Brit Pop and Brit Rock is SO 2014. With bands all over the place springing up like a jack in the box – from Royal Blood to TOY and Savages – music with a very tangible British edge is returning from the dead. Brit Pop first emerged in the early 90s with Oasis, Pulp and Blur taking the music scene by storm, punching with guitars and smashing their American grunge rivals. So it’s hardly surprising that, in the midst of music made by computers (even indie bands have injected a more synthetic sound) that Brit Pop is back, old school style, ready to rebel against the current music scene.
This is where Departure From Normal stroll in, young in age but mature in sound. These 19 year old Brighton boys only came about just over a year ago but they’ve already done more than just dipped their toe in the pool of their local music scene – they’ve splashed in, creating ripples through their city. Unsigned – though they have had offers – they’re one of the most promising young bands’ around.
What’s interesting is their mix of influences, which explains a lot about the dynamics and very different flavours of the band’s songs’. Made up of Dan (lead vocals and guitar), Jordan (bass guitar/vocals), Kane (rhythm guitar/lead vocals) and Pete (drums), the lads explain who influences them:
Kane: Ermmm, it’s hard as I have so many! Maroon 5 and The Script are key influences but I have to say The Feeling are my main influence.
Dan: Growing up, Blur and Oasis – real music which I don’t think exists anymore. With modern music, I can’t stop listening to Two Door Cinema Club. The different layers they add in mean every time you find something new which I love.
Jordan: I go through spells. I was grunge, then rock then hip hop then motown but overall I have to sight Nirvana as my major influence from a young age. After watching the film School of Rock my desire to become a musician became incredibly apparent. So, I have to sight the film too!
And this is so apparent in the way that each song has it’s own unique stamp, an individual signature contrived from the mix of influences of each of the band members. ‘My Mind’ is tinged with early Two Door Cinema Club riffs, but painted with unique, emotive clashes of vocals and embellished with a rockabilly chorus.
Then you’ve got the soppy Brit Pop classic, ‘Fall Over Me’; ‘Turn the Lights Out’, a bouncy track layered with vocals and an irresistibly catchy guitar riff, and ‘Get Away’, a track brimming with raw emotions of frustration and desperation. The lyrics are also full of poetic qualities, telling numerous stories as each song plays -‘My Mind’, especially, is written in an incredibly developed style.
pretty ridiculously impressive about Departure from Normal is the lengths of success they’ve reached. Despite only finishing their A Levels last year, they’re already headlined the prestigious Concorde 2 in Brighton. Let me reiterate this: Bastille only headlined here AFTER they got their number 2 single with ‘Pompeii’. Just last year, The 1975, Passenger, The Crystal Fighters and Johnny Marr played here – and that’s just to name a few. The lads explain how hailing from Brighton has helped their success:
Kane: The local music scene is so diverse and open for unsigned talent and opportunity is always around the corner.
Jordan: There’s so many great venues, big and small, which makes it easy every night of the week to go out and check out something appealing to a mainstream audience or something totally different and outside the box.
And how did the band meet?
Dan: I met Jordan aged 10 at West Blatchington Junior School and we both went to Blatchington Mill School afterwards. On the way we met Kane on the first day at Blatch and all became friends. Now aged 19… We’re trying to take over the universe!
With festival line ups for this summer already being cooked up, what have Departure from Normal got planned?
Kane: We’ve applied for the Great Escape festival in and around Brighton and the Paddle Round The Pier surf festival on Brighton Seafront this summer.
Dan: We’ve also been involved with BBC Radio 1 Introducing a lot, featuring on the South Coast show many times and previously been Huw Stephens ‘Pick of the Week’ on Radio 1 and are in the hat for a slot on the Introducing stage at Glastonbury this year.