(art is by Michelle Lanter.)
Though this blog cut its disco teeth on the mean streets of Brighton, gosh, it actually has been a bit of a while since we actually gave you lot a heads up about any hometown sounds.
(My theory about this is that because of the way thinks work now, it actually takes a much more concerted effort to limit your output to one population, whether its a geographic, ethnic, or even subcultural population group. Sure, in 2004 we might have known who all the cool bands in Brighton were, but in 2014 we and everyone reading this blog are just as likely to know who the cool musicians from Bhutan are. Music disseminated via the virus of social media is like dark secrets looking for light.)
But Brighton – it’s been a while since national magazines were touting it as “the new Seattle”, largely off the back of Electrelane and Eighties Matchbox and British Sea Power relocating here.
The things that have happened since have been small, and few and far between. This is not a bad thing. Because the stuff seeping through now is genuine and musical and bravely unscene.
There is Collectress.
Collectress make super-special chamber pop. Consummately played, poetic, and perfectly-pitched – it’s not overly-decorative, twee or muso, which I think is sometimes what people assume when they see the phrase “chamber pop.” It’s just gorgeousness. Sometimes slightly ominous gorgeous. That cello a dark, circling undertow. Their songs are like little tone poems that map the psychogeography of Brighton – the violin even approximates the hated squeak of seagulls sometimes!
Collectress’ members have played with Bat For Lashes and Mary Hampton, and bolstering the Brighton connections, their excellent debut album Mondegreen was recorded by Rob White of Demons Are Real records and Joe Watson formerly of Stereolab.
If you like them (and you will) then you will also like Timbre Hollow, the sole album by Threnody Ensemble, released in 2000.