Esben and the Witch

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At a Glance

Formed: 2008 (6 years ago)


Biography

"Not to say they're in any way a throwback, but the intense fury these three modest humans work up reminds me of '80s/'90s bands who were desperate to match savvy rock songwriting with scary, theatrical emotion and intensity without turning it into noise punk or cabaret shtick. They walk a line, evoking folklore and fairy tales and witchery, swelling to a climax that’s hypnotic but never quite reveals itself." -- SPIN

Since forming in Brighton in 2008, Esben and the Witch have forged a sound that springs forth from minds soaked in influences far from any standard set of musical ... Read more

"Not to say they're in any way a throwback, but the intense fury these three modest humans work up reminds me of '80s/'90s bands who were desperate to match savvy rock songwriting with scary, theatrical emotion and intensity without turning it into noise punk or cabaret shtick. They walk a line, evoking folklore and fairy tales and witchery, swelling to a climax that’s hypnotic but never quite reveals itself." -- SPIN

Since forming in Brighton in 2008, Esben and the Witch have forged a sound that springs forth from minds soaked in influences far from any standard set of musical touchstones. The trio eschews the everyday for inspiration drawn from sources weird and wonderful -- nature and literature, art and science, history and the unknown – as well as the occasional Scott Walker and PJ Harvey record.

A demo/EP, 33, which they sold at gigs and distributed online, led to an avalanche of coverage from British broadsheets to US blogs. They followed this unexpected success with a split release on the Dance to the Radio label, contributing the track ‘Skeleton Swoon’ to a 12” in the autumn of 2009, and their first official single, Lucia, at the Precipice, saw light of day as a 7” through the Too Pure Singles Club in February 2010.

While their music was finding its way out there, so were they, sharing stages with bands including The xx, Wild Beasts, Efterklang, The Big Pink, and Deerhunter. With the release of their debut 7” they ventured out on their first headline UK tour and in the summer of 2010, taking their ever-evolving live set to numerous European festivals including Latitude, Field Day, Dockville (Hamburg) and London Calling (Amsterdam).

Esben and the Witch also became Matador’s only current UK signing this year, touring the US with Foals in fall 2010, and playing Matador’s 21st anniversary in Las Vegas in October.

Their Matador debut, the Marching Song 12”, was released in September and served as a taster of the debut album, Violet Cries. The accompanying video, with the band appearing more blooded and beaten with each subsequent frame, also hinted at their dark, brutal intensity.

Violet Cries is an uncompromising and starkly beautiful record. The rewards over the ten tracks are plentiful, but with the band veering away from instant gratification and choosing to challenge and unsettle the listener instead, it’s clear they are a band with an agenda; “the one thing we felt we had to maintain in this process was that it had to be new, it had to be something we felt had not been explored previously,” read a band statement to fans when announcing its release. Violet Cries confirms what their early adopters already know, Esben and the Witch are heading up a raft of new bands who are not only lurking in the shadows, they’re flourishing there.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

"Not to say they're in any way a throwback, but the intense fury these three modest humans work up reminds me of '80s/'90s bands who were desperate to match savvy rock songwriting with scary, theatrical emotion and intensity without turning it into noise punk or cabaret shtick. They walk a line, evoking folklore and fairy tales and witchery, swelling to a climax that’s hypnotic but never quite reveals itself." -- SPIN

Since forming in Brighton in 2008, Esben and the Witch have forged a sound that springs forth from minds soaked in influences far from any standard set of musical touchstones. The trio eschews the everyday for inspiration drawn from sources weird and wonderful -- nature and literature, art and science, history and the unknown – as well as the occasional Scott Walker and PJ Harvey record.

A demo/EP, 33, which they sold at gigs and distributed online, led to an avalanche of coverage from British broadsheets to US blogs. They followed this unexpected success with a split release on the Dance to the Radio label, contributing the track ‘Skeleton Swoon’ to a 12” in the autumn of 2009, and their first official single, Lucia, at the Precipice, saw light of day as a 7” through the Too Pure Singles Club in February 2010.

While their music was finding its way out there, so were they, sharing stages with bands including The xx, Wild Beasts, Efterklang, The Big Pink, and Deerhunter. With the release of their debut 7” they ventured out on their first headline UK tour and in the summer of 2010, taking their ever-evolving live set to numerous European festivals including Latitude, Field Day, Dockville (Hamburg) and London Calling (Amsterdam).

Esben and the Witch also became Matador’s only current UK signing this year, touring the US with Foals in fall 2010, and playing Matador’s 21st anniversary in Las Vegas in October.

Their Matador debut, the Marching Song 12”, was released in September and served as a taster of the debut album, Violet Cries. The accompanying video, with the band appearing more blooded and beaten with each subsequent frame, also hinted at their dark, brutal intensity.

Violet Cries is an uncompromising and starkly beautiful record. The rewards over the ten tracks are plentiful, but with the band veering away from instant gratification and choosing to challenge and unsettle the listener instead, it’s clear they are a band with an agenda; “the one thing we felt we had to maintain in this process was that it had to be new, it had to be something we felt had not been explored previously,” read a band statement to fans when announcing its release. Violet Cries confirms what their early adopters already know, Esben and the Witch are heading up a raft of new bands who are not only lurking in the shadows, they’re flourishing there.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

"Not to say they're in any way a throwback, but the intense fury these three modest humans work up reminds me of '80s/'90s bands who were desperate to match savvy rock songwriting with scary, theatrical emotion and intensity without turning it into noise punk or cabaret shtick. They walk a line, evoking folklore and fairy tales and witchery, swelling to a climax that’s hypnotic but never quite reveals itself." -- SPIN

Since forming in Brighton in 2008, Esben and the Witch have forged a sound that springs forth from minds soaked in influences far from any standard set of musical touchstones. The trio eschews the everyday for inspiration drawn from sources weird and wonderful -- nature and literature, art and science, history and the unknown – as well as the occasional Scott Walker and PJ Harvey record.

A demo/EP, 33, which they sold at gigs and distributed online, led to an avalanche of coverage from British broadsheets to US blogs. They followed this unexpected success with a split release on the Dance to the Radio label, contributing the track ‘Skeleton Swoon’ to a 12” in the autumn of 2009, and their first official single, Lucia, at the Precipice, saw light of day as a 7” through the Too Pure Singles Club in February 2010.

While their music was finding its way out there, so were they, sharing stages with bands including The xx, Wild Beasts, Efterklang, The Big Pink, and Deerhunter. With the release of their debut 7” they ventured out on their first headline UK tour and in the summer of 2010, taking their ever-evolving live set to numerous European festivals including Latitude, Field Day, Dockville (Hamburg) and London Calling (Amsterdam).

Esben and the Witch also became Matador’s only current UK signing this year, touring the US with Foals in fall 2010, and playing Matador’s 21st anniversary in Las Vegas in October.

Their Matador debut, the Marching Song 12”, was released in September and served as a taster of the debut album, Violet Cries. The accompanying video, with the band appearing more blooded and beaten with each subsequent frame, also hinted at their dark, brutal intensity.

Violet Cries is an uncompromising and starkly beautiful record. The rewards over the ten tracks are plentiful, but with the band veering away from instant gratification and choosing to challenge and unsettle the listener instead, it’s clear they are a band with an agenda; “the one thing we felt we had to maintain in this process was that it had to be new, it had to be something we felt had not been explored previously,” read a band statement to fans when announcing its release. Violet Cries confirms what their early adopters already know, Esben and the Witch are heading up a raft of new bands who are not only lurking in the shadows, they’re flourishing there.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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