Esben and the Witch are a three piece indie rock band from Brighton, England. After a self-released EP 33 in 2009 and a limited 7-inch single "Lucia, at the Precipice" in February 2010, the band signed with Matador Records. The band's debut single for the label, "Marching Song", was released on 11 October 2010 and their debut album Violet Cries was released on January 31, 2011.
Esben and the Witch formed in Brighton in 2008 and have released several singles. They have received positive reviews from NME, Pitchfork Media and The Guardian. The band have played live support for The xx, Wild Beasts, Foals, and The Big Pink. The band's Modus operandi is to strive for total uniqueness, saying in reference to their debut album "it had to be new, it had to be something which we felt had not been explored previously".
In May 2010 the band contributed to the London edition of The Creators Project, warping one of 33's tracks, "Corridors", into an eighteen-minute soundscape to soundtrack artist Karl Sadler's lit forest installation. This version was released on the Chorea EP.
In October 2010, Q Magazine announced that the band were on their inaugural "next big thing" shortlist. The award was won by Clare Maguire. On 6 December 2010, BBC Music announced that the band were included in their Sound of 2011 poll.
Violet Cries received an 8/10 rating from NME, with reviewer Ben Hewitt describing it as "gothic, but not goth" and "akin to entering a Ye Olde English fairy tale". The album also received favourable reviews from Drowned in Sound (9/10), The Guardian (3/5) and Pitchfork (6.6/10). The LP was named as one of NME's Top 50 albums for the first half of 2011.
The band's second album, Wash the Sins Not Only the Face, was announced on October 29, 2012, with a release date set for January 21, 2013.