Benjamin Disraeli was an author, letter-writer, thinker and probably most importantly, Prime Minister. Twice. Back in a time when these sort of jobs only went to the very richest and most privileged members of society (err, hang on a minute…..) during the 19th century,Disraeli was indeed one of that ruling class, but he was also considered a radical, even a political adventurer. More importantly for the purposes of this article, he shared some important gems of wisdom that I like, one of which was ‘most people die with their music still locked up inside them’.
Although that’s probably true of most people, one set who have managed to get express their music is Brighton’s Dark Horses. This is a band really coming to the attention of an ever-growing audience, winning Artrockers single of the year last year (for ‘Radio’) touring with Sigur Ros and Beck in Australia, and recording an album ‘Black Music’ with Death In Vegas’ Richard Fearless to critical acclaim.
The music itself is sort of gloomy (in a good way), almost angry and angular. Think Black Rebel Motorcycle Club/spacemen 3 sort of thing. The album is a treat to listen to and become absorbed in, although its fair to say it’s probably not the soundtrack for a long car journey to the coast. Fearless’ influence is obvious from the start – in fact a lot of elements in the record are reminiscent of the Death in Vegas back catalogue.
Out on 11th February on Last gang records comes their latest single, a double a side featuring ‘Boxing Day’ and ‘Traps’. Starting with the latter, it’s a slab of stoner rock, with Lisa Elle’s voice a beautiful contrast to the (equally beautiful) brooding accompaniment. More than that though, it almost makes you feel hazy, the music shimmering from beginning to end. In contrast, Boxing Day is much more keyboard driven, very art-rock sounding with the reverb on the vocals creating masses of atmosphere. It’s fair to say I really like it.
Dark Horses – Traps/Boxing Day
Another thing that Disraeli said was ‘a dark horse, which had never been thought of, rushed past the grandstand in sweeping triumph’. You know, he was very close there.