Posts Tagged ‘Brighton’

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people sitting

British trio Our Girl stopped by Paste’s Atlanta Studio to perform songs from their debut album “Stranger Today”, out now via Cannibal Hymns. Paste included Stranger Today in our list of 10 Great Albums You Might’ve Missed in 2018, and we also premiered their “Being Around” music video.

Our Girl are currently touring the U.S. with The Japanese House, and they popped into our Atlanta HQ to perform three songs: “I Really Like It,” “In My Head” and “Two Life.” Lead vocalist and songwriter Soph Nathan also discussed the origins of the band and filming their video for “I Really Like It” in her living room. Completed by drummer Lauren Wilson and bassist Josh Tyler, Our Girl’s tender lyrics and steamy guitar squalls are an incredibly effective paradox.

Setlist : “I Really Like It,” “In My Head” and “Two Life.”

Image may contain: 4 people

Self-released ‘Two Sense’ from Brighton’s Thyla is, as they say, possibly their “boldest cut yet.” Awash with dreamy guitars and sprightly, echoing percussion, ‘Two Sense’ follows the quartet’s debut EP ‘What’s On Your Mind?’ which was released earlier this year, and is the first track to come from their second EP, ‘Everything At Once’, due out early in 2020.

“’Two Sense’ is about the short-term sacrifices we make in order to create space for long-term gains,” explains frontwoman Millie Duthie. “It’s a song about growing up and claiming your right to self-determination. We’re really proud of the direction we’ve taken both in terms of the writing and production, it feels like our boldest cut yet; the vocals are purposefully front and centre and the message is clear.”


Songwriters: Millie Duthie, Mitch Duce, Danny Southwell, Dan Hole

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing, sky and outdoor

UK band Penelope Isles released their terrific debut album, “Until the Tide Creeps In”, back in July. Led by siblings Jack and Lily Wolter, they make jazzy, shoegazy indie rock that is at times complex but feels effortless, aided by lush harmonies and swelling arrangements.

The band have now made a video for “Round,” which was directed by Jack (who wrote the song, too) and features a tour through Penelope Isles’ hometown of Brighton via a blobby alien. “‘Round’ was the first song I wrote when I moved to Brighton a few years ago,” says Jack. “I wrote it on a Danelectro 12-string, which I had to sell to pay the rent. We played the song constantly when we first started gigging and ended up leaving it out of the set for a while. We revisited it, as it felt weird to not include it on this record. We made the video in Brighton on one of the hottest days of the year. It consists of footage of Lily, dressed in a large round blow-up suit that pulsates with bright psychedelic colors and floating images of the band. We had a laugh making this one!”

Penelope Isles will soon be on their first-ever North American tour.

The band also have their own web series, Penny Isles TV, that features life on tour, and other behind-the-scenes fun.


Squid have fast become one of Britain’s most exciting new bands .Open the tabloids and it’s all avocado toast and selfie sticks, but there’s far more to millennial life than the papers would have you believe. Just ask Squid – the Brighton band whose breakout single ‘Houseplants’ has made them the unassuming spokespeople of young frustration.

A frantic, punky ode to the indecision and anger that drives the lives of British youth, ‘Houseplants’ has deservedly racked up radio play and near-universal praise. Atop an incessant, stomping beat, the five-piece’s drummer-vocalist Ollie Judge barks his way through oh-so-relatable topics with a rolling-eyed delivery: “We speak about our days, yeah, we speak about a raise / Everybody’s bored, we’re just too afraid to say,” he snarks, before turning his attention to the rise in houseplant ownership amongst the younger generations – often pinned as a replacement for children, pets, or other such responsibilities: “Houseplants, houseplants / We squeeze it at night, oh, we squeeze it so tight.”

Maybe one of the most hyped bands and deservedly so, in the country right now, partly due to their breakout single ‘Houseplants’, but mainly because of their unbelievably tight live show. It’s an exhilarating and breathtaking onslaught of funky basslines, intense vocals and zippy guitars. Miss them at your peril.

“It’s been really surprising, and we’ve felt so warm towards the people who’ve played it, or shown it to people, or heard it once and then come to shows,” says Ollie. “I was living in London without and money,” he says of its creation, “Getting paid pretty well, but then having to put over half my earnings into just having a house, and having to live on like £200 a month. I was very pissed off with the state of things,” he shrugs.

“It could be perceived to be quite a chaotic, shouty, fun song,” says percussionist and keyboardist Arthur Leadbetter, “but the subject matter is far from fun. And also, the music is hysterical.It’s what we’re all feeling.” Guitarist Louis Borlase agrees: “We were all working full-time, and we’d only have two, maybe three hours to get in a rehearsal space and write something. That urgency probably shaped the way it feels.”

Unusually for a song with quite so much radio love, ‘Houseplants’ is also undeniably weird. Completed by Laurie Nankivell on bass and brass, and second guitarist Anton Pearson, Squid’s breakout hit is a sprawling, hulking mass of gloopy sounds, dissonant guitar-work and Ollie’s throat-shredding yell, all capped off with a Pandora’s Box of odd percussion and electronic addition – as such, it’s the perfect introduction to the oddball band. Bonding over left-field bands like Neu! and This Heat, Squid’s love of the avant-garde was cemented from day dot. It’s their lyrical relatability which sets them apart from those groups, though. “I’ve definitely always liked bands which might be quite out-there instrumentally, but keep it all in one spot lyrically,” says Laurie. “I think keeping it accessible, but still weird, is definitely the goal,” says Ollie.

With those inspirational oddities in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising that, their go-to producer Dan Carey (Black Midi, Kate Tempest) and the band opted not to cover the usual Live Lounge fodder. Instead, they took on experimental composer Steve Reich’s ‘Clapping Music’ – a poly-rhythmic piece designed, as the title suggests, to be performed anywhere, simply by whacking your hands together. Squid being Squid, though, have adapted it for their full-band set-up, horns and all. Oh, and they added lyrics, which are taken from an interview Reich did on the piece, years ago.

“I’ve always been aware of the piece, and always wanted to perform it with somebody – and then I saw the app,” grins Arthur, referencing an app designed specifically to help budding clappers nail ‘Clapping Music’’s odd rhythm.  “It changed my… life, really,” ha adds, to a tableful of laughter. That app helped them through – or possibly contributed to – the madness of the band’s SXSW schedule in March, which saw them performing six shows in just five days, all across Austin, Texas. In between those shows, they’d collectively sit on the porch of their Air BnB, clapping away. “I think it contributed to the madness, definitely,” laughs Ollie.

Madness is where Squid thrive, in fairness. Their two singles to date, ‘Houseplants’ and last year’s ‘The Dial’, were recorded and released by Speedy Wunderground – the label-meets-studio-space of Dan Carey. Not content with the typical route of recording a new guitar band, Dan goes full bonkers with the recording process, insisting the bands play everything live, in a single day, in complete darkness, and filling the room with smoke and lasers. Your typical bedroom studio, this is not.

The combination of Carey and Squid seems like a match made in heaven. It all kicked off from a doting email from Ollie to the South London wunderkind producer (“I think I said, ‘Our recordings are shit, can you make them better?’” says Ollie, “We didn’t even email anyone else”), and has now culminated in Squid’s new EP to be the first non-single release on Speedy Wunderground.

Recording the EP over four days, rather than one, allowed for the bells, whistles and odd instrumentation that make Squid shine to really come into their own – particularly on a day in the studio they dubbed ‘Arthur Day’. “There were about 16 layers of cello,” Arthur laughs. “I actually really wanted a cigarette all day, but every time I’d finish tracking something, there’s another part that relied on me.”

“I always call percussion the ‘fish sauce’ of music,” says Arthur. “If you take the percussion out of a song, it’s never gonna sound the same. But the untrained palette won’t know what’s missing. I love Brazilian percussion instruments – my favourite percussion instruments are the ones that aren’t just percussion, but are also a rhythm,” he adds, citing the cuica, the berimbau and the güiro as particular favourites in his box of oddities.

“It’s quite experimental,” says Dan Carey of the record. “It’s all contained within accessible frameworks, but there’s a lot going on. Having a bit more time enabled us to go a bit deeper. And the fact we’re doing it for our label means we can do literally whatever we want.”

There’s some “real tender moments” on the record too, they tease. “Are the Yorkshire post-punks gonna like it?!” quips Ollie, to another table-wide laugh.

It’s a record that, with the band’s reputation for bolshy bangers like ‘Houseplants’ and ‘The Dial’ now firmly established, is sure to turn some heads. Squid are confident in their ability to push boundaries though.

“We formed over that love of ambient music, and jazz music, and stuff like that,” says Laurie, “and I think this EP’s the perfect blend – the punky, but the more thoughtful experimental music, too. I think it’s a good way of being – not influenced by any one scene too much; just doing the weird shit.”

Squid’s new EP will be released via Speedy Wunderground.

Image may contain: 5 people, people standing

One of the weird and/or fun aspects about new bands (loosely) playing into some kind of post-punk lineage is trying to locate all the through lines, piecing together the DNA that gave them their individual sound. Recently, one buzzy London-based band called Black Midi perhaps provided the greatest Rorschach test in this vein, some people hearing Talking Heads and some people hearing something as far removed as King Crimson. But another buzzy London (by way of Brighton) guitar band called Squid.

The intro rhythm — you’ve heard that before. It’s pretty similar to the tightened groove that opens LCD Soundsystem’s “Us V Them,” a callback to another band deeply indebted to late ’70s and early ’80s music and deeply committed to playing fast and loose with those influences. Ollie Judge’s squawking vocals recall early Liars. But it isn’t all filtered through a previous generation’s interpretation of bygone glory days — the synths in the beginning sound like early ’80s Prince, the melodic parts kinda like Wire, and the droning strings of the outro like Nick Cave.

None of this is meant to reduce “The Cleaner” to its touchstones. In quoting all those older artists, the young band came out with a shape-shifting epic, frenzied and twitchy at first then at times genuinely pretty or trippy. And all along the way, it gets right in your bloodstream. “So I can’t dance,” Judge yelps. But it’ll make you want to.

Sure, there’s plenty of great post-punk knocking about on the shores of the old Blighty, but Squid separate themselves with multiple lead vocalists and additional instrumentation—horns, synths, cowbell, triangle, a guiro and god knows what else. They only have a few singles to their name, but tracks like “The Dial” and “Houseplants” are the kind of nervy, spunky art punk tunes that are supremely enjoyable and memorable in both their studio and live forms. Plus, everyone loves a good singing drummer and the London via Brighton five-piece have a great one at that.

Band Members
Louis, Ollie, Anton, Arthur, Laurie,

From the forthcoming ‘Town Centre’ EP – out on Speedy Wunderground digitally on 6th September,

We have previously covered Cultdreams back when they went under the name Kamikaze Girls who released one of favourite albums of 2017. This week the band have announced their long awaited return, with their new album, Things That Hurt, will be coming in August. The band also shared the first new material from it, “We Never Rest”, which features Katie Dvorak and David F. Bello of The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die.

Discussing the upcoming record, vocalist and guitarist, Lucinda Livingstone has suggested it’s a record that is more political than it’s predecessor, a look at modern Britain, and how it can be hard to find a place in it. We Never Rest, in particular, looks at the difficulty of balancing life in a bubble, and the reality of the world outside it. As Lucinda explains, “I very much live in a bubble—people couldn’t care less about how I live, who I live with, how much money I do or don’t earn, what I look like, or how I choose to spend my time, but then it’s so easy to get used to the bubble, and once you’re out it’s not like that anymore.” If the record is taking on less personal themes, musically it’s as affecting as ever, drummer Conor still hits the drums harder than anyone we’ve ever heard, Lucinda’s guitar work and passionate vocal howl remain very much in place. A bold next step, from a band who remain one of the most exciting bands the UK has to offer.

Things That Hurt is out August 16th via Big Scary Monsters.

The latest addition to Elektra’s long-running alternative music imprint Fueled By Ramen is Yonaka, a fiery English guitar band gearing up for its debut full length.

Fueled By Ramen broke the news sharing Yonaka’s latest single “Don’t Wait ’Til Tomorrow.” It’s the title track from the four-piece’s forthcoming album, due today (May 31st). In the weeks following, they’ll play a pair of Stateside shows: June 11 at Rough Trade in Brooklyn, NY and June 13 at Los Angeles’ House of Machines.

Based out of Brighton, England, Yonaka debuted with 2017’s “Heavy” EP and released another pair of EPs last year, most recently October’s “Creature” .

Fueled By Ramen will serve as Yonaka’s U.S. label; they’re with Warner Music Group’s Asylum Records in the UK.

Fueled By Ramen has enjoyed immense commercial success in recent months from the likes of Panic! At the Disco and Twenty One Pilots.

Yonaka’s official music video for their song ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ from their album Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow – available May 31st.

Image may contain: 4 people, text

After the release of their exceptional debut EP, What’s On Your Mind?, Brighton four-piece Thyla made their American debut at this year’s SXSW. The band performed misty guitar cuts like “Pristine Dream,” “Only Ever” and “Blue,” with enigmatic frontwoman/guitarist Millie Duthie at the helm of their lush dream-pop meets moody post-punk. With an impressively consistent discography thus far and an exuberant live show that does their cloudy atmospherics justice, Thyla have all the bearings of a band worth obsessing over.

Music towns like Brighton often come with a set of contrasts. They’re inspiring, because there are tons of artists milling around, collaborating, figuring out their voices alongside each other as they jump from band to band. You’ll always find one gig or another to go check out. But on the flipside, that means there’s that much more noise to cut through, that many other names from which you have to stand out. In the last year or so, one of those bands that has stood out from the local pack is Thyla, a group that’s putting their own spin on the tradition of dream-pop.

“It’s just crazy, every other person in Brighton is a musician,” Thyla frontwoman Millie Duthie says over a Skype conversation from her home in the seaside UK town. “It’s really competitive and sometimes it can get a bit catty, but you just have to stay above it, and then it’s amazing.”

Duthie who was actually born in the States before her family returned to the UK when she was a small child — is like a lot of other musicians in Brighton, in that she moved there with the explicit goal of being a musician. The same goes for her bandmates — drummer Danny Southwell, bassist Dan Hole, and guitarist Mitch Duce all of whom came from other parts of the UK and relocated to Brighton to attend the British And Irish Modern Music Institute (otherwise known as BIMM). That’s where Thyla came together in its earliest form: Duthie met Southwell on their very first day of school, and the genesis of the band goes back to when the two lived in the same house during their college years.

When they found each other, it was the result of years off exploring by themselves. Southwell, Hole, and Duce all grew up as musicians; Duthie started a little later, picking up a guitar at 16 and discovering she had an innate knack for songwriting despite lacking formal training or theory knowledge. All of them gigged around Brighton with other groups until their own project started to percolate. Duce, the latest addition, joined last year, a moment Duthie locates as Thyla truly coming into their own and beginning to feel a distinct forward momentum.

“Things didn’t really start moving for us until he really started gelling with the band and our sound developed a little bit,” Duthie remembers. “About a year ago, we started playing gigs and people started turning their heads rather than going ‘Oh, this band has loads of potential.’”

The band’s early days and growth have, thus far, been catalogued by an impressive series of singles that span early 2017 up to the present. Earlier tracks like “Pristine Dream,” “Ferris Wheels,” and “Tell Each Other Lies” took a lot of cues from dream-pop: aqueous-then-chiming guitars underpinning Duthie’s vocals, which could escalate from an elusive breeze to a gale-force wind in one beat. Oddly, you can find them compared to Interpol in some write-ups from the time, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense — aside from the fact that, crucially, they injected a propulsive edge to their soaring dream-pop choruses by grounding them with hard end post-punk rhythms on occasion.

While Duthie still writes solo and sometimes brings a song to the band, she argues that their best material arises when it’s the four of them in a room jamming, ideas developing on the spot within minutes. “That’s where the magic happens,” she says. “You just have to hope for the best, but it’s where the coolest music comes from.”

Combined with the effect of a recently-expanded lineup and the new perspectives that inevitably come out of a fresh band dynamic, the result has been a slightly different aesthetic in their most recent work. Two months ago, Thyla returned with “I Was Biting,” a composition that still had shimmery guitars and Duthie’s voice swooping up into the stratosphere, but now paired those facets with a distorted, grunge-indebted churn — the fire to the air of Duthie’s voice, each element in tension with but also fueling the other.

That’s partially how Thyla concocted their latest single “Blame” as well. The most aggressive and hard-hitting single the band has released yet, it bears the mark of that specific energy — the energy not just of the four of them kicking up then containing a storm together in a room, but also of their intensifying live shows. “We wrote it out of a real want to go for it onstage, and we didn’t have the tune to facilitate that,” Duthie explains. “’Blame’ was written for the need of a live energy we didn’t have before.” She adds with a wry laugh: “It’s 170 [BPM], you could nearly call it drum n’ bass. It’s super fast and it’s wicked to play onstage.”

“Blame” still has traces of the more otherworldly moments in earlier Thyla singles, but there’s a new ferocity, a frantic forward charge and Duthie opting for vocals more percussive than parabolic. The tone of the song mirrors the fact that it came from a more furious and desperate place thematically, influenced by the anxiety and insecurity that can come with trying to make it as an artist and the more detrimental qualities of a music town like Brighton. “’Blame’ is the frustration of that, the pressure to be a specific type of person, to look or sound a specific type of way,” Duthie explains. “The chorus … it’s a bit extreme, but it sums up the attitude of ‘Ugh, what do I do. I know what I want to be doing, but I don’t know how to get there.’”

Topically, these are concepts Duthie often likes to traffic in elsewhere, too. “I tend to write a lot from insecurity, because I’m always scared that it’s not going to be good enough, because it’s all self-taught and a bit untamed,” she says. But she’s quick to point out that, by her estimation, a lot of Thyla’s music comes from a sad source yet counters itself with the brightness of its music.


That’s often the unique quality of dreamy, ambiguous music: It can be what you need it to be in that moment. Out of any of the songs Thyla’s released so far, this might be most evident in the bursting chorus of “Tell Each Other Lies.” You can’t quite tell if it’s defiant, melancholic, or exultant. That’s where a lot of their music’s power is rooted. Whether it’s the burn-it-away catharsis of “Blame” and “I Was Biting” or the gleaming heights and pure beauty of “Pristine Dream” and “Tell Each Other Lies,” Thyla look inward to this emptiness, this feeling of not being good enough, and roar back to prove themselves worthy. “An answer to it,” as Duthie asserts.


Accordingly, these singles have started to catch on, garnering Thyla a bit of buzz in their homeland, earning them some tour slots outside of Brighton’s local music scene. But they’re careful not to let any external pressure threaten the fragility of a still-sorta-nascent project that’s just now taking shape. There’s more music in the works — Duthie’s currently recording new demos — but it remains to be seen when Thyla may arrive with an EP or a full-fledged album. “An EP would be awesome, hopefully by the end of the year, but it just depends on whether we think we have the tunes to do it,” she says. “We’re not just gonna do it because someone thinks we should have an EP out. We want to make sure we have something to say.”

They might be proceeding with level heads, but they are also aware of, and feeding off of, the positive attention that’s been bubbling up around them. As Duthie puts it, there’s a “real cool energy” surrounding Thyla right now, which is the kind of gratifying encouragement you need at some point, the realization that toiling away on music while holding down a day job is worth it when people start responding to your work. Thyla might feel the hype, and want to capitalize on it, but they’re also not letting those reactions impact their focus. “You have to straddle it, and have confidence,” Duthie says of this moment in their early career. “It’s just sheer grind and hard work. Every second we get, we’re in the room writing music. Because that’s what we love doing.”


Brighton dream-pop outfit THYLA are cementing their position as one of the UK’s most promising acts. They’ll be touring the UK this October, including dates in Manchester, London and Bristol.

Introducing Penelope Isles

Penelope Isles are a Brighton-based indie rock quartet centered across the songwriting chemistry of siblings Jack and Lily Wolter. After signing to Bella Union Records and impressing at this years SXSW with their searing reside present, they’re on the point of put out their debut album, “Till The Tide Creeps In”, later this summer.

Bella Union are thrilled to introduce new signings Penelope Isles, Between its chiming dream-pop, fuzz-noise waves, indie-psych currents and lustrous melodies, the album is a transporting show of expansive DIY vision, its elemental metaphors a fertile backdrop for the band’s innate inner chemistry and acute grasp of contrast.

Crisp and woozy, blissful and biting, it’s also an album powerful enough to sweep you away live. 

We’ve already heard two songs thus far, the fuzzily psych-rocking lead single “Chlorine” and a reside recording of the layered nine-minute available Live At Bella Studios opus “Gnarbone.”

“Chlorine” “It’s a song we often open our shows with, so it felt right to have it as the first single off the record,” say Penelope Isles. Bright and brisk, wide-eyed and wistful, ‘Chlorine’ is a dreamy introduction to the instinctive charms and alt-rock chops of the Isle of Man-via-Brighton quartet, ‘Chlorine’ harbours a tale of what the band call “a heart-breaking family divide”. Its potency heightened by the juxtaposition between the band’s fiery lead-guitar sorcery and sailing three-part harmonies, it’s a song of tremendous melodic calm and emotional rip tides, inviting and immersive.

Self-produced by Jack and recorded in Brighton’s Bella Studios, ‘Chlorine’ is a hypnotic teaser for Penelope Isles’ debut LP, And now they’re sharing one other new monitor, a dreamy old-school rock ‘n’ roll sway known as “Round”

“It’s a love music — a set of moments and ideas of what it’s wish to be in love,” Jack Wolter explains. “All the gorgeous moments and all of the troublesome occasions too. Going spherical full circle. The verses are like the gorgeous occasions that we’ll at all times keep in mind the place the refrain is the reality of the way it’s not at all times that simple.”

‘Round’ is taken from the debut album by Penelope Isles.

hollow hand

Hollow Hand is the psych-folk project of Brighton, UK-based Max Kinghorn-Mills. Working with fellow band members and co-producers Pan Andrs and Atlas Shrugs in a rehearsal space-studio called “Cosmic Ocean,” Kinghorn-Mills and co. recorded the endearingly lo-fi full-length Star Chamberreleased on Talkshow Records last October. The songs cover themes both cosmic and earthly: like what matters most at the end of the world (“End of Everything”) or the ineffable pleasure and sweet pain of love (“Blackberry Wine”). Kinghorn-Mills’ sound evokes luminaries like Syd Barrett, Kevin Ayers, Robert Wyatt, Emmit Rhodes and Something Else to Lola-era Kinks.

“A World Outside”opens with natural sounds that conjure a walk down a country lane—complete with a cheery voice saying “Good morning!”—while a nylon-stringed guitar plays a gently descending line and we ease into the sun-dappled, pastoral universe of Hollow Hand. The song breezes along on jangly guitars and buoyant harmonies, occasionally kicking into a higher gear with crunchy, fuzz-toned chords but always coming back—albeit briefly—to the wistful guitar line that opened the track. Slight shifts along the way are never jarring but do keep one guessing: like momentarily losing one’s way down a wooded path only to emerge into the light again.

thanks to