Stockholm singer Tove Lo is a Grammy nominee who shot to fame with her ‘Habits (Stay High)’ song, which has amassed over 200 million hits on YouTube. Whilst her new album doesn’t have the pure pop sensibilities of the first two records, a greater focus has now been placed on production, with a hazy decadence and sensual underbelly manifesting into what is a fascinating evolution.
Since 2012, Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman, has unexpectedly emerged as a singular (if not idiosyncratic) voice. Whether by virtue of his lyrics, which routinely defy the presumed polarities of wit and empathy, he has cultivated a rare space for himself in the musical landscape – and the Brighton audience was treated to two hours of this fascinating enigma.
Having recently signed to BMG, York’s finest Shed Seven are back with their first record in 16 years and fans of the band will be pleasantly surprised, with the five-piece retaining all the characteristics that made them so great in the first place, with 12 tracks that are well crafted and include a great deal of variety.
Take rich acoustics and thoughtful lyrical themes along with neo-progressive rock, and Phantom Phunk’s self-coined ‘graveyard pop’ is the result. Guitarists Hector Alexander and Juan C Gonzalez, drummer Nicholas Emiliozzi and bassist Tom Kelly released their debut record last year and their sophomore effort has a far more home-grown feel, with the band instead trying to let the songs unfold naturally this time rather than overproducing them.
The term “cosmic Americana” has been thrown around when discussing Gun Outfit and to some extent this is true, as they’re not your typical Americana band. With the synthesizer kicking in on opening track ‘Ontological Intercourse’ it’s clear they’ve given the genre somewhat of an overhaul. Now five albums deep, Out of Range is perhaps their most lyrically impressive material, while retaining their most subtle musicianship under the backdrop of cosmic country soundscapes.
Wearing their influences on their sleeve, The Horrors capped off their UK tour in fascinating style as their dynamic stage presence and fondness for dance, post-punk, shoegaze and krautrock all amalgamated into a stupendous showing.
Weezer seem to transcend musical generations and evolutions. After releasing their debut self-titled album in 1994, they became an overnight success. The darker, more abrasive Pinkerton soon followed and was initially a commercial failure before becoming a cult classic. Half a decade passed before the four-piece began to release a multitude of albums that never truly made the grade in comparison to their brilliant first two records. Luckily the band seem to know this, with the entirety of their back catalogue represented in a packed out Wembley Arena show.
On a cold Halloween night, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club took to the Dome stage to showcase how they continue to resurrect the legacy of garage rock with their effortlessly cool performances. New record Wrong Creatures won’t be with us until January, but the first taste of it in ‘Little Thing Gone Wild’ has been reverberating for a good few weeks now – and the dancey number proves the trio have lost none of their magic. They kicked off the show with this song in what was a career-spanning set.
Already the victims of a legal battle with McDonalds, HMLTD (formerly Happy Meal Ltd.) are undoubtedly the UK’s biggest buzz band and the most thrilling group in the country. With a taste for the avant-garde, they have been hailed as rock’s saviours with their pair of Great Escape shows seeing queues go down the streets. However, with a fresh batch of new tracks to play, the six-piece returned to Brighton to play their largest headline show in the city to date in what was a raucous Friday night.
Art-popsters with the prominence firmly placed on ‘art’, each of the compositions from the 45-minute show were completely different, with absolutely nothing staying still for one moment. Sporting a multitude of brightly coloured hairstyles, fake furs, fishnets, ladies blouses, they look like they’d burgled a theatrical wardrobe and invited the whole of Patterns to their disorderly party. They were crazy in every way possible and it was mesmerising to watch.
Nevertheless, aesthetics are one thing, but this band have the tunes and musicianship to back it up. Each instrument was played to a high standard, with the levels carefully managed to each of their thrilling songs to make them sound as potent as on record. Funk stomper ‘Is This What You Wanted?’ was the first track they ever produced and is now equipped with an intoxicating killer groove. ‘To The Door’, meanwhile, combined a ferocious Tarantino-style spaghetti western guitar riff, trap beats and succulent vocal cries from charismatic frontman Henry Spychalski, who stole the show with his sedative onstage persona. Part Ziggy Stardust/part Adam Ant in both looks and behaviour, he never stood still as he orchestrated his devoted followers to make the venue a hotbed of frantic euphoria.
‘Choo Choo’ was one of the evening’s highlights with its glam stomping line belted out again and again, whilst ‘Where’s Joanna?’ combined a catchy ska beat and unique synthetic meltdown. Opener ‘Music!’ even sampled vintage arcade games. They saved the best for last though with ‘Stained’s destructive rant against morals which came to a head with a fabulous Death Grips sampled dubstep drop.
HMLTD are a band for the modern age who can safely say that there is no one else like them. For every punk twang there is a glam stomp, for each tinge of dub there are hints of obscure samples to sink your teeth into. Bands normally fail to capitalise on their ‘hype’ status but, judging on this multi-sensory experience, this group should manage to do it with aplomb. “What’s the point we’re all the same,” cried Spychalski as the band left the stage. He couldn’t have been more wrong.
Formed by frontman/guitarist James Taylor and bassist/singer Chloe Little, the INHEAVEN songwriting pair was later joined by the rhythm section and soon had a lucky break in 2015 when their demos were discovered by The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas at Cult Records. The label soon released their first single later that year. The four-piece have since perfected their 90s-infused sound and hit Brighton for their first ever tour to support the release of their debut record.