So, our final box in our Advent Calendar is filled by IYES, who have barely been going a year yet are more than worthy of our top spot. Right from the first moment we heard them, when Lighthouse appeared on Soundcloud, we knew that IYES were something special. Since then there’s been a few more tracks that have appeared from them this year – a more upbeat number called Glow, a Balearic instrumental called Daddy, a cover of Beyonce’s Crazy in Love and their debut single ‘Til Infinity. The production on each of these has been spot on, as has their timing – holding off on playing the new single until it was ready to be released, and not releasing it until the time was right where they could get a good buzz behind it. And what a buzz it got, getting over 2,400 likes on Hype Machine, nearly 150,000 plays on Soundcloud and coverage from all the major music sites – The Line of Best Fit said “You know you’ve found a beauty when melodies rattle around your head after just one listen”, and This is Fake DIY described it as “pristine pop skewed to the point where it’s pushing boundaries”. Look out for IYES in 2014, we think you’ll be hearing a lot more from them.
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:
Since the end of last year, anyone whose asked us about the Brighton music scene has probably had their ear bent by me telling them that the best new band around were IYES. And now, about a year after we were knocked off our feet by the stunning Lighthouse, their debut single ‘Til Infinity has landed.
Sparse and simple for the first minute with just tribal drums, handclaps and Melis’ vocals, the track then explodes into life with a pop chorus that’s simultaneously both breathy and vulnerable, and powerful with its swirling chiming guitars, and clashing cymbals. Midway through the track IYES’ other half Josh gets a vocal turn adding a bit more colour to proceedings, and later there’s a bridge that drops everything to almost nothing, before one last triumphant chorus, and then at just three minutes everything’s over and done with – as all great pop songs should be.
Best of all, they’ve used an apostrophe and one ‘l’, which this pedant secretly very happy.
IYES is on sale now via iTunes on Duly Noted records.