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Since forming in Brighton in 2008, Esben and the Witch have forged a sound that springs forth from minds soaked in influences far and beyond any standard set of musical touchstones. Nature and literature, art and science, history and the unknown – the trio eschews the everyday for inspiration drawn from sources weird and wonderful, as well as the occasional Scott Walker and PJ Harvey record. The second half of 2010 will see Esben’s profile reach new heights. The band signed with Matador Records earlier in the year, becoming the label’s only UK act alongside a roster including Sonic Youth and Cat Power. Their first EP for Matador, ‘Marching Song’ – was released in September; their debut album will follow in early 2011. And what do they sound like? At some stage of their ascent, a single soul deemed this distillation of pointed beats, percussive drama and ethereal atmospherics “nightmare pop”. But the band would rather you dreamt up your own terminology, just as they have sought to establish a new sonic vocabulary through which to express their innermost emotions.



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