(The following article was written for ARTROCKER MAGAZINE, issue #123, September 2012)

Illuminated by continuously alternating coloured lights, the scrawled graffiti on the underpass wall of Trafalgar Street in Brighton poses the question:


Lisa Elle, Dark Horses’ enigmatic and charismatic vocalist considers this for a moment or two.

“Every dark horse has a utopian dream,’ she states.

Ok – so it doesn’t really answer the question, but it does offer a fleeting glimpse of the somewhat cryptical and indeed mystical aura that surrounds the band, Dark Horses.

“We’ve been together forever really, in some consciousness or another. This band has had its own morphing and shaping and expanding and so there isn’t really a beginning, middle or an end – it just feels like a very natural meeting of souls and in terms of ‘how’ (we got together), there aren’t really any rules to it. What I love about Dark Horses particularly is that we are perhaps an unpredictable collection of people. There isn’t one genre or one defining reference and the danger in that is what I find exciting.”

This last sentence is reflected perfectly in the form of the band’s forthcoming debut album, ‘Everywhere.

“Yeah, it’s an incredible feeling to finally harness the ideas that have been floating around. The range of ‘influences’ is invigorating. There is no set reference point.”

Absolutely! With hints of everything from generic psychedelic noise to Phil Spector, through Kraftwerk and Tubeway Army to The Velvet Underground, this is indeed a varied and ‘dangerous,’ sounding album. And with former Death In Vegas / Black Acid main-man, Richard Fearless on production duties, there is proven pedigree before a note is even struck:

“This is the first album he has worked on outwith his own personal projects,” explains Lisa. “He heard some early demos and felt there was enough energy and space there for him to meet us half way, but also input his own style.”

Perhaps vying for importance with the gloriously dark but uplifting sound of the band, is their ‘image.’

Dark Horses are an audio-visual experience,” continues Lisa Elle. “That’s the nature of the world we live in, and being classified externally as a ‘psychedelic’ band is not annoying, so long as internally we retain the freedom to explore the sound. There is a defined identity within any collective, but you need to have a core identity for people to connect with.”

By this, Lisa refers to the occasional comparison with The Velvet Underground that has been thrown the band’s way. She herself has been likened in style to Nico.

“These are amazing artists to be bracketed with. I think every band needs certain reference points to start out with but we don’t want to feel restricted in any way. We need to keep ‘the truth’ and retain that ‘danger.’”

This is a band that does not operate by the rule-book; they defy the constraints of conventionality. But are we any closer to answering the question of what exactly dark horses are?


These particular Dark Horses are racing certainties!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s