EP Review: Headspin // Black Honey

Brighton-based newcomers step up to the plate for Class of 2016

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Jumping onto the new music radar back in 2014 with the release of their eponymous debut EP, Brighton bunch Black Honey immediately became a fresh addition to the thriving garage-rock scene that inspired last year’s now flourished bands, including the likes of Wolf Alice and JAWS.

Continuing to drip-feed material like Madonna and Corrine throughout 2015, it became apparent that their ability to uniquely differentiate their style on each track they produced was developing. Fronted by this generation’s answer to Debbie Harry, their new EP Headspin was released back in April after being recorded in a barn in Normandy over a fortnight.

Izzy Phillips immaculately demonstrates the trend of the acceptance of female fronted bands in an indie music scene that has been long conquered by males.

Best described as the fusion of a mystique-ridden Lana del Rey and a Blondie-esque rocker, frontwoman Izzy Phillips immaculately demonstrates the trend of the acceptance of female fronted bands in an indie music scene that has been long conquered by males. The band’s love of shoegaze intertwines its way through ‘Headspin’ and the retro feel drowns the record right down to the album artwork.

Influenced as much by The Beatles as they are by Nirvana, an essentially British band have been dragged through the sludge of sticky, American grunge and have somehow came out sounding spotless. Since their formation, they have assembled a large fan base both in the United Kingdom and abroad, supporting acts from The Cribs to Twin Peaks to big breakthrough band Catfish and the Bottlemen.

The four-track EP kicks off with the full-bodied and energetic ‘All My Pride’ which was originally released a single. Inbetween the rock-heavy background and the 50s-style riffs, Phillips’ vocals give the track some balance.

Eponymous track ‘Headspin’ not only tilts the feel of the record on its side but showcases the contrast the band can craft within the pause between tracks. From the get go, Phillips sends you into a cinematic daydream complete with jangling guitar from the outset. As the sounds leisurely build, the bassline almost guides the path for the instrumental upsurge around four minutes in.

A gradual build leads to the band’s most anthemic three minutes during ‘On Your Time’, encompassing every style the four-piece have touched upon since they formed. Hinting at their 2014 track ‘Teenager’ with a crackled and jagged intro, the pace then begins to quicken as seconds pass. ‘Mocking Swing’ then finalises the EP into their most definitive dreamlike sound, giving one of the many different glimpses into Phillips’ vocal range.

Immersing in a lust of retro-vintage shoegaze, dream pop and garage-rock, Headspin explores the musical world that Black Honey have conjured up themselves. Treat each track as an insight into this enigma and you have probably found your new favourite band.

Words by Brianna Riley

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