Best Of The Year (July – Dec 2017)

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!

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Mr Jukes – God First

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.

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Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex

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.

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Dead Coast – Interview – 2017

London based psychedelic garage band Dead Coast are certainly making their mark on the global scene since their debut album release ‘Shambolic’ last year. The foursome have just returned from a long and successful US which saw them grace the stage at none other than SXSW amongst other infamous American venues. Lucky for us, they are back home to share their unique sound.

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Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog

The prince of goof and dank memes has surpassed any judgement regarding his professionalism in recent years. Despite his on-stage joke persona and his indescribably weird sense of humour, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter has released two critically-acclaimed albums that have set him up for having consistently sold out shows across the world as well as impressive slots at many festivals. As an artist he manages to produce consistently outstanding music all the while maintaining an apathetic attitude towards the entire business. Even in the face of the news of his latest release This Old Dog being illegally leaked and downloaded, he happily encouraged fans to steal the album if they wanted to.

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Brightonsfinest Alternative Escape Show 2017

Brightonsfinest are excited to announce our latest Alternative Escape showcase at St. Mary’s Church. It’s our third year running a free entry stage, offering a killer line-up that’s open to the public and Great Escape festival goers alike. We’re pretty proud to be able to say the line-ups that we’ve curated have rivaled the official festival stages, whilst offering bills with more of a local focus, and this year is no different. Brighton headliners The Fiction Aisle create epic progressive pop that seems perfectly pitched to soar up into the high rafters of this year’s venue: the beautiful gothic setting of St Mary The Virgin in Kemptown. We’re excited to be releasing a new special edition double-vinyl version of their debut album Heart Map Rubric, later this summer, but hearing it live in this amazing space will be simply sublime.  Read on for stage-times and a little more info on all of the acts we’re presenting this year:

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Kendrick Lamar – Damn

It appears to be the up and coming trend with artists who consider themselves “statement makers” to drop an album almost entirely last minute and Kendrick Lamar has well and truly jumped on the bandwagon this month, announcing DAMN for April 7th only for it to be moved back a week to Good Friday. The unexplained date change fuelled a plethora of rumours about the coming of a second album on the following Sunday (16th April), possibly representing the resurrection of Kendrick musically and perhaps morally.

Alas, Sunday came and no second album was dropped. But this hasn’t taken away from the controversy that DAMN has created regarding Kendrick’s literal and metaphorical message within the release. This is Kendrick’s first full album release since 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly and it appears to be as inconsistent as its release announcement. good kid, m.A.A.d City and To Pimp a Butterfly are, undeniably, some of the strongest hip hop albums to exist in music let alone Kendrick’s back catalogue. In good kid, he explores the death of a friend and its role in the larger picture of his life, in To Pimp a Butterfly he elevates his revelations one step above, exploring the constantly-emerging revolutionary consciousness of black culture. Both albums had a clear theme that Kendrick drove home poetically and with gracefully intricate beats that complimented the complexity of his message.

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Cold War Kids – LA Divine

Since their 2014 album success Hold My Home Cold War Kids have kept relatively quiet, recently becoming signed under Capitol Records and generically speaking ‘hitting the big time’. This spring, they have returned with a full length album dedicated to LA titled accordingly: L.A Divine. The band have said that the album is an ode to Los Angeles, the O.C and Long Beach, a topic thoroughly covered by breezey-indie rock bands in America.

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