5 artists making Brighton one of the UK's best city's for new music! ft. INTERVIEW w/ Youth Sector
Armed with a pleasantly arrogant vocal delivery, dark dance rhythms and big fat Docs Lime Garden are here to stamp down hard on your ear drums. Without doubt one of the city's, and in fact one of the UK's, most exciting new guitar bands, the female four-piece have developed a blend that darts across all the latest musical trends. Their fan-favourite 'Sick and Tired' demonstrates this with bedroom pop vocals dripped on top of a funky Indie Dance beat building to a fuzzy finale of Rock distortion.
Their most recent single 'Marbles' begins in a more spaced out tone with electro notes bouncing around the walls of the track as a robotic beat ticks along. However, the chorus sees them turn back to their slick dance glory. It is a more carefree vibe than a lot of their previous tracks. Following the lyrical content of "I think that I have lost my marbles" the sonic atmosphere is one of embracing a momentary lapse of sanity, staring confusion in the face and keeping on dancing. 'Marbles' is available together with their thickest groove driven banger 'Clockwork' on vinyl from Rough Trade.
The debut single from political Post-Punk quartet MULES comes rolling out of the traps at high speed. Inspired by socially conscious angst driven acts like Sleaford Mods, Gang of Four, The Fall and The Clash, their music acts as a dark sonic warning, preparing listeners for Tommy's vocals that are potent in both content and delivery. They describe their music as having "as much weirdness, shouting and feedback as possible...into 3 minute pop songs" and their first release certainly crams in a bundle of raucous twists and turns that would scare away your average pop lover.
This new single 'Clapping For Carers' constantly drives forward with a tense, barreling Rock riff and high tempo drum stabs throughout. The vocals in the verse maintain their composure but always hint at a reserved angst waiting to come out, as if they are being delivered with a Stanley Kubrick stare. Yet, the chorus sees them leap out of this composed social commentary into a viscous spiraling howl. The anger comes pouring out as the instrumentals switch tones too into a more wild and expressive atmosphere. It feels like they are leading the call to those in power on behalf of everyone who is desperate to gain a sense of freedom and feel represented in our London centric governance. The perfect dose of social rebellion for this moment in time.
Ever since their winding debut single 'Peggy' that dives between different rhythms and atmospheres Math Rock outfit Orchards have become known as one the most proficient new bands for their songwriting and instrumental arrangement. They have been consistently releasing singles over the last 5 years yet 2021 saw them really knuckle down and close the year with a bang with their 'Trust Issues' EP.
The EP follows on the theme of constantly refreshing rhythms. The opening track 'Bye Insecurity' never allows you to get comfortable, constantly teasing with groovy builds ups and rewarding with catchy vocal pay offs and then occasionally embarking on more expansive, Rock instrumentals. The vocals of Lucy Evers really stand out throughout the 5-track selection. They are super smooth but often spring up with bright melodies and provide the majority of the hooks in the EP, and there are so many! Yet, 'Drive Me Home' really showcases the vocal versatility as the chorus hook is offered by an MGMT / The 1975 style Indie pop guitar line which allows Lucy's vocals to dip between deep resonance and lighter glowing harmonies. There's no chance of this EP boring you so get listening!
There must be something in the water in Brighton because if you liked the sound of the loud, poignant Punk of Mules then you needn't look any further for your next dose. With political satire plastered across all their artwork and a selection of growling angst-driven singles, the three members that make up Monakis are channeling a furious energy comparable to Slaves and IDLES. Their last track 'Driptease' is a full throttle onslaught. The unrelenting darkness of the riff is matched by an aggressive vocal drawl that could shake the walls of any underground gig venue.
Their next track 'Rich' is out on February 11th and takes on a slightly crisper tone instrumentally. The riff is tighter and more cutting, combing with the bouncy drum beat to give a high-energy 00s Indie Rock feel. Yet, the vocals drive a no-nonsense Punk-Rock mentality into the track. This is probably their catchiest and most accessible track so far yet it never leaves the raucous Punk realms from where Monakis live and breathe.
Last but certainly not least are Youth Sector, perhaps the most vibrant and exciting band on the Brighton scene right now. We caught up for a chat to discuss what they've got coming this month.
The Art Rock quintet produce a sound that is instantly infectious with its bright, tumbling rhythms and funk-infused grooves. They carry a few similarities to Lime Garden in the sense that they carry the Post-Punk danceability that a lot of the new wave of bands offer. Yet, Youth Sector tread down a much more care free and joyful road than their hometown compadres. The band are gearing up for their new EP 'Adult Contemporary' which is set for release on February 18th. But what can we expect from the new release? - "You can never not sound cringe when describing your own music - I think if you're into new guitar bands with something to say, give it a listen. Also, it's kind of like The Beatles".
"Josh (bass) is big into his funk music, so a lot of the more funky songs like 'No. 1 Bestseller' and 'Teeth' get built upward from some of Josh's funk-inspired bass lines, so that informs the rest of the instrumental. I think energy-wise, music is there to be enjoyed ultimately so we want to give as much passion and energy to performing it as possible. I've got so much time for quite stoic, brooding bands like Fontaines DC, Protomartyr and Preoccupations, they're some of my favourite bands, but I think there's room within that musical landscape for bands like us that want to incorporate a bit of groove and bounciness into the mix".
Indeed, from the sounds of the pre-released singles the EP is one that is fizzing with energy, never sitting still and always turning the next corner into another state of chaotic euphoria. The funk infused rhythms and tightly rolled drum beats provide a jumpy undercurrent for the erratic vocals to be spat out whenever they please. Yet, although the vocals may seem somewhat fired at will, the lyrical content still demands attention with its poignant take on British culture.
"The overall topics of the EP are just things that were frustrating me at the time. 'No. 1 Bestseller' is a critique of the predatory nature of the wellness industry and 'Is Blood' is about the rise of nationalism and right-wing populist ideals in this country (and the West in general). Those two are my favourite songs lyrically. My favourite pair of lyrics is probably from 'Is Blood': "the red on your favourite flag is blood" and in the following verse: "the stain on your uniform is blood" which is trying to highlight the shame that we should all be carrying for the awful things our countries have done and continue to do in order to secure our positions in the world."
They also captured these lyrical themes within the artwork leading up to the EP as we see distorted bodies appearing across the cover art designs for the singles and full EP. "That's my friend Annie's work (@comic_ans on Instagram) - we basically told her the basic themes across the EP largely centring around struggling to accept/cope with the realities of day to day life in this country, and the themes of work and middle class culture and gave her free reign to interpret that how she wanted and she did such great work. So what you're seeing is a series of adult men literally melting down in various everyday scenarios".
This series of NFT-worthy artwork's has reinforced the themes within 'Adult Contemporary' and really tied the release together as a cohesive body of work. In fact this is true of their entire presentation over the last 6 months with the strange combinations of smart black suits, bright yellow shirts and racket sport backgrounds hinting at both their critique of middle class mindsets and their vibrant sonic ambitions. Although unfortunately they admitted that none of them can actually play squash, one of the best of sports.
"I think the music itself is always front and centre - the artwork, videos, fashion is all there to bolster the ideas and expand the ways in which we can put the message out. Videos especially are just a good opportunity to have fun and to stretch some different creative muscles - the home-made Real Estate video done during lockdown was so much fun to make."
"We focused in on middle class leisure activities for the backdrops of our press shots, so squash and tennis felt appropriate. Also the staff at that squash court were so friendly and accommodating it was a bit fun for them to have 5 guys show up in matching suits looking to book a squash court for an hour".
On the whole, the entire Youth Sector project is hugely exciting, not just in potential or small glimpses of greatness but in everything about them. The EP is flooding with an infectious, high-spirited energy whilst still taking the time to share thoughtful lyrical content. From start to finish the track just feel so alive and in fact they are the perfect sound for making you feel alive to. According to the band themselves it is an EP to blast out in the car with the windows down...The Perks of Being a Wallflower style. "I'm absolutely loving the car as a listening experience at the moment. There's something about a solo car journey with the windows down and the sound bouncing around a little box that just makes records sound 10x better. So I'd say listen to this in the car on your own, but also listen to any record in the car on your own. Let me know how it holds up though as I've not listened to this EP in the car".
Youth Sector were one of the main reasons we wanted to write this article. With their force behind the city Brighton's teaming music scene is fast being recognized as one of the best hotbeds for new bands. Yet the band also explained how this high quantity of new talent can make it hard to break through. "You can't move for bands in Brighton, they're everywhere. It can make it tricky to cut through at times because of the over-saturation of artists competing for attention, however I think ultimately feeling like a small fish in a big pond forces you to up your game. I think it's probably made us more conscious of stagecraft - you want people to come away from a show remembering who you are because there's so many other gigs around they could forget about you in a second".
Of course it isn't just Brighton that is thriving right now. We'll leave you with some top picks from the band as to what new music you should be listening to!
"I am absolutely all in on the Yard Act hype (read our live review of Yard Act in Manchester) and it was amazing to see all the support they got across the chart battle; the album is incredible and I think James Smith is the best lyricist going. By no means a new artist but since 2020's Fetch The Bolt Cutters I've been hugely into Fiona Apple and have been digging into her earlier releases too - I just love her songwriting and I can't wait to see what she does next".
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