Spotify Spotlight on Kent Music - SPR19
Rob Hakimian, music writer with ‘cene magazine and the fourohfive.com, chooses six to look out for
When asked to pick six Kent artists to write about for this issue, there were immediately a few that sprung to mind, while the other spots were a mystery.
However, with barely any difficulty, I started to find Kent artists springing out at me from every place I looked, and with a truly diverse range of sounds on offer. It truly hammered home the fact that the scene in Kent has never been richer. What we have here is a damn fine selection of Kent artists who are set for big things in 2019, each of them planning to put out their first major release this year, so there couldn’t be a better time to start listening to your local talent.
Canterbury-born singer Déyyess could so easily have taken a different path. A lifelong football fan and player, the young singer was scouted by Arsenal ladies and offered a spot – which she turned down in favour of pursuing music. To turn away such an opportunity speaks to the belief in her musical abilities, and they are certainly not unfounded. A powerful singer, whether singing over blasting pop soundscapes (Control) or performing skeletal versions (see the recent clip of her performing Escher Heart in Asylum Chapel in South London), Déyyess always leaves an imprint on anyone who listens. Her lyrics come from the deeply personal recesses of her mind, and are so searing in their fragility that you have no doubt that they’re true. When she sings, projecting these tales in such a fearless way, you can’t help but feel awe at her courage as well as her talent.
Rising out of the fertile Margate scene are the bong-ripping collective Inevitable Daydream. Since their inception they have embraced all things mind-expanding, from fantasy to substances to the infinitude of their imaginations, and have applied it to their ambitious and thorny music. Unabashedly indebted to the sounds coming out of the garage rock scene in America’s West Coast, Inevitable Daydream make huge and fuzzy riffs and apply them to their adventurous narratives, as evidenced on their emphatic 2017 album I Will Get To The Sky On These Strong Legs. They have a Joint LP with fellow Margate rockers Gang newly out, featuring the fearsome seven-minute spectacular Bongwater/Dreadlord. Approaching the song as if it’s a Dungeons and Dragons campaign for the very fate of life on Earth, Inevitable Daydream invite listeners to stand alongside them in their unenviable quest – and a rollicking rock’n’roll ride it is too.
The other half of the incendiary Joint LP that should unequivocally put Margate on the radar for all alt-rock listeners, Gang see Inevitable Daydream’s epic offering and raise them a 31-minute unbroken piece of music, As Bridget Bellows From Her Lair/Bernard Becomes The Wicker Chair. It’s a wildly expansive piece of music that drags us all around the nether regions of their mystical world and back again. Practically impossible to Google, Gang reward those who manage to track them down by offering them a dynamic and morphing listen that transports them through unpredictable sonic terrains. One minute you find yourself whipping along on a ferocious riff, being told that you’re being taken to a Breeding Ground to f**k uncountable strangers, the next you’re creeping through a synth-illuminated cavern where “vision is clouded by the clues and claims.” The newest release on their own label M8s Records, Joint is as confident a statement of intent as you’re likely to hear.
Another artist hailing from Margate, but of a completely different ilk, is BABii, a young woman with a unique perspective that she infuses into her neon electro-pop songs. There’s something unsettling running throughout the wobbling sounds she produces, and it encroaches upon you as you are beckoned in, kept transfixed by the luminous elements that spring up throughout. BABii’s songs are expertly-built synth experiments, providing the perfect space for her to express her unusual inner monologues, which artistically air her deepest thoughts. “Should have been a forest fire” she tells us on PHANTOM, while on SEiiZURE she’s unflinching as she admits "I dreamt of how disposable you made me feel when we were one." Having already received a co-sign from producer Iglooghost, and signed a record deal with DeathWaltz originals for the release of her debut album later this year, it’s definitely time to get on board the BABii hype train.
Formerly known as Get Innuit, Sittingbourne’s Indoor Pets have just put out their debut album Be Content on the bastion of British talent that is Wichita Recordings, who have previously released the debut albums from the likes of Bloc Party and Los Campesinos! Indoor Pets could well be on their way to the same kind of adoration, as their songs are rife with emphatic riffs that just make you want to bounce around with wild energy. They combine these moments with bombastic proclamations; “I like being strange, it’s an easy fit for me,” Jamie Glass exclaims on Being Strange, before asking “where are all the other freaks living now?” With their album now out and making waves, it’s likely that all those other freaks are going to be making their way to him at their ripping live shows – and we’d suggest that you be there, too.
Having released a string of dramatic and exhilarating singles over the last couple of years, Glass Peaks are rightfully starting to build up a reputation as a fierce rock force. Not just out for thrills, the trio puts a lot of careful thought into making their songs dynamic and unpredictable, using the studio to add depth and grandeur to their sound. That their latest single Misery was inspired by the Stephen King novel of the same name might come as something of a surprise, as in the past their songs have been redemptive, but this time around they’ve used their talents to write the darkest – and best – song of their career to date. A gripping and spiralling journey into the gloomy depths of the soul, Misery shows that Glass Peaks have plenty more facets to their songwriting that could yet be revealed.