Released on Fat Cat Records, Brighton electronic maestro Knightstown’s debut album was one of our favourite records of the year. A brilliant slice of melancholic electronica in the vein of James Blake and Sampha, that referenced everything from classical music to literary classics, it was an absolute joy from start to finish. Now, the Brighton artist is back with a three-track EP.
Since catching a raucous opening set in their native Barcelona at Primavera Sound Festival, I’ve been relatively hooked on Holy Bouncer’s fusion of surf and garage rock. Since last summer, however, they’ve released their second album, the eponymous Holy Bouncer, and it’s sparked an evolution of the band. Gone are the sleazy guitar lines and strident rhythm section, instead something reminiscent of groovy psychedelia arose. Their headline showcase at Brighton’s The Hope & Ruin, which kicked off their five-date stretch across the UK, was an amalgamation of both sides of the band which proved to be a thrilling, exciting, and wholly impressive exhibition of one of Spain’s finest bands.
The Great Escape Festival is, without a doubt, the greatest weekend of the Brightonian calendar. Thousands of bands, artists and industry people get together for a huge celebrations of new music from a dizzying array of genres in one of the best cities in the country. Taking place across the entire city, in venues, bars, hotels, on the street and even on the beach, it’s a music fans dream come true. The festival is just a mere four months away now, too, and the music announcements are starting to make their way towards us.
After the release of Yak’s Alas Salvation, a record brimming with Jack White-esque riffs and frontman Oli Burslem’s distinctive howls, which we described as “The best British debut for quite sometime”, the band travelled to Australia to swiftly follow-up the record with Pond’s Jay Watson. It didn’t work out, however, and with a lot of partying had and not a lot of recording done, Burslem was stuck in Australia having spent his album budget. Thankfully, this is the start of a journey with a happy ending, which saw Burslem make his way back to the UK, resulting in the creation of their second record, Pursuit of Momentary Happiness; an at times riotous, but wholly more interesting, record than its predecessor.
Remarkably, Brighton outfit Toy’s fourth, and latest record, Happy in the Hollow, comes almost a decade since the band formed. Since then, they’ve not only grown in confidence but, musically, they’ve become much broader with a vaster outlook and back catalogue. Happy in the Hollow, their first album away from label Heavenly Recordings – they’re now on Tough Love Records – was written and produced in its entirety by the band themselves and that creative control is telling. A sonic journey through the worlds of psych, Happy in the Hollow is an experimental and diverse listen that offers more and more on each listen. For better and for worst, Happy in the Hollow is a project that could only come from Toy.
When Jordan Cardy, better known as Rat Boy, first arrived on the scene with ‘Sign On’ – a fast-talking indie delight with an incredibly infectious chorus – comparisons to Jamie T were inevitable. Since his debut record, Scum, however, which heavily resembled Jamie T’s oeuvre, Rat Boy has explored a different avenue which comes to fruition with his latest record, Internationally Unknown. A collaboration with ska-punk legend Tim Armstrong, of Rancid fame, there are times on the record where Rat Boy begins to find his own sonic sound but, on the whole, all this record has done is saturate his own sound.
Here at Brightonsfinest we’re constantly on the lookout for the very best new Brighton bands and with Roma Palace we think we’ve found something very exciting. Formerly known as Riviera, but deciding to reinvent the band as a three-piece, the trio have arrived with their debut single ‘Tell Me’ and we’re delighted to be premiering the track. A tropical delight, it’s one of the most exciting indie-pop debuts we’ve heard in some time.
2018 was an exciting year for Brighton psych outfit White Room. Not only did they perform a euphoric headline set at Patterns, but they embarked on a brilliant support tour for Doncaster rockers The Blinders, which included an iconic night at The Haunt. Now, the quintet have given us a taste of what’s to come in 2019 with ‘Bleeding’.
The Vaccines, whether you like it or not – and that’s very much up for debate – are a UK indie staple. Formed at the backend of the 00s revolution, when the likes of The Strokes and The Libertines were either disbanding or slowing down, the West London band picked up sizeable crowds with their energy-bursting two minute bangers on their debut album What Did You Expect from The Vaccines? Now on their fourth album, Combat Sports, which we described as “a return to form”, the indie quintet have become a far more well-rounded band than they ever were before.
We’ve waxed lyrical about Brighton quartet Thyla ever since we heard their debut single ‘Ferris Wheels’ back in 2017. Since then, they’ve developed and honed their sound, subsequently evolving from a band heavily referencing 80s gloom-pop in the ilk of Cocteau Twins, into a behemoth of their own. Whether it’s with each brilliant single, or their quite brilliant live performances, Thyla have etched their way into the Brighton zeitgeist. For Thyla hold their own unique place in indie music right now; where they’re not only bringing something iconically new to the saturated platter, but they’re inducing their own distinct vitality and glamour on their brand of dark and ingenious guitar pop.