White Flowers is the debut album from this beguiling new folk duo who BrightonsFinest discovered At The Edge Of The Sea Festival. We were immediately enchanted and pleased to hear the album was going to be released so soon and launch planned at St. Laurence's Church in Falmer Village. Which is the location they used to record the actual album – a space that adds appropriate amounts of atmosphere to the mix as this very sparse but beautiful record which includes the groups interpretations and arrangements of old long forgotten folk songs, alongside their original compositions.
Fable is the latest promising young talent to emerge from our Brighton shores. There isn't a lot of information on the ground about the 19 year old but, according to her facebook page, she's currently working on a début album with the trip-hop collective Archive and has been featured on a song from the forthcoming new Orbital album. Archive are one of those acts who have never really taken off in England, despite gaining a lot of popularity in Europe and this Parasite EP is the first fruits of their work collaborating together.
From the big drums and mass celebratory voices (courtesy of Behind The Force Choir, who appear sporadically throughout the album) of opening track Around Town, The Kooks comeback comes out of the starting blocks in surprising fashion. It’s an interesting amalgamation of indie and dance, hints of Primal Scream usurping the normally straight forward two guitar, drums and bass set up of the band who for much of their previous existence was primarily enamoured with the simplicities and classicism of 60s Britpop.
What more can you say about The Levellers, a Brighton band who last year marked their 25th anniversary with another successful year. Still ignored by large swathes of the media and uber-indie trendies, it's a remarkable fact that they are the most successful Brighton band of all time; they've had eight top 20 singles, 15 top 40s and eight of their studio albums have made the top 40, including a number one, Zeitgeist, released at the height of their popularity in 1994 when they were Pyramid Stage headliners, delivering a performance that has gone down in the annals of Glastonbury history. Legend has it that up to 300,000 made it to the stage, a record unlikely to be broken as the capacity of the whole festival has now peaked at 175,000…
Kate Daisy Grant's third album 'Portrait' is indeed a surprising album. It starts with the quirky but very catchy 'Six feet under', a dark tale of lost hope and the end of a relationship all to a cheery backbeat. This is followed by 'Doubt' and 'Little Bird' which tap into post relationship insecurities of doubting yourself and the fears of making the same mistakes again.
The Wytches debut album ‘Annabel Dream Reader’ really grabbed my attention like no other band since the explosion of music from the West Coast of America in the early 90's. Comparable to when I first discovered the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and Nivarna's first albums which is not surprising as The Wytches borrow heavily from the West Coast and Seattle bands.
Every now and then something comes along to shake the foundations of a dozy, flatulent and mediocre music scene. In the most unexpected way, too. Royal Blood are one of those bands – a band whose sound is so hard and heavy, fat and groovy and rammed full of the kind of riffing that brings out the caveman (and cavewoman!) in us, that it is a bit of a surprise to learn they are English, from Sussex even. Back in the 70s you would have expected the likes of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, but in more recent times we seem to have lost the knack for hard rock, although acts such as Drenge do try, if only they had better songs. Royal Blood have yet to make an average song, let alone a bad one.
It has finally arrived! Luke Sital-Singh's début album The Fire Inside was originally scheduled for a March release, which would have come hot on the heels of his inclusion in the BBC Sound of 2014 poll, but, for undisclosed reasons, the release has been delayed until now. It's not just the BBC who were expecting Sital-Singh to blow up this year, expectations have been heaped on those young shoulders from all corners with his name appearing on hot-tip lists from Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, HMV and XFM. Pairing the young singer-songwriter with Jake Bugg producer Iain Archer can only have stoked the flames of hype and added to the sense of anticipation that this début was going to be huge. You could almost hear the critics sharpening their knives, getting ready to relegate this young upstart from his 'next big thing' status and leave him on the pile of also rans… just one problem – this album is actually rather good!
Self-proclaimed dark horses, and manufacturers of sophisticated mystique and mythology, this Brighton based band are led by the waif-like Lisa Elle (Lisa Lindley-Jones). A band that have been skirting the edges for a few years now – they even supported Kasabian on a run of dates a few years back – it's only now things are agreeably coalescing; a recent support tour with Dandy Warhols plus many more headline shows booked for the remainder of the year suggests that Hail Lucid State is the one where their early promise finally comes to fruition.