Oh for the good old days when Fresh On The Net was a radio show and we had a good four hours a week to fill up with new music. In this weekend’s Listening there were a good many tracks I’d have chosen for the old show without hesitation. As it is, the best I can do now we’re a blog is bend the rules and feature the fifteen most-liked tracks chosen by our readers this week, rather than the usual ten or twelve.
These days my Introducing Mixtape show at 6 Music is only an hour long, and can only feature music that’s been sent to the BBC Introducing Uploader. Dear friends, you’d be astonished how many artists sent us musiclast week, but didn’t read our suggestion of also sending it to the BBC. There were at least five great tracks in this weekend’s Listening Post that – despite all our hints and pleading – simply don’t qualify for BBC Introducing airplay. Sigh.
Meanwhile here are our 15 Fresh Faves, in alphabetical order:
click Read More to see full list
CARPOOL CONVERSATION – Memory Wave
Originally from Cork City, Carpool Conversation are now based in London. And how lovely – nearly 60 years on from the birth of rock’n’roll – to hear a track that’s not quite like anything one has heard before. Oddly accessible, charmingly eccentric, there’s nothing “radiofriendly” or “mainstream” about this mob. As a result they’re far more likely to produce a huge smash OMFG record in the coming months than all the indie-by-numbers Editors clones still being pushed at us by pluggers and record companies on a daily basis. I really really like this track. Find em at carpoolconversation.com
CROW ROAD – Panda Season
Crow Road are three dissertation-free Glasgow musicians, following the recent amicable but unavoidable departure of guitarist Jamie Turner. I’m sure they’d like me to tell you about the buzz that surrounded their early gigs, the record company interest, the fact that Jim Gellatly is a fan, and their forthcoming gig for Tenement TV at The Captain’s Rest. But in fact the reason you need to listen to this is for the assured writing, lovely melancholy Scots-inflected vocal, immaculate shimmering guitar lines, and above all the wonderful crisp drumming of Duncan Kelso – smack in the pocket, unobtrusively driving the song along – the very heartbeat of a band with a very big heart indeed. Find them on Facebook.
HYSTERICAL INJURY – Cycle One
Longstanding favourites with Ruth Barnes and let’s face it all other right-thinking fans of aggressive inyourface lofi Avon-based attackpop, Hysterical Injury (the definite article appears to be optional) consist of siblings Annie and Tom Gardiner. They grew up in Llandeilo, are now based in Bristol and Bath, and released their debut album DEAD WORLF SITUATION on Crystal Fuzz records in February 2012 thanks to part-funding by the Strummerville Foundation for New Music. They make a huge and splendid noise for just two people and you can buy the whole album via thehystericalinjury.co.uk – go on, you know you want to. Annie can also occasionally be found making music under her electronic side project name of Excellent Birds.
KILL MURRAY – Laser
Kill Murray are a brand new band from Oxford consisting of former members of Dial F for Frankenstein, 50ft Panda and Phantom Theory. Once again, it was Chris Hutchinson’s drumming that grabbed me right from the get-go. I know diddly squat about fashionable dressing, yet am assured by those in the know that it’s much the same with shoes: Get the shoes and/or drums right and sorting out a truly startling outfit from there on is pretty much a breeze. I saw them playing a quite literally acoustic set at the Holywell Music Rooms last week - Gus Rogers’ lead vocal mic was turned off. However as you can hear on this track, with Kill Murray the precision kicks in and the energy starts crackling once the amps are cranked up to 11. facebook.com/killmurrayband
LUX LISBON – Maginot Line
Stuart Rook, Lux Lisbon’s singer lives in Durham and works in Newcastle. We’ve been playing their music on 6 Music Introducing shows for four years now, and I finally got to meet Stuart when he came in as a guest earlier this year as the old show was coming to an end. They are a 5 piece indie-rock band who met (and recorded their recent debut album ‘Your Heart Is A Weapon The Size Of Your Fist) in Nottingham. This year they have played Camden Crawl and Dot to Dot festival and are booked for Bestival 2012. Their selfrecorded and selfreleased album is available on Bandcamp, where there’s a live version of this track Maginot Line available as a free download.
MUSHEN – Jitter Mittens
Mushen at least has solid geographical reasons for not uploading his music to BBC introducing – being the California-based project name for Eric Neil Johnson – head of THEMRECORDS. This charming low-key electro instrumental comes from his 6 track EP Subsurface Flowers. My entire sum of knowledge concerning the worlds of electro, beats, and dance music could be written in felt-tip pen on the back of a postage stamp, but the ilovecopyleft blog tells us “Mushen was on a good tip when he was banging these jams using the unquantized recording features of renoise – off kilter nuschool beat wonk laced with dub-wize bass and keys.” Gosh. It’s like another language, but I know what I like. You can enjoy the whole EP at soundcloud.com/mushen if you prefer a familiar interface – and download it in lossless quality for free under Creative Commons from archive.org.
MULATO PINTADO AND N KIDD – Long Time
Nathaniel Kidd is a London born and bred antifolk artist, musician, and writer. His stage name from 2005 to 2011 was Thee Intolerable Kidd but he’s since reverted for all public purposes to his birth name. In recent months he’s been collaborating via email with Mulato Pintado – aka Craig Louis Higgins Jr. from last week’s Fresh Faves Black Daniel. This is the title track from their forthcoming EP/LP, for which they’d already recorded four tracks at the last count. Senor Pintado meanwhile began his artistic career in a Lower East Side apartment with a core group of friends and even better enemies where he became Baron Von Butterplump, an innocent baby and bystander amongst the chaos. This led me to an unlikely place (London) and lifechanging experience as co-lead man in Black Daniel where he still stands today “amongst the rubble of music dreams and aspirations. Which” he adds “brings me to now, Mulato Pintado, for now, and the foreseeable future. Hope you enjoy.”
OF ARROWE HILL – You’re Gonna Do You Wrong
In June 2010 a New York listener recommended a song called “You, The Night & Père Lachaise” which I liked so much we ended up playing it four times that year. The band was OF ARROWE HILL – named for an area of Woodchurch on The Wirral – and formed in London in May 1999. Fans have ranged from John Peel to Julian Cope – and with, rave reviews for their fifth album and a sixth due in Spetember, the whole project – fronted by Adam Easterbrook – has taken on a whole new lease of life. A six minute single ‘The Stars Are Against Us’ will be released on Ouija Board Records in July 2012. Facebook.
PROTECT AND SURVIVE- Political Perjury
“I’m a scientist/housewife with an interest in all music.” says NorthEast-based part-time understairs musician and Amazing Radio fangirl Jo Oliver. “I just want to say something with my songs – this one is fairly self explanatory. I spend a lot of spare time plugging other people’s music – it’s time I pushed some of my own.” In this case it’s wild, fresh mad synthy beats that draw you into the narrative of the astonishing voices she’s sampled. (You are not cattle – you are men!) I’d love to know where all these voices came from, but I guess she’s wisely witheld this information for copyright reasons. “Feel free to visit my much more active Amazing Tunes profile” adds Jo “…many more varied songs there.” She’d also like you to sign the petition to keep Amazing Radio On DAB. As would we.
SONS BETWEEN GUNS – Galatea
“We are” say Sons Between Guns in South East London “Paul Trivett and Thomas Whitelaw. We are both into a ridiculous amount of different types of music but we manage to fuze this all together to make a fresh and original sound… We write produce and mix all of our material, perform live and are signed To R-Lo Records.” (The label was started By Felix Alderisio and Sam DeStefano from – they say – The Bermuda Triangle who are looking for Forward Thinking Music to sign according to their Soundcloud Page). Featuring early-80s Heaven 17-style synthdrum percussion, spooky tremelo guitar and sepulchral vocals this track comes from the label’s debut release, EP Red 1. A followup EP of remixes come out today (Monday May 28th).
THE BROWN HOUND JAMES BAND – Mary Got Married
Songwriter Matt Broadbent hails from Wakefield (home of The Cribs) where he’s been writing, recording and performing for 14 years. He began his career in Dugong a post-punk band who released 3 albums on the Leeds label Bombed Out Records and extensively toured the Uk and Europe. Seeking an outlet for his more acoustic material he then formed Nathaniel Green. If UK-flavoured Americana is your thing (and for a great many of our readers it clearly is) you won’t find a more authentic-sounding expression of it than Matt’s latest project The Brown Hound James Band.
TURNPIKE GLOW – The Turn, The Pike And The Glow
Turnpike Glow are not the first ambitious Italian band to flee the glossy mainstream pop and closed-shop record industry of their homeland for a haven in the UK. Starting life in Rome they soon found themselves in demand as a local support act for the likes of The Futureheads and Cooper Temple Clause. In 2007 they started flying here to do live shows in th UK and core members Sandro Schiena and Giuseppe La Mela soon moved to London fulltime – armed with only their guitars and a bag full of European plug adaptors. They met, talked, laughed and eventually joined up with a UK drummer and guitarist and here they are – making perky upbeat synthy indiepop reminiscent of their fellow countrymen The Banshee. No bad thing in my book.
VASCO DA GAMA – Them Teeth
Having been the first to recommend them to my radio show last Summer, Team Freshnet’s Chris Chadwick will be glad to see Vasco Da Gama win a well deserved place in this week’s Fresh Faves. They describe themselves as a “Liverpool four-piece creating a dynamic and unpredictable racket, incorporating Latin rhythm and pop sensibility into the math-rock sound of 1990s Chicago and Washington DC.” Personally I wouldn’t know 1990′s math-rock if it bit me in the leg but this track won me over within seconds at the Listening Post. You might imagine on first listen that its appeal lies in the aforementioned racket – all spacious guitar lines and spiky minimal drums, but for me it’s all about the vocals. The strangely memorable melody, peculiarly haunting lyrics and immaculate falsetto harmonies. This band could stand on a stage, sing this acapella and still bring the house down.
WEIRDSHAPES – Help me to Land
I like Dan Spooner, I like Weird Shapes and I like this song. Clearly so did you, which is why so many of you placed it in your top five on the Listening Post this weekend. So I’m not going to bang on about what it sounds like – it’s the finest thing we’ve heard form the band to date and you can hear its wonderful poise and texture for yourself by clicking “play”. But the band biog Dan sent us bears repeating – as as an object lesson in Steve Lawson’s maxim: don’t tell us how great you are, tell us how INTERESTING you are.
“Beeb people!” he cries “We work bloody hard making music in and around our horrific day time jobs. All our relationships are strained to breaking point due to the seemingly endless amounts of money and time we put into this band. We’d be dead, dead chuffed if you played our music as it would go some of the way to excusing our selfish, musicianlike behavior in the eyes of our Wives & Girlfriends!” They are playing The Star & Shadow at Evolution Emerging in Newcastle this Friday June 1st. Their partners hate them.
YANMOLBY – Actress
I’d always thought these singular noise terrorists Yanmolby were based in Bristol, but their Soundcloud gives their location as Oxford/Taunton, Britain (UK) and they ought to know. Formed in 2005 Beef “resides” while Daniel is – apparently – based “elsewhere”. They share their name but almost nothing else with a fat Danish midfielder though (as the mysteriously-named Beef confided a while back) they do like the Carlsberg and the bacon. Actress is so restrained for Yanmolby that you’d hardly know it was them – though they can’t resist getting a bit glitchy towards the end. I’d also recommend downloading more of their free tracks like La Corrida and Are You Awake… It’s just a shame we can no longer hear the first song of theirs that caught my attention back in February 2009: Broken Robo. Click here for full tracklist archive 2007-2012.