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.
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:
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.
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.
“I think writing an album is like being lost in a wood,” says Will Gregory. “You’re trying to figure out an interesting path. You don’t know whether it’s going to be a dead end or somewhere interesting and you never know when to stop because around the corner some beautiful vista might open up.” Since Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp synthesised as a group back in 2000 with their first album Felt Mountain, the pair have enjoyed a long and fulfilling journey of success in both pop and indie genres. As a duo, their sound has most definitely wandered into many corners of that musical ‘forest’. Album’s Tales of Us and 2008’s Seventh Tree encounter introspective soundscapes that really bridge the gap between synth laden pop and indie riffs, while 2010’s Headfirst saw the band striving desperately for mainstream milestones.
Hurray For The Riff Raff make their long-awaited return in the form of their new twelve track record, The Navigator. The album in itself is a beautifully written piece of art and acts as a political concept album, inspired by vocalist and frontwoman, Alynda Segarra’s own journey from the South Bronx to the downtown punk scene and beyond, in search of her identity.
From the offset, we are introduced with ‘Entrance’ and are immediately introduced with the reoccurring persona of ‘The Navigator’, the force which drives the entirety of the album and embodies the never-ending desire for change. The track offers a brilliant introduction to Alynda’s soft spoken, darkened voice and the accompaniment of almost barbershop harmonies and atmospheric instrumentation make for an instantly encapsulating start to the record.
The second album from the brain child of Jake Webb, Methyl Ethel, is certainly a journey into psych-pop. The Aussie duo’s second album, Everything Is Forgotten, is an expansive example of experimentation at its finest.
When Grandaddy were carving out cult status for themselves with The Sophtware Slump in 2000, it somewhat passed me by. That year, my attention was drawn to the albums of PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Ryan Adams and the angular energy of At The Drive In. Whereas that was probably an oversight on my behalf, I’m not going to beat myself up, as it means that I’m able to approach Last Place without prior conceptions over how it rates against previous Grandaddy material. That said, I will now certainly be trawling the back catalogue, as Last Place is a compelling piece of work.
Stormzy’s debut album Gang Signs & Prayer has already become one of the most-discussed albums of 2017. His eclectic mix of traditional grime and open vulnerability is an invaluable eye opener into an ever-changing genre, touching on the trials and tribulations of life in South London, romance, and ongoing feuds.
Ibibio Sound Machine are a pulsating eight piece band that is made up of Eno Williams (vocals), Alfred Kari Bannerman (guitar), Anselmo Netto (percussion), Jose Joyette (drums), John McKenzie (bass), Tony Hayden (trombone, synth), Scott Baylis (trumpet, synth), and Max Grunhard (saxophone, synth). Since their 2014 self-titled debut the band have toured extensively, but they have managed to find time to record a follow up Uyai. “Uyai is a continuation of Ibibio Sound Machine’s story in which the worlds of West African highlife and electronic London collide via the storytelling lyrical thread of Eno’s vocals in the Ibibio language of Nigeria,” the band explains. “There is a darker, edgier quality to the sound that maybe reflects the difficult journey the band took from making the first album to completing the second one. The songs are based more around themes of empowerment, freedom, and the liberation of dance for women, and people in general.”