Brighton Music Blog End of Year Top Twenty, part one 20-11

End of year lists are a funny old business. Should they be a measure of the success of the artists on the list you’re compiling? If that were the case then Royal Blood would be the top of any Brighton based list by the longest of margins (and they have been voted album of the year by NME readers). The alternative is that they’re based on personal preference instead, which is incredibly subjective but does give us the chance to enthuse about the things we’ve loved the most over the past twelve months. Being just a list of twenty acts is incredibly restricting too. The past couple of years we’ve put together out best of list as an Advent Calendar instead, which gave us another five acts we could include, but would have meant us getting our act together in November which was never going to happen this year. So here’s the first half of our top twenty – we’ll count down our top ten counting down as we get closer to Christmas.

20. Yumi & The Weather – All We Can EP

Technically All We Can came out in December 2013, but end of year lists had all been agreed by that point and tracks on the EP are easily as good if not better than most of the new music we’ve heard in 2014. The Vondelpark rework of the EPs title track is pure bliss.

19. Anushka – Mansions

Anushka’s Mansions, the lead single from their album Broken Circuit which came out on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings was one of our tunes of the summer.

18. Curxes – Valkyrie

To keep us interested while the Brighton / Portsmouth duo inch forward to completion of their debut long player (which has a provision title of Verxes), this year the band put out PreCurxor – a compilation of their early work – and this single, a noisy, frantic affair that’s guaranteed to wake you up.

17. Michael A Grammar – The Day I Come Alive

We fell in love with Michael A Grammar’s The Day I Came Alive on the very first listen, probably because it sounded like early Blur and reminded us of our first trips to indie discos many years ago.

16. Dog in the Snow – Factory

Dog in the Snow put out a couple of singles this year, with Factory being the more electronic of the two. The video was a fantastic match for the song, initially about mundane daily repetition before morphing into something magical.

15. The New Union – Now

The New Union continue apace with their melodic indie rock. Now was the first of their two singles of 2014, which was followed up later in the year by the equally great Believe in Nothing.

14. Winston & Goldstein – Ode to a Massive Obsession

Jacqueline Collyer used to be in Kins, but this year she went solo, ditched the guitars (mostly), and embraced electronica in all it’s forms on her album In The Eyes of the Other from ambient to dance tracks like Ode to a Massive Obsession which is our pick.

13. The Fiction Aisle – Blue

The Fiction Aisle have only played three gigs, and have only put one track on the internet so far. The man behind the band is an industry veteran though, with over ten years experience under his belt. This year, Electric Soft Parade hung up their hats (except for the odd one off), but Tom White has formed a brilliant new band, recruiting brother Alex on drums, and a cast of thousands. Well, about a dozen.

12. Blood Red Shoes – Blood Red Shoes

Blood Red Shoes eponymous fourth album was heralded from all quarters as a return to form. Their gig in April at the Concorde was the loudest thing we heard this year.

11. Adolescent – Golden Halls part II

There’s been an incredible amount of electronica produced in Brighton this year, most of it coming out through the wonderful Physics House Band affiliated KLDSCP records. Pick of the bunch for us was Adolescent’s Golden Halls EP, and it’s utterly beautiful and unhurried lead track Golden Halls Part II

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New Music – Fujiya & Miyagi, Moulettes, New Union, A Lily, Black Rooster, Black Shag, The Hundredth Anniversary, Catherine Ireton

It feels like weeks since we put up a new music blog post, possibly because it has been weeks, but also because we’ve got so many things to share this time around.

First up is another new track from the upcoming Fujiya & Miyagi album Artificial Sweeteners. Album opener Flaws confirms the more electronic direction of the band that we heard on Tetrahydrofolic Acid, and is available as an early download if you pre-order the album on iTunes.

Moulettes gave us the first listen of the title track of their new album this week. Constellations is out on 2nd June on Navigator records, but I reckon that you’ll be able to plenty of tracks from the new record when the band play at The Haunt on 24th April.

We already posted up the audio for the new New Union single Now, but the video went live last week, so here it is again. We were at the Now launch gig at Bermuda Traingle on Friday night and will be posting up our pics soon.

Every monday for a month, A Lily are uploading a free cover version to bandcamp which together will make up an EP called Augury. The first of these is a cover of Julia Holter’s Goddess Eyes. Keep an eye on A Lily’s facebook page for news of the next upload.

Black Rooster Black Shag‘s Run Baby Run was one of our favourite tracks of last year, so our ears pricked up when they told us they had a new track coming out. Borderline is taken from the band’s upcoming album As Far As My Lead Will Take Me.

The Hundredth Anniversary have shared a track from their upcoming release. A Daze is the second track from the Wreckers EP, which is being released on Odd Box records on 17th March.

 

Catherine Ireton has released an EP which takes in two of her Treasure Tracks songs (which she performed in intimate venues around Brighton in 2012) as well as a track with Belle & Sebastian offshoot God Help The Girl and two tracks with other bands she’s played with over the years. The EP is entitled Pieces of Me and can be bought from iTunes and Amazon.

 

The New Union / Now

NUOn the 17th March, The New Union release their new single Now. Now is another slice of fantastic guitar pop which follows up 2013’s Without You 7″ and Staying Friends EP. We already gave a mention to the band’s upcoming Brighton gig at the Bermuda Triangle on 7th March, but at the time we didn’t know it was to promote a new single. Support at the gig comes from Fickle Friends and The Hundredth Anniversary. You can hear the new single now (see what we did there) on soundcloud via the link below:

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