Dead Ceremony is a four-piece from Tunbridge Wells Kent, made up of Christopher Stewart, David Trevillion, Neil Allen and Harry Pearce. Originally the solo-project of lead-singer and songwriter, Christopher, Dead Ceremony became an outfit and have cut their teeth releasing a steady run of acclaimed singles. They have honed their live show, including performing a sold-out debut London gig at St Pancras Old Church, playing to a full tent at the BBC Introducing stage of T in the Park, and supporting the likes of Wolf Alice and Sam Sure. A carefully delivered mixture of the digital and the organic make Dead Ceremony a special act to watch live, with a dynamic arrangement of beat driven dance tunes and fragile ballads.
With significant radio backing from BBC Introducing in Kent, support at a national level has come from BBC Radio 1 (Huw Stephens) and BBC 6 Music (Lauren Laverne), plus Radio X, Virgin Radio and full playlisting at Amazing Radio. Since the release of their debut EP, the band have amassed over 300,000 Spotify plays. The band are ready to establish Dead Ceremony as ones to watch in 2018 with a new ‘Heartache EP’ that will be released in July, preceded by the first track ‘All This Noise’.
Title-single ‘Heartache’ opens with bass that resonates with the listener’s pulse. It grows into something anthemic as Christopher says ‘heartache… heart-attack… like a hurricane I’m coming back’ and the underlying synths create a rising haze. The verse blows away the synthesised mist with rolling samples that play under Christopher’s organic double-tracked vocals.
Previewing the EP, ‘All This Noise’ features vocals reminiscent of Hot Chip’s frontman Alexis Taylor. Akin to Hot Chip, Dead Ceremony expertly blend pop songs that utilise the vocabularies of house and R&B. More vocal samples echo Christopher’s delicate tones, filling the sonic crevices of the mix. The hook of island-style horns moves the track further into the regions of understated dance music.
The second track ‘Energy’, features euphoric tones from major chords and thick textures that Christopher’s lyrics sit on top of. A bed of off-beat vocal samples comparable to the style of Purity Ring’s are accompanied with bright synths and piano chords that approach in the chorus, completing the product. The optimistic, computerised tones that guide the listener through the track affirms Dead Ceremony’s unique style.
‘You And Me’ runs with contemporary R&B vibes on its bassline, which gradually moves towards the realm of unassuming house music. The chorus induces the trademark Dead Ceremony haze around their instrumentation, bringing back a level of sanguinity. Tailing the hook, the bridge brings texture that is subtly thick with synthetic, yet natural, instrumentation. Christopher’s double-tracked vocals command the synthesisers with a fragile strength, while the bassline traces the percussion adeptly.
Dead Ceremony – Heartache EP, OUT NOW