The young singer-songwriter Maisie Peters cut her teeth in Brighton and via YouTube, where she posted a lot of her songs, just her and a guitar. Just 18, she’s already a brilliant and mature songwriter, developing quite a following in a short space of time. She’s just got back from supporting Tom Walker on tour in the United States, has released an EP, Dressed Too Nice For A Jacket, and is about to head out on a UK tour. In May she’ll be performing at The Great Escape.
White Denim are an American four-piece rock band from Austin, Texas, formed in 2005, who have established a riotous fusion of garage punk, soul, psychedelic boogie, prog, jazz and country blues. They’ve done this along with a home-based recording style, and jamming approach, alongside looping work, unusual song structures, and an insatiable lust for musical adventure.
Founder members James Petralli and Steve Terebecki are still at the helm, currently joined by Greg Clifford on drums, and Michael Hunter on keys. Already with eight studio albums under their belt, including last year’s Performance, they’ve decided to release an album’s worth of B-sides, rarities, outtakes, and new songs, called Side Effects, out this spring on City Slang. With a UK tour that takes in London’s Roundhouse, and finishes in Brighton for Mutations Festival, Steve Terebecki took some time out before hitting the road.
I stumbled upon Gwenifer Raymond when I came across a glowing review of her debut album, the 100% instrumental You Never Were Much Of A Dancer, released last year. I had no idea she was Brighton-based and, later on, during the course of a conversation with an old friend, it transpired that he knew her, and was a big reason why she was eventually picked up by the esteemed American record label, Tompkins Square. Subsequently, she has been announced for this year’s The Great Escape festival. A highly accomplished guitarist, who plays in the so-called ‘American primitive’ style, I caught up with her on her lunch break.
Brighton-based Thyla have been kicking around for a while, firstly as the solo project of Millie Duthie, before she grew the idea into a full band. After releasing a steady stream of singles over the last couple of years, they have just dropped their debut EP, What’s On Your Mind. Adrenaline-fuelled but with a dreamy undertone, it’s already received rapturous applause from all quarters.
Bill Ryder-Jones, a founder of The Coral, has been carving out a dual career as a solo artist and producer this last decade. His latest record, Yawn, again released on Domino, is a beautifully languid work that showcases his ear for melody. While on a trip to Resident for an in-store signing and session, he took some time out to chat with Jeff Hemmings, about the new album, his deep and on-going relationship with Domino, The Coral, and his production work.
Steve Mason has decidedly come out of the dark, and into the light. After years of cult acclaim with The Beta Band, and then years of debt, depression, and isolation, whilst living in Fife, Scotland, he’s found a new home in Brighton. He’s even got a three-year-old child to contend with, born and bred here, and he’s still making extraordinarily powerful, moving, and simply brilliant music. With the recent re-release of much of The Beta Band’s back catalogue last year, Mason’s already sizeable following continues to expand, in awe and/or in love with one of the best songwriters of recent times.
Brit band White Lies are one of those bands who have quietly achieved a lot of success. Their debut album made it to the top of the charts, back in 2009, and ten years later they are about to release their fifth album, Five. A classic sounding epic guitar-synth band, Charles Cave, Jack Lawrence-Brown, and Harry McVeigh met whist still at school, eventually forming Fear of Flying. Jack had set up the indie label Chess Club, and Fear of Flying achieved some early success, before they decided that they needed a new name, to reflect their maturation into adulthood. White Lies was the result. Harry took some time out to discuss the new album, San Francisco, the name change, and those early beginnings.
Formed back in 1993, Low are now one of the prime treasures of alt-American rock. The foundation stones of the band remain Alan Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and Mimi Parker (drums and vocals), who are also a couple. With a succession of bassists – the most recent recruit being Steve Garrington – they are the epitome of slow burn, musically, as well as critically. Often referred to as a ‘slowcore’ band in the early days, their sound has developed and broadened over the years. Last year’s Double Negative album was their 12th studio album, and represented a career high for them, earning outstanding reviews, as well as being named Resident Album of the Year. Jeff Hemmings spoke with Alan Sparhawk about this success, the album, and his Mormon faith.
Australian four-piece Cub Sport are about to ride the high of a third album, following on from Bats, which was released to huge acclaim in 2017. Originally formed by singer-songwriter Tim Nelson in 2010 as a backing band for his solo songs, Cub Sport is also made up of bassist Zoe Davis, keyboardist Sam Netterfield, and drummer Dan Puusaari.
In the summer of 2107, the song ‘O Lord’ marked Nelson’s first song about his coming out, and declaring his love for bandmate Netterfield. The love had been mutual for quite some time, and they got married, allowable under Australia’s new same sex marriage laws. Producing music that combines an r’n’b feel with a pop sensibility, the combination of pop energy with a deeply personal take, has endeared them to a young audience of forward-thinking millennials and Generation Z’ers. While Bats chronicled Tim’s journey of coming out, the new self-titled album is both a confirmation of that coming out, and expressed love, as well as a confident and powerful statement.
Since we last interviewed Pale Waves, in 2017, the Manchester four-piece have been making much bigger waves with their infectious and upbeat indie-pop. Label mates with The 1975, they only performed their first headline show two years ago, and since then their debut album, My Mind Makes Noises, has reached the top ten. Having already performed in New York’s legendary Madison Square Garden with The 1975, they are about to go out on tour again with them, including a date in Brighton. We caught up with guitarist and frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie, to talk about The 1975, and the whirlwind that has been the fast and furious rise of Pale Waves.