We first wrote about Tigercub on Brighton Music Blog four years ago, and they’ve come a long way since. This year they released their debut album Abstract Figures in the Dark and showed that they’re top of the pile of Brighton’s alt-rock psych grunge scene.
Number four in our 2016 Top Ten is Tom White’s The Fiction Aisle. The Fiction Aisle issued their second album Fuchsia Days this year, showing that 2015’s gorgeous cinematic Heart Map Rubric wasn’t just a one off.
Here’s a blog post that I meant to write back at the start of December, but you’ve probably read enough excuses from me about why I’m not blogging as much as I ought to these days. As ever, it’s been a nightmare to cut things down to ten (which is why we’ve got eleven), and if you asked me tomorrow the order would no doubt change. But any further ado, here’s our end of year round-up:
10 : Tigercub / Demob Happy
Back in October Demob Happy snuck out their debut album Dream Soda, and then at the end of November Tigercub released their Repressed Semantics EP. Both releases are fantastic, and both bands have been touring hard all year. we couldn’t choose between the two:
9 : Prince Vaseline
Prince Vaseline’s first full length A Naturally Coloured Pleasure really was a pleasure for us when it came out in the middle of this year:
8 : Black Honey
Last time we saw Black Honey they were supporting fellow Brightonians The Wytches at The Haunt and they wiped the floor with them:
7 : Grasscut
We kept going back to Grasscut’s third LP Everyone Was a Bird, and everytime it sounded better and better, and then last month they gave us a video premier of The Field:
6 : The Go! Team
We thought that The Go! Team had split up for good after 2011’s Proof of Youth, so their return this year, sounding fresher than ever, with The Scene Between was some of best news we heard:
5 : IYES
IYES have kept a lower profile live this year, but put out two very strong EPs called Part One and Part Two:
4 : Clowwns
We’ve been waiting for The Artful Execution of Macho Bimbo for years here at the blog. We only wish we’d been recording when Bleeding Hearts label boss Chris explained the reasons for all the delays over a pint about a year ago, although half of it was prefaced with “this is just between us…”
3 : Sea Bed
Sea Bed were our great new find this year. Electronic music with soul who we end up evangalising about to everyone we meet. They haven’t got much music online at the moment, but there’s promises of exciting things to come this year:
2 : The Fiction Aisle
Heart Map Rubric was a thing a majestic, beautiful work of art and was arguably the finest thing that Tom White has put his name to to date:
GAPS managed to top last year’s collaboration with Maya Jane Coles with In, Around The Moments, their first long player which straddled the line between electronic and acoustic while managing to sound unlike anything else which would be labelled folktronica:
Is it March already? February shot past, but there was still plenty of great music out there. Here’s our pick of the bunch, counting down from Demob Happy’s Nirvana-esque Young & Numb:
1 Demob Happy / Young & Numb
2 Mount Bank / Everything Is Glass
3 Remi Miles / Under Light Symphonies
4 IYES / Simmer (live)
5 Lionbark / Amongst The Many
6 Salt Ashes / Raided
7 The Fiction Aisle / Soon Enough The Morning Comes
8 Conrad Vingoe / Fail
9 Caveman Genius / My Ford Sierra Needs an Oil Change
10 Record/Start / Rock from Afar
We didn’t do a top ten at the end of November. It had been a quiet month, and we were gearing up for our top twenty that we posted in December. Both months had a few great tunes that are too good to pass up though, so this month’s top ten has a few tracks from the end of last year too.
1 The Go! Team / The Scene Between
The Go! Team are back! Our top spot is the lead track from the band’s new album also called The Scene Between, out in March on Memphis Industries.
2 Anneka / End of It
End of It only features Anneka’s voice, but the layers and the textures and the harmonies demand repeat listens.
3 GAPS / She Bears a Flower
GAPS latest release came out right at the end of November last year sounding like some a futuristic remix of an Elizabethan childrens folk song.
4 Ambassadeurs / Forever
Forever is the lead track from Ambassadeurs latest EP out last month. Ambassadeurs play a gig at The Green Door Store at the end of the month, supported by Foreign Skin.
5 The Fiction Aisle / Blue
We liked Tom White’s new band’s first proper track so much that we got it into our end of the year round up, even though it hadn’t been in one of our top ten posts. Since we’re catching up on November here it would be wrong of us to omit it.
6 David Harks / Odyssey
We loved Open Arms, also taken from David Harks’ Lomo EP but shared much earlier in the year, as soon as we heard it but Odyssey was much more of a slow burner working it’s way under our skin until we couldn’t stop listening to it.
7 Tyrannosaurus Dead – Flying Ant Day
Tyrannosaurus Dead were the first band we ever interviewed on the blog, so it’s great to see their debut album (also called Flying Ant Day) finally released.
8 Seadog / Transmitter
Seadog’s Transmitter EP was launched at the end of December, while most of us were busy being distracted. The physical release is due in the springtime, but you can grab the EP now if you head over to Bandcamp.
9 Phantom Runners / Laserbeam
Laserbeam is a free download from Phantom Runnerscover on Soundcloud. Hanging out with Huey Morgan (who’s produced their last few tracks) is obviously rubbing off – this is the most laid back thing they’ve done.
10 Man Ray Sky / Ether Song
Finishing up with the title track from an EP from December, Ether Song is four minutes of breezy guitar pop.
We probably posted more new music in October than we had in any month in the three years we’ve been writing (we turned three on Friday!). Here’s our top picks from what we’ve heard:
1. Fujiya & Miyagi – Daggers (Stephen Morris remix)
When we’re not listening to bands from Brighton, there’s a good chance that New Order ends up on the stereo, so when we read last week that one of our favourite Brighton bands had been remixed by a member of New Order it was almost inevitable that we’d love it.
2. Native Roses – Shadows (Ambassadeurs remix)
More Ambassadeurs than Native Roses, this remix of lush textured electronica didn’t bear a great resemblance to the original, but it’s beauty won us over.
3. Great Pagans – Tangled up in Chemistry
Great Pagans album Cupid in Error was one of the highlights of the month. We could have picked any of the tracks – it’s all good – be we chose Tangled Up in Chemistry
4. Normanton Street – This Wolf
We gave Normanton Street’s Much Respect EP a post of it’s own a day before it’s release last week, and deservedly so. The track we’ve chosen for our top ten is the beautiful stripped down This Wolf.
5. Heliopause – City of Glass
Heliopause have popped up quite frequently on the blog over the years, as folk, then nudging post rock, and most recently as more straightforward indie. It suits them.
6. The DuBarrys – Undress Your Soul
The DuBarrys had a self titled EP out this month, and lead track Undress Your Soul is a beautiful folk-pop classic in the making.
7. Fire Eyes – Hide Out
Random Acts of Vinyl’s latest 7″ release by Fire Eyes is a great track on it’s own, but it confirmed it’s place in our top ten with remixes by the Bad Seeds’ Barry Adamson and AK/DK.
8. Eva Bowan – Lacerta XI
Eva Bowan’s latest EP Hyperspectacle has been released by local label KLDCP and is possibly her most accessible, most cohesive work yet. We loved EP opener Lacerta XI.
9. Dog in the Snow – Concrete Wall
Technically, Concrete Wall came out last month, being released as the B-side to Dog in the Snow’s Africa single, but it only got posted up to Soundcloud this month, and it’s still getting a lot of plays around these parts.
10. Nightkites – Drones
We got the heads up about Nightkites’ future garage from GAPS who posted up a link to the music on their facebook page. The EP is named after the paranoid yet slightly hopeful standout track Drones.