July Top Ten

How is it August already? July seemed to shoot by, probably because so much of it was spent outside soaking up the sun. Here’s our pick of the top tunes we heard last month:

1 Bentcousin – Dizzy

It seems like forever since we wrote about Dizzy, Bentcousin’s ode to summer in Brighton, and it was a while ago – back in the middle of June. But it came out on 7″ on 1st July, so gets the honour of taking top spot in our July round up.

2 Eagles for Hands – Glass Heart

Conversely, Glass Heart was one of the most recent things we wrote about. There’s also now an alternate version on Spotify too.

3 Caveman Genius – Hand Drawn Paradise

The new Caveman Genius EP isn’t out yet (despite what we might have written when we first mentioned it), but if it’s all as good as Hand Drawn Paradise, then we’re prepared to wait.

4 Oslo Parks – Twin

Oslo Parks are one of a number of new electronic pop bands who have sprung up in Brighton, part of a trend that you won’t find us complaining about.

5 Fragile Creatures – Sunshine

Another sun related song in our top ten – the fantastic weather in July obviously affected us. Fragile Creatures’ new EP is due soon, and there’s word that we might get to hear another track from it before the release date.

6 Demob Happy – Suffer You

Demob Happy are a bit more melodic than usual in their latest offering Suffer You which appeared on Soundcloud last month. The band also announced details of their first headline UK tour, which concludes in Brighton on October 16th at Bleach.

7 Soph Nathan – Our Girl

Soph Nathan’s ethereal shoegazey dream pop has been getting lots of plays at Brighton Music Blog HQ

8 Steve Elston – Dear Em

Dear Em is the title track from Steve Elsom’s new EP / mini-album of lovely acoustic folk pop. It was hard to pick one track to put in our top ten since the whole EP is quite blissful.

9 Lion Bark – Come into my Arms

Come Into My Arms has been getting plays on BBC 6Music and XFM, so we’re happy to include it in our top ten

10 Thomas White – Lose That Girl

Most of what we hear about via the blog is original music, but when Tom White covered the whole of Saint Etienne’s Good Humor we paid attention, as should you.

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new music – The New Union, House of Hats, Caveman Genius, Steve Elston, High Tyde, Spacenoid, Lion Bark

Here’s this week’s roundup of Brighton (and Hove)’s new music

First up is news of The New Union‘s new single Believe in Nothing. It’s being released by legendary indie label Fierce Panda (on their Fandgo imprint) on 4th August. There’s details of a London launch for the release, but no word yet on a Brighton launch.

House of Hats, just back from touring the US, have put up a new video for one of the tracks from their album This Love. This is Close to Me:

Our friends over at Some Of It Is True tipped us off about Soph Nathan. Soph is in a number of local bands (including fronting Hella Better Dancer) and has just posted up her first solo effort – Our Girl.

Caveman Genius has a new EP entitled Paradise out next week on Kaleidescope Records. Hand Drawn Paradise is the first track to be given an airing from it, a lovely dose of fuzzy house:

Steve Elston sent me a message earlier today asking me to give his new EP a listen. I clicked through the link and the name-your-price Bandcamp download is actually seven tracks long. I’ve got albums with fewer tracks than that. The Dear Em EP is lovely lilting folk – perfect for warm summer nights.

Karibu is the new single from High Tyde, out on July 14th. The video was filmed all around Brighton – see how many of the locations you can spot. The band are hosting a launch show for the single at the Komedia on July 18th.

Spacenoid released their new single Vanished last weekend, available as a free download from bandcamp. If you missed their single launch at The Hope, you can catch them again at the Gladstone on 16th August.

Lion Bark release their debut single Come in to my Arms on 28th July on their own Creepy Love records. Come into my arms is gentle folk-pop, standing out from the crowd thanks to lead singer Guy’s distinctive voice:

Bleeding Hearts Club 10/9/2012

We keep writing about Bleeding Hearts, but then they consistently keep putting on great gigs, and this month was no exception.

Al Chamberlain

First up last night was Al Chamberlain. When I spoke to Bleeding Hearts top dog Chris Davies at the bar before the gig, he described Al as a “professional Northerner, who does a song about trains”, which was certainly true, but doesn’t really tell the half of it. Al reminded me a lot of The Montgolfier Brothers, one of the bands that Alan McGee pinned his hope on with Poptones, his project after the closure of Creation Records. Despite nobody I’ve ever met having heard of them, The Montgolfier Brothers are one of my favourite bands – they make beautiful songs with lyrics about being at the precipice of the end of a relationship which are very well observed and utterly heartbreaking at the same time, and Al’s songs had similar qualities. Perhaps the most famous song about trains is The Locomotion, which doesn’t really sit alongside the acoustic aesthetic of Bleeding Hearts. In Al Chamberlain’s song about trains, tracks and stations become metaphors for components of relationships and by the end everything’s ok, both with the relationship in the song and with any fears about the handling of locomotive based songs.

Ingrid Plum

Monday’s second act was Ingrid Plum. Ingrid sang solo a capella folk songs, unencumbered by other musicians or instruments. Of the four songs she sang three were her own compositions but you wouldn’t know it and could easily have mistaken them for traditional songs hundreds of years old. Her fourth piece was a cover of Chris T-T’s M1 Song, made her own in the same style. It was an electric performance which had the room held in silent captivity hanging on every note. Ingrid has just released an EP – head over to her Facebook page to find out how to get hold of a copy.

The Droplets

It was all change for third band The Droplets, who also featured Al Chamberlain on guitar. The Droplets also live in the past musically, but instead of hundreds of years old folk music they play 70s AOR, covering the likes of Randy Newman and Big Star. Musically it was note perfect, but it was the voice that made it something special.

Steve Elston

Finally, it was the turn of Steve Elston, who had apparently played quite a few of the early Bleeding Hearts nights, before disappearing off their radar. He’s turned up again playing guitar for Das Fenster (who completely coincidentally Ingrid also sings backing vocals for), and has made a return to Bleeding Hearts. If you weren’t looking you could have been forgiven for thinking that there was more than one person on stage, such was the sound emanating from the speakers. I don’t want to throw words like this around lightly, but Steve may possibly be the best guitarist we’ve written about at Brighton Music Blog. His fingers performed feats of technical brilliance, yet the music that was made had a degree of tenderness rarely seen alongside this level of ability. Utterly breathtaking.