Coming up : Nordic Giants supporting God is an Astronaut / new music from Esben & The Witch

Nordic Giants at Komedia 2

This week Nordic Giants head out on tour with Irish post rock band God is an Astronaut, where they play their first Brighton gig since the launch of their awesome Build Seas / Dismantle Suns double EP last October. The tour takes in Glasgow, Leeds, Nottingham and Birmingham before arriving in Brighton next Sunday 16th March, where they play The Haunt.

A few weeks later the band are heading up to London to play one of their most important gigs yet headlining Cargo on 1st May.

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Next month, Esben & The Witch release a split 12″ with Thought Forms on Invada records. It was premiered a couple of weeks ago on Stereogum, but now the stream is available for us to share too. The release of No Dog on 7th April comes in advance of the band heading into the studio in the summer with the legendary Steve Albini for an album pencilled in for autumn this year. More news on that as we hear of it, but in the meantime, here’s the audio of No Dog:

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Brighton Music Blog Advent Calendar Day Six – Nordic Giants / Neotenie

It’s been a busy year for the Nordic Giants – after a few years in which they only managed to release two EPs / singles in total (which both featured the same lead track – Shine – which appeared in last year’s advent calendar), the band managed to release a single and a double EP in the last twelve months. Speed The Crow’s Nest appeared in February, and then in October the Build Seas, Dismantle Suns EP was released in two parts at either end of a near sell out national tour.

We’ve picked Neotenie as the choice for our Advent Calendar – it comprises of their classic cinematic sound overlaid with samples prophesising big changes ahead, not necessarily for the best. We could have picked any of the tracks from the EP though – all fantastic stuff.

November Top Ten

We’re posting up our favourite tracks from November a little earlier than usual because it’s almost time for us to start our Brighton Music Blog Advent Calendar, where from December 1st we’ll be posting up a different band every day that we’ve enjoyed this year, culminating in our musical highlight on Christmas Day (to give you something to read while your parents are watching the Queens speech). Before then though, here’s what we loved this month:

1) IYES – ‘Til Infinity

IYES debut single proper is a corker. From the opening drums and hand claps (How long before live performances string out the intro and get the audience to the claps like Queen’s We Will Rock You?) through to Melis “Mmm-Hmm” at 2.10 it doesn’t put a foot wrong.

2) Black Rooster Black Shag – Run Baby

Run Baby is the kind of catchy, effortless rock’n’roll that’s as cool as ice. The black & white video for the track makes us love it even more

3) Nordic Giants – Dark Clouds Mean War

 Dark Clouds Mean War is the closing track from Nordic Giants recent Dismantle Suns EP. It’s brooding and cinematic and packs in more emotion into one track than you’re likely to hear this year

4) The Beautiful Word – Coconut Hair

In a complete change mood, Coconut Hair, from The Beautiful Word’s new release Particles is silly and nonsensical and will put a smile on your face.

5) A Lily – The Sparrow In The Lemon Tree

 The Sparrow In the Lemon Tree, taken from A Lily’s new EP Lupa, is a thing of fragile beauty – lush strings and gentle electronica combine for this lovely take on modern folk

6) Kins – Aimless

Kins new single starts off sounding almost jazzy, but soon settles into beautiful abstract guitar pop which feels familiar yet unlike anything you can put your finger on.

7) Plasticine – Dreamers Of The Day

We haven’t heard much from Plasticine since we first crossed paths with them back at Sea Monsters back in January. After nearly a year they’re back on the blog with a fantastic pop single.

8) Faux Flux – Week Long War

Faux Flux follow up this year’s earlier Come Alive release with new single Week Long War, which we like even more. We’ve posted the video here, but you can download the track and it’s b-side for free over on their bandcamp site.

9) bentcousin – Sunglasses In Winter

Bentcousin’s first proper release since their Everbody’s Got One EP is a track quietly tucked away on a compilation album. While it starts off with gentle guitar lines that echo I Think I Like You Girlfriend More Than You from their debut, the subject matter is much more hard hitting. Bentcousin are playing an unplugged gig at Revenge on Sunday afternoon at 4pm for World Aids Day.

10) Jipsy Magic – So Serious

Genre busting Jipsy Magic describe themselves as a disco / funk / pop band. There’s a fair bit of indie in there too as you see in their new single So Serious:

Nordic Giants – Dismantle Suns

At the end of last month, the Nordic Giants played a gig at the Concorde to launch the second part of their Build Seas, Dismantle Suns EP.

Nordic Giants

The Nordic Giants have long been one of Brighton’s best live bands, with their gothic outfits, stunning visuals and huge huge songs. Since this was a bit more of a special occasion they were aided and abetted by The Shadow Enigma, a collection of musicians who added additional strings, brass and percussion to bolster the band’s already massive sound.IMG_1687es

The EP starts with long time live favourite Little Bird. The smooth start with gentle jazzy keyboards and female vocals turns out to be a smokescreen for the Nordic Giants brutality with huge clattering drums kicking in two thirds of the way through. The second track Mechanical Minds also features pianos and big drums, which die down every now and then to reveal old samples warning of a dangerous future. Strangest Tides is a calmer affair, with tender female Scandinavian vocals over something akin to Sigur Ros’ less guitarry work. EP Closer Dark Clouds Mean War is brooding and cinematic, with thick lush strings and simple piano line building up throughout the song, and it’s only in the last seventy seconds of the track that percussion kicks in, the Dark Clouds in the title bringing their promise of a storm.

IMG_1778eesBoth parts of the Build Seas, Dismantle Suns EP are available to buy through the Nordic Giants webshop.

October Top Ten

Somehow, we’ve turned two! Two years of gig going, photo taking, demo listening and doing out best to share the music we love coming out of Brighton. Here’s what we loved in October:

1 Eagles For Hands – Lisbon

Eagles for Hands gave out their new EP for free for a short while earlier in the month and the title track, which sounds not dissimilar to 808 State at the height of the powers has been our most played track this month. The free download is over now (you should have grabbed it when we told you about it!) but it’s worth every penny you’ll pay on iTunes.

2 Momotaro – Reverie
3 Gaps – Belong


Giving away a free track in return for signing up to a bands mailing list is the new black. Or something like that. Momotaro and Gaps are two of our favourite discoveries this year and you can get these tracks just for the price of an email address.

4 The Beautiful Word – Eating Me, Eating You

“It’s not rude!” Megan and Emily blush when they introduce this track live. Of course it’s not, but a bit of innuendo doesn’t do anyone any harm. The video for Eating Me, Eating You dropped this month, and the track appears on The Beautiful Word’s album Particles which we’ll be reviewing soon.

5 Electric Soft Parade – The Sun Never Sets Around Here

The Sun Never Sets Around Here in ESP’s new single to go alongside their minitour. The band have just announced a Christmas date at the Unitarian Church on 6th December. Get your tickets quick because it’s going to sell out fast.

6 Prince Vaseline – Sunset

Lovely lovely stuff from a Milke & Biscuits side project

7 Nordic Giants – Neotenie

Neotenie appears on part one of the Nordic Giants Build Seas Dismantle Suns double EP. We’ll be putting up something about part two – the Dismantle Suns half – very soon.

8 Yumi & The Weather – All We Can

The lead track from Yumi & The Weather’s debut EP (and it’s accompanying video) is a much sunnier track than the weather outside at the moment. We’ve had it on repeat to bring a bit of summer back into our lives. The Vondelpark rework that’s also on the EP is quite tasty too.

9 Moulettes – Songbird

Moulettes gig at Applefest (which we missed because we didn’t want caught in the torrential rain in Lewes), and their giveaway of this track reminded up just how much we love Moulettes. From the look of their Facebook / Twitter streams, they’re working on new material right now. Can’t wait!

10 Alice Amelia – #1000 Dreams

We rather liked Alice Amelia’s free download that she gave away earlier this month – sophisticated sparse piano and a lovely vocal. She’s playing down at Above Audio this Wednesday for free as well!

Weekend Gig Picks

Just a short and sweet weekend gig post this week, because we’re darting off to see Nordic Giants at the Concorde soon (there are still tickets on the door apparently, and they’re a brilliant live band).

Thursday night is Halloween, so it’s only right that our gig pick for the evening is Green Door Store’s Halloweiner event, with Tigercub headlining. It’s a late one though – it doesn’t start until 11pm, which isn’t exactly ideal if you’ve got work in the morning.

Halloweiner

Friday night is Lout’s regular Brighton Rocks night at Sticky Mike’s. This week London Commands You, The Fuses, Lonesome Heights and Dear Joseph play.

Then on Saturday Jipsy Magic launch their new single at the Blind Tiger. So Serious comes out as a free download this weekend, and they’re holding a free party to celebrate.

September Top Five

We’ve been away for half of September, so this month we’re just doing a Top Five rather than our normal Top Ten. Any good stuff we like from the last week or two may well make it into next month’s list. Anyway, without further ado:

1) Dog in the Snow – Fire in the Sky

At the top of the pile this month is Helen Ganya Brown’s latest haunting offering, available as a free download through soundcloud, and with a video that just went up online today:

2) Palm Springs – Could You Be Wrong

We’re the ones who’ve got things wrong about the new Palm Springs single. Their label, Random Acts of Vinyl, sent us a copy a few weeks ago and there was a bit of a mix up with release dates and we haven’t got around to doing a write up yet, even though it’s been out for a few weeks. We’ll be giving it a proper write up soon, but in the meantime, let it be known that it’s one of favourite tracks of recent weeks:

3) Luo – Spiral Staircase

Luo keeps churning out great music, which he keeps giving out for free, and was awesome at Sound Screen at the Corn Exchange earlier this month. This is our favourite track from his latest EP Imprints:

4) Momotaro – Embers

We got turned onto to Momotaro care of the new Green Door Store fanzine which has been popping up all around town. They’ve got got a bunch of free downloads up on Soundcloud, and Embers has had a lot of plays at Brighton Music Blog HQ:

5) Nordic Giants – Violent Lights

We only heard Violent Lights less than a week ago, but we’re big fans of Nordic Giants so we couldn’t not include it. The Build Seas EP which it’s taken from is out tomorrow.