He's already got a formidable body of work behind him. A leftfield folky outsider of sorts who can wring the most unlikely of songs out of his battered old and cheap acoustic, whilst utilising his voice in the most startling of fashions, sometimes a capella. But this is the first album – his sixth so far – where he's got a band in tow. On the surface it might not sound too promising; a song cycle of sorts about the lives of the inhabitants of Bryneich, a kingdom in Yr Hen Ogledd (the Old North) in early middle ages Britain. But rather than don the pitiful olde worlde finery of, say a Ritchie Blackmore and waffle on about mystical creatures and alluring maidens. Dawson has carefully crafted a progressive-folk album that is both exhilarating and beguiling, as well as timeless in content. His objective was to create, “A panorama of a society which is at odds with itself and has great sickness in it, and perhaps doesn’t take responsibility – blame going in all the wrong directions," whilst utilising a number of occupational archetypes, such as a herald, an ogre, a prostitute, shapeshifter, scientist, weaver, soldier et al. Quite unlike anything else you'll hear all year, Peasant is a shoo-in to be on many album of the year lists.
WHY? fans will certainly encounter familiar sounds on Moh Lhean, the recent new album by Yoni Wolf. Within the quirkly eccentricities, the psychedelic alt-pop foundations, alternative hip-hop leanings, and the fluid arrangements, Wolf's experiences with (unspecified) mental and physical health issues and scares of late (he has Crohn's disease) inform much of the music. But this prolific artist keeps on making high quality music, something he has managed to do consistently with WHY?, as well as the other projects and collaborations he has been involved in, such as CLOUDDEAD and Doseone. Brightonsfinest spoke to Yoni Wolf
It’s possibly the hottest day we’ve had in Brighton when I meet Priests. They’ve spent the day getting here through traffic in London and the band seem to be a little lagged from the tour. We go looking for some food and sit down at Kokoro in Brighton. I wanted to get more of an understanding about Priests and their journey so far. They write brilliant punk music and keep their art fiercely integral. Singer Katie’s lyrics are clever and poignant managing to capture social prejudices and anxieties in a very real way. The recording process for their first proper album Nothing Feels Natural was full of issues, which led to the band re-recording the album from scratch.
13 albums in, all Top 40 affairs. That's how consistent and popular this quintessential turn of the 90s band has been. They were always lurking in the shadow of The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays, but Manchester's The Charlatans have proved themselves far more durable, and far more prolific. Moreover, their new album Different Days continues the return to form they started with on their last album, Modern Nature. It also features a number of guests from the world of rock 'n' roll, including Johnny Marr and Paul Weller.
Incredible to think that Saint Etienne have been making music for nigh on 30 years. Breaking out with their iconic balearic-influenced cover of Neil Young's 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' in 1990, the band have honed in on the eccentricities/banalities of English life, and allied that to a glistening English dance/pure-pop sound that sounds familiar and yet alien. Hits such as 'Join Our Club', 'You're In A Bad Way', and 'Hug My Soul' saw Pete Wiggs, Sarah Cracknell and Bob Stanley become a permanent fixture in the pre-Brit-pop landscape. More recently they have entered the world of soundtracks and film scores, including the much admired documentary How We Used To Live. Home Counties, their paean to life just outside the metropolitan and multi-cultural riches of London, is their ninth studio album. Brightonsfinest talked to Hove resident Pete Wiggs in advance of the album's release and their gig at De La Warr Pavilion.
Those who have witnessed the intensity of an Ulrika Spacek live show will be fully aware of how mesmerising and transportive their gigs can be. Furthermore, like their debut LP, the London-based band have managed to retain this unique melodically-inclined kraut on record for Modern English Decoration – a phenomenal sophomore effort that picks up where they left off on The Album Paranoia. I caught up with Joseph Stone to speak about the recording process and what the future plans are for the five-piece.
The former Brighton-based BIMM student has just released his second album, the follow up to his critcially acclaimed debute The Fire Inside. Possessing a powerful, rough-hewn voice, writer of many a majestic and elegant songs, Sital-Singh has picked himself up after being dropped by a major label to deliver another beautifully crafted work. He took time out to talk to Brightonsfinest.
London based psychedelic garage band Dead Coast are certainly making their mark on the global scene since their debut album release ‘Shambolic’ last year. The foursome have just returned from a long and successful US which saw them grace the stage at none other than SXSW amongst other infamous American venues. Lucky for us, they are back home to share their unique sound.
For fourteen years, Brighton based DJ Format and Canadian rapper Abdominal have been making music on and off. Their new album Still Hungry is their first full-lenghth collaborative album, and it's packed to the gills with upbeat hip hop beats and grooves, albeit tempered by a grittier, harder sound, the music suplied by DJ Format (Matt Ford) and the lyrics by Abdominal (Andy Bernstein)
Talking over Skype, I had the chance to quiz the dynamite duo.
Part of the mid 2000s UK indie revival, Newcastle’s Maximo Park are one of its survivors along with the likes of Kaiser Chiefs and The Kooks. Their new album Risk To Exist is their sixth studio release and their sixth to make it into the top 15. They are a remarkably consistent band, born in an era when the internet hadn't quite taken the stranglehold it has now and when it was just about possible to score a proper hit, such as with 'Apply Some Pressure' and 'Our Velocity'. Their strong socio-political commentary is allied to a mixture of incendiary alt-indie and, more recently, post-punk funk and soul grooves. With the band about to take to the road for the beginning of a mini-record store tour to promote the new album, frontman and lyricist Paul Smith told Brightonsfinest about his love of records, why the band are still relevant and the maddening political landscape.