May Top Ten

Welcome to our second monthly Top Ten feature. It’s officially regular, now that we’ve made it two months in a row! As with last month, it’s loosely based on what Last.fm has told me I’ve listened to, although this month it seemed to bear no relation to what iTunes was recording for the play counts. Also one of the tracks is just a YouTube video, so that didn’t appear on iTunes or Last.fm. So without further ado, here’s what we’ve been loving this month:

1) Watching Her Dance / DA-10

Watching Her Dance appeared on our radar roughly at the same time as we heard about DA-10’s The Shape of Space EP, but it was the EP which was getting the attention and the PR push. Several weeks later it’s this mode dancefloor friendly free download which is still on heavy rotation.

2) Battersea / AK/DK

Battersea is the lead track from AK/DK’s new cassette only release Dispatch #3, and we love it’s crazy squelchiness

3) Rio / Cave Painting

The video for Rio surfaced online a few months ago, but the EP finally hit the shops on 29th April. The packaging is every bit as gorgeous as you’d expect from Cave Painting, as is the quality of the music. There’s only a hundred of these out there, so good luck hunting one out

4) Daddy / IYES

This track was a bit of a surprise after the vocal pop of Lighthouse and Glow, but Daddy showed that IYES are just as assured at Balearic house

5) Goddess of War / Phantom Runners

Phantom Runners were one of our discoveries in the run up to the Great Escape. We didn’t manage to catch their set (although hopefully we’ll be there when they play at the Blind Tiger at the next Les Enfants Terribles night on 28th June), but we think their debut single as a great slice of indie pop

6) Anneka / Deliver

Not a single, or even a physical or digital release, but just a Youtube video, Deliver was still one of the best tracks out of Brighton we heard this month

7) Abraxical Solapse / Physics House Band

The Physics House Band’s Horizons / Rapture mini LP came out in April, and while it’s not as accessible as some of the poppier acts on the list, it’s certainly just as rewarding. You probably won’t be whistling any of the songs in the shower, but you will keep going back to them over and over

8) Hold On / Luo

Luo seem to be growing more and more with every new track we hear from them, and Hold on is no exception. In a few releases they’ve expanded their range from glitchy chill out and currently sound like a more electronic Physics House Band. Give them a few months and the sky’s the limit

9) Fallback / Catherine Ireton

A little while back, our friends over at the Some Of It Is True blog started up a record label called Hidden Trail. We got a bit distracted and haven’t got around to writing about the label’s first release yet – a compilation of some of their favourite tracks they’ve come across – but our favourite track from what we’ve listened to so far is Catherine Ireton’s Fallback

10) Goldfish Song / Crayola Lectern

We’re still listening to The Fall and Rise of Crayola Lectern at Brighton Music Blog HQ, and have grown rather fond of The Goldfish Song, a tune about suicidal pets sounding not a million miles away from The Beatle’s Day In The Life

Advertisements

New Music Round Up

The Great Escape is almost upon us – great news for seeing bands, not such great news in terms of having time to write about them. So, very quickly it all kicks off, here’s the things on our list which if why don’t write about now, we’ll never get around to.

Cave Painting have a new EP out called Rio, which is packaged just as beautifully as their album was last year. You can buy it for a fiver from Resident or from the Cave Painting website. Here’s the video for the lead track:

Phantom Runners debut single Goddess of War recalls the best of early 90s guitar indie pop. There’s a hint of Stone Roses in the drums, and the guitars sound like The Railway Children or some other Factory band from that era. We hit download before we’d even listened the whole way through:

Next is the video for Battersea, the lead track from AK/DK‘s new single we wrote about recently:

The new Transformer single is out on 31st May, sees them dropping the vowels for three and a half minutes of electro pop:

Luo‘s new single Dissolver is available to download on Soundcloud. We’ve been big fans of his glitchy laid back jazzy electronica since we first saw him at Sea Monsters, and this track is another fine string to his bow:

AK/DK aren’t the only local analogue synth dance band with new material out. DA-10 also have a new EP called The Shape of Space. Redshift is ravey, Respirator is instrumental hip hop with huge bass (and is still available for download over at XLR8R), Anaphase is retro sounding space-rock, I Have to Survive is broken beat house number and closer Out Of Reach Of Earth brings together a lot of the sounds from each of the preceding tracks. There’s a sampler up on soundcloud, which you can hear here:

The new Call Me Jolene EP, May, is a real change of pace and mood to something far more personal and reflective. It was out on the first of may, and sounds a bit like this:

Finally we have Alice Amelia‘s new single Passion. What starts off sounding like a piano ballad transforms into some slick r’n’b. There’s a free download on the soundcloud link below:

Video-verload

We’ve come across a bumper treasure trove of videos from Brighton Bands over the past few days. Maybe everyone was saving them for the new year, maybe it’s just coincidence that they’ve all turned up at the same time. No matter – here they all are:

Blood Red Shoes / Red River:

Cave Painting / Leaf

Tiny Dragons / In My Life

Forestears / Against The Floor

Beautiful Word / Eating Me, Eating You

Time for T / Phone Sex

Indigo Beach / Stay

The ones that got away

We wrote about loads of bands earlier this month in an arbitrary personal take on the year, but there’s been lots going on that we couldn’t include for one reason or the other. There were lots of bands who were just bubbling under, we didn’t write about any bands who were from Brighton – obviously – and we kept the list just to bands and didn’t mention venues or events or stuff like that.

We tried to have a bit of balance across our advent calendar, making sure we had big and small bands, so it was always going to be the case that there was going to be some we couldn’t fit in. As well as The Maccabees and Bat for Lashes hitting hard for Brighton, Blood Red Shoes and Orbital were troubling the charts. While we’re talking about big acts, Fatboy Slim‘s most recent Big Beach Boutique was a success not on the beach but at the Amex, where they apparently ran out of beer on the first night. On the subject of local bands in sports venues, hundreds of people braved the rain in July when Rizzle Kicks accompanied the entrance of the Olympic Torch to Hove Cricket Groung Saint Etienne were further down our longlist than the album “Words and Music by Saint Etienne” and their gig at the Concorde warranted, but with only Pete Wiggs living in Brighton, we had to prioritise bands with more local members.

Other bands with albums out in 2012 who we just couldn’t fit in were Tall Ships, Cave Painting, Ital Tek (referred to by one of my mates as possibly his album of the year), Sparrow and Negative Pegasus. When Todd Jordan isn’t being part of Negative Pegasus, he’s also one third of promoters One Inch Badge, who brought us the fantastic Sea Monsters festival at the Prince Albert as well as dozens of other great gigs, and is one of the people responsible for Bizarro World, a monthly covers gig which is so much better than it sounds on paper.

There’s a few bands who’ve caught our eye that we’re expecting big things from in 2013. Crayola Lectern‘s album is recorded and due to arrive in Spring sometime on Bleeding Hearts Recordings. We saw Dead Cars live a few weeks ago and really really liked what they were doing, but it was too late to squeeze them into our list. But if we were to be pushed to name one act whose year it could be then we’d have to say Anneka. We’ve only seen her live once so far (supporting Com Truise at The Haunt), but there was something about what she was doing that sounded so fully formed, that she’s bound to be huge.

Outside of Brighton, here’s our top ten albums and top five tracks of the year:

1. Melody’s Echo Chamber / Melody’s Echo Chamber
2. Beth Orton / Sugaring Season
3. Laetitia Sadier / Silencio
4. Toy / Toy
5. Raveonettes / Observator
6. Clock Opera / Ways to Forget
7. Best Coast / The Only Place
8. Black Reindeer / Real Life is Overrated
9. Scuba / Personality
10. Cornshed Sisters / Tell Tales

1. Mmoths / Heart
2. Blur / Under The Westway
3. Saint Etienne / Tonight
4. Minotaur Shock / Janet
5. Lee Hazlewood / Souls Island

Cave Painting / Votive Life

Once upon a time, there was a Brighton band called Rob The Rich. They were really good – they even got Single of the Week in the Guardian for their debut release. Comparisons were made with Vampire Weekend, and their future seemed bright, but in the Rob The Rich camp it was felt that something special was lacking, so they went to ground and emerged as Cave Painting.

Things were going fantastically for Cave Painting when they first started – they got themselves a major label record deal after their first couple of gigs. But life on Mercury Records didn’t suit Cave Painting, so they took a step back and ended up signing with Third Rock Recordings, set up by the guy who originally signed them to Mercury. Debut single Gator dropped in May, and now the band have truly arrived with the release of their album Votive Life.

Widescreen epic guitar soundscapes seem to be a bit of a theme for 2012 (see also Brighton Mercury Nominees The Maccabees), and Cave Painting don’t disappoint. Right from the off things sound epic, but they make their own mark and stand out by sprinkling lilting guitar lines over the top. The album never gets too frenetic, instead layering on the atmospherics. Adam Kane’s vocals soar over each track, as much a part of the instrumentation as the are a vehicle to deliver lyrics.

Votive Life is a rich, assured debut album, another record to make Brighton proud of the music that it makes.

Cave Painting play the Green Door Store on 9th October.