Hidden Brighton – Hidden Trail Records

Hidden Brighton - Hidden Trail Records

Hidden Brighton – Hidden Trail Records

Hidden Trail Records
We all know a lot of musical creativity resides in this fair city of ours, but even for, ahem… seasoned music journos like myself, it never ceases to surprise me how much there is. 20 years ago we were proud of the fact that The Levellers were from Brighton, and that some 'new wave of new wave' band called These Animal Men were our next big hope. Today, the list is almost endless. There is no scene as such, just lots of different musical tribes, collectives, families, friends and fans, exploring music for the innate pleasure it contains. But there is a friendliness about the musical scene that seems to encourage this large pool of creativity, this melting pot of influences that result in the, almost invariably, interesting and well-thought out creations on show via this compilation from a fledgling local label, and obvious big-time music fans.
 
Here you'll find some ace garage rock courtesy of Flash Bang Band, female-fronted indie in the form of one-definitely-to-watch Kill Moon, the Warpaint-esque Hella Better Dancer, the haunting shoegazing sounds of The Hundreth Anniversary, the harmony-drenched minimal acoustica of Self Help Group, alt-country flavours courtesy of both The Standard Lamps and The Raving Beauties (who feature Lucky Jim's Gordon Grahame), and the gorgeous indie-folk sounds of Woodland Blue.
Two highlights are the baroque folk textures of uber talented Ellie Ford, a harpist, guitarist, singer songwriter, and also artist: it is her beautiful artwork and design that makes up the gatefold CD version of this release; and the final track, a truly fabulous piece called Swamps, by Us Baby Bear Bones, a track that has already received plaudits for its audacity, it's clear musical vision, superb arrangement and structure, and above all it's drama.
 
You'll be doing your bit for Brighton music by spreading the word, even if it's just one track you like. Hidden Brighton is a nice idea – we all like to have our secret passions and personal delights – but much of this deserves to come out of the shadows… There is, after all, a big world out there!  
 
Profits from proceeds are going to Grace Eyre, a local organisation that supports people with learning disabilities.
 
Jeff Hemmings
 
and Resident Records: www.resident-music.com

Band & Track listing
 
1) Kill Moon – Shine
2) Hella Better Dancer – Sleeptalking
3) The Raving Beauties – Arrows
4) Flash Bang Band – Thinking Above My Station
5) The Standard Lamps – The Cracks
6) The Self Help Group – Kings (Alternate Demo)
7) The Hundredth Anniversary – Last Drive
8) Woodland Blue – Seventeen
9) Fiona Sally Miller – Chalk It Up
10) Ellie Ford – A Word to the Wise
11) tiNhearT – A millioN winterS
12) Kokopelli – How To Be
13) Us Baby Bear Bones – Swamp
 

Metronomy – Love Letters

"Back on the Riviera, it gets cold at night", so goes a line in the first track on 'Love Letters', Metronomy’s fourth studio album, and their first since 2011’s breakout affair 'The English Riviera'. Perhaps referring to the last album and his Devon coast upbringing (and a long lost teenage love affair), 'Love Letters' is for the most part a reflection of love and relationships, but brought up to the present – Metronomy’s Joseph Mount has lived in that City of Love, Paris, for the past four years, drawn there by love…
 
From the Prince influenced electro-glitch of 'Pip Paine' and 'Nights Out' to the more indie rock territory of 'The English Riviera' album, we’ve been witnessing the maturation of Mount and his music. 'Love Letters' is an (almost) grown up kind of record, certainly more reflective and soulful than ever, and one that speaks eloquently of affairs of the heart. It may be a little less playful than we are used to, but Joseph Mount continues to demonstrate an uncanny and subtle way with melody: on the surface there may be a nursery school feel about some of the music and lyrics, but let them wash over you a few times and the songs nuances, subtle dynamism and flow just seem to invariably work in its favour.
 
The first two songs immediately show off the new, grown up Metronomy; 'The Upsetter' features one of Mount’s best vocals, a passionate and soulful performance that is aided by a good old fashioned (and effects-free) guitar solo. While on The Aquarius, the sparse musical minimalism continues, this time given colour by a cascading keyboard. The downbeat hue continues with the baroque keyboards and vocals of 'Monstrous', conjuring up a passing imitation of Gary Numan, before plaintive trumpets give way to the super-jolly vibes of 'Love Letters'. It’s not a moment too soon, the pounding Motown beat along with 70s style Andrew Gold piano is the most obvious uplifting track on the album, an oasis on an album of generally atmospheric, slower paced numbers.
The early Cure vibe of 'Month of Sundays' is another delight, although Mount cannot resist the temptation to upset the straight forward pop classicism of the song with an abrasive and repeating chant of "never in a month of Sundays". The instrumental 'Boy Racers' evokes Kraftwerk, before abruptly segueing into 'Call Me'; Mount's vocal being tracked by a synth – perhaps the album’s weakest moment.
 
Many good albums slowly peter out as the end approaches and the well of creativity runs dry, not so with Metronomy, who save some of the best for last, beginning with contender for Song Title of the Year – 'The Most Immaculate Haircut' – a tune that features an inexplicable detour into the sound of cicadas and splashing water… This desire to occasionally upset the apple cart, to be wilfully arty and with a glint in the eye, usually works in their favour. It’s a big reason why many of us have taken Metronomy to our hearts; their lack of derisory sixth form poetry and po-faced musicality, along with the moments self-deprecation and humour. Without the songs this would all be meaningless, and Mount continues to deliver with 'Reservoir', which brings back the drum machine (the album is a good mix of acoustic drums and drum machines) and some tasteful and even electrifying synth patterns and splashes and then there’s the final track 'Never Wanted', a truly melancholic yet strangely uplifting way to end, with plucked bass merging with strummed guitar, and accompanied by the sound of an occasional passing car that adds that all-important Metronomy intrigue and playfulness. "Does it get better?" asks Mount. It may not.
Jeff Hemmings

Website: metronomy.co.uk
Facebook: facebook.com/metronomy
Twitter: twitter.com/metronomy

 

 

Blood Red Shoes – Blood Red Shoes

Blood Red Shoes fourth album opens with the instrumental track ‘Welcome Home’ which I like to think of as the sound of the band settling into the rented warehouse space in Berlin where they lived for several months last year recording the new album. Singer/drummer Steve Ansell explains the freedom they found themselves in after the decision to self-produce their third album; “no producer, no engineer, no A&R people, just us two in a big concrete room in Kreuzberg, jamming and recording our songs whenever we wanted, how we wanted with nobody to answer to except ourselves.”

 
Prior to this eponymous release the band have regularly worked with Mike Crossey who produced Arctic monkeys début single and first two albums, but they felt their last record, ‘In Time To Voices’ was almost too perfect and wanted to get back to their roots and some of the rawness and edge that defines their sound. The second track on the album ‘Everything All At Once’ certainly showcases this approach, it’s a real banger and a bit of a mission statement for the rest of the album with it’s hedonistic agenda, perhaps inspired by the crazy Berlin nights on offer.
 
The band talk about having widened the sound palette for this album, having previously stuck to the formula of two vocals, drums and guitar as much as possible on record as well as onstage to ensure they could deliver the songs live. On a first listen is sounds like they haven’t deviated too far from that blueprint, although the drums are beefier and the guitar sounds layered, thick and fuzzy, you seldom hear a bass sound that couldn’t be the result of a pitchshifter combined with the main guitar line. As you delve further into the album you become aware of some of the lovely subtle layers – there’s a cool atmospheric synth sound at the start of ‘Stranger’ and as it builds to an epic close it sounds like there might be some trumpets (or something tonally similar) at play in the distance.
 
They’ve made some great choices with the vocals as well. To my ears Laura-Mary is at her best when she’s soft and seductive which contrast really well with Steve when he’s raw and aggressive. Both are fine, versatile singers and they have used every option available to them with those voices; harmonies, all sorts of layering, slapback delay and gritty distortion; keeping the album interesting throughout. I think their voices and their skill with a melody gives Blood Red Shoes their real edge. Mix engineer John Agnello has done a fine job putting the final sheen on this album, and it’s interesting to note his roots are with acts like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jnr, as musically Blood Red Shoes tend to recall American alternative rock and grunge acts. Still there’s a Britishness in those vocals which is inescapable, like a leaner, punchier Elastica.

The songs already released to the public are pulsating and powerful, ‘The Perfect Mess’ was revealed to fans through a clever campaign, hiding 10 QR codes in 10 different cities. It opens with a riff that reminds me, partly because of the crazy fuzz-guitar effect, of Le Tigre’s single ‘Deceptacon’ but the end result is far more polished. ‘An Animal’ is a pulsating, riff-driven romp with a hell of a chorus. A song about unleashing the animal ‘coiled like a spring’ that lies inside most of us, trapped in uniforms, denying our animal nature. It continues the overlying theme of the album: a new sense of wild freedom which the band are relishing,  in spite (or maybe because of) the threat of manic danger that comes with it. This is perfectly illustrated by the ‘Animal’ music video, but I won’t ruin it for you, just scroll down and watch it!
 
Overall the album sounds comfortable and confident and certainly worthy of the eponymous title, especially considering how much of themselves Steve Ansell and Laura Mary Carter must have poured into producing for the first time. They’ve really pulled it off and I hope this album helps catapult them to even greater success in the coming year. I sense another world tour coming on, let’s hope they don’t forget about us back home in Brighton!
Adam Kidd
 

Peggy Sue – Choir of Echoes

Peggy Sue - Choir of Echoes

In line with the album's title, Choir of Echoes begins with the funereal voices of Rosa Slade and Katy Young, the two friends who initially formed Peggy Sue & The Pirates in Brighton in 2005, setting the tone for this slightly brooding yet mesmerising third studio album.
 
Having largely ditched the twee-indie-folk style that got them off running in the mid-nougties, as well as dumping The Pirates part of their name, and the Kate Nash vocal stylings before it got too irritating, Peggy Sue have quietly gone about the business of developing as songwriters, singers and musicians, culminating in this, their best yet; a mature reflection on life through their eyes, but also an album about singing and the art and complexities of communication. For the most part, they sing in unison, their reverb-soaked harmonies forged through years of singing together, and to each other… you can't imagine one without the other, such is their subtle chemistry.
 
This time around, the percussive work of long time third member Olly Joyce is given more prominence, and his energetic yet intricate drum work lends many of the songs a depth and dynamism that has sometimes been lacking. Where sometimes Peggy Sue would get overly maudlin, musically speaking, Joyce's drums makes it sparkier, although there are still moments (thankfully very few and far between) when they fail to rise above a rhythmic depression, drowning a little in uninspiring self-wallowing.
 
But, taking their cue from their Peggy Sue Play the Songs of Scorpio Rising album of 2012 (their take on the original songs that were included in the original soundtrack to the Kenneth Auger cult movie), their love of doo-wop and early rock'n'roll has inspired the raucously dreamy song Longest Day of the Year Blues. Another standout is the short and sweet and beautifully named How Heavy The Quiet That Grew Between Your Mouth and Mine, a stripped back country-folk song that perhaps points to the future for Peggy Sue, a band who are in essence as traditional as Buddy Holly and the aforementioned doo-wop; very little but guitars, drums and voices feature throughout, a master class of economy and song craft from this most unassuming of bands.
 
Out 27 Jan 2014
 
They play the Green Door Store, 3 April 2014

Momotaro

Before downloading our advance copy of Second Side I really didn't know much about Momotaro so I really didn't know what I was letting myself in for, but, from the first delay soaked notes of opening track 'Dust' I was immediately hooked and allowed their beautifully arranged, relaxed electronica to wash over me. Momotaro are a three piece band from Brighton, presumably named after the Japanese legend about a boy who comes to earth in a giant peach, who are notable for playing electronica without the use of the obligatory laptops in their live shows, instead they use electronic drums, trigger samples and swap between an array of instruments. The group formed last Spring and developed their song-writing rapidly before honing their sound through experimenting in the live environment. Second Side is their debut album, which they are releasing on the 1st of February, supported by a gig at The Green Door Store on the same date. The album gets its name from their decision to re-record all of the songs they had written and initially previewed as free downloads on their soundcloud page; having later perfected the arrangments and instrumentation through performance they thought it was worth showing a second side to the songs. I for one am glad that they did, Second Side is a priviledge to listen to, a luscious blend of carefully chosen electronic sounds and luscious acoustic instruments matched to soft gently melodic vocals and minimal electronic beats.

A favourite for me is the track 'Mono' with acoustic guitars and fender rhodes-esque electronic pianos which remind me a little of the textures on Air's Moon Safari. Another artist that I'm reminded of is Little Dragon, whose Ritual Union album really caught my attention a few years back, I'd this influence (or conicidence) is particularly evident in the vocals of track Warm Step, which is still available to stream on their Soundcloud page. I love the minimalism of the record, there's so much space and air to breath, when I'm sure there's always a temptation with this sort of music to throw the kitchen sink at it and pile on the layers. I imagine their dedication to making their act work as a live band who actually play all the parts has kept things from becoming too complex and the songs really benefit. I'd be quite interested to hear the original demos now, to see how the songs originally sounded – in fact the video to Kite (below) does feature an earlier version of the song which does seem a little denser in places. I'm surprised I hadn't heard about these guys earlier, I'm glad I have now and I'm sure to be at a show very soon!
 
Adam Kidd
  
  
 

Review of the year 2013

Review of the year 2013

Our reviewer Terry Moore takes us through BrightonsFinest’s highlights of 2013

January

January is often a quiet month for music, we thought the most interesting event of the month was One Inch Badge’s third Seamonsters festival. They took over The Albert for a week from the 22nd of January and this year they decided to invite some other local promoters such as SOURCE, Teen Creeps, Love Thy Neighbour and Slip Jam B to curate their own nights of the festival, helping make the event very diverse with something for everyone. We saw a lot of acts listed on their bills that would be heavily on our radar during the year, including Physics House Band, Traams, Phoria, Luo and many more. Our reviewer Amelie was very excited about the Love They Neighbour curated third night so she headed down to see sets from Abi Wade, Holy Vessels and Jacko Hooper; have a read of her review of the night here.

February

My biggest regret of the year is that I did not make it to the Innerstrings Psychedelic Lightshow curated SOURCE new music night. The Innerstrings guys have been bringing their retro lighting skills and equipment to brighten up Brighton stages for some time and for this night they had chosen five bands who most suited the psychedelic visuals they provide with obvious headliners Physics House Band supported by an array of awesome leftfield acts with my top pick being improvised rock group Reds, who I’ve seen before and been very impressed by – although one suspects with improvised music that can’t always be the case! Brighton SOURCE have been able to put on a subsidised night at the Dome Studio Bar for a mere £4 and they’ve often come up trumps with their line-ups. Always a good chance to see some of our great local talent play on a decent stage, with a great PA and lights without breaking the bank. A Brighton institution!

BrightonsFinest top local releases for February:

5th February Luo – Antidote EP (featuring Jacko Hooper)

25th February Marika Hackman – That Iron Taste mini album

March

In March Amelie made it down the the Green Door Store to check out The Great Escape’s Spring Party and was particularly taken with Marika Hackman’s set (check out her BrightonsFinest review here).
 
Amelie’s prediction that Marika that there would be ‘big things’ for Marika this year turned out to be spot on. Hackman moved to Brighton aged 18 to do an Art Foundation course and was set to do a Fine Art degree but her music career has taken off fantastically since so she’s had to put art on hold. She released a critically acclaimed mini album ‘That Iron Taste’ in February 2013, just before Amelie caught her and went on to tour Europe and Australia with Laura Marling and the UK with Johnny Flynn. She’ll soon be releasing The Sugar Blind EP and we expect even bigger things in 2014.

Best Brighton Releases for March 2013

17th March Apples & Eve – L’Homme single

25th March Laish – Obituaries album

April

In April we started an experiment putting on our own monthly BrightonsFinest night at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. For our first show we hosted Apples & Eve, hot on the heels of their single L’Homme. We had some excellent supports from Emma Gatrill (best known for her contribution to Sons of Adrian and Noel) and Willowen from down the coast. The night was a rounding success, you can read my review here. Apples & Eve had a fantastic reaction to their L’Homme single, playing sessions on BBC Radio and gathering shining accolades left right and centre. It seems a shame that they’ve decided to call it a day. I expect their last performance at our Old Market show will be one to remember, and I’m sure the solo projects from founding members Eva and Fran will be just as good, if not better. Also this month I got to see a great local group who’ve done well for themselves. Moulettes played The Haunt touring The Bears Revenge, it was a cracking night from a fabulously different band (you can read my review here). Moulettes will be touring this winter to say ‘Farewell to the Bear’ and have compiled a free 6 track EP on their soundcloud page to mark the occasion, get your copy now: https://soundcloud.com/balling-the-jack/sets/moulettes-farewell-to-the-bear We’ll be looking forward to album number three ‘Constellations’ next year.

Best Brighton releases for April:

1st April British Sea Power – Machineries of Joy album

15th April Crayola Lecturn – The Fall and Rise of Crayola Lecturn album released

15th April The Physics House Band – Horizons / Rapture EP

29th April Phoria – Bloodworks EP

May

May is always a busy month in Brighton with The Great Escape, Brighton Festival, the festival fringe and Meadowlands. We held our second monthly night at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, this time hosting local band Fragile Creatures supported by Swallow and The Wolf and Stark. It was a fantastic night with all the bands putting in a great performances, we hope to see more releases form Fragile Creatures next year, as they’ve certainly got the material for it!. Meadowlands Festival was probably the best place to catch local talent with a great lineup including BrightonsFinest favourites Time For T, Physics House Band, Phoria, Oscillator, Nordic Giants, Nick Williams, Marika Hackman, Laish, Interlocuter, House of Hats, Forestears, Emma Gatrill, Clowns, Apples & Eve and many more! Although The Great Escape has been criticised by some for over-looking the locals we saw a few familiar names amongst the mass of buzz bands they brought down from London including Physics House Band and Luke Sital Singh. I’ve heard rumours we might get to see a few more Brighton bands in the 2014 lineup… if that’s the case I might even go along!

Best Brighton releases for May:

6th May Time For T – Mongrel EP

17th May Wildflowers – Wild Among The Flowers EP

June

In June we put The Mojo Fins on for our last night at Sticky Mike’s, having decided to jump ship and move to The Hope from July. The Fins treated us to a sneak preview of some exciting new material, including their new single ‘Introverts’ which they released on November 11th. The band were supported by O.Chapman and Richard Allan III (have a look at my review from the time). Also in June we checked out the Brighton Music Awards an event designed to celebrate local music talent. We approved of Jacko Hooper winning best solo artist and Fragile Creatures winning best video for ‘Dear Michael’ (a classy black and white piece they brought out last August), The Brunswick picked up best venue and it’s certainly one of the nicer places to catch live music in town, but one expects that was a hotly contested award!. Awards were presented by famous local actor and Brighton Beach Boy Ralph Brown, Saffron from Republica and the devil horned music journalist Simon Price. All in all it was a good effort and a pleasant evening, especially considering the night was nearly scrapped and later rescued by The Latest Music Bar and the people behind BMusic, who filmed the even for posterity.

Best Brighton releases in June:

12th June Black Fields – House On The Brooks EP

16th June Usbabybearbones – What Starts With A U Ends With An I EP

17th June Electric Soft Parade – IDIOTS album

July

In July we moved our monthly night to The Hope and, for our first ‘Breakout’ night, we put on Wildflowers with support from Nick Williams and The Victorian Hunter. We had originally booked Native Roses to headline the night but they pulled out on us. Thankfully the wonderful Nick Williams stepped in at the last minute and played a fantastic set. Bumping Wildflowers up the bill to headline was also a great decision as they are another band we’ve seen go on to have a fantastic year, having bagged some amazing support slots including Robert Plants Band of Joy and BIMM graduate Tom Odell. We expect Wildflowers will really take off when they release their debut album next year. You can see what Amelie made of the show here.

BrightonsFinest best releases in July:

8th July Kins – Kins album

15th July Abi Wade – Boxer single

22nd July Octopuses – Sarcastic single

29th July The Meow Meows – Somehow We Met album

August

In August we had another spectacular night at the Hope, with Phoria, Luo and Fox in the City. Phoria caught our attention with their track ‘Red’ on Soundcloud. We’ve never seen a local band gain so many plays and comments on there, but they’ve got an impressive list of supports in their past, including the wonderful Little Dragon and Ultraista (a project from Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich). The EP they released this year has done fantastically well and we wouldn’t be surprised if 2014 saw an album and some mainstream success for the band: it is very much deserved. Fox in the City also deserve a mention as one of the hardest working bands we’ve booked and a great live proposition to boot – we hope to see more from them. Amelie wrote a glowing review of the night which you can read here.

BrightonsFinest best Brighton release for October:

25th August Flash Bang Band – Bite Your Tongue album

September

September was the last, and possibly best of our monthly nights for this year. This time round we had a bumper line-up with four fabulous acts; Time For T headlined with support from The Gypsy Switch, (who we’ve been fans of for a long time), Paperhawk and Prisoners Cinema. Time for T impressed us so much we’ve invited them back for our end of year show at The Old Market. You can read a review of the night from our director here. Also in September our reviewer Terry was very impressed by The Flash Bang Band when they played a late album launch at the Greend Door Store, playing their new Bite Your Tongue album in it's entirety. Have a read of his review here

BrightonsFinest best Brighton release for September:

14th September Traams – Grin album

October

Oxjam was our favourite event in October our reviewer AMS braved the Autumnal weather and trekked all over town to see a great variety of different acts. Last years Oxjam seemed better supported from Brighton institutions like Brighton SOURCE so in some ways it was a surprise that this year’s event, all the result of hard working volunteers, was such a success. AMS’s highlight included Wolflung – a young man with an impressive vocal range who is a captivating presence even with hs one man one guitar show; grasshopper, a boy/girl group who look like they’ve just passed sweet sixteen but play impressively nonetheless and Fragile Creatures who seem to have played everywhere this year! You can read his review on the site here and hear about some of the stranger acts he came across!

BrightonsFinest favourite local release for October:

27th October – IYES – Til Infinity single

November

As we mentioned earlier in the review The Mojo Fins released their single ‘Introverts’ earlier this month, showing great promise for their as yet untitled 2014 album. We’re putting the band on again at The Old Market with support from Time For T, who wowed us at The Hope back in September and Apples & Eve, who are performing together for the last time having chosen to go their separate ways. It’s set to be an unforgettable evening. In other November news local band Birdeatsbaby have caught our attention too with an ambitious Kickstarter campaign asking for £10,000 to help them make and tour their third album. At the time of writing they’re 86% of the way there with six days to go. It’s fantastic to see a local band able to win so much support from their fans and we really hope they make it to the total – if you don’t get the full amount on Kickstarter you get nothing! Have a look at the campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/birdeatsbaby/birdeatsbaby-the-bullet-within?ref=live

BrightonsFinest favourite local releases for November:

11th November The Mojo Fins – Introverts single

16th November Beautiful Word – Particles album

December

Well that was 2013… unlucky for some but not for Brighton’s music scene. We’ve seen some fantastic talent emerge and we’re already getting excited about next year! I can’t really write much about December as it hasn’t happened yet but here are a few things to look out for. After their return to form album ‘IDIOTS’ which was released back in June the Electric Soft Parade are celebrating with a show on December 6th at the Unitarian Church. They’re playing a couple of sets and promise to bring us some live rarities and some Christmas songs. We hear Mark Chadwick form The Levellers is going to be singing Fairytale of New York. Probably worth the entrance fee just to see that! Blood Red Shoes have announced they are ‘unlocking’ some new material on their website on 1st Dec, so it’s likely 2014 will be a big year for them too. When you’re done with all the festive cheer you’ll bound to start thinking about New Years Eve. I would recommend heading to the Physics House Party at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar – we’ve heard great things about the Physics House Band and their parties are becoming legendary. If you’re a fan of the Brighton music scene this is a great way to end the year it’s free entry with some great live bands, including Luo who we put on at The Hope in August, as well as DJ sets from Physics House Band.

 
Playlist of the year 2013
 

Electric Soft Parade

ESPpressshot1-554x369

The Electric Soft Parade are back this week with a new single and video, ‘Brother You Must Walk Your Path Alone’. This is the first track we’ve heard from their forthcoming fourth LP ‘IDIOTS’ which is due out in the summer. I say ‘back’ but really Alex and Thomas White have seldom been far from Brighton stages. ESP reunited as a live entity back in 2010, to raise money for the Martlets Hospice at their ‘Maximalism’ event at the Concorde 2. In 2011 the band released an EP featuring new material, toured in Europe with Noel Gallagher, and held a residency at The Albert where they played their back catalogue in sequence and showcased some new material. 2012 was a bit of a landmark year for ESP, it was the 10th anniversary of their debut album ‘Holes In The Wall’, which has probably been their most commercially successful record to date; garnering a Mercury Music Prize nomination and spawning several chart-bothering singles. This is all relevant because the band has reunited with the same production team (Chris Hughes and Mark Frith) that brought us their debut for ‘IDIOTS’. The band spent most of 2012 ensconced in a studio working on the record; these first results suggest it was time well spent!

‘Brother You Must Walk Your Path Alone’ is a charming piece of mature pop music; shuffling drums, soft acoustic guitars, pretty pianos and a luscious vocal from Thomas White. The track is shimmery and summery as hell, yet it is underpinned by a sense of melancholy and longing, dark contemplative lyrics contrast with a buoyant guitar hook and I’m left feeling both nostalgic and comforted. This is all perfectly illustrated by the video. In a series of beautiful shots we see a young man on a journey, reminiscing in black and white flashbacks of an old relationship. At the end we find he is visiting a graveyard, presumably his former lover is dead. It’s all very poignant, and if you look carefully you’ll see cameos from the brothers’ White. It’s a fantastic first release and a real tight piece of production, it’s not very often a ballad like this comes in way under three minutes! An extremely promising start for album number four, I can’t wait!

Terry Moore
BrightonsFinest