One of the reasons I go to festivals is to discover new music. I rarely walk away without hearing something new that caught my ear. But this year's Great Escape Festival was different because I went in with a schedule of artists and bands I wanted to see. In all, I filled my schedule with about 10 bands per day. I was so excited to finally see all of the bands I'd written about here at Aimless Skylarking, many I doubted would ever make it near my hometown in Alabama. Young Romance, Cut Ribbons, Black Honey, Furs, Novella, and Fever Dream immediately come to mind. However, I didn't leave myself much room to hear anything I'd not heard before. That is until when I showed up early to see the PINS at the Brighton Dome Studio and was met with a queue 100 deep, and seemingly no chance of getting in before their performance was to start.
Since I had seen the band the night before, there was no way I was standing in that queue. So I wandered around, sightseeing around Brighton until I bumped into Leigh of Just Music I Like and tagged along with him as he made his way to see folk singer Siv Jokobsen at the Fishbowl. When we arrived, we found the tiny bar rammed and muggy. We could hardly get in the door, but managed to slip inside and get swallowed by the crowd as a band I'd never heard, Dios Mio, just started their set. The longer they played, the deeper I fell. I was mesmerized by Helena Coan's big voice along with a combination of shimmery guitar flourishes and alt-rock guitar growl. I found myself wishing set times were longer than 30 minutes, I had to hear more. On top of that, who could not love that band photo above, it's perfect.
Since I've been home from the UK, I've obsessed over the band's handful of songs. 'Tough Crowd' is my favorite of the lot, 'Body' is plenty spectacular too, and with a little more time, 'Proto' could surpass them all. Stream them below, and become a fan like I did.
And an interview with the band, thankfully I did not describe them as dipped in velvet, or ethereal. I will have to raise my game for next time. Now, all I can think of is "dipped in Velveeta" (a disgusting processed cheese, and a southern food staple).