Brighton is a vibrant city overflowing with creativity, not least musical talent. A place partly known for its buzzing music scene, the home of one branch of the British Modern Music Institute, plenty of live venues and events and where budding artists are given a huge amount of opportunity and support.
LOYAL stands out from the many bands formed in Brighton. The band’s music is cinematic and to listen to their music has been described as like “entering a movie theatre halfway through the greatest film you never saw only to be instantly gripped and confounded at the same time.” If you wanted to classify their sounds, they consist of post-house, pulsating yet relaxing beats with melancholic disco grooves.
The band describes their music as being real: “Piano, cello, choir, synth… We don’t sit in room with a laptop. We’re striving to make something classic.” Which is something refreshing, a sort of philosophy which feels like its disappearing, especially so in the pop industry today. Not to mention the other-worldly vocals, they are soft yet euphoric and combine local vocalist with a gospel choir feel. Especially so in their uplifting choruses where the music becomes almost hypnotic.
LOYAL have something rather enigmatic about them, with mysterious lyrics that suggest a bigger story. The writer of these lyrics explains: “We use Kubrick [film director] as an analogy, because he lets your imagination do the work. He’ll do scenes where you don’t see the murder, but you hear it. And it’s more fucked – because your mind is creating something more vivid than an image ever could. We want to let people’s imagination do it for them.” This seemed especially so on their debut single Blue & The Green.
“This was the one that started it really,” says its writer. “Initially when you listen, it’s about a relationship that’s dying. That line ‘Let the blue and the green fade behind me’ is jealousy and envy. But in our story it becomes a question, do we need to leave the planet Earth?
There’s a real strong double meaning there, where you can take a line and it works for both.” That’s what music is about, really, isn’t it? People confiding in sounds that they enjoy and not only evoking emotion, but using it how you please.
Blue & The Green received a hugely positive response online accumulating around half a million Soundcloud plays through word of mouth alone (as well as a testimony from Pete Tong, who claimed the group give him “goose-bumps”).
One of their most recent releases, Reset in Colour also got an encouraging response, with the band explaining it stemmed from the tragedies and politics going on in the world today. “We wrote this musically and lyrically about finding hope in such moments and reminding us we should embrace our individuality and unite with our differences not be divided by them.”
The band premiered on Radio 1 this summer, recording two Maida Vale sessions for the station and prompting taste-maker Mistajam to describe their live show as ‘amazing and inspired.’ On the small screen, Their Moving As One track made it both onto the FIFA17 soundtrack, and HBO’s ‘Year In Review’ adverts. The band also performed at Bestival recently, and are all set to tour this November with rock/hip hop/electronic band Haus. Although they are becoming more established and getting themselves out there, they remain as cryptic as possible, with information and pictures of them on the internet being scarce.
“We just do what we do. Of course, you have to put it into some sort of language or reality, but I think the mystery is stronger. If the music is getting enough buzz, who cares? Why would you want to know everything?” Brighton, once again, you have not failed to deliver.
LOYAL play Brighton’s The Haunt on Thurs 14 Dec 2017