Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow

When New Yorker Sharon Van Etten released the appropriately titled ‘Comeback Kid’, late last year, garnering huge acclaim and sighs of relief from the many who were worried they had heard the last of her, she reminded us, after a gap of nearly five years, why so many admired her work. Gentle and folksy on the surface, Etten wore her heart on her sleeve in displaying darker undertones, and human frailty. Now though, there is a heightened rock’n’roll grit to her music, ‘Comeback Kid’ containing a hint of the expressive Anna Calvi, with the muscularity of both New York’s LCD and The Strokes.

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Deerhunter – Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?

How do you describe an album out of time, concerned with the disappearance of culture, of humanity, of nature, of logic and emotion? Why make this album in an era when attention spans have been reduced to next to nothing, and the tactile grains of making music have been further reduced to algorithms and projected playlist placement. Why wake up in the morning? Why hasn’t everything already disappeared?” State Deerhunter about the creation of their latest album, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?, the first album from the band since 2015’s Fading Frontier. A temperamental and cynical record, that sees Deerhunter try to emulate America’s newest heroes such as DIIV and The National, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? brings Deerhunter straight up-to-date with their contemporaries.

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The 1975 – Brighton Centre – 16th January 2019

I think it’s safe to say that many – including myself – were wrong about The 1975. The tide began to change when the follow-up to their critically-panned debut eponymous record, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, was received slightly warmer than its predecessor and topped the album charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Their third album, A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships, however, has seen many a critic eat humble pie. A record with a dizzying amount of experimentation and intensely laid-out themes, it’s an uneven but incredibly impressive record, that has genuinely seen the band become world beaters.

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Astroid Boys – The Prince Albert, Brighton – 15th January 2019

Despite this being my fourth time seeing Astroid Boys live, I was especially excited to see them perform at The Prince Albert, as I really didn’t know what to expect this time around. A lot had changed within the Welsh group that put hardcore-grime on the map since their last live performance I saw, supporting Enter Shikari at the Brighton Centre back in 2017.

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The Electric Soft Parade – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 11th January 2019

There was electricity in the air as we arrived early to The Hope & Ruin to be confronted by a small queue snaking around the staircase from the makeshift box-office on the landing, where Thomas White was sat checking tickets. It seemed like this was a night of reunion for many of the fans in attendance as much as it was, certainly in home-coming terms, for the two bands on the bill. There have been lots of rumblings from The Electric Soft Parade camp in 2018, a successfully backed Pledge Music campaign to fund the recording of their fifth studio album, recent shows supporting fellow indie darlings of the early 00s Ultrasound, and even a charity showcase at Portslade’s little known Circle Arts Centre last May. However, there’s nothing quite like coming home and filling one of the venues of your youth for a band like ESP, who’ve been active on our Brighton stages in one form or another since they were teenagers at the arse end of the 90s.

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Steve Mason – About the Light

What more is there to say about Steve Mason, the former Beta Band frontman, who continues to ride high in the affections of a fiercely loyal and musically literate fanbase? After suffering deep depression a few years back, Mason decamped to Brighton, where he still resides, seemingly in a better place, and continues to make remarkably, albeit more upbeat, soulful music: his craft as a songwriter second to none.

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Soilwork – Verkligheten

If this is the first time that you’ve heard of the Swedish melodic death metal band Soilwork, you may be surprised to find out that they have been going strong for over 20 years, since their formation in late 1995, and have recently released their 11th studio album titled Verkligheten.

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Perch – No Step

No Step is the second full-length album from local art rock/post-grunge group Perch and clearly displays a progression in the band’s style, whilst keeping that Brighton band aesthetic that made their past efforts so brilliant.

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Perch – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 12th January 2019

On Saturday night, Brighton-based art-rock band Perch took to The Hope & Ruin to promote their new album, No Step, which was released the same day. The nine-track album follows 2016’s Umbra and consists of tracks the band have been playing live for a while now, with the album itself having a live atmosphere feel to it.

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You Tell Me – You Tell Me

You Tell Me have forged something bright and bold, a work that largely marries the personal lyricism of Hayes, with the production and multi-instrumentalist skills of Brewis. Low key on the surface, less grand than what we are used to with Field Music, and recorded in a very short space of time, it is still full to the brim with sparklingly short and inventive orchestral-pop vignettes that place melody at the forefront. A minor triumph.

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