A high listener turnout over the Jubilee weekend: including Team Freshnet members, 45 people came and cast an ear over our Listening Post to tell us their five favourites. Adding them all up – and taking everything into consideration – we’ve ended up with nine Fresh Faves this week. In strictly alphabetical order…
BARK BARK DISCO – Let’s Do This
Bark Bark Disco are a self-proclaimed ‘bedroom pop’ band from Malta and Berlin. The lo-fi production and scuzzy guitars make ‘Let’s Do This’ a very appealing track, and the playful boy-girl harmonies only add to this. It might not get nominated for an Ivor Novello any time soon, but it’s certainly good fun.
DIABROTIKOS – Ghetto Detroids
Although the name sounds like a Greek restaurant, Diabrotikos, Diabrotikos is/are from Toulouse. I think. It’s quite tricky to find anything out about them online. One thing I know for sure is that ‘Ghetto Detroids’ is well worth tracking down. Full of electronic bleeps and eerie chimes, it’s a menacing, creeping little number, which sounds a little bit like a house-ier Aphex Twin. And yes, ‘house-ier’ is a real word, OK?
GOLD ROAD – Madeline
‘Madeline’ is three-and-a-half minutes of pure, unadulterated loveliness. With breezy, Motown-influenced arrangements rounded off beautifully by Hazel Tratt’s gorgeous vocals, it’s the perfect song to soundtrack your (hopefully) sunny bank holiday weekend. Oh, and you can also download it for free from Gold Road’s SoundCloud page.
MOUNTAIN FOLK – Don’t Go Down There
The work of UK-based Tom Eno and Denmark-based René Kirkegaard, collectively known as Mountain Folk, ‘Don’t Go Down There’ might be a bit of a slow-burner, but it’s definitely worth sticking with for the whole of its seven minutes and twelve seconds. Strangely hypnotic and effortlessly restrained, it’s no wonder that this track has been piquing the attention of the likes of Steve Lamacq and Rob Da Bank.
SHANE BEALES – Sapling and Buds
As spacious and pastoral as the name suggests, ‘Saplings and Buds’ is a very nice track that features a few unexpected chord changes and some lovely melodies. Although at times the track sounds like it needs a bit of beefing up, at the core it’s a great song – and one that may benefit from multiple listens.
According to her Facebook page, Sharliza Jelita “does eclectro-pop songs packaged in rainbows and lightning.” Strangely enough, I can’t think of a better way to describe it than that. ‘Strange Things’ combines trip-hop sensibilities with an urban edge, all held together by gentle, swelling strings. Her album is out this year, and if the rest of it is half as good as ‘Strange Things’, it’s going to be something of a cracker.
SHURA – Spoke In The Voice Of An Older Man (Afternaut remix)
Another electronic track, this time icy and minimal. Afternaut has taken what was originally an intoxicatingly captivating acoustic track and given it a new life. There’s only one problem now – I can’t decide whether I prefer this version, or Shura’s original. Personally, I think I’m just leaning towards the remix, but you should still check out the acoustic version on Shura’s SoundCloud and decide for yourself.
SONS BETWEEN GUNS – 9 Miles Down A Black Line
More subdued electronica (there’s a lot of it about this week, isn’t there?), courtesy of Sons Between Guns. Regular readers may know of this duo already, as they’ve been in the Listening Post for a couple of weeks running now, but if you haven’t checked them out yet then this track makes the perfect introduction to them.
THE INNER BANKS – Sketch
Saving the best until last this week, ‘Sketch’ is my personal favourite song out of all of this Fresh Faves batch. It might not have any vocals, but the slide guitar and the strings provide enough of a hook to hold your attention. Floating somewhere in between dream pop, shoegaze, slowcore and, um, The Verve, ‘Sketch’ is taken from The Inner Banks’ upcoming album, which is due for release this month. I, for one, can’t wait.