Bands to Watch #310: Dead Ceremony

By on Wednesday, 3rd December 2014 at 12:00 pm

There isn’t a lot of information out there on the band Dead Ceremony. In fact, when I submitted their name to our North East friends The Tipping Point, I was going off the one track of theirs I had heard up to that point, the tantalising ‘Losing You’. So what are the basics we do know?

Dead Ceremony comprises four long-term friends: Christopher Stewart (vocals/keyboards), David Trevillion (production/drums), Neil Allen (guitar) and Harry Pearce (synths/bass). The band are from Kent, which seems to be a hotbed of activity at the moment, with fellow Southern brethren Syd Arthur and Get Inuit just two acts we’ve written about recently. Having been tipped by the BBC’s regional team in the area, naturally both BBC Radio 1 and 6music went gaga for the group upon hearing their debut single ‘Heartbeat’, leading them to be featured on BBC Introducing and played by presenter Huw Stephens in June 2013.

The summer of 2013. Hmm, that seems a long time ago, doesn’t it? I’m thinking that perhaps they’ve been in hiding to hone their sound, biding their time until they unleash their best work on the public in sparse little trickles. If that sounds familiar, it should be: previous BBC Introducing acts Delphic and Glass Animals have been notorious for this. I’m betting this patience will prove important in the band’s story as it moves forward, as they carve their own niche in the current electronic music world: plenty crowded, but always roomy enough for one more deserving entry. In the absence of Delphic, Dead Ceremony’s latest reveal to the wild, ‘Losing You’, is a down tempo slow burner that isn’t intended to cause manic scenes at the indie disco.

While the song has touches of that intellectual James Blake-y vibe, there is no warbling (thank you), and far more important in my book is its indie pop sensibility. On paper, its brilliantly massive synth beats recalling ‘80s club hits, combined with Stewart’s solemn vocals singing his oh so wistful lyrics, sound like a musical experiment gone wrong that should not work. But it does. Once they’ve got a large enough group of songs to release – I’m going out on a limb and assuming there will be an EP first, maybe multiple, before we ever see an album out of them – I’m predicting certain radio stations on this planet will have this band in a death grip. The Dead will dance. Stay tuned…


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