The atmospheric indie rock of Brighton's Esben & The Witch has advanced into the consciousness of the music press over the course of 2010 like a descending fog of critical approval. The band were formed in 2008, when guitarist Thomas Fisher persuaded Daniel Copeman to share the tracks he had been working on with a live audience, with Rachel Davies filling the vocalist vacancy which completed the trio.
The group took their name from a Danish fairytale and cite influences as varied as Bjork, Portishead and Francis Bacon. They were soon making waves on Brighton's live music scene including favourable reviews from the Great Escape festival. Self-released debut EP 33 followed and hype from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit, who were charmed by Esben's "Nightmare Pop" and NME, who found the trio "startlingly accomplished" began to bubble.
Too Pure release Lucia, At The Precipice kick started 2010 for the trio before support slots for Foals, Deerhunter and Esben fans The xx brought them to the attention of a wider audience. Soon Matador Records were heading a list of suitors, making Esben & The Witch their first UK signing in six years. November saw Esben shortlisted for Q Magazine's Next Big Thing award, losing out to fellow Sound Of 2011 artist Clare Maguire, and announce January 31 as release date for debut album Violet Cries. 2011 is sure to dream up a few â€śNightmare Popâ€ť highlights for the South coasters.