SOURCE Writers Chart 2012
Never before have we had so many different artists voted for by the many ears of our SOURCE writing team. It’s a credit both to how deeply they dig into Brighton’s music scene and to how diverse that scene has been in 2012. So here’s the only chart of Brighton artists that counts.
1. Holy Vessels ‘Springtime Bloom’
A song so evocative it gives us a tingle every time its plucked guitars amble along, the finest song from Holy Vessels’ debut is a singalong masterclass in country rock. From the skipping drums and gently plodding bassline to the twinkly pianos, ‘Springtime Bloom’ makes us feel like we’re wandering through the long grass of the South Downs as the sun beams down. Imagine how much we’d love it if we’d had any nice weather this year.
2. The Physics House Band ‘Titan’
Instrumentally perfect and notoriously popular, TPHB demonstrate a resurgence of many of the most misunderstood genres around: prog rock, jazz fusion and technical metal. There are more notes in ‘Titan’’s time-switching madness than the rest of this list put together.
3. Tall Ships ‘Murmurations’
Sparse, emotional and extraordinary brave – things don’t kick in until the six minute mark – this is the most hypnotic track Brighton has produced all year. Melodies weave in and out of each other like the starlings circling the pier, and when the choir kicks in…oh, wow.
4. Bat For Lashes ‘Laura’
This one-off collaboration between Natasha Khan and ‘Video Games’ songwriter Justin Parker wasn’t exactly the hit Bat For Lashes’ label must’ve been hoping for, but it became her showstopping torch song nonetheless.
5. Restlesslist ‘Magma’
Like Black Sabbath gone prog – but in a really good way – ‘Magma’ showed that not only were Restlesslist one of the best live bands of the year, they’d also produced some of the most chaotically brilliant Brighton studio moments of the year too.
6. Kins ‘Break Ties’
Just a demo, but, oh my, you’ll know just why we put them on the cover and called them the best band of 2013. Emotional and stripped right back, ‘Break Ties’ is like finding a lost track by The xx.
7. Orbital ‘Never’
It was hard to pick a stand out track from the Hartnolls’ ‘Wonky’, a huge return to form that took the epic melodies of ‘The Brown Album’ and ‘Snivilisation’ and welded them to new sounds and beats. But the euphoric, pretty ‘Never’ had us rushing each time we heard it.
8. Abi Wade ‘Hope’
Perfectly showcasing Abi Wade’s soulful, yearning voice and cello wizardry, ‘Hope’ is a hypnotic, dreamy song that grows on you with every listen.
9. Fear Of Men ‘Green Sea’
As shimmering, bright and luminous as its title, Fear Of Men’s dreamlike second single made almost every other musician in Brighton look like lumbering try-hards.
10. Dark Horses ‘Radio’
The almost embarrassingly stylish Dark Horses fulfilled their considerable promise with this hypnotic, echoing single, which proved once again that narcissistic radio stations can’t resist songs about themselves.
11. Maxxi Soundsystem ‘Regrets We Have No Use For’
It’s been an incredible year for Sam Watts following his SOURCE cover – international gigs, Fabric slots and releases on Needwant, Futureboogie and, here, Hypercolour. His best vocal track has a restrained Sam holding back one of the oddest basslines of the year.
12. Jennifer Left ‘Black Dog’
You can never have too many hand claps or whistled melodies in a pop record – that’s official, it says so in the rule book. ‘Black Dog’ had all that and a chorus that would have a Parisian café singing along.
13. Native Roses ‘Shadows’
Lush, heart on sleeve, musical – if Fleetwood Mac came back with a record this good we’d be running through the streets rejoicing. Don’t believe us? Then go and download it for free from Soundcloud.
14. Gnarwolves ‘Coffee’
Energetic closing track on the UK’s best pop punk band’s defining EP, ‘CRU’. Actually, we think they might be the world’s best pop punk band.
15. The Maccabees ‘Child’
This year the rest of the country caught up to what we’ve known in Brighton for years – that The Maccabees are one of the best bands around. ‘Child’’s widescreen emotional pop was a million miles from the punky indie group we saw all those years ago.
16. Curxes ‘Spectre’
Passionate, dark and committed, Curxes’ ‘Spectre’ has the hallmarks of a modern classic, with epic synths and punk-influenced vocals melting into something totally unique.
17. Cave Painting ‘Leaf’
Coming somewhere between airy chillwave and stadium ballads, ‘Leaf’ is the perfect jumping in point to Cave Painting’s debut LP – the shimmering guitars will have your spine tingling.
18. Mirrors ‘Hourglass’
With Ally Young jumping ship to join the remnants of Viva Brother in Lowlife, it was a quiet year for Mirrors, and the epic synthpop of ‘Hourglass’ made us miss them all the more.
19. Sons Of Noel & Adrian ‘The Yard’
Kicking off their highly-regarded second album, ‘The Yard’ is typical SONA – pretty and dark in equal measure. Heavier and more prog than ever, their layered folk is completely unique.
20. Oddfellow’s Casino ‘We Will Be Here’
Oddfellow’s third album ‘The Raven’s Empire’ soundtracked many a dark January night when it crept out earlier this year, and the haunted threat of ‘We Will Be Here’ was its unnerving highlight.