Fresh Faves: Batch 16

Ay Up! Thanks everyone for picking your favourite tracks for us again – another week, another lovely batch of songs. And guess what, Sunshine Lovers – yep, its bloody raining again. You just gotta love our British summers. Ah well, at least we have some bright music.

Note: Salvation by Fold did get some decent digits and is a fine tune but after Fold being featured here quite a bit lately, we feel it’s time to give a few others a go for a little while. So, in strictly alphabetical order, here are your picks this week:

COP ON THE EDGE – Runaway

This starts out as music to slide across the bonnet of a car to, then morphs into a fresh (but 80s flavoured) indie explosion of guitars, synths and voices. Lovely big choruses – but who is sending bloody morse code in the background eh? Don’t you realise there’s an epic indie anthem going on all around you!

FAMILIAR CREATURES – Keep The Kids Pinned In

I picked this in my own Top 5. Cracking skit this (yes that was “skit” mother, go back to sleep). A London-based band with a singer who sounds more Irish than your cockney – and all the better for it in my opinion. A jumping groove that veers from Paul Simon (One Trick Pony era) to a sort of Mariachi Funk Reggae Groove Thing. On paper it probably shouldn’t work – but hey, who uses paper these days? Just jump, bop and headnod repeatedly to this warm grower.

PALACE – St. Albans (Things We Used To Do)

I like the fact that “all tracks were recorded by ourselves in Tom’s (drummer) garage and Luke’s (guitarist) bedroom”. What a garage and bedroom they must have! They do have a big sound but don’t overcomplicate things, keeping it simple and then building the dynamic range through the song. Palace are a five piece from Hartlepool – and isn’t it great to talk about bands who aren’t from the so called Music-Biz-Friendly ‘fashionable’ cities. Though I’m not suggesting Hartlepool isn’t fashionable: it looks well good on the photos of the coastline – inspiration galore, I reckon. Good lucks guys.

RACE HORSES – Mates

Kicking off in a Beautiful South stylee, this a real joy. With a pianist mashing up the Liberace-Meets-Back-To-The-Future-Prom-Band vibe (and backing vocals that doo-woop like theres no tomorrow) this is a Technicolor pop explosion that grows on you like a new best friend. A five piece from Cardiff, I reckon Race Horses would be enormous fun to go for a drink with. I also reckon they would a great band to see live – you know how you just get that feeling in your water sometimes, don’t you? I might try and be their mate. Great song.

RAGNHILD NORDSET – You Started It All

Yep, liking this. Ragz has a very interesting voice and is backed by the flavoursome electronica of Mario. It’s sort of Electronica Chill. Or is it Tribal Ambient Folk: I dunno – what do you think? Lovely use of a gentle piano refrain with vocal harmonies – added to splashes of well placed and produced electronica – making this perfect relax-and-ponder music. Just remembered what it put me in mind of: a gentle version of Tubular bells by Mike Oldfield (as used in The Exorcist movie). Nicely done.

THE LOW COUNTRIES – At The End Of The Day

A lovely piano-led ballad. Gentle, effective and by far the best Anglo-Flemish duo of the week – also included in my personal Top 5. I don’t normally go for piano-led slow burners like this but it felt real, it felt heartfelt and it felt good. I really like the way the song builds: they put me in mind of Ron Sexsmith who is rather brilliant. This is indie folk music from the heart and I say “give it a go.”

THE NARROWS – There Are Ghosts In These Machines

Tasty groove, male voice in the high register ,drum hits like a wonky typewriter – whats not to like? This lost me a little when the electric guitar jumped into my face at 1:28 but they brought it back home – and rather fetching it was, too. The Narrows are a three piece from Manchester who make (in their own words) “dark futuristic electro guilt pop.” These former regulars and guests on Tom’s old Fresh On The Net radio shows for BBC Radio 6 Music were a popular choice this week.

THE RAILWAY CLUB – Broken Strings

Sure to please fans of indie rock/pop The Railway Club sing of hearts being broken & playing their shoulder like a violin. Male & female vocals interlink & work very well together. You’ll find The Railway Club on Gateshead based Tiny Lights recordings, where I believe this song is soon to be available on cassette – nice touch. Apprently Tom was impressed by their live set at Sunderland’s Split Transmission event last September – you can see video of him talking about it here.

THE YOUNG VANISH – Julia

A lovely acoustic guitar led song from Manchester based Stu Vanish. Beautifully played & sung, this is gentle folk in the singer/songwriter tradition and very nicely done. Well recorded & produced song (and a demo to boot) which sounds as though Stu has recorded it in a warm acoustic room. There are many lovers of gentle, reflective folk music I know who will find this work very endearing. Although he’s his own man, echoes of Badly Drawn Boy and Metz put Mr Vanish on a very firm footing. He hosts the Acoustic Wednesdays open mic night at Manchester’s Tiger Lounge.

THOMAS McCONNELL – So Long, Souvenirs

Thomas is a 19 year old songwriter from Liverpool. I think they must put Essence Of The Beatles in the water in the ‘Pool. Love the mouth clicks, the reverbed-up organ and the Liverpool drawl of Thomas’s vocal. Madcap song – with 60′s psychedelic overtures. This one grows on you bigtime: a real cracking tune showing tremendous pop sensibilities. Thomas is a shining example of how to get loads of comments (127 and counting) on Soundcloud – he either has loads of friends or he’s blooming brilliant. Make your own minds up, dear readers.

TURNPIKE GLOW – 1986

Jumping out of the speakers like fresh indie daisies, this woke me up bigtime! And for an Anglo-Italian four piece, waking up Johnno with a big wide grin at 12.55am is not an easy thing to do. Really enjoying the ’1986′ vocal refrain and the slightly distorted sound of – just about everything. And the Graham Coxon-like guitar licks are a cheeky treat that I will say YES to in this great big of bowl of indie goodness. I bet they’re a great band to see live. Like the lyrics – I was surprised with delight – though I wasn’t in Rome. Check this out!

YELLOWIRE – All Said & Done

And the best just got better. Listening earlier today, this was the standout track for me from the whole of this week’s batch. A few of the others have caught up with it after repeated plays – but this still does what it says on the tin so well – and then some. I don’t like giving bands or tracks a genre stamp: it just rocks. With a sexy video, this is a hit waiting to happen. Really well played, sung and delivered: a great groove and great vocalist, operating around a very very memorable piano lick. Yellowire love boats apparently. I love the sound they get on them! Wanted to listen to lots more (always a good sign) but with swathes of mere 30 second clips on Soundcloud, I didn’t get enough so I left. Check this song out though, it’s truly a tune!

Johnno & Tom
Johnno Casson

PS from Tom: this week did also see strong support for Jon Vautier, Olivia Louvel, Foamlizards, Inner Banks, Lady Fortune, Fold and Weird Ribs. But, taking everything into consideration, the above eleven tracks were the ones that you (and we) liked best of all. And, Ladies And Gentlemen, warm thanks to Team Freshnet’s esteemed Johnno for stepping forward at short notice to bring us this week’s Fresh Faves.

Johnno Casson

Johnno Casson is a London-born/Colchester-based singer, musician, songwriter and show-off. He also compiles and releases compilations and is a serial supporter of new music. Johnno releases his own music as Snippet ,Old Tramp and also under his own name Johnno Casson.. As far as we know he was the most-played artist ever on Tom's legendary late night Fresh On The Net radio shows on 6 Music - having been featured no less than 18 times and appearing as an interview guest. You can also find Johnno on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube...

9 Comments

  1. Thanks Johnno & Tom for the mentions – we know you’ve already given us load of support and we don’t want to take any room away from other artists needing a boost. We just got a little excited about the new track :) Thanks to everyone for listening & to those who voted for us!

  2. Stu

    Wow, thanks everyone. My first proper review! A kind one too! x

  3. Thanks so much Tom, Johnno and Team Freshnet. This means masses to us and in such good company too.
    Woo! YWx

  4. Thomas McConnell

    Thanks so much for including me in this weeks Fresh Faves and for giving me such a nice review, much appreciated
    Thomas

  5. Wes

    The Olivia Louvel track was awesome, I put it here: http://www.thisismyjam.com/weswhite

  6. Tom

    @Yellowire Congratulations to you too – its a fantastic track. But can I just point out that you’ve ignored our heavy hints to upload the track to http://www.bbc.co.uk/introducing/uploader if you want it included on my BBC Introducing Mixtape… Same goes for Olivia if she reads this.

    Big thanks to Thomas and Stu – both of whom were conscientious about uploading their tunes to the BBC – as were most of the other acts on the Listening Post this week.

    And Wes, am really appreciating your involvement and support for what we’re doing here. If you ever feel like writing us a guest post on any subject you like, do get in touch!

  7. Spreading the word on up & coming interesting artists is what its all about.I’m only too pleased to be able to do that:-).

    Do heed Tom’s words though everyone on uploading your tracks to the introducing uploader.This is a great opportunity so grab it.
    Best

    Johnno

  8. Thanks Tom and Johnno for that ‘hint’! We have corrected the error of our ways :) YWx

  9. Thanks for the Ragz Nordset post… The link is not working?

    Try this

    http://soundcloud.com/nunorthernsoul/ragz-nordset-you-started-it-2

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