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Wow, what a year 2017 has been for music! It’s also been a particularly big year for us at Brightonsfinest too. We started the year by making the much needed office move from Hove to the heart of Brighton’s bustling North Laine area. Round about the same time this spring we launched our Radio Show on Brighton’s Juice 107.2 station, which has grown to become hugely popular and featured many interviews with incredible artists. The show runs from Monday-Thursday, 9-11pm, with a focus on new music and interviews. You can listen back to archived shows HERE, listen live HERE or tune in on 107.2FM, if you’re local. Our label is bustling too, having just released the second in our compilation series: Brightonsfinest Volume 2 has hit the record shops just in time for Christmas, following excellent vinyl releases from The Fiction Aisle and Los Albertos, earlier in the year. We’ve also been getting busy over on YouTube, where you can listen back to the best interviews from our radio show, and enjoy our video interviews, with recent artists including Royal Blood, Wolf Alice and Ghostpoet.
That’s enough trumpet blowing from us. Back in June we ran the first part of our ‘Best of the Year’ review, covering the first six months. Now it’s time to have a look at what our writers see as the highlights of the last six months. We asked everyone to pick their favourite album and live show of the second half of the year, and also a favourite album that we didn’t review – we can never manage to cover every release, especially not in a bumper year like this, so we find it’s always good to pick out the best of the rest. Scroll down below to see what the Brightonsfinest team think are the best bits out of all the great music we’ve been enjoying over the last six months of the year!
Mr Jukes is a soul and jazz-inspired project from none other than Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club. It’s an album that seems unexpected given Steadman’s beginnings but that doesn’t matter. The roots of this album, God First, aren’t what you would expect. Apparently this album came about when Steadman travelled on a cargo ship from Shanghai to Canada and the opening track ‘Typhoon’ was recorded on this ship. The product of this soul searching is God First, although soul searching may not be the intention. Under a new name the record comes across more as a discovery and a free exploration of Steadman’s musical ideas. The album’s full of recognisable names: there’s Charles Bradley on the record, Lianne La Havas and De La Soul on ‘Leap of Faith’ which is possibly my favourite on the album.
Frontman and main songwriter Greg Gonzalez talks of his love for cinematic works – a love that grew from his experience working at a theatre in Brooklyn. This love for cinema transposed into his band’s debut album and manifested into an aim to project something much larger than just music. It was an aim to build a multimedia piece of art, drawing together film and music to generate an emotional touchstone. Following his band’s breakout success in 2015 following the single ‘Affection’ and then the further unearthing of an earlier EP titled I., Gonzalez has strived to attain this goal in music – to build vivid imagery, evocative of deep emotion… love.