In our recent conversation with Tali Källström, lead singer in Estrons, she jokingly omitted, “It’s not easy being in a band like Estrons”. Which isn’t surprising really – the exceedingly high expectations they hold for themselves, for every single one of their tracks and their relentlessly energetic live performance is staggering. With two killer singles and a brilliant debut EP (She’s Here Now) under their belt, 2017 looks to be a wild ride for the band based in Wales. Ahead of their tour which starts at the beginning of February, including Komedia, Brightonsfinest spoke to Tali to find out more about Estrons as well as their plans for the year.
Michelle Zauner is the name behind 2016’s ambient-pop outfit Japanese Breakfast. The solo-project of the former Little Big League musician who sought a life outside of Eugene, Oregon was shortly halted following the diagnosis of her mothers aggressive cancer. After returning back to Eugene to care for her mother and family, Japanese Breakfast was born. After Michelle recruited some old friends from the area, people she claimed were the only musicians in the area, her debut album Psychopomp was born.
Released via Dead Ocean in November 2016, Psychopomp is the sound of an artist with a penchant for lustful melodies and smouldering guitar sounds. Woozy guitar plays into the vein of Frankie Cosmos, The Teardrop Explodes and Echo & The Bunnymen, these are all the sounds that ring throughout her sound and ultimately make her debut the masterpiece it truly is. Wrapped within heartbreaking stories of sadness, Psychopomp really is one of the finest pieces of 2016. I managed to chat with Michelle late last year to pull together some of her influences and unmask some of the stories behind the music.
Making pleasing, interesting and expressive electronic music, Inwards has consistently crafted music that impresses. Mastermind Kris Shelley has recently released his Feeling So Fun Reality LP, creating an inviting concoction that takes Orbital’s euphoria, the dreaminess of Lemon Jelly, the progressive minimalism of The Field and Aphex Twin’s displaced drum patterns into one incredible package. As one of Brighton’s most interesting producers, we had to find out more about Inwards.
The cinematic nature of Low Island’s music is enticing to say the very least. Having been getting airplay on BBC Radio 1 and 6Music, as well as featuring on all the right new music playlists on Spotify, their emotional melodies and hypnotic rhythms are creating a wave of anticipation for what is to come for this new band. They are an exciting prospect indeed – especially after the release of a short film to go alongside the release of their debut EP Just About Somewhere, which perfectly depicts the claustrophobic nature of big cities and the importance of finding your own space in them. Brightonsfinest had to find out more about the band, their ideas and their future, so we got in contact with Jamie (vocals/guitars/keys/electronics) and Carlos (vocals/guitar/keys) from Low Island to question them about their music.
You might have heard of Submariner on the Brighton music scene – during their short time together as a band they have certainly made their mark, playing alongside notable up and coming acts such as Fatherson, Bleanavon, The Wholls, and Raglans. They’re ravaging the south coast with an ambient indie revolution and are even making tracks in the London scene too. With an EP under their belt and a new single ‘Closer’ there’s no telling where they might end up next, there is one thing for certain about Submariner though – they live and breathe their music. We caught up with frontman James ahead of their video release for single ‘Closer’ to find out more about Submariner.
After sell out shows around the UK and sharing the stage with the likes of Nas and MF Doom, there is no doubt Benjamin Coyle-Larner (aka Loyle Carner) is leading the way in UK hip-hop. Staying away from the gangster posture hip-hop has become known for, Loyle Carner’s songs are an honest poetic insight into the relatable life of the London rapper. Instead of harsh aggressive beats, his mellow music takes heavy influences from a jazz inspinspired east-coast hip-hop scene. Together, the relationship between his creative lyrics and expressive beats has created one of the best debut album we have seen in the recently release Yesterday’s Gone. We spoke to the rapper to find out more about him, his music and the GOMA Collective project he has helped set up.
Shortly after Bombay Bicycle Club announced their hiatus, bassist Ed Nash unveiled his solo project, Toothless. Nash is a musician who has already achieved a lot during his lifetime (toured the world, released a chart-topping album and sold around half a million records in the UK alone), but now he’s striking out on his own, armed with BBC’s drummer Suren de Saram and an album recorded in the same studio I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose came into formation. Nash’s debut release, The Pace of Passing is set to be an intriguing album, with single releases ‘Terra’ and ‘Sisyphus’ already collecting critical acclaim. We grabbed a minute with Nash to chat about past, present and future endeavours surrounding the release.
When you have the blues, when you feel it's all crumbling around you, there's really only one way to go. When you think the odds are stacked against you, you still got to believe. Otherwise, what is there?
Having traded the cacophony, restlessness and expense of London for the relative calms of Hastings, Duke Garwood continues to chip diligently away at the coalface, fully immersed in music making, as he has been for 25 odd years. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, he played guitar on The Orb's 'Perpetual Dawn' single way back in 1991. He also played clarinet and rhaita (a Moroccan reed instrument) on the first two albums by the Archie Bronson Outfit, played clarinet on Savages' Silence Yourself album and hooked up with Mark Lanegan to release the Black Pudding album in 2013. Alongside Lanegan and Savages' Jehnny Beth, he has also collaborated with Tinariwen, Josh T. Pearson, Josh Homme and Kurt Vile.
This CV and list point the way in describing what Garwood does so well; a deceptively laid back neo-blues sound that is noirish in tone, but both full of loving and foreboding. It's also a soulful, and hypnotically slow burning concoction that recalls the diverse likes of Portishead, Tom Waits, JJ Cale, and Nick Cave. In Garwood's battle against anguish, there needs to be positivity to see you through.
On his sixth album, Garden of Ashes, that is precisely what he sets out to achieve. Achieve it he does. Able to conjure up alluring imagery, Garwood pulls upon his experiences from his travels around the globe including Hackney squats, Moroccan hash bars, Cuba, Thailand and good ol' LA (where he made Black Pudding with Mark Lanegan). Garden of Asheswaspart recorded in Duke’s Valley Heights studio and at Giant Wafer in Wales with producer Strat Barrett at the helm. It features friends Paul May on drums, Pete Marsh on double bass and, adding a Morricone-style ambience to some tracks, the Smoke Fairies on backing vocals.
It’s quite rare that you meet a group who hail from the pebbled shores of Brighton without at first relocating here. Grymm fracture that rule somewhat having met at the local secondary school, Dorothy Stringer. The band have now released a smattering of singles, each one delicately demonstrating different fragments to the musical kaleidoscope that is Grymm. Some songs such as ‘OCD’ at times show a tenderness, others such as ‘Jurassic’ put forth a cathartic explosion.
The group have been making waves throughout Brighton’s flamboyant underground scene of late. With notable comparisons to the likes of Blaenavan and locals, Tigercub and The Wytches, they are picking the best of the recent fruits to incorporate into their own sound. I caught up with Morgan and Andrew of Grymm to discuss where they are at right now and what lies in-store for 2017.
Is it grunge, alt-rock or indie? I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the unique sound Mindofalion resonate certainly holds itself high with the very best music coming out of Brighton’s vibrant scene. With brothers Archie and Jack Brewis-Lawes joining forces with Sam Evans, the trio have entered a new chapter bringing with them an exciting live show that they will be showcasing in January at the Green Door Store. Ahead of the release of their first ever music video for ’Machina’, I caught up with Mindofalion to find out more.