As we’ve recently mentioned on previous posts here on The Recommender, Brighton is definitely enjoying something of a buzz spotlight as a multitude of exceptional bands have appeared from this city throughout 2011. Today we bring you the next in line for our attention, a new duo called Curxes (pronounced Curses). The thing is, whilst we are more than happy to claim them as our own, it’s thrown up a debate about what constitutes the linking of a city with a band.
Is the issue of a band’s geography even relevant? Perhaps not in today’s online global community, with it’s shrinking boundaries and borders, however there’s no denying that Liverpool in the 60s, London in the late 70s, or Manchester in the late 80s, among others throughout the decades, has helped to inseparably tie artists to their homes over the years. The Recommender recently claimed Fear Of Men for Brighton, only to be informed that most of the band live in London, with only one member actually calling Brighton home. When we met up for lunch with Curxes delectable manager, Bee Adamic, last week, she introduced us to one half of the duo, Macaulay Hopwood. He let slip that he is currently the only one out of the pair to actually live in Brighton, with singer, Roberta Fidora, calling Portsmouth home.
We’ve selected to ignore that fact and still attribute them to Brighton, as we’re buggered if we’re letting this local claim for the duo also evaporate as, unlike Fear Of Men, at least 50% of the band reside in this city – that’s enough for us! Robin from Breaking More Waves, who was among the first to bring the band to the blogoshpere’s attention in May, as well as being the first to take them onto his BBC 6Music appearance, may object to our claim, seeing as he calls Portsmouth home, but let’s see what his response is in the comments – assuming he’ll speak up once he reads this.
The reason behind our drive to keep the pair so close to our hearts is due to their music, which is so utterly astonishing that we’re happy to throw as much blog weight behind them as we can possibly muster. The extraordinary vocals from Roberta and the punchy synth-driven productions from Macaulay knock you out with the first blow, which is best evidenced with their tune, Creatures, which got a release in June. It’s inventive kitchen-sink beat and 80s-drenched synthetics blend a cranking, machine-like pop tune behind Roberta’s styled, confident, smooth vocals. If you thought the likes of Alpines, Ms Mr, or Paper Crows were delivering strong contemporary female vocals, then prepare yourself for Roberta as she stands toe to toe with them all.
Their debut release, Jaws, which arrived in March hands out Roberta front and centre, bringing to mind the gothic drama of Siouxsie Sioux, but it’s noisy, racing construction eventually starts to grind, missing the obvious beauty they’ve clearly been able to show off since. This evolution is more in evidence in the beat-less Spires, which allows Roberta to star throughout. We consider the earlier track, The Construction, to also be one of their best cocktails available to date, mixing silk with spike in another exciting but deadly pop tune.
The Recommender has had the good fortune to be handed their latest recording as an exclusive. Once Upon A Time continues their work’s unfolding fairytale, with their signature foreboding menace that juxtaposes the industrial with the theatrical to brilliant effect. We can’t wait to hear it live, which we can when they visit the perfectly suited aesthetic of the Brighton venue, The Green Door Store, which is scheduled for October 26th. Whether that gig or their upcoming appearance at the Southsea Festival, in Portsmouth on September 17th, can be called a homecoming show is up for debate, but with music this strong we’re confident that a home in your heart is more assured. (MB)
CURXES – ONCE UPON A TIME
CURXES - CREATURES
CURXES – THE CONSTUCTOR