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It is with impeccable timing that the week after Brighton’s Great Escape Festival, the UK’s most famous multi-venue event showcasing the best new music, Nice Swan Records announce their latest signing, Shady Baby – one of Brighton’s own, as they release their debut single, 'Come To Life'.


Last year, Nice Swan Records started the monthly ‘Nice Swan Introduces...’ series, shining a light on the most exciting emerging talent. Following releases with the likes of Sports Team, Pip Blom, FEET & FUR, the Series introduced a whole wave of new and exciting talent including Courting, Sprints, Malady, English Teacher & Opus Kink, which cemented the label as one of the country’s most exciting independent record labels for discovering the hottest new talent. Volume two of the series has already unearthed Prima Queen, Deadletter and Saloon Dion, with Shady Baby being the latest.

Speaking on the debut track, Sam said:

“‘Come To Life’ is an angry response to feeling like people treated you like shit but you let them get away with it. Feeling both angry at them but also at yourself for letting it happen.”

Shady Baby is the musical project of Brighton-based Sam Leaver. Inspired by the sounds of Madchester & Britpop, and with a love for John Cooper Clarke, Leaver began making his own brand of angst-ridden pop during the height of lockdown where songs were formed out of frustration whilst locked in his bedroom. Having approached Brighton-based producer Theo Verney with his early demos, the two instantly formed a musical bond that has seen them work closely together in the studio ever since and Verney has helped hone the exciting sound of the debut tracks of Shady Baby.

Sam then enlisted the support of old childhood friend Laurie Debnam on guitar after bumping into him at a house party in Brighton after not seeing each other in a decade. Nick Varnava and Tom Jackson complete the line up, having joined from other bands on the scene in the legendary musical city.

Despite having not released any music yet, the band sold out their first headline show in the city and will perform their first out of town show next month at London’s iconic 100 Club as part of the Nice Swan Records showcase event alongside new label buddies The Rills, Malady, Anorak Patch and Saloon Dion. Watch this space, Shady Baby have arrived and a raft of exciting new music awaits.

'Come To Life' is out now.


The Lowdown is an online blog & print entertainment platform for music discovery featuring the very best in both established and upcoming talent. Find the latest news, reviews, interviews with your favourite artists and grab tickets to upcoming gigs & tours.


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