Tuesday, 19 January 2010
1: Esben and the Witch
With so much amazing music floating about already this year, this top ten was always going to be a hard one to whittle down but there is no denying the number one spot, Esben and the Witch who literally blew me away after seeing them recently at Soho's notorious 'Madame Jo Jo's' with their amazing showcase of carefully calculated drone, with members switching from synths, guitars to at one point all crowding around a floor tom hooked up to various pedals pounding away. Their tantalising melodies subtly intertwined in a haze of distortion and electronic beats create for an absolute mystical spectacle.
The Brighton based trio aptly described as 'Nightmare Pop' as you might have guessed create dark and brooding atmospheres with their minimal electronica and droney guitars, driven by the uber talented vocalist Rachel Davies whose stage presence is already something to admire.
Esben have a real talent for eclectic songwriting that gives their sound a very individual take with touches on Post Rock and there's even a bit of Dubstep in there somewhere delved deep in the haze and electronics, that's without even mentioning the abstract lyrics inspired by anything from silver oxide poisoning to James Joyce's depressive daughter (all happy stuff.) In the wrong hands lyrics that touch on these subjects could just sound completely unnecessary but for Esben it adds to their appeal.
This is mererly the beginning for a band that have huge amounts of potential.
You can listen to and donwload their latest album for free here.
Photo Lucy Johnston