Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Esben and the Witch

Apparently, earlier this year everyone was talking about an emerging sound called 'Witch House', and exciting artists like Salem and oOoOO fell under this spooky sub-genre.  Such labels are, as ever, somewhat ridiculous and confusing however, because ultimately surely they're making gothic music?  But obviously I'm not an authority on such things so feel free now to blather on about how you always liked Witch House and you're so over it now.

Regardless of your feelings on the above, I recently discovered a Brighton-based group called Esben and the Witch (who are perhaps only linked to the Witch House scene through their name, although perhaps they are indeed a Witch House group - I won't profess to know either way).  And you know that whole The XX sound where it's the minimalism and the spaces which make the music?  Well it's sort of like that, except far more eerie and ethereal, with fuzzy, whispering music and distorted, dissonant vocals. That description makes it seem like the music should be very uncomfortable, but it's all somehow very listenable and thrilling in how unnerving it is.

I highly recommend going to give them a listen here whilst reading the story, 'Esben and the Witch', which is on the same page - surrounded by the black and white images of children and swirling vortexes, there's something shiver-inducingly chilling and memorable about the experience. 

'Warpath' - Esben and the Witch

Esben and the Witch will release their debut album, 'Violet Cries', early next year on Matador - you can pre-order it here.  Photo credit: Jonathan Hyde.

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