It’s been less than a week since our last new music round up, but this week we have NINE new tracks to share. So without further ado… We got our first taste of Fröst last November when they shared their debut track Crackling on the Wire. Three months later they’ve shared another – this one is called Keratin:
Here’s this week’s new music roundup, and we’ve got LOADS to write about. First up is the new one from Sea Bed, who show that they can pen pop songs as well as dance tracks with Pretender. The band head out on tour with Clock Opera next week, playing at The Hope & Ruin on 3rd March.
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
All eyes are on the Mercury Music Prize tonight, but they’re not the only awards to be watching. It’s also a great year for Brighton acts in the end of year nominations over at Artrocker. On top of their Mercury nomination, The Maccabees are up for band over the year. Dark Horses whose album Black Music is out this week did well too, picking up nominations for best single for Radio, and Best New Band. Tall Ships and Fear of Men are also up for Best New Band too. Head over to the Artrocker website and get voting!
A couple of months ago I bumped into the editor of one of the local magazines while I was out and about, and as I always do when I see them, asked who they had lined up for their next cover. His eyes lit up – “It’s Tall Ships” he gushed. “They’re fantastic – have you heard them?”. I said that I’d seen them earlier in the year at Sea Monsters, but added that I’d probably seen a hundred bands since. He told me that the night they headlined at One Inch Badge’s festival at the Prince Albert back in February sold out faster than any of the others, and then went on to tell me how great the album was, saving special praise for the album’s eight minute closer Murmurations.
He wasn’t wrong. Current single Gallop has been all over the radio, and to whet your appetite their record label Big Scary Monsters have put up an album stream over at The Line of Best Fit so you haven’t got any excuse not to listen to it. And if that’s not enough, you can catch them live at the Haunt this Friday.
So, that’s your lot. Six days of gigs, with an incredibly diverse line up, showcasing some of the best that Brighton has to offer. Thanks to One Inch Badge, The Prince Albert, and all of the bands.
The final night started off with The Physics House Band, who were kind of prog jazz, with arpeggiated wigouts with time signatures changing all over the shop. It would appear that this music didn’t die in the late 70s, it just went to sleep for thirty years and grew some balls in the meantime.
The second band were equally baffling on a line up which was predominantly indie. The Squadron Leaders were three middle aged men making authentic instrumental Surf Rock (almost) like they used to in the fifties. I say almost, because there was a bit of bass and the odd sample being fired of stage, but aside from that it was a basic twang guitar, sax and drums. Fans of Dick Dale, Link Wray or The Ventures would be impressed. I loved it, but then I’ve been hiding my passion for surf rock for a good few years now.
If The Physics Band went back to the 70s for their blueprint, and The Squadron Leaders looked at the 50s, it was like Us Baby Bear Bones hadn’t even seen the rulebook. Most bands on over the festival didn’t stray too far from the typical guitar / guitar / bass / drums – Admittedly, a few dropped one from the list, and some added keyboards, but overall there weren’t many surprises. However, each member of Us Bear Baby Bones had at least three instruments in front of them – Front woman Puff had two microphones (one of which should have been run through a sampler, but technical difficulties beset them), a clarinet and a tom tom, Daisy had several keyboards and an autoharp, and Luke was playing guitar, sampler and glockenspiel. Did I say front woman? Yes, UBBB were one of only two bands on the whole bill fronted by a woman (the other being Fear of Men). Musically, they play dreamy, yet ambitious pop. If you wanted some kind of reference point, I might mention Bat For Lashes, but also tell you that UBBB are much more magical, and that the comparison can tell you only so much and you really ought to listen to them to know what they’re like; Except the only track released into the wild so far is Rain, which is on the Sea Monsters compilation. The new stuff is being released on the 10th of Feb (coinciding with their next gig at The Hope), so you’ll have to wait until then to hear some more.
The last band of the festival was Tall Ships, and they had The Albert ram packed for their set of angular indie songs with post-rock breakdowns. They were an ideal band to finish things up, getting the crowd more animated than they had been all week.
So that was Sea Monsters. I heard a lot of great music and discovered a lot of amazing new bands. The highlights for me were some of the bands who broke the mould – Us Baby Bear Bones, Restlesslist, and Speak Galactic – who obviously felt music so strongly that it just couldn’t be expressed in traditional ways.
How long until Sea Monsters 3?
So, I had this grand plan to do a write up about what I was looking forward to at Sea Monsters 2 in the week leading up to the gigs. But then I went to a gig last Sunday night, which I wrote up on Monday night. And then I went to a gig on Tuesday (which wasn’t one for the blog). And then Wednesday I went and interviewed the Repeat Prescriptions. Last night I thought it was about time I spent some quality time with my girlfriend, so now here we are on Friday, with the gigs starting on Monday with nothing written.
Thankfully, One Inch Badge, who are putting on the gigs, have done pretty much what I intended to do, and have written up some highlights of some of the twenty three (!!!) bands playing next week.
Personally, I’m looking forward to Us Bear Baby Bones, who I saw supporting Laetitia Sadier last week at the Green Door Store, Black Black Hills, who headlined the Source New Music night a few months ago at the Pavilion Theatre, and Restlesslist, who I haven’t caught live yet but are playing tonight at the Green Door Store.
I don’t quite know how I’m going to have time to fit in time for an update on every gig next week, but keep an eye on the blog, and maybe I’ll find the time to get a little something up.
Here’s a link to the Sea Monsters section of the One Inch Badge website, and here are the links to the band previews they’ve posted so far:
Monday 23rd January 2012
Sons of Noel & Adrian
Tuesday 24th January 2012
Fear of Men
Wednesday 25th January 2012
I’m Being Good
Thursday 26th January 2012
Friday 27th January 2012
Black Black Hills
Saturday 28th January 2012
Us Baby Bear Bones
Physics House Band