa
Helen Ganya Brown’s latest single is another great slice of art pop which, too, has been a staple of her live sets over the last year.
5 Momotaro – Kite
If we could have, we’d have put the Deep Blast & Ricco Remix of Kite into our top ten tunes for you to listen to this month, but since it’s not streaming anywhere online, here’s the standard single version
6 Fear of Men – Tephra
2014 has been a good year for Fear of Men – support slots with Pains of Being Pure at Heart across the US and Europe, an album with great reviews across the board, a headline UK tour of their own, and to top it all their latest video premiered on the NME website.
7 Oslo Parks – Twin
As debut singles go, you couldn’t ask for better than Twin. We’re looking forward to heading down to the Green Door Store for the launch tomorrow night (Thursday 2nd October).
8 Heliopause – I seem too cold (Faulty Remix)
Heliopause’s latest offering is a beautiful, blissed out, exotic rework of an older track, put out to celebrate Brighton Digital Festival.
9 Troves – Afterthought
Afterthought is another debut single from another new Brighton band, and coincidentally, Troves are the support to Oslo Park’s gig on thursday.
10 Phantom Runners – On The Run
Finally, we have On The Run, the new Huey Morgan produced single from Phantom Runners, with it’s video filmed partly at Brighton Arts Club.
On Tuesday this week we headed down to Latest Music Bar where Cate Ferris launched her new Disappear EP. The gig was the first date of her own tour before she heads out for one last tour as part of Dizraeli and the Small Gods (where she’s also the support as well as being one of the Small Gods) – you can catch her again in Brighton at The Lantern Fayre on The Level on 4th October and there’s a full list of tour dates on her facebook page. In the meantime the EP is available on bandcamp, priced at three pounds for a download of the four tracks or a fiver for the cd:
(click on pics to view large)