Fresh Faves Batch 2

It’s only week two of our new online “Fresh Faves” feature and we were overwhelmed to receive almost fifty tracks in just a few short days. Thanks to everyone that got involved and picked their favourites from that batch to create our second ‘Most-Liked’ list. The quality was incredibly high and some artists that really impressed Team Freshnet didn’t make the list, but that’s sort of the point isn’t it? Most music blogs assume the self importance to voice their opinions on new music like gospel truths, but what other blog promotes new music as picked by you, the reader? Enjoy!

JAY STANSFIELD – Contact

Three minutes into this track I sat open-mouthed wondering how on earth something that started with such delicate guitar lines and melodies that Simon & Garfunkel would weep over, had reached a climax bordering on progressive rock. A unique and theatrical offering from Jay Stansfield, who refuses to be drawn into traditional song structures and perfectly demonstrates that good songwriting knows ignores boundaries of genre and convention. You can buy Jay’s current album ‘Lovism’ from his website.

DEADWALL – Curse Of The Black Widow

Pining falsetto and an expansive refrain with soaring harmonies, this track build and evolves slowly before giving way to twinkling glockenspiel and piano melodies that tug on the heartstrings. It’s haunting and melancholic with clever lyricism and intricate instrumentation that has the potential to be truly breath-taking. Check out the band’s website for details of upcoming shows and releases

MICHAEL REEVE – Forget Cruel Words

Passionate vocals and swelling guitar melodies combined to spine tingling effect. With perfect pop production and a keen ear for that ever elusive hook, the enchanting refrain “don’t slow me down” will be cemented into your subconscious for weeks after the first listen. For all your Michael Reeve needs check out his website.

TOMOS LEWIS – I Died Deep Inside

Don’t be deceived by the depressing title, despite the immediate imagery of an over-emotional singer-songwriter “I Died Deep Inside” is surprisingly uplifting with shimmering guitar lines and a punchy beat. After a few glitches with embedding it’s great we can now showcase Tomos’ talent on this post – make sure you also check out his website.

ANTON FRANK – I Don’t Wanna Change Your World

Sometimes simplicity is beauty. Forget intricate guitar riffs and complex instrumentation, this track triumphs as a piece of pure pop goodness for its straight beat and simple guitar harmonies. A British Bruce Springsteen? Maybe not yet, but the potential is there. Listen to more of Anton’s stuff on his soundcloud.

MAISIE-MAE – Nerd Love

This girl is fifteen. FIFTEEN! Having already been plugged by Tim Johns on BBC Introducing Lincolnshire, Maisie Mae’s youthful lyrics are fantastic because they’re just that, youthful and yet incredibly intricate. Think Kate Nash or Lily Allen with innocence intact. With all the time in the world to develop and refine her already impressive songwriting skills, Maisie Mae is sure to be a force to be reckoned with in the not so distant future. Get more info on Maisie’s website.

FAMILIAR CREATURES – NoEmma

A relentless piece of folk with a decidedly punk feel and infectious horn melodies. The gritty vocals of Irish frontman, Brian Kelly, add to the charm of this to-the-point piece of socially conscious folk-punk. Download their tunes for FREE from their soundcloud.

YUNIOSHI – Reykjavik

Finally! Some electro! Amongst the sea of singer-songwriters in this week’s batch, Yunioshi stood out for their Kraftwerk inspired synth sounds and a beautifully harmonised chorus. The verse vocals have all the pop swagger of a band with years of experience whilst the chorus line will surely be found reverberating around your skull days after first listen. Check out the band’s Bandcamp page for more top tracks!

JIMMY DAVIS – This Is England

All too often rap artists fall into the trappings of false pretence, creating fantasy lifestyles for themselves revolving around dollars and dolls, freshness and frivolity. Jimmy Davis’ gritty observations and self deprecating humour are a welcome return to Hip-Hop’s roots in social unrest. More recent comparisons could be made to Mike Skinner with straight beats and distorted guitar samples. With support from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, it’s clearly not just Freshonthenet readers who see his potential. Check out Jimmy’s tunes via his soundcloud page.

ROB MURPHY – What Do I Say

Starting as a piece of gentle acoustic pop, with hints of Jose Gonzalez and Damien Rice before cascading into synth-laden electro is no easy task. What Do I Say descends gradually into ethereal synth ambience with pulsating bass lines and clattering drums making the task of fusing the two seem easy. Rob’s soundcloud is jam-packed with great tunes!

Big thanks to everybody who took the time to rate the tracks for us in this last enormous batch. Tom reads and listens to everything that people post on this blog and he played several of these artists on his radio show this weekend. We’ll have Batch Three ready for you to check out in our Listening Post next week and artists – to submit a track for consideration, just click here.

Chris Chadwick
4th March 2012

Chris Chadwick

Writer for BidoLito (bidolito.co.uk) Freshonthenet and Zero Core // Blogger on newblackuk.tumblr.com // Aspiring Radio Producer & Music Writer // Graduate of the University of Liverpool

It’s an honour to be able to write for FreshOnTheNet. I’m really excited to get stuck in and help unsigned artists get some press and recognition in whatever small way I can.

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