Regular readers of The Recommender will know that we do our best to try and provide at least some meandering editorial, so our visitors have the opportunity to obtain a bit of context, opinion and some relevant information alongside the awesome music that’s on offer. It means we actually have to research the bands that we’re covering and that occasionally leaves us open to the elements of online misinformation. Working in the arena of cutting edge music often means that there’s not much information on offer at the time of discovering a new artist. Sometimes we wait, sometimes we simply do our best, but we also always approach the label, PR and managers to chase the usual biography. You can imagine that with two of the band members from today’s recommendation being called Puff and Daisy, we felt like we better triple check the information that was cropping up.
We continued our research for the Brighton band Us Baby Bear Bones and during our scouting around online we came across an article, posted online in August last year, supposedly reviewing their ‘debut album’, which almost caused us to walk away, as we only like to recommend emerging music. Having now been in contact with both their record label and manager we can confirm that this isn’t actually correct, proving what a minefield of facts and utter rubbish some websites can prove to be. In truth, they’ve not yet released their debut album at all and are in fact just gearing up for their debut EP, What Starts With A U And Ends In An I, which is due out in July on the excellent Brighton label and promoter, Love Thy Neighbour. We love locating great music, but when we find out that the band in question are not only from our home city of Brighton, but being released on a friend’s local label, it obviously elevates the enjoyment further still.
The trio are made up of Puff Gandolfo (Vocals, Loops, Drums, Clarinet), Daisy Emily Warne (Bass synth, Casio, Omnichord, Samples) and Luke Phillips (Guitar, Beats, Samples, Glockenspiel). The broad selection of instruments being listed is a decent sign of how weird and wonderful their sound is. Theirs is an aesthetic that seems heavenly and somewhat intangible, passing through your fingers, impossible to fully grasp, which is testament to their inventive layers of instrumentation. Listening to their tune, Rain, you get a good example of this, for if you compare the first section of the song with the last you get the light and shade that they’re capable of, with a song that begins like air, but by it’s end we find a powerful flood of weighted sounds. A restrained, delicate touch is applied expertly throughout, but make no mistake, this is music with real power, as drums are hit in a manner that can only be done with dramatic movement. It’s an absolutely stunning piece of work, but it’s the vocals that guide you throughout each song’s story, with lyrics sung in a clear, English accent, as Puff tells us how she’s been “burnt down and rebuilt“. Indeed, this is a song with the fine fragility of ash, but the trick is that underneath it all they keep a phoenix that they unleash by it’s close.
In the last few days they revealed a wonderful video for their song, You, which continues their dramatic fairytale pop. Lyrics are sung over a melody created by additional layers of voices that call at the listener. It makes for a wonderful headphone experience if you get the chance. In the correct sense of pop – and this is pop with all the sugar removed – they write songs that are just three minutes. If we have one minor gripe, it’s that their songs aren’t long enough! This is emotive, left-field pop music that surely deserves epic greatness, so we wish they’d write an eight minute opus utilising all their skilled layers, enchanting melodies and perfectly-placed vocals. These are songs that have moments and mantras that you never quite want to end, so we could easily take more of it with each tune. Although, to be fair their three-minute fantasies are going to be all over the blogs this summer, as their sound is not only smart and grown up, but beautifully designed and immediately accessible.
We can perfectly imagine established music blogs, such as Breaking More Waves, or The Von Pip Musical Express, passing their well-informed opinions on this band. Other online commentators, such as The 405 and God Is In The TV seem on top of them already, which is a good sign. More will surely arrive after their upcoming Great Escape shows next month too. For those of you that are also lucky enough to call the Brighton area home, you can see them live tonight at the Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar venue, in support of the excellent band AU, and we’ve been reliably informed that a handful of tickets were still available at the time of going to press, although that could change at any time of course. Did you see how we used an ambiguous statement there, so as to avoid misinforming you? Ain’t no mines in our field! We like to think our articles are well-researched, but that clearly doesn’t stop us from slipping in as many disclaimed statements and caveats as possible. Of course correct information is only a tiny bit of the story, and with this Brighton trio we not only see stacks of potential for lighting up the music commentators, whether their editors get their damn facts right or otherwise, but more importantly the fine music that’s on offer will prove to be the best information anyone can pass around. (MB)
US BABY BEAR BONES – RAIN