The piece shifts across jarred sounds, complex rhythms and sensitive delivery with a fluency typical of the Brighton group.
Photo: Katie Foxley | Words: Jamie Broughton
Do you get a kick from watching a band trying to fit on a stage? Do you enjoy racking your brain to attach a genre to a sound that defies conventional categorisation? Do you get excited by fusions of spoken word, classical instrumentation, and post-rock confusion? Well then jump onto your preferred streaming platform, dive into the murky depths of Flip Top Head and sink to the bottom of their new single ‘Alfred Street’.
Founded initially in Colchester but finding their voice and full line-up in Brighton, Flip Top Head are a glistening emblem of a new musical age. As their name suggests, they are a back-to-front, thinking-out-of-the-box project, holding a cracked mirror up to the scene and casting no reflection.
The title of their new song comes from a street in Brighton which lyric-writer Bowie Bartlett discovered months later to in fact be called Alfred Road. ‘Alfred Street,’ released on Blitzcat Records, is an tapestry of atmospheric imagery, framed by juxtaposing arrangements that expertly navigate the seas of tension and release. According to the band themselves, the song materialised in a mere forty minutes, springing from a jam that was eventually sculpted into this hypnotic final form. As the track progresses, through flickering red lights, and rolling foam waves, the listener is pulled down and thrown back up again by the insatiable tide of rhythmic complexity and brass-driven, anthemic melodies. Opposing, parallel forces within the music duel evocatively throughout as we bounce between male and female vocals, freeform guitar and regimented drum patterns, soft-spoken poetry and untethered singing.
Recalling the composition of ‘Alfred Street’, the band explain: “The song came about after we had a shit practice on a Monday evening where Alfie was acting rather cantankerous, and it ended in not a great way. That Friday we had another practice and with the help of a few beers and Harry only having 40 minutes before he had to get his train, we decided to just start playing and see what happened. Then Bertie started playing the opening chords of what became Alfred Street. By the end of the 40 minutes, we had the track near enough finished.”