Nashville born and bred, Kurt Wagner is anything but your typical country and western artist. Although loosely associated with the alternative country genre, he and his band have always been interested in all sorts of music; from post-punk, to soul and lounge, as well as developing a love affair with hip-hop and electronica. Wagner startled many when last year’s FLOTUS album revealed a love of the vocoder in treating his lugubrious, yet subtly playful, voice. It worked a treat, and confirmed yet again what a forward-thinking, experimental and adventurous artist he is.
Coming all the way across the Atlantic from Nashville, Soccer Mommy (Sophie Allison) is embarking on her first ever UK tour to coincide with the release of her latest album, Collection. Sophie’s sound is one laced with sombreness, yet meets audiences with an airy feel that is simply infectious. We caught up with Sophie following the Brighton date of the tour to see how the young artist is finding touring another continent.
Fake Laugh is the solo project of Kamran Khan. He’s now got his self-titled debut out which is an incredibly joyful and romantic listen. We had a chat with ahead of his UK tour to speak about the beginnings of Fake Laugh, the new album as well as his relationship with our seaside city.
Frankie Cosmos are the band of songwriter Greta Kline. After getting significant attention through her releases on Bandcamp, Frankie Cosmos have started to evolve into an extremely beloved group. Greta’s songwriting is very lo-fi, raw and sweet. Her songs ooze with charm. The group have recently signed to Sub-Pop Records and with a new album lurking in the distance, we had a chat with Greta before her Brighton show to talk about the band and her development as a songwriter.
Girl Ray have become one of 2017’s most hyped bands. Their music is raw and deep. There’s a complexity to their songs which is disguised with subtlety. Do they deserve the hype they are receiving? Absolutely. Their music boarders on melancholic but is countered with their natural charm and beautiful airy vocals. Just before their debut Earl Grey was released, singer and guitarist Poppy had a brief chat with us to talk about the band’s journey up to this point.
Scottish rockers Neon Waltz will soon be releasing their debut LP Strange Hymns, as they look to showcase their stringent melodies, delicate harmonies and emotional compositions to a wider audience. Ahead of this release and their headline London show at the end of August, I caught up with guitarist Kevin Swanson.
Similar in feel to the global Sofar Sounds, Folklore Sessions is a monthly night in Brighton put in place by local singer-songwriter Jacko Hooper as an opportunity to bring some of the finest acoustic musicians to the masses. A mainstay of the Brighton music scene, many of our favourite local artists have performed at these live acoustic nights. On what is sure to be a special occasion, they are leaving their regular venue at The White Rabbit for the first time and bringing it to The Hope & Ruin on Monday 7th August. Our writer Jamie MacMillan caught up with Jacko to chat about Folklore Sessions and the next step for him as an artist.
The Districts possess the ability to make anything sound epic, and they threaten to turn The Haunt into one large hotbed of euphoria in September when they showcase new record Popular Manipulations. If coming-of-age album A Flourish and a Spoil hinted at the band’s forward-thinking signatures, then the new tracks look to be the culmination of that. I caught up with Braden from the band to talk about the LP as well as what the future holds for the Chicago four-piece.
Back in the mid-90s, Britpop was all the rage. Blur, Oasis, Pulp, Elastica et al. Fighting it out for airtime, media coverage and gossip columns. It was a BIG thing, perhaps the last major hurrah in the world of guitar-driven pop music, when the singles charts really mattered and TOTP was still on the air. Sleeper have been largely forgotten about, but for a while they too were a major player, with three consecutive top ten albums, and eight top forty hits to their name, all between 1995-1997. And in Louise Wener they had a guitar-toting sex symbol, a woman who adorned front covers and for a while was a mini-celebrity who appeared regularly on Chris Evan’s TFI Friday. She was known as ‘Just another woman fronting a guitar band’, while her male bandmates were collectively known as ‘Sleeperblokes’. When they split up in ’97, Wener embarked on a successful literary career, and has so far produced four novels, as well as an autobiography My Life As A Pop Star. But, Sleeper have decided to reform, and dip their toes back into the world of live music. Brightonsfinest to spoke to Lousie ahead of their first gig in 20 years at The Haunt, in Brighton.
Sydney based duo Ben Gumbleton and Sam Croft, otherwise known as the alluring live electronic duo Boo Seeka, blew Brighton away at the 2016 Great Escape and look set to do exactly that again in The Prince Albert next month. Ahead of their headline show and debut album release I caught up with Sam from the band.