Weekend Gig Pick – Hidden Trail Records album launch

Normally around this time of week we post up our recommendations for the forthcoming weekend’s gigs. This week we’ve picked out just one for your attention, which is also an album launch for a new compilation which features some great Brighton bands.

HTR Album Launch Poster - FinalHidden Brighton is a new compilation from our friends over at Hidden Trail – the label associated with the Some Of It Is True blog. It’s being launched with a gig on Friday Night at the Palmeira with three of the bands who contributed to the compilation playing live. The Self Help Group, Hella Better Dancer and Ellie Ford will be performing, and the album also features contributions from Kill Moon, The Raving Beauties, The Standard Lamps, The Hundredth Anniversary, tiNhearT, Flash Bang Band, Woodland Blue, Kokopelli and Us Baby Bear Bones. Proceeds from the album will go towards charity Grace Eyre, who support local children with learning difficulties, and all acts have donated their tracks free of charge. Tickets for the gig will be available on the door or in advance from the venue or Resident Records.

 

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Gig Previews

We’re going to be out of town for a few weeks, so it’ll be a bit quiet on the blog, but before we go, here’s a few gigs that are on while we’re away that we think you ought to be at.

Friday 20th September – Brighton Dome Source New Music Special headlined by Bitbin

There’s already been one Source New Music this month but since Brighton Digital Festival is on at the moment, a second one is taking place. Headliner Bitbin will be collaborating with visual artists metaLuna. Champion Fever will also be performing a live set alongside DJ sets from Spacenoid, Alphabets Heaven and the Beatabet collective.

source digital

Saturday 28th September – RSPB Charity gig : The Bobby McGees supporting Grace Petrie at the Blind Tiger

A little while back the RSPB put on a charity gig headlined by Mary Hampton. It’s a great way to engage with a Brighton audience who are regular gig goers but whose main interaction with birds is seagulls waking them up at five o clock in the morning. The local contribution at this gig comes from The Bobby McGees, who would be worth going to see even if it wasn’t a charity gig.

communionTuesday 1st October – Communion Records Night at the Haunt with Us Baby Bear Bones and George Ezra (and Teen Creeps DJs)

Communion Records are relaunching their club nights and are coming to the Haunt on 1st October. The full line up features live sets from Royal Blood, Fossil Collective, Us Baby Bear Bones, Trouble with Templeton and George Ezra in what promises to be a fantastic night.

July Top Ten

Want to know what’s been on the Brighton Music Blog stereo this month? Then read on:

1) Kins – Post Tropical Storm
Our most listened to track was Post Tropical Storm from Kins eponymous debut album. It’s powerful guitar pop, but the power doesn’t come from obvious hooks or direct choruses, but from it’s sonic quality. Tribal drums and layers of shimmering guitars coupled with angelic vocals don’t just elevate Kins’ songs above the rest but take them to a different place altogether.

2) The Electric Soft Parade – One Of Those Days
Our soundtrack to the summer is still Idiots by the Electric Soft Parade. One of Those Days effortlessly breezes out of the speakers with sugary sweet vocals, a light swirling guitar riff and shuffling drums. Here’s a live version from the album launch at the Green Door Store back in June

3) Cate Ferris – Blaze Bright
Another tune which has sounded amazing in the sunshine is Cate Ferris’ new single Blaze Bright. Who doesn’t love a bit of reggae in the summertime?

4) Champione – The View (feat. Lizzie Massey) / Tiny Dragons – Come Alive (PACT Remix)
Yes, Yes. This is two tunes. Well spotted. They’re both dance tunes with Lizzie Massey’s vocals at the forefront, the first in autotuned form on the title track from Champione’s recent EP, and the second as part of her band Tiny Dragons, remixed by PACT who also remixed their track Canvas for a recent mix cd released on Kitsune records. The unmixed PACT remix of Canvas is also on the download package of the Come Alive EP.

5) Crayola Lectern – Trip In ‘D’ (Version)
The past couple of month’s Top Tens have featured tracks from Crayola Lectern’s leftfield The Fall And Rise of … album which came out back in April. Never one to do things the way you’d expect, in July he released a single to go alongside it. Slow Down features in album and alternate versions, alongside a different version of the ten minute long Trip in D, which is the track we’ve selected for our Top Ten. The first eight minutes don’t stray too far from the territory laid down on the album version but just when you’re least suspecting it the track takes a sideways swerve and morphs into a motoric Krautrock monster, awakening the ghost of early period Stereolab.

6) TOY & Natasha Khan – The Bride
The Bride nearly didn’t get to feature in our Top Ten after we picked up the limited-to-250-copies 7” from Resident only to discover on first listen that it was damaged. Speedy Wunderground managed to find another copy from somewhere though and it hasn’t left our record deck since. Despite being a cover of an 70s psychedelic Iranian tune, it’s sounds surprisingly like what you’d expect a collaboration between Bat for Lashes and Toy might sound like – The piano lines and vocal inflections are unmistakably Natasha’s, and the thick chugging guitars match Toy’s trademark sound.

7) GAPS – Keep You
GAPS are probably our favourite discovery of the year so far. The band released their double A side Keep You / Cascade on Sexbeat records two weeks ago at a gig at the Green Door Store, and we put Cascade in our top ten last month. Keep You is the more beat heavy side of the 7”, but still has a beautiful pastoral quality to it:

8) Becky Becky – House Of The Black Madonna
We meant to write about Becky Becky’s album launch gig at the Green Door Store a few weeks ago, but it was a busy weekend for us and we ended up missing the moment. As live shows go, it was much more of a performance than most bands manage. Pulsating synth pop (provided by ex Fence Collective Peter Mason) was accompanied by is-it-real-or-is-it-an-act wine drinking from pint glasses and drunken behaviour from Woodpecker Wooliams. The closest reference point is something like The Knife, but this was more pop and less art. The House of the Black Madonna is from Becky Becky’s forthcoming album of the same name.

9) Us Baby Bear Bones – Sun
The Us Baby Bear Bones EP What Starts With a U Ends With an I is still getting a lot of plays at Brighton Music Blog HQ. As convenient as it may seem, Sun was already coming up as having the most plays of the five tracks last week before the rather chilling video got posted:

10) Limbic System – Distant Lands
Limbic System sent us their Beta Wave EP to listen to a few weeks ago, and the beautiful, fragile Distant Lands was the standout track for us. The band are holding their launch party for the EP at Latest Music Bar on 16th August.

New Music – Martin Rossiter, Us Baby Bear Bones, Gnarwolves, Octopuses

Here’s a few bits and pieces that we’ve come across this week. Gnarwolves and Octopuses have the launches for their releases this weekend (see our previous post), so if you like what you hear, make sure you catch them live.

First up is the new single from Martin Rossiter. No One Left To Blame, one of the standout tracks from last year’s The Defenestration of St Martin, will be released on September 16th, but the rather chilly video is up now:

Moving from chiller to thriller, the next video is for Sun by Us Baby Bear Bones, which features on their What Starts With a U Ends With An I EP, which is available to buy via the band’s website.

Funemployed is the new EP from Gnarwolves. The band have their launch party at the Green Door Store on saturday night, and the EP sounds like this:

Octopuses launch their new single Sarcastic at the Prince Albert tonight. The track’s up on Soundcloud, and you can listen here:

June Top Ten

Here’s our regular monthly post of what’s hot on the Brighton Music Blog stereo over the last month.

1) Electric Soft Parade – Summertime in My Heart

We’ve probably listened to more Electric Soft Parade this month than everything else put together, and our top ten probably should just be the tracklist of Idiots, but what fun would that be? Summertime edged out in front of the other tracks, mainly because it’s the current single.

2) Milk & Biscuits – Hairstyles

Hairstyles is the second single from Milk & Biscuits forthcoming album Spirit Nap, and it’s great. It’s a bit Belle & Sebastian, a bit retro pop, and has a video filmed all around Brighton:

3) Us Baby Bear Bones – Swamp

We’ve been waiting for “What Starts With a U Ends With An I” for ages, and it was well worth the wait. A few of the tracks had appeared on YouTube, but the EP was the first chance we’d had to listen to Swamp over and over:

4) The Beautiful Word – Particles

When we first posted up the video for Particles back in May we said that it could well be the best thing they’ve done. After repeated plays, we’re pretty much sure it is.

5) New Union – Staying Friends

Staying Friends is the lead track on the New Union’s eponymous EP which came out four weeks ago. All four tracks on the EP are great, and the artwork for the 12″ is just as classy as we’ve come to expect from the band.

6) IYES – Lighthouse (BBC Introducing Session)

For their recent BBC session IYES swapped the electronics for a cello and it sounded lush. Unfortunately it’s long disappeared from iPlayer, so here’s the original:

7) Gaps – Cascade

We posted up the video for Gaps lovely, hypnotic upcoming single Keep You a couple of weeks ago, but we ended up listening to it’s AA side Cascade even more. The Guardian agreed with us and made them yesterday’s New Band of the Day! The single will be released on 15th July on Sexbeat.

8) Curxes – Further Still (Avec Sans Remix)

We featured the original version of Further Still in our April Top Ten, but this month a remix surfaced which reversed the vocals, giving the tune a completely different melody:

9) Champione – Bear vs Bear

We only got the chance to give Champione’s tunes a listen last week, which means they haven’t had that many listens which is why Bear vs Bear is only at number nine. This, and the rest of the Home EP, are definitely going to get a lot more listens over the next few weeks:

10) Rivieras – Weekend

Rivieras got in touch on twitter and pointed us in the direction of their latest EP, a four tracker called Weekend. We liked what we heard, but we spotted that it had been up on Soundcloud for at least six months, so didn’t really sit alongside the new music that we write about most of the time. It’s definitely worth a listen though. Here’s the title track:

Us Baby Bear Bones – what starts with a U ends with an I

Us Baby Bear Bones EP Cover

Next Monday finally sees the release of “what starts with a U ends with an I”, the debut release from Us Baby Bear Bones, which we’ve been looking forward to for what seems like ages. The original announcement about the EP was made back in April last year, and we’re pleased to say that it’s been worth the wait.

The five tracks on the EP will be familiar to anyone who’s seen Us Baby Bear Bones live (and if you haven’t seen them live, then our advice is to remedy that as soon as possible – more information on that below), and two of them have videos up on YouTube which you might have seen. There’s also a re-recording of Rain which first appeared on last year’s Sea Monsters compilation.

The Dream-Pop tag gets used far too much these days, presumably by people stay away from cheese in the evenings and don’t remember what happened in the land of nod once they’ve woken up. Happily though Us Baby Bear Bones fit the genre like a glove, with dreamy textures, ethereal vocals, arpeggiated keyboards and crunching beats. The closest comparison is probably sometime Bjork collaborator Leila whose records are similarly brimming with influences but retain a pop sensibility.

The highlight for us the triumphant EP closer Swamp, which starts off with a drone note and builds and builds into glorious alternative electro pop. If this is what Puff Gandolfo, Daisy Warne and Luke Philips have achieved with their first release then the future is very bright indeed for Us Baby Bear Bones.

The full EP is available to stream over at This is Fake DIY now, and the launch party is Tuesday 11th June at Green Door Store. The EP is released on CD, limited to 216 copies whose combined covers make up a giant piece of artwork by Puff Gandolfo, which will be available to buy at the launch, or from bandcamp,