Another week, another Monday morning and despite the depressing feeling that the week is stretching far ahead of us, Team Freshnet are here to brighten up your blues with another astonishingly good selection of our, or should I say your, favourite tunes on the net. The ten most popular tracks this week encompass every genre from gritty post-rock to upbeat indie pop and then on to quirky Swedish lo-fi electro. I’m always pleasantly surprised when I sit down to pick my favourite tracks each week only to find it so difficult to choose between a selection of such good music. Despite the slowly building feeling that the summer-proper will never arrive, I’ll content myself for another week by guiding you through the Top Ten tracks of the week, picked by you, loved by us. Enjoy!
ANIMAL NOISE – Baddow
We just can’t stop going on about Animal Noise at the moment. First Johnno invited the band to take part in his first microwave meal interview (the aptly named Prick & Ding) then Tom posted this tune on its own partly to rave about how good it is, partly to wonder aloud why the band wasn’t shouting it from the rooftops and brandishing at people in the streets. It’s nice to know that we’re not alone in our awe then. Four minutes of rough around the edges guitars and raucous vocals picked by you and played with more energy than a toddler after a red bull. Baddow is a stirring anthem perfectly timed for the summer, seemingly hand-crafted to be shouted as you drive along with the windows down on your way to a festival or Underbelly in Hoxton, London where, incidentally, you can catch the band live on the 9th June. In the meantime, wet your appetites with more tunes on their facebook page.
BATTLESHIPS – Turbulence
Now I must declare an interest here. Being from Liverpool (or at least an honourary Scouser) I love Battleships. As energetic and aggressive live as they are on this recording, this band fuse the better bits of Mogwai-esque post-rock and Biffy Clyro before they were famous, Turbulence is awash with soaring guitars and relentless drums. If you’ve had enough of irritating indie bands with guitars so twee they could easily be part of the soundtrack to Last of the Summer Wine, then Battleships will be a welcome return to passion-filled rock with great riffs and a chorus made to be shouted, not sung. Keep up to date with Battleships here.
DAN LENO – Bones
It’s May and we still haven’t had a decent run of warm weather, but while the British weather remains overcast rest assured that Dan Leno is here to bring a bit of sunshine to your life. Perhaps I just can’t hear a Marimba without picturing a cocktail in a coconut but regardless this is an inescapably upbeat tune with unusual instrumentation to match the quirky male-female vocals. Check out the website for more tunes and gig listings!
DEAR LEADERS – Not Summer
Combining the synth sound of The Knife with subtle guitar riffs and slowly evolving beats, Dear Leaders are not the politically charged punk band you might well expect from their name. Not Summer gradually blossoms into a mixture of electro and more math rock inspired indie with guitar polyrhythms contrasting the slowly building synth notes. It’s retro enough to be cool but with contemporary twist. You also can’t fault a band who’re giving away their EP online for a “pay what you like” deal…head over to their bandcamp page to check it out.
GHOST LAKE – Late Spring Morning
Sitting somewhere between lo-fi hip hop and quirky ambient pop, Ghost Lake combine samples and minimal beats with delicate, interweaving vocals. Given this combination it’s perhaps surprising that comparisons can be drawn with Death Cab For Cutie more than anything else. The childish melodies and off kilter rhythms give this track a unique sound which is a no easy feat and merits that you go check out their website here.
LUX LISBON – Sunflower
An ambitious and expansive pop song with a chorus that embeds itself in the back of your mind for later use and some impressive orchestration. Don’t be fooled by swanky production, the reason we all loved this is because of the great song underneath the layers of gentle violins, pianos. The final chorus reaches a glorious climax which, I can testify, is impossible not to join in with. Add to that the fact that they are giving way a few of their tracks for free over on their website and I think I know where your next stop might be…LuxLisbon.com?
MOYA – Lost and Found
What needs to be said about Moya? Are those vocals not enough for you? OK, seriously impressive voice aside, this track is dark, brooding and atmospheric with hints of R&B and alternative rock. Guitar polyrhythms and minimal instrumentation accent rather than muffle the vocals, allowing it to breath and revealing every powerful note. If you’ve already got your festival season planned then you might be lucky enough to catch Moya at one of your summer jaunts. Check out what festivals she’s playing on her website.
SILENCE RISES – Feeling Clever
It’s been a while since we’ve heard a genuinely good, simple, indie band. For a while now the emphasis seems to have been on complexity, fancy production, crossing genre boundaries. Silence Rises are a refreshing return to the familiar with the focus firmly back on great melodies, simple guitars and lush harmonies. If you’re feeling clever, then maybe head over to their website and check out their upcoming tour dates!
SOCCER96 – Call To Arms
Four minutes of glitchy, electro goodness from Soccer96. Perhaps surprisingly, immediate comparisons can be drawn with Brit-Pop and even perhaps The Who, though as Call To Arms develops it evolves into something far darker and more intense before dropping effortlessly back into a punk inspired chorus. For more left-field electro punk tunes head to the bands facebook page, directly and without delay.
WE CUT CORNERS – The Male Mind
Don’t be deceived by their name, We Cut Corners take no shortcuts when it comes to their tunes. The Male Mind is a triumphant piece of rough around the edges indie with plenty of punk influence and the kind of raucous vocals that make Graham Albans weak at the knees. The quivering, vulnerable vocals drive the song forward with an emotional resonance that is hard to avoid. If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in The Male Mind, you can find the relevant support on the We Cut Corners bandcamp page.