Pop the champagne, we’re back! After what has seemed like an eternity, our short intermission to make way for our annual SQ Stage event has passed, and you’ll be glad to hear our quest to uncover and showcase the most talented, under the radar musicians valiantly continues.
This August we’re bringing you the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to local music, making sure that you can end a notoriously rainy summer with a bucketload of sonic sunshine.
This is part one of our August showcase featuring Lauren Rebecca, Too Many Generals, Conker B, K.D.C, Arkansas Dust, Simonne & the Dark Stars, The Meakins, Liquid Fuse, Half Crown and Accidents Will Happen.
Lauren Rebecca – At Sea
A welcome touch of beauty and feminity when she played for us at The SQ Stage, Brighton artist Lauren Rebecca is a singer whose voice reminds us of Kimya Dawson of The Moldy Peaches, with talents that deserve to shine with the likes of Norah Jones, KT Tunstall and Laura Marling. Written when she was just fourteen, ‘At Sea’ is about the final time she saw her grandfather and the sour note that they regrettably left on. Lauren’s vocals, which never fail to surprise, carry real weight and emotion, with this song tugging at the heart strings more than most.
Influenced by: Nelly Furtado, Laura Marling, Lucy Rose, Joni Mitchell, Ben Howard, Lily Allen
Too Many Generals – The Bear That Stole My Honey
Beginning with a build up that feels a little like a rock rave blur, ‘The Bear That Stole My Honey’ is another high-energy track. With plenty of strong and long, complex riffs that almost slings a rope around your waist to move you about, it’s dominated by the high testosterone voice of Tim Skilton, a man who must have at least eight testicles. All about giving everything you have to a partner that just ups and leaves you, this is an optimistic look at a situation that has plagued many people and broken many hearts. The track contains many layers, many of which rarely reveal themselves, and it stays fresh no matter how many times you hear it. Give this track a chance; not doing so would be an unbearably bad decision.
Influenced by: Metallica, Rob Zombie, Led Zeppelin, Rage Against The Machine
Accidents Will Happen – Sing It Out
Influenced by bands like Don Broco and Biffy Clyro, ‘Sing It Out’ carries a message. According to front woman Jade: “we are all afraid of dying alone without having someone to love us, but if we all sing out our fears together we won’t be alone”. Vocally the track is an absolute storm, with raw, feminine power the lyrics are chucked about, gracefully, in a way that gives them extra impact and strength. Instrumentally the track is a bit of a riot; made to be heard live before a jumping crowd the guitars and drums clash together, forcing each audience member into a frenzy.
Influenced by: Don Broco, Biffy Clyro
K.D.C – All About Money
He might be part of Eastbourne’s Finest but K.D.C, with his up-tempo spitting, for-the-people attitude and cold soul rhymes, is really very good. With a hook by Aimz, ‘For The Money’ is a pop at the shallow, the dripping with bling MCs that have lost track of their ideals and had their sight obscured by dollar bills and spinning rims, it’s a nod to the rappers that still know who they are, and still love the craft. Edit’s production on this track is sharp and professional; it supports Keepa’s vocals and keeps the ears to the speakers. A lot of MCs use beats that detract from the heart of the song, this guy doesn’t.
Influenced by: 2Pac, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield
Arkansas Dust – The Throne
Verging on the terrifying, ‘The Throne’ by Arkansas Dust is based around the inner monologue of a schizophrenic with some rather chatty personalities. The track is utter chaos tamed by the mesmerising tones of the blues. Vocally ‘The Throne’ is beyond compare, with so much happening at once and with so many spate voices, ranging from one akin to Mark Woods of Junkyard Choir and another like Danny Elfman, it’s impossible to find anything wrong with it, or to not be blown away by. Musically ‘The Throne’ is just as special; the bass, drumbeats, and searing notes of guitar add a ghostly note to an already haunting piece. We can even hear Johnny Cash in there somewhere.
Influenced by: John Lee Hooker, Louis Armstrong, Jack White
Simonne & the Dark Stars – Phoenix Rising
‘Phoenix Rising’ by Simonne & the Dark Stars reminds us of acts like The Dresden Dolls and, in terms of style not sound, Birdeatsbaby. A beautiful track, ‘Phoenix Rising’ was written at the time that Pulp god Jarvis Cocker took to the streets of London in protest of the hike in tuition fees and its lyrics, evoking the rumbling sense of discord felt within many people. Deeply powerful and poetic, the track has a vibration to it, a real presence that is captured well by the delicate flow of the piano and the drive of the drums. ‘Phoenix Rising’ is music for those that like to think, a quiet musical march on the masquerade of false democracy.
Influenced by: Chopin, Patti Smith, Nick Cave
The Meakins – Immature
A track that isn’t meant to be anything but fun, ‘Immature’ by The Meakins is bouncy pop punk at its finest. With a meaning that’s quite self explanatory the track draws influences from bands like McFly, All Time Low and Blink 182, and is the sort of song that even the most hardened metal-head can’t help but call a guilty pleasure.
From: Eastbourne, Peterborough, Bournemouth
Influenced by: Blink 182, All Time Low, McFly, Busted
Liquid Fuse – Sands
One of the real stars on The SQ Stage last month, Liquid Fuse are high octane rock’n’roll at its finest. All about finding that the person you wanted was right there in front of you all along, ‘Sands’ sounds like it’s come straight out of late 1980s USA, with real classic rock vocals that have just the right mix of elegant melody and coarse masculinity. With firing guitar solos throughout the track has real attitude but doesn’t seem forced, it all flows very naturally, with all the instruments working off each other to create a real jam-packed sound.
Influenced by: AC/DC, Buckcherry, Steel Panther, Gary Moore, Audioslave, Airbourne
Half Crown – Keep Up Or Keep Out
Probably one of the finest unsigned bands we’ve ever encountered, Half Crown went down a storm when they closed the final day of The SQ Stage. Built upon an offbeat, sluggish groove ‘Keep Up Or Keep Out’ sees three separate vocalists all bring intricate and meaningful hooks and verses to the track, making for a fresh and exciting sound. With sensational guitar-playing and the use of a trumpet, the band compliment an on-going dub drumbeat and bassline that lays and loops around the sweetly harsh double-time rapping. ‘Keep Up Or Keep Out’ sets the bar really high, jumps over it, and then raises it again.
Influenced by: Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Blur, Akala, Jamiroquai, Maroon 5, The Kinks
Conker B – Do Me Some Rollies
Quite different compared to the other tracks in the showcase, ‘Do Me Some Rollies’ by Conker B is an intelligent but comical comment on a generation of ill-informed political opinion. Influenced, clearly, by bands like Rise Against and Enter Shikari, the post-grime track is one of the most exciting we’ve heard in a long while, with dub and explosive rock sounds competing to create something that really goes off, something akin to Hadouken at their best. With Linkin Park-esque instrumentals, real grime rhyming and savagely smart hooks, ‘Do Me Some Rollies’ is a circus of sound.
Influenced by: Enter Shikari, Rise Against, Linkin Park, and Hadouken
This showcase is our attempt to show off some of the music we love in our local area. We received such a demand from bands to have their tracks featured that we had no choice but to open the Showcase. We only hope this popularity continues.
Obviously we couldn’t include everything, so if you’re reading this and your song isn’t here don’t be too disheartened, it could be included in the next edition!