Oxford seems to be the place to be for independent musicians lately, as least as far as Angry Baby is concerned.  Ciphers, an alt rock band are the latest Oxford based band to catch our eye, with their EP, Future Tribes, just released. The band comprise Kieran Spriggs (guitar, synths),  Lindsey Spriggs (bass, vocals  – yes, they are married), Mila Todd (vocals), Pete Lloyd (guitar, vocals), Sam Spacksman (drums) and enjoy a good following on the live circuit in and around Oxford.

As with a lot of independent music, the music that comes from Ciphers can be described as many things and Future Tribes is a mixture of alt rock and classic 90’s rock sounds mixed with a liberal amount of gothic drama.  This EP is not something that can be counted as background music – it demands to be listened to.  Mila Todd’s vocal style reminded me of Skunk Anansie and Gwen Stefani, bringing a lot of power whilst still being versatile enough to adapt to quieter moments.  I would like to hear Mila singing something acoustically.

Before you read on, Ciphers are giving a FREE download of “Howl”, to Angry Baby readers. If you’re not already subscribed to Angry Baby, just pop the email address that you’d like it delivered to here and it will be on its way to you straight away, together with a bumper collection of music that has been shared by Angry Baby. The music comes from outstanding artists that you may not have heard before. With a mix of rock, pop, folk…you name it…there’s bound to be something new that floats your musical boat, and all for free! What’s not to like about that?!

Future Tribes begins with a song that has the longest intro I’ve heard for a long time.  Forty seconds into ‘Feeder‘ and the initially pared down intro launches into Mila’s powerful vocals, setting the scene for all three tracks.   The length of the intro builds up the anticipation, so that when the vocals begin, you’re fully immersed into the sound.

The second track, ‘Twiggy‘ again features a softer opening but with an underlying sense of urgency generated by a pulsing beat, particularly effective against the vocals.  The third and final track, ‘Fox‘, further explores the dark side of life with matching gothic imagery and sounds, leading the listener to revisit the previous two tracks.  This is an EP that leaves you wanting more so let’s hope that there is more to come from Ciphers.  Future Tribes definitely has potential as a future album.

That Ciphers plays a lot of live music is evident in their sound and their advice to aspiring musicians centres around this.  They say

“Get out there and play with or in front of people as soon as you can, you will learn what works and what needs improvement more quickly.”

Future Tribes was released on May 27th. Get your copy here.

Follow the band at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

And get your free download of music from Angry Baby now, including Ciphers’ “Howl” – just pop your email down below!