Born in Camden but residing on the south coast, Ocean Wisdom is one of Brighton’s most exciting emerging talents. Having been honing his craft for years he had his break when he dropped the Dirty Dike produced banger ‘Walkin’’ out of nowhere, which was followed up by the smash ‘Ewok’ a collaboration with producer Kidkanevil which ended up A-Listed on the BBC Radio 1Xtra playlist. Gigs issued and Ocean recorded his début album with impressive features from Foreign Beggers, Klashnekoff, The Four Owls, Lunar C, Jam Baxter, Edward Scissortounge and Remus, as well as the production from Dirty Dike – not bad for a début album! There is no doubt about Ocean’s hype and with his album (Chaos 93’) being released by High Focus Records on 22nd February, we met up with him to find out more.
Our Girl have been one of the pinnacle acts over the past year or so making their name in Brighton’s thriving rock scene of up and coming bands. The trio is made up of Lauren Wilson on drums, Soph Nathan (also in The Big Moon) on guitar and vocals, and Josh Tyler on bass. They create a dreamy yet gloomy shoegaze inspired rock, mixing Soph’s soft feathery vocals with distorted melancholy guitars, and it is incredibly absorbing. With three songs for us get obsessed and engrossed in, the amazing eponymous ‘Our Girl’ anthem and their stunning debut release Sleeper/Level (out on Cannibal Hymns), we put some questions to the band to out find more about them.
The High Llamas are best described as a warm comforting hug for the ears. Time and time again Sean O’Hagen brings together influences from early American pop and folk, Brazilian jazz and bossa nova, post Beach Boys Brian Wilson, film scores and avant-garde electronica. To form the delicious baroque lounge sound of The High Llamas. Formed in 1991, I first came across their 2003 album Beet, Maize & Corn, a stark contrast from their earlier efforts with electronic keyboards and effects taking centre stage in place of the usual brass and string dominated sound, but still an utter musical masterpiece which has made me obsessed with thier sound.
Having become ever more infrequent with album releases, Here Come The Rattling Trees is album number eleven and arose a few years ago when Sean decided new High Llamas music would be a collection of stories that would be first performed as theatre – mixing songs, stories and soundtracks that would be performed before they were recorded. This culminated in a concept album of sorts centring around an unsettled 28 year-old Amy and her encounters with the five other characters, who tell their own stories of hope, ambition and disappointments.
There is no mistaking the blissfully sedated soundscapes of quaint lounging melodies and the idyllic harmonies which have become so instantly familiar as The High Llamas, and Here Come The Rattling Trees is no different. The sunny simplicity to the mostly drumless compositions (opting for light percussion instead) only adds to the lush intoxicating sounds of organs, harpsichords, vibraphones and nylon-string guitars that dominate the insulant mood to the tracks.
You could be mistaken for initially thinking that sixteen predominantly short tracks over a 28 minute duration would come across as patchy or lacking in substance but the album completely holds its own. Although the problem with only having six songs with lyrics, it is hard to follow the albums narrative, all being very non-specific. For instance, “Here come the rattling trees / Don’t mention my name / Don’t mention my name” could be taken from a fanciful flower-powered psych song from the 60s. Perhaps a brief monologue, preceding or following some of the tracks, as brilliantly done on the fantastic soundtrack to Dingo by Miles Davis & Michel Legrand – would have mapped out the albums story better.
Here Come The Rattling Trees is better perceived as a soundtrack than an album with only the truly exquisite titel track and the closing track ‘Jackie’ lasting over the 3 minute mark. Still, The High Llamas have produced yet another gorgeous album that is sure to give any listening ear a pleasant refuge from this genuinely grey and wet time of year.
Whether you found out about them when they were called Deers, saw them live playing as Hinds, or just know them as that really really cool girl band from Madrid – this Spanish quartet are sure to have made a strong impression. The garage rock outfit miraculously came out of no-where, only deciding to start a band after best mates Ana Perrote and Carlotta Cosials chose to learn how to play the guitar while bored on holiday. What resulted were the singles ‘Bamboo’ and ‘Trippy Gum’ which they recorded in March 2014 with fellow Madrid garage rock band The Parrots who also produced Leave Me Alone. Somehow their music found our shores and Deers began to get a crazy amount of hype across the musical blogosphere forcing them to become a touring band. With the addition of Ade Martin on bass and Amber Grimbergen on drums, they found themselves playing around Europe and supporting The Libertines, The Vaccines and The Black Keys in 2014. The beginning of 2015 saw Deers have the tricky job of renaming themselves to Hinds (another word for a female deer) due to Canadian non-outfit The Dears (named and shamed), and yet still managed to ride the wave they had created for themselves and embarked on their first world tour. Incredible really as they only had two single releases (Demo and Barn) to their name, and even had to repeat songs for their encore at the end of their last Brighton show. Now at beginning of 2016, Hinds release their debut album.
I first came across Ady Suleiman music a few years ago on Giles Peterson’s esteemed radio show. After signing a deal with musical giants Sony Records, Ady’s popularity blossomed and he found himself winning ‘Breakthrough Act Of The Year’ at the 2014 Giles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards. At The Great Escape 2015, I made sure I got to see Ady’s unparalleled talent first hand. His amazing soulful voice matched with his incredible song writing skill was stunning, and it had the room in a state of glee and excitement for one of Britain’s best young emerging artists. With Ady Suleiman coming back to Brighton to play the Green Door Store on 29th February, we felt we had to get in contact to find out more about him and his music.
What an incredible year for the Madrid girl group Hinds! Anyone who went to their last Brighton show at The Joker last January 2015 will understand why there is such hype surrounding them. Now at the beginning of 2016, they release their debut album Leave Me Alone.
Having nearly toured constantly since the later stages of 2014 with only a couple of singles, performing a mammoth sixteen times at the 2015 SXSW festival, dealing with the forced change of the band’s name from Deers, as well as shows in Asia and preparing for their second headline tour to promote the release of their much anticipated début album Leave Me Alone. The garage rock quartet have already had a careers worth of experiences in just eighteen months. As well as being extremely hard working and constantly bringing a mighty live shows, Hinds are refreshing unpretentious and genuine, making them one of the most likeable bands around. I spoke to guitarist Ana Perrote (second from the right) on a rare day at home in Spain to find out more about the Hinds phenomenon.