Tag: Brighton UK

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you have most likely come across a handful of posts on Simon Green, a Brighton, UK-born, Los Angeles, CA-based DJ, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and electronic music artist, who has written, recorded and performed under the moniker of Bonobo. Interestingly, Green had long been considered part of a movement of producers, multi-instrumentalists and electronic music artists, who specialized in a sleek, hyper-modern and downtempo-leaning electronic music that included  Four Tet, Jon Hopkins, Caribou and others; however, with the release of his critically applauded 2013 release The North Borders Green revealed a decided change in his compositional approach in which he frequently paired electronic production with lush and stunning arrangements featuring organic instrumentation — wth the end result being a sound that possessed a cinematic quality.

The North Borders was also part of a larger, growing trend among many electronic music artists and producers to not only create a much more evocative and nuanced sound but an attempt to remind listeners, fans and critics that there was actual musicality within their productions besides a person haphazardly tapping away at a laptop or turning buttons and dials on a sampler or a processor.

Since the release of The North Borders, Green has been both extremely busy and rather prolific — he released the Flashlight EP at the end of 2014 while during what would turn out to be a two year period of intense touring across the globe. Green somehow managed to find the time to write and recored the material off his sixth full-length album Migration, which was released earlier this year. Naturally, with an album titled Migration, the material thematically focused on migration. As Green remarked in press notes “It’’s interesting how one person will take an influence from one part of the world and move with that influence and effect another part of the world. Over time, the identities of places evolve.” And as a result, the material seemed to possesses a transitory nature — some of the material, including album single “Kerala,” was initially composed while on the road and then was road-tested and revised during Stateside DJ sets. Adding to the album’s transitory nature, it featured guest spots from a number of artists, who have emigrated at some point themselves, including Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based vocalist Michael Milosh of Los Angeles-based indie pop act Rhye, who recorded his vocal tracks while in Berlin, Germany; Australian-born, Brooklyn-based global, indie pop sensation Nick Murphy, formerly known as Chet Faker, who bonded with the British producer over a shared love of disco; Florida-born, Los Angeles-based Nicole Miglis of Los Angeles-based act Hundred Waters; and the New York-based Moroccan collective Innov Gnawa among others. Adding to the album’s transitory nature, Green also employs the use of found sounds that include a Hong Kong elevator, rainfall in Seattle, an Atlanta-based tumble dryer and a New Orleans fan boat engine.

After completing successful tours across both the European Union and North America to support Migration, Green announced the release of a 3 song EP/single package that features album single “Bambro Koyo Ganda,” an analog version of “Bambro Koyo Ganda” that finds Green stripping the song’s production and sound to the bone — retaining a propulsive, undulating pulse and Moroccan-born, New York-based band Innov Gnawa’s vocals and handclap-led percussion, highlighting the hypnotic groove and vocals. EP closing track “Samurai” was written and recorded during the Migration sessions, and consists of a stuttering vocal sample floating over a sinuous production featuring shuffling drum programming and shimmering, subtly arpeggio synth and wobbling low end. And much like the material from the recording sessions it came from, the song should remind listeners of how much Green’s work draws from classic house and soul, while being paradoxically sensual, intimate and yet cinematic.

 

 

Comprised of siblings Tim (guitar, vocals) and Lewis Lloyd-Kinnings (bass, keys, vocals) and their best friend and spiritual brother, Cameron Gipp (guitar, vocals), the Brighton, UK/London, UK/York, UK-based indie rock trio  Johnny Kills specialize in a furious, surf rock, garage rock and Brit Pop-inspired indie rock. And with the release of two demos — “Take It Easy” and “Maybe Next Year,” the trio quickly received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere; in fact, as a result, the trio along with North London-based Fin S. Woolfson (drums), the band recored their latest single “Let’s Talk About Me,” a single which will further develop the young upstarts reputation for crafting songs about being in your early to mid 20s and being absolutely clueless and anxious — about anything and everything. And although it’s been almost two decades since I was in my early 20s, the band’s sound reminds me quite a bit of Blur and others, as it consists of explosive power chords paired with propulsive drumming, and an anthemic, shout worthy hook reminiscent of Blur‘s “Song 2.

As the band’s Tim Lloyd-Kinnings explains “‘Let’s Talk About Me’ is about the frustrations of hanging out with people, who spend the whole evening talking about themselves, before realizing you kinda just want to talk about yourself too.” As a result, the song’s narrator recognizes that he’s had enough and wants to put his foot down; but he also seems to reveal a stunning lack of awareness of the fact that his friends are selfish, hateful pricks. But regardless of how far some of us are removed from our 20s, the song captures a sentiment that should be familiar, especially if at any point you may have been desperate for some kind of friendship/companionship.

Comprised of Millie Duthie (vocals, guitar), Mitch Duce (guitar), Dan Hole (bass, vocals) and Danny Southwell, the Brighton, UK-based indie rock quartet Thyla had a big year last year, as they received quite a bit of praise from British tastemakers and opened for the Dream Wife and Luxury Death before spending the last few months of the year revising their sound and songwriting approach before writing new material, which included their first single of this year, “Ferris Wheel.” While thematically focusing on the fear of not being good enough in the eyes of those most important and those close to you, the band’s sound manages to nod at 80s post-punk acts like The Smiths and Sioxsie and the Banshees, thanks to shimmering guitar chords paired through distortion and reverb pedals, a driving rhythm, a rousingly anthemic hook, the song possesses the earnestness of (presumably) being inspired by a personal experience that’s fairly universal.

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Tom, Owen, Clementine (a.k.a. Clem) and Creeda, the Brighton, UK-based indie electro pop quartet Kudu Blue have received attention both nationally and internationally from the likes of Complex, The Line of Best FitWonderland MagazineNotion Magazine, Pigeons and Planes and airplay on Beats 1 Radio, BBC Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra for a sound that draws from contemporary R&B, electro pop and soul — paired with lush and atmospheric production.

The Brighton-based quartet’s recently released Shaded EP, which was written and then self-recorded and self-produced in each of the bandmembers’ bedrooms — and the EP’s latest, slow-burning, single “Enemy,” will further cement their growing reputation, as the single features a lush and atmospheric-leaning production consisting of shimmering and twinkling arpeggio synths, wobbling bass synth chords, a sinuous bass line and boom bap beats paired with vocalist Clementine’s yearning and soulful vocals. And while sonically bearing a resemblance to Morcheeba but with a subtly contemporary take, the song is loosely based around a rather heated discussion the band’s vocalist had. As the band explains, Clem had come out of a bumpy patch in her life, and was ready to start living her life in a new way — in which she’d just enjoy things and take it day-by-day; however, the people in her life found it difficult to accept that she was attempting to make a purposeful and positive change in your life. Unsurprisingly, as a result, at the core of the song is a bitter confusion over the fact that someone, who the song’s narrator once thought understood them, may actually be one of their worst enemies. Worse yet, you couldn’t have possibly seen it coming either.

 

 

 

East Sussex, UK-born, London, UK-based singer/songwriter Natalie Bouloudis can trace the origins of her music career to her childhood. She learned jazz clarinet and guitar as a child, began (secretly) writing her own songs when she was 7, and played in number of jazz bands. Having lived in London for the better part of the past decade, Bouloudis decided to release some of her music publicly three years ago under the moniker Aurora Harbinger. And with her first publicly released material, the East Essex-born, London, UK-based singer/songwriter began playing in a number of local venues and it allowed her to build up a fanbase that enabled her to successful crowd fund her debut EP, which was produced by Robert Strauss.

Initially derived from a short story that Bouloudis wrote while shirking her duties as an arts and culture guide copywriter, her latest single “Burning Pier” set in a fictionalized amalgamation of the burnt-out piers of Brighton, Hastings and Eastbourne and is essentially a meditation on how disasters can evoke nostalgia and make us question our post-disaster future in a new light in a way that will remind some listeners of Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Melanie Di Biasio and others — but with a slightly jazzy, folk-leaning take on pop as the East Essex, UK-born, London, UK-based effortlessly soulful and gorgeous vocals with a sinuous bass line, a twisting and turning melody based around shimmering and twinkling guitar and piano. Recorded in a live take with minimal overdubs — the only overdubs being drummer Hannah Stacey’s Rhodes piano playing — the song manages to feel both thoughtfully composed and improvised, capturing the simpatico of a bunch of musicians playing and creating a moody and pensive song.

 

Comprised of founding members Kristian Bell (vocals) and Gianni Honey (drums) and featuring Daniel Rumsey (bass), along with newest member Mark Breed (keyboards, guitar), the now Brighton, UK-based quartet The Wytches can actually trace its origins to Bell’s and Honey’s previous band together, The Crooked Canes, a Peterborough, UK-based band that the duo have publicly dismissed as being “really adolescent and embarrassing.” After the founding duo played n a few other locally based bands, they moved to Brighton for school and posted an ad for a bassist. Daniel Rumsey, a Dorsey, UK-born singer/songwriter and frontman of Dan Rumsey and The Bitter End, Fall Victim and The Voyage Andromeda was the only person to respond to the ad.

Initially formed as The Witches, the trio changed their name to The Wytches to make the band more searchable on Google. The then trio’s 2014 debut effort Annabel Dream Record was release to critical praise across the blogosphere, and as a result the then trio embarked on a wild, whirlwind period of national and international touring, which helped influenced the newly constituted quartet’s highly-anticipated and recently released follow up, All Your Happy Life.

Reportedly, All Your Happy Life draws from the experiences the band had while touring — including reading a ton of Tolstoy on the tour bus, listening to Elliott Smith, tons of live, underground metal sets and observation small-town English life with completely new eyes. And as you’ll hear on the album’s second and latest single “Crest of Death,” is a furious, bilious and scathing track that’s split into two distinct parts — a screamo/hardcore intro in which Bell’s vocal are paired with dirge-like guitar chords and the song’s anthemic, shout to the rafters chorus and a down-tempo, fucked psychedelia. While evoking a desperate howl into an cold, indifferent void, the song manages to express a bored, nihilistic shrug.

 

 

 

 

 

Comprised of Trewin Howard (vocals, synths, production), along with Howard’s two childhood friends Jeb Hardwick (guitar) and Ed Sanderson (piano/synths), the Brighton, UK-based founding trio behind Phoria recruited Tim Douglas (bass, synth) and Seryn Burden (drums) to flesh out the band’s sound. And over the past couple of years, the Brighton, UK-based quintet have developed a growing national and international profile for crafting spectral and evocative soundscapes; in fact, 2014’s Display EP landed at #5 on Hype Machine’s charts, received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 and received several million Spotify streams. They also have a burgeoning reputation for their live set which pairs Hardwick’s visual installations and projections with their live sound. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of months you may have come across a post or two on the British quartet.

As the band’s primary songwriter Howard has publicly explained that he never really wanted to be a storyteller, and that he ascribes to the concept of saying very little to say a lot. And as as a result, the quintet’s material generally focuses on setting up a particular mood — while simultaneously focusing on a number of different themes. In press notes, Howard has mentioned that the material on Volition thematically touches upon love, sex, mortality, pain, joy, the way people interact, change and move each other and several other things. Earlier this year, I wrote about “Everything Beta,” the first single off the band’s recently released full-length debut Volition, a single that sounds indebted to  Amnesiac and King of Limbs-era Radiohead, as Howard’s ethereal and plaintive vocals are paired with clicking and clacking percussion, twinkling piano chords, buzzing synths and a subtly anthemic hook in a song that slowly builds up an unresolved tension before quickly fading out. And while ethereal, the song manages to evoke a desperately aching yearning at its core.

The album’s second and latest single “Loss” continues on a similar vein as “Everything Beta” as Howard’s delicate and yearning falsetto is paired with a sparse and ambient arrangement of twinkling keys, minimalist beats, shimmering synths and a hauntingly beautiful string arrangement to evoke a sense of profound, inconsolable loss in what may arguably be the most gorgeous song the Brighton-based band has released to date.

Comprised of Jake Smallwood (vocals), Jacob Newman (guitar/backing vocals), Tristan Sava (guitar/organ), Henry Sava (drums) and James Bryman (bass/backing vocals), Brighton, UK-based psych rock quintet White Room have developed a reputation across the UK for a sound that’s been described as “a serrated blend of sky-gaze psychedelia and raucous distortion” as you’ll hear on “Think Too Much,” a swaggering and anthemic  A Northern Soul-era The Verve and Sleepy Sun channeling new single. Sonically, the band pairs fuzzy and bluesy guitar chords played through gentle amounts of reverb and delay pedal, an enormous, psychedelic-tinged hook with a driving groove.

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year, you may have stumbled across a post on recent JOVM mainstay, Copenhagen-born, London-based vocalist and electro pop artist Marie Dahlstrøm— and in fact, you might recall that I’ve recently written about her collaborative project with Canadian producer Mwahs — Hans Island. However, Dahlstrom, a three-time Scandinavian Soul Award winner has developed a reputation as an up-and-coming solo artist, who has received attention across both Scandinavia and the European Union for her silky smooth, effortlessly soulful vocals with covers of Phil Collins, Chris Brown and Rihanna, as well as her debut EP, Feelings. 

2016 looks to be a big year for the Danish-born, London-based artist as the follow-up to Feelings is slated to be released later this year. Now you might recall that early last year I wrote about  the EP’s first single “Look the Other Way.” Produced by DK The Punisher, who’s best known for his work with Justin Beiber on Beibers’s “All That Matters, the track had Dahlstrøm teaming up with Brighton, UK-based vocalist Sophie Faith in a song that thematically nodded at Brandy and Monica’s 1998 duet/battle “The Boy Is Mine” as the single has Dahlstrøm and Faith alternating vocal responsibilities on each verse and teaming up on the chorus, as the song’s dueling narrators openly question the state of their romantic relationships with the love interest at the center of the song. Sonically speaking, the song paired Faith’s equally effortless soulful vocals and Dahlstrøm’s cooing with icily cascading and twinkling synths and hip-hop influenced beats.

Produced by Joe Garrett, who has worked on Zayn Malik‘s “Pillowtalk,” the EP’s second single and latest single “Crashing Down” is a gauzy, Quiet Storm-inspired yet contemporary track that paris Dahlstrøm’s silky smooth vocals with swirling electronics, Mary J. Blige What’s the 411? inspired hip-hop soul beats and stuttering percussion. As Dahlstrøm explained in press notes the song “is about the feeling of always searching, instead of being present in the moment. It’s about giving in and realizing that you’re exactly where you need to be.” Truer words have yet to be spoken this year at least, and the fact that the Copenhagen-born, London-based artist’s material is presumably based around lived-in experience sets her apart from countless soulless and prepackaged contemporary pop artists.