Sometimes it’s easy to take Brighton’s music scene for granted and things such as 234 Fest may pass you by. Thankfully, I was sent to 234 Fest at the Green Door Store for what was coincidently my last weekend as a permanent Brighton resident. It served as a reminder of all the great things that happen in the city and reminded me what I’ll miss. Certainly an appropriate send off.
I shamefully managed to turn up slightly late for the show this evening. I missed the first few songs but the moment the door was pushed open my embarrassed panic was gone. Adam Torres’ music manages to have a moment with you personally, you can drift off and it’ll seem like you’re the only person in the room. Given the way the audience was standing, I don’t think I’m the only one that had this experience. What was even more surreal was having this moment of being taken away to then realise the room you’re actually standing in. It’s a clichéd brush to paint folk music with but it certainly applies. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’d see Adam Torres sitting on the stump on a 19th century tree or anything. Seeing him in a dark boxed room almost seems wrong. However the space doesn’t really matter, no one is paying attention to these details.
The Sherlocks’ hotly anticipated debut Live for the Moment is a creature built for success, its top level production turns the album into a collection of singles that will leave a familiar taste in your mouth.
It’s the sound of youth, not of today but the same musical youth so many people my age experienced and, undoubtedly, The Sherlocks expirenced had this too. It’s an album that calls back to the time when indie was king and Topshop-clad youth would hang these bands high on their bedroom walls. In sound it achieves this very well but it forgets to ask itself if they’ve moved on?
Cage Tropical is the sixth solo release from Frankie Rose. She’s a musician with a lot of depth and this release is brimming with ideas. It’s a pop album that’s demanding of the listener and you won’t get the full experience unless you devote your full attention to it. It isn’t an abrasive listen by any means, but Frankie Rose’s warm vocal are coated with electronics that escort the listener through Cage Tropical.
Fake Laugh is the solo project of Kamran Khan. He’s now got his self-titled debut out which is an incredibly joyful and romantic listen. We had a chat with ahead of his UK tour to speak about the beginnings of Fake Laugh, the new album as well as his relationship with our seaside city.
Frankie Cosmos are the band of songwriter Greta Kline. After getting significant attention through her releases on Bandcamp, Frankie Cosmos have started to evolve into an extremely beloved group. Greta’s songwriting is very lo-fi, raw and sweet. Her songs ooze with charm. The group have recently signed to Sub-Pop Records and with a new album lurking in the distance, we had a chat with Greta before her Brighton show to talk about the band and her development as a songwriter.
Girl Ray have become one of 2017’s most hyped bands. Their music is raw and deep. There’s a complexity to their songs which is disguised with subtlety. Do they deserve the hype they are receiving? Absolutely. Their music boarders on melancholic but is countered with their natural charm and beautiful airy vocals. Just before their debut Earl Grey was released, singer and guitarist Poppy had a brief chat with us to talk about the band’s journey up to this point.
There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding Girl Ray throughout 2017 and not the kind of buzz that turns out to be some blown up brief period of fame either. It’s the thrill of finding a genuinely brilliant new band, teamed with the excitement that a huge chunk of people are going to be there from the beginning. There’s been a lot of albums that I’ve gotten initially rosey about only for my enthusiasm to die down. I’ve had the time to properly digest Earl Grey now and I still maintain there’s a certain kind of magic to it.
The last visit to Brighton by Frankie Cosmos was a mix of highs and lows for the band. After playing a handful of successful shows over the course of last year’s Great Escape festival, there was one slightly turbulent set at The Joker as part of the Alternative Escape which just happened to be the only one I managed to see. After hyping up seeing her for months prior, the show that I caught at The Joker was fraught with problems, none of which were due to how the band played. The crowd weren’t particularly welcoming towards the band, drowning out them with conversation. Adding to this, the PA had blown and this, up against Frankie Cosmos’ gentle, twee lo-fi indie-pop, led to a barely audible set.
Fake Laugh is the solo project from Kamran Khan, who has played with artists such as Oscar as well as being in the touring band for The Japanese House. Fake Laugh’s debut is filled with sounds of love and elation which conjures up something very real and emotional that taps its way into you. The album goes from strength to strength right from the beginning. Opening with ‘Melt’, the album goes on to hit a series of home runs. What gets me about the album is the sense of euphoria it manages to convey to the listener. I don’t think this is its direct intention, but the way Kamran Khan sings manages to capture a blissful vibe, which is the perfect counterpart for his own instrumentation.