Stop the press, put down that Easter Egg, SiCo sit down and shut up because the people have spoken and another batch of the freshest tracks available on the world wide web as chosen by Fresh On The Net users have been voted for and decided upon. This weeks batch of new tunes was so strong that we just couldn’t make up our minds which we liked best. We had a tie for the last few places in this week’s Fresh Faves and as a result our Top 10 is more of a Top 13 now. But that’s a good thing though isn’t it?
In my humble opinion the thirteen tracks below are the perfect representation of FOTN, eclecticism and quality lie at it’s heart with offerings this week ranging from abstract ambience to solo jazz clarinet. So recline in your chair on this bank holiday Monday and enjoy some of the best in new music from emerging artists on the internet.
This week’s Fresh Faves in alphabetical order…
afarOne – Trial and Error
Abstract, ambient and evolving, this certainly isn’t your average pop song. afarOne’s Trial and Error shines for bold experimentation, combining traditional instrumentation with electronic elements to create a slow swelling ethereal soundscape. It’s great to be able to spread this tune to a wider audience from this platform because, within the Radio community, six minute abstract pieces are not the easiest proposition. Check out afarOne’s other work on his website.
Bethany Weimers – Silver Moon
Bethany Weimers creates a haunting atmosphere with quirky instrumentation and distinctive vocals. Think Florence without the Machine or Kate Bush in a cathedral. Silver Moon is a shimmering piece of Alt-Folk with delicate falsetto harmonies and the gentle sound of a harpsichord permeating the whole piece to beautiful effect. Perhaps that’s why the Oxford based songstress’ latest EP is entitled Harpsichord Row. Either way you can listen to the whole EP and more on Bethany’s website.
Calico – Anything Goes
2011 was 20 years since the release of Nirvana’s seminal album Nevermind and the music press prepared itself for a barrage of fuzz. Thankfully the British public weren’t overwhelmed by acts who put nostalgia over substance and the current batch of bands who’re bringing lo-fi back to our hi-fi’s are all backed by one, all important attribute. Anything Goes isn’t just all fuzz and distorted vocals, underneath that lies a great song with a chorus crafted for sing-a-longs and an opening riff that would make Rivers Cuomo weak at the knees. Style AND substance. What more could you want? How about some more tunes? Sounds like you need Calico’s Soundcloud.
Channel Cairo – A Year
Channel Cairo are the complete package. Intricate instrumentation, great musicianship, an ear for melody and strong, emotive vocals. A Year is a perfect piece of alternative pop and that’s a difficult thing to achieve. It maintains a distinctive style whilst incorporating some of those big hooks and vocal melodies that have Radio DJ’s drooling and teenagers going absolutely mental. For much much more of the same anthemic sound head over to the bands website.
Citizens – Reptile
Citizens are set for big things.Having already been included in NME’s Radar and with this single out on super suave label Kitsune, all the vitals are good for this London five-piece. Reptile is a fitting title for a cold blooded dance floor filler with more than a hint of eighties influenced synths and dark, sneering vocals. The pulsating beat and jangling guitars evoke toe-tapping tourettes upon first listen and the melodies will bounce around your head whilst you lie in a sugar induced coma for the week after Easter. See you on the other side. http://www.citizens.cz
Dry The River – New Ceremony
Dry the River have been long time favourites of FOTN and this year have been hotly tipped to be one of the breakthrough bands of 2012. It’s hard to argue with that analysis when you listen to New Ceremony. I could quite easily stop by saying simple…those vocals. With such an instantly recognisable vocal style, Dry the River could quite easily stand out for that fact alone. But more than that, New Ceremony is a perfect example of their rousing alternative indie with heavy folk influences, clever instrumentation and melodies that are never for a second dull. Check out the band’s website.
Joshua Caole – Pleased to have you
Taking traditional folk songwriting and making it your own can be difficult, not least when you’re a solo musician. Joshua Caole manages it somehow by using his whimsical solo vocals to drive Pleased To Have You relentlessly forward. The backing band that fills out this track add subtle harmonies to Joshua’s playing, with picked guitar parts and carefully chosen bass melodies. It’s soothing, feel-good and exactly what the doctor ordered on a lazy bank holiday Monday. For live dates and more tunes check out Joshua’s facebook page.
Luca Luciano – Jazz Impromptu
Don’t just love the eclecticism of the music picked for this week’s Fresh Faves? From abstract, avant garde composition to alternative folk, anthemic indie pop to lo-fi fuzz and some impromptu solo clarinet. That this piece, with no backing, vocals and an absence of traditional song structures, repetition or simple rhythms, stands up against the other tracks in this weeks batch is a testament to the incredible musicianship behind Jazz Impromptu. Two minutes of captivating melody, rising and falling, swelling and fading. Luca Luciano, you’re a very, very talented guy. And we love it. Check Luca’s website for more info and music.
Melissa James – I Need You
Classic songwriting never gets old, never becomes obsolete with the passing of a trend. Melissa James’ I Need You is a piece of classic soul for the twenty first century complete with quivering organ solo, brass section and beautiful backing vocals. Centre stage are Melissa’s emotive vocals, delicate in places, powerful in others. I need you is a song that soothes the soul. For more of the same check out her website.
The Savage Nomads – Tension in the Middle
Sigur Ros featuring Mike Skinner would be the easiest way to describe this track, though that doesn’t really do it justice. Ambient instrumentation combines effortlessly with a vocal style reminiscent of The Streets or Sage Francis. Tension in the Middle is awash with electronic instrumentation, warped guitar melodies and upbeat drum lines all played over underlying synths atmospheres. It stands out as, dare I say it, highly original, innovative and engaging. Check out the Savage Nomads tumblr before they up-sticks and move on.
Sid Sings – Make Me Howl
Somewhere between T-Rex and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s comes this week’s Fresh Fave Sid Sings. Dark, brooding and inescapably catchy, Make Me Howl packs one hell of a punch with female vocals that could easily give Karen O or even Beth Ditto reason to look nervously over their shoulders. If Sid is the singer, then go hear her sing on the band’s Soundcloud.
Little X’s for Eyes – Kind Hearts (Sounds of System Breakdown Remix)
We don’t often champion remixes on FOTN, preferring instead to promote original artists, but when remixes are unavoidable, inventive and original we can’t help but fall in love with them. The fluctuating synth and gentle vocal samples are sensitively put together on this track to create something new that remains faithful in quality at least to the original tune. Would I be alone in describing this as the type of remix that would have me subconsciously dancing a little bit as I walk round the supermarket with headphones in? Check out the original artist and Sounds of System Breakdown, they’re both great.
The Sun Electric Band – In The Clouds
We Brits are obsessed with the weather, right now we’re all sat at home grumbling that we had some semblance of summer cruelly snatched away from us and replaced with gloomy grey skies. Forget about the weather and let The Sun Electric Band be your sunshine with their beautifully crafted harmonies, jangling guitars and simple rhythms. Reminiscent in places of Liverpool’s own Fab Four with hints of the Beach Boys thrown in for good measures, In The Clouds is a perfect slice of sunshine indie pop. Have a look at their bandcamp page for more tracks and info.