Unintentionally, this week’s Vegan Fresh looks like it’s sponsored by the South Coast city of Brighton. While their football team is lingering perilously close to the relegation zone, their music scene looks set to compete for the championship. From disco-clad bangers, to indie pop debuts, and taut post-punk, the city is as fertile as its ever been. Seemingly giving London a run for its money as one of the buzziest music cities in the country, everyone should think about making the trip down south. The rents cheaper, at the very least.
LOYAL – ‘Crave it Still’
Brighton indie funk collective have been on fire the the last eighteen months now. Shrouded in mystery, the project looks more and more likely to replicate the winning success of the likes of neo-soul outfit Jungle and electro-pop babes Glass Animals. Their latest single, ‘Crave it Still’, is another funk banger that evokes Jungle’s second record For Ever. Euphoric and infectious, with one of the most captivating and atmospheric basslines in recent memory, it’s another cracker from what could be your new favourite band.
You can find LOYAL on Facebook here.
Safe to Swim – ‘Make Things Like They Used to Be’
If there’s one thing indie band Safe to Swim know how to do it’s write a chorus. From ‘Struggling’ to ‘Boyfriend’, they’ve become one of the most memorable acts on the touring circuit. ‘Make Things Like They Used to Be’, their latest cut of charming and seducing indie pop, is yet another enamouring gem. A call back to simpler times, it also outs frontman. James Filippides as an outstanding wordsmith, and one that is introducing him as one of the voices of his generation.
You can find Safe to Swim on Facebook here.
Belles – ‘Electric’
Brighton’s Belles have been kicking around for a while now without any music to their name, but they’ve finally arrived with their debut single and it was certainly worth the wait. Excellent titled ‘Electric’, because that is exactly what it is, it’s a thrilling slice of lo-fi indie rock with one of the most euphoric chorus lines of the year. Contagiously beautiful, with a bellowing and stimulating escalation, it builds to a delicious level of indie rapture that has been somewhat lacking over the years. A band certainly well-versed in the art of captivating indie rock, Belles have rocketed onto our ones to watch list for sure.
You can find Belles on Facebook here.
Squid – ‘Houseplants’
We may only be in March, but Brighton band Squid already look like they’re ready to take 2019 by storm. Arguably the best song of the year so far, Squid’s kraut-rock inflected banger ‘Houseplants’ is an ode to every twenty-something’s nightmares. With energetic and anxiety-riddled vocals from drummer-singer Ollie Judge evoking a surrealist take on the world, along with its early Interpol-esque bassline creating the juxtaposing grooves, it’s a song we’ve had stuck on repeat since its arrival.
You can find Squid on Facebook here.
RALPH TV – ‘Making Movements’
Boasting one of the most organically impressive rises at the moment, RALPH TV’s eponymous debut EP has been streamed over a million times. Thus, the pressure to follow up the behemoth is huge. Thankfully, the Essex-via-Brighton quartet have smashed expectations with the brilliant ‘Making Movements’. Described by the band as “probably our first breakup song”, it’s a brooding cut of electric indie pop that certainly exhibits Homeshake vibes. Impressively produced by the band, it’s an excellent slice of off-kilter pop with real character, which proves that RALPH TV are one of the most exciting prospects in the world of indie pop right now.
You can find Ralph TV on Facebook here.
French Beaches – ‘Tongue Tied’
We’re officially in Spring and by the looks of it, French Beaches have returned to soundtrack the arrival into warmer climates. ‘Tongue Tied’, their brand-new single and follow-up to the equally excellent ‘I Don’t Wanna Talk’, is a tropical banger with the sultry drumbeats and summery guitar licks to go with it. There’s definitely an echoing vibe of the likes of Sundara Karma and Jaws here – especially with lead singer Chris Ward-Williams’ balmy vocals – and, with more hooks than a pirate ship, French Beaches look set to emulate those bands with their brand of exotic indie goodness.
You can find French Beaches on Facebook here.
GURU – ‘Suntrap’
Another in the long line of brilliantly frenetic post-punk to come from the South Coast, Brighton’s GURU knocked us off our feet with their debut single ‘Consumer Helpline’. “Cheers for all the love & support you showed for Consumer Helpline but it’s done now. It’s dead. fuck it. Kill it. Let the past die.” they stated of the single ahead of their next release ‘Suntrap’, which is, thankfully, as good if not better than their frenzied debut. Another burst of gloriously sleazy, yet somehow exotic, raucous punk, it’s another bubbling and furious cut from the quartet with yet another charismatic vocal take from frontman Tommy Cherrill. We’re predicting IDLES level of escalation for this rowdy lot, especially with an upcoming support slot for Lady Bird to come.
You can find GURU on Facebook here.
Jarki Monno – ‘Closure’
We first came into contact with London-via-Brighton act Jarki Monno with his beautiful neo-soul inflected 2018 EP If You Know, which featured Class of 2019 member Alfie Neale. Monno has returned ‘Closure’, a wonderfully grooving hip-hop influenced gem that reminds us equally of Puma Blue and early Blood Orange. An epic and erratic fusion of funk, soul and hip-hop, with outstanding production and beats to back it up, it’s got more ideas locked inside its three minutes and thirty-nine seconds than some albums have in their entirety. To catch the track live, Monno is launching the single with a release show at Brighton’s The Hope and Ruin on 10th March.
You can find Jarki Monno on Facebook here.
Make Friends – ‘Talk Tomorrow’
Keeping momentum at an all time high, Bristol’s Make Friends have followed up debut single ‘Drop Naked’ (which we featured on Vegan Fresh #9) with the equally impressive ‘Talk Tomorrow’. A further explosion into the world of indie pop, which evokes the heady days of Two Door Cinema Club and Bombay Bicycle Club, its a spiky, sun-kissed drenched hit of glistening indie pop that is certain to get you grooving along. Make Friends are swiftly becoming the purveyors of gorgeously warm indie pop.
You can find Make Friends on Facebook here.
Pollon – ‘Strong’
After catching them support Alfie Neale at his sold-out headline show at Brighton’s The Haunt, we were eagerly anticipating the debut single from six-piece Pollon. Titled ‘Strong’, it’s a atmospheric and compelling slice of brooding, theatrical rock and roll. Boasting two lead singers, both Mollie Clack and Lauren Hughes are dizzyingly good vocalists with charisma oozing from their ace harmonies. With chemistry by the bucket load, they bring something truly unique to the world of indie rock and roll.
You can find Pollon on Facebook here.