LISTEN: Swanmeat – ‘Teenage Idol’

Sardonic vocals, grumbling bass lines, and thrashing guitars combine on ‘Teenage Idol’, the latest single from Brighton-based band Swanmeat. The track is a blistering take down of fame, idolatry, and the fleeting nature of both.

Comprised of Owen Bullock (drums), Daniel Cox (guitar), Pippa Jay Rainbird (vocals) and Annabel Whittle (bass), Swanmeat formed in late October of 2018. The band met at college and decided to start making music together when they realised their interests in music and theatrics overlapped.

The raucous ‘Teenage Idol’ is the result of this; as it smacks with sarcasm, frenzied percussion, and chant-worthy lyrics. The four-piece shared their self-titled debut EP in October 2019, and are set to release more music over the coming months. Listen to the ‘Teenage Idol’ below, and follow Swanmeat on Facebook & Bandcamp for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: LibraLibra – ‘Panic Buy’

Having been massive fans of Brighton-based LibraLibra for a couple of years now, especially since they completely blew us away live at The Finsbury in December, it’s brought us all a bit of joy in these dark times to hear that they’re sharing a new song today.

And it’s not just any song. ‘Panic Buy’ was written only last week; a heat of the moment reaction to all that’s going on right now. And it couldn’t be more spot-on. Oozing a raging, ferocious energy alongside the phenomenal impassioned vocal power and immense raw emotion of front woman Beth Cannon, it’s a frenzied slice of angst-driven punk – a perfect riotous catharsis for the anger and fear we’re all feeling right now. An all-too-poignant colossal cacophony reflecting on these terrifying times.

Watch the new video, made alongside Eliot Tatler, for ‘Panic Buy’ here. And download the track from Bandcamp, from which all proceeds will be going to Age UK to help the elderly in this crucial time.

Please read Beth’s statement on ‘Panic Buy’:

Last week myself and the rest of LibraLibra were on our own personal mini lock-down. The best kind, at Echo Zoo Studio, where you are equipped with your best mates, snacks, tequila and a gorgeous vintage studio full to the brim with synths, gear and grand piano. We were set with the task of writing a bunch of songs from scratch to make waves for our eventual album. It was on Tuesday 10th March 2020 we wrote ‘Panic Buy’. 

Trying to get our ‘head in the game’ as some may say was virtually impossible, COVID-19 is the hottest topic on earth right now, it’s all around us! Every time you message a mate, pick up your phone, check the news, it’s there staring you in the face. It’s rife with an impending doom. Who is it effecting now? Which industry is it demolishing? What is the government doing to protect us? What can we do to help? Will we all survive? It was in the studio where it became obvious to us that inevitably elements of COVID-19 would seep its way into our writing whether we liked it or not. And it’s not hard to guess what began to plague our minds when you see the title of the song, ‘Panic Buy’.  

We began to hear reports of loo roll becoming non-existent, supermarkets being ransacked of tinned goods and essentials. The concept baffled us, as I’m sure it has for many of you, I felt like I was falling deep into my belief that as society we are in a perpetual episode of Brass Eye or The Thick of It. I’m just waiting for the camera to pan around to Chris Morris – alas I know this won’t happen, no matter how hard I fantasise. And at first, like many, we found the concept of loo roll riots amusing, because quite frankly we couldn’t understand why. Why, when thinking it might be the end of the world was there this nationwide consensus that you need to have the cleanest arse in the land for one? But more importantly, where has the love gone? Had it completely disappeared or was it ever even there? We need to think of the vulnerable, the elderly, our children, our society as whole. Why aren’t we looking after one another in this global pandemic?

I would also like to take this moment to explain that we are not attacking any of those who have panicked, because quite frankly it’s understandable. The media and our government have toyed with us, it’s relentless with one click-bait-horror-headline after another. Where is their compassion in trying to help us as a society unite? Instead they torment us, turn us against one another and promote selfishness and create this draconian ‘every person for themselves’ mentality. This has got to stop. 

So, on Tuesday 10th March 2020, ’Panic Buy’ was written in the heat of a moment, a worldwide moment of frenzied fear, frustration and confusion. ‘Panic Buy’ is a snapshot of a moment that we never thought we’d come too. A moment that we certainly never want to return to. We hope it serves as catharsis. We hope that as a society we use the pandemic as an opportunity to learn and grow. We hope to expand our compassion, realise the fragile and intimate connections that we all share and come to remember that our humanity is universal.

At times like this, we really do need to seek catharsis in music more than ever, and without bands like LibraLibra putting words to our fury and fear, I’m not quite sure what I’d do right now. So I’d like to give a big thank you to them for keeping going and continuing to create, in spite of everything – and all the other bands I’ve been seeking refuge in over the last couple of weeks.

Artwork by Jay Bartlett (@burtbile), from his photo series ‘How To Adapt in Panic-Buy Britain’:

Mari Lane

Track Of The Day: CLT DRP – ‘Where The Boys Are’

Having completely blown us away playing for us live last year, Brighton-based CLT DRP have now announced that they will be releasing their debut album in May.

Taken from the album, ‘Where The Boys Are’ oozes the band’s immense raging passion in a seething blast of poignant, swirling electro-punk. An empowering anthem of self-realisation and new found confidence, with its breathtaking power it showcases CLT DRP’s ability to convey a pertinent message within an incredible, raging cacophony. Of the track, front-person Annie Dorrett explains:

It’s a love song to some of my favourite female artists, a big thank you to my mom for being such a powerhouse and lastly a big f*ck you to all the TERFS out there spreading hate. It’s also just a really playful song to perform with the band, you get a lot of different elements of our sound all jammed into one piece.”

Double A-Side ‘Where The Boys Are’/’Worth It’ is out 18th March. And CLT DRP’s upcoming debut album Without The Eyes is out 15th May via Small Pond Records. 

Mari Lane

Photo Credit: Stewart Gardiner

LISTEN: Something Leather – ‘Farewell Fareworse’

A dark, swirling mix of psych-tinged guitar and eerie organ noises; Brighton trio Something Leather have shared their latest single, ‘Farewell Fareworse’. Released via We Can Do It Records, it’s the first track to be lifted from their debut EP Midnight Reverie, which is set for release on 17th April.

Formed of Phillie Etta Jane (vocals/organ), Greg Pass (guitar) and Mike Nussbaum (drums), Something Leather have been cutting their teeth on the London & Brighton live circuits for a few years now. Their dark creations are a captivating blend of old and new sounds; the vintage organ that Phillie plays combines perfectly with Greg’s distorted guitar, and Mike’s rhythmic drum beats.

Single ‘Farewell Fareworse’ is a stirring example of this, and was born from the anxious thoughts surrounding co-dependent relationships, and the need for self autonomy. Phillie explains further: “[The track] is about desire and fear of change at the same time. It’s a bitter ode to personal traps and never-ending dilemmas”. The only dilemma we’re facing is whether or not we can wait until April to hear Something Leather’s debut EP.

Listen to ‘Farewell Fareworse’ below, and follow the band on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Something Leather UK Tour Dates 2020
18/4 – Hot Box – Chelmsford
20/4 – Hug and Pint – Glasgow
22/4 – Jacaranda – Liverpool
23/4 – Dead Wax Digbeth – Birmingham
24/4 – Shacklewell Arms – London
25/4 – The Lanes – Bristol
2/5 – Portsmouth Psych Fest
7/5 – 60 Million Postcards – Bournemouth
16/5 – The Peer Hat – Manchester

Photo credit: Jessie Morgan

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: Deaf Surf – ‘SOFA’

Exasperation and frustration fuel ‘SOFA’, the debut single from Brighton-based band Deaf Surf. Released via Slingshot Records, the strung-out, angst-ridden track is an apathetic yawn in the face of those who repeat, or preach their travelling stories to clearly uninterested listeners.

Recorded & produced by Boe Weaver at Studio Humbug on the Isle of Wight, ‘SOFA’ marks the one year anniversary of Deaf Surf’s formation, coming together in 2019 after breaking away from other bands on the Brighton scene. French front woman Manon’s raw vocals glide over the band’s post-punk infused riffs, providing a much needed disruption to the narrative she laments about.

‘SOFA’ is a necessary listen for those who need to drown out unwanted background noise and focus on starting an adventure of their own. Listen to the track below, and follow Deaf Surf on Facebook & Bandcamp for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: CIEL – ‘The Shore’

A gentle, fuzzy, alt-pop gem; Brighton-based band CIEL‘s latest single ‘The Shore’ is a dreamy rumination about seizing the moment, and not letting life pass you by. The single is taken from the band’s debut EP, Movement, which is set for release this spring.

Formed of Dutch musician Michelle Hindriks and the friends she made when she relocated to Brighton, CIEL enlisted the help of Producer Jack Wolter (Penelope Isles) to help them create the atmospheric sounds on ‘The Shore’. Hindriks’ pensive vocals float above beguiling guitars, snappy beats, and blissed out synths, reflecting the waves of thought she sings about.

Hindriks explains further: “The song is about a moment where you feel stuck in your life and are waiting for it to ‘really’ begin; yet at the same time, you realise it’s just an illusion and your life has already begun, and you’re living it right now. Losing the connection with that essence can feel extremely frustrating”.

CIEL have supported the likes of Hatchie, Sasami and Penelope Isles, and are set to play more shows over the coming months. Listen to ‘The Shore’ below, and follow the band on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Jantina Talsma

Kate Crudgington

EP: ARXX – ‘Wrong Girl, Honey’

Following up their last EP, Daughters of Daughters, garage rockers – and GIHE faves – ARXX returned in November with Wrong Girl, Honey. A jamming blend of early ’90s influence and thoroughly modern melody, their second EP is a highly-listenable peek into the Brighton duo’s repertoire.

I feel dead lucky to be able to say I’ve seen ARXX play live several times. I’m going to be honest: I see a lot of bands. I even see a lot of bands I really enjoy, but ARXX are on another level. Last May, I caught them playing a packed VANS store during The Great Escape, and people were streaming out of the door, beers-in-hand.

When a band can impress you live as well as on a record, you know you’re onto something wild, and beautiful, and immense.

Wrong Girl, Honey opens with the anthemic power-chord-driven ‘Iron Lung’, a track that packs fifty punches into three minutes. Guitarist and singer Hannah always delivers unforgetable riffs while drummer, Clara, gives it her all on the skins. Every track on the EP is memorable and vast, widely building in tension throughout, before leaving you with ringing ears and a desperate craving for more.

The EP closes with a change of pace with ‘The Storm’, a song that opens with just Hannah and a palm-muted guitar. Conjuring feelings of long-gone 1950s dance halls, of unfilled dance cards and swing, with lyrics examining what it means to be young and in loss (“I wish I was more than this), it only adds to the brilliance of this band.

Wrong Girl, Honey is an expansive exploration of not just a tribute to the riot grrrls who came before, but a band who knows music and knows how to speak to a new generation of girls who know their worth. Girls ready to fight for it.


Wrong Girl, Honey is out now. Listen on Spotify, or buy on Bandcamp now.

Em Burfitt