FRESH FAVES: BATCH 28

It’s Monday and once again we have a fresh batch of tracks to ease those post weekend blues. As ever, we offer our massive thanks to all the artists who submitted their tunes and all the listeners who stopped by to hear them.

CALM AS THE COLOUR – Velvet Sunburst

This four piece from Fife cite 80’s indie pop and shoegaze as strong influences on their sound. There’s a certainly a nod to fellow compatriots The Jesus And Mary chain in their work, but Calm As The Colour take the expansive chiming guitars and big reverb laden drums and run with it, very much putting their own twist on proceedings. The songwriting is strong and here they’ve crafted a catchy little gem, which would have any self-respecting indie disco attendee stomping along. They’ve a keen eye for melody too and utilise harmonies beautifully on the choruses. This track is available as a free download from their Bandcamp and whilst you’re there you can also check out their latest offering, the ‘Tomorrow Belongs To A World Apart EP’.

DE’BORAH – A Thousand Tongues

This track was hugely popular with Freshnet listeners this week and it’s not hard to see why. There are no tricks here, just a gently picked guitar and some frankly stunning vocals. De’Borah has one of those voices that makes you stop everything and just listen, until you emerge trancelike from the other side wondering whether it felt like a second or a lifetime. It is perhaps a little lazy to draw comparisons to Joni Mitchell, but De’Borah’s voice certainly shares a purity and vulnerability that makes me think this song wouldn’t feel out of place nestled somewhere on ‘Song to a Seagull’. ‘A Thousand Tongues’ is the title track from the Croyden artist’s latest E.P. which is available via her facebook page.

ELIZA AND THE ORGANIX – Let Me Have This

Built around an infectious guitar lick, this track exudes jazz cool all the time tempered by a rock sensibility, which keeps it direct and to the point. Saxophones swirl and the rhythm section grooves whilst laidback vocals put you in mind of a city street at dusk, with headlights streaking though the smoky heat and steam rising from the sewer caps. Hailing from New York State and led by singer, guitarist and songwriter Eliza Waldman, this track is taken from debut album The Organix Experience which Eliza describes as “the fruition of years of songwriting and a great deal of collaboration with awesome musicians”. Having successfully funded the album via Kickstarter earlier this year, the excellent results are now available via their Bandcamp page.

IDOL IMAGES – Fallout

Idol Images make no-nonsense indie rock and do it well. Weighing in at just over three minutes, Fallout is an exercise in punchy pop brevity, with tightly wound Smiths-esque guitars and a rhythm section that sound like they don’t have an ounce of fat on them. Singer Roxi’s vocals mesh perfectly with the music, her angular lines sparing playfully whilst always threatening to switch into full-blown attack mode and when she lets fly at the song’s storming finale we’re not left disappointed. With members from various corners of the globe, this four-piece currently call London home and according to their Soundcloud page, with fresh material in the can, they’re ready to hit the road, so hopefully they’ll be gigging near you soon!

JOYCE THE LIBRARIAN – Follow Me, I’m Right Behind You

Although anyone going to Bestival might be able to suspend disbelief for another week, summer is undeniably nearing its end. However, fear not, the soothing folk of Joyce the Librarian is here to ease you into the twilight months, with lilting guitars and wistful vocals that are the perfect soundtrack for crunching through the autumn leaves in chunky knitwear. Joyce The Librarian is the musical nom de plume of Martin Callingham and whilst he doesn’t give too much away about himself, we can tell you that you can catch him live at the Green Note in Camden on the 20th September. Check out his Bandcamp for more upcoming gigs and his latest release, ‘The Weight Of The Line EP’.

MAZ TOTTERDELL – Smile On Sunshine

On the other hand, with ‘Smile On Sunshine’, Maz Totterdell isn’t ready to let the summer die just yet. Irrepressibly upbeat, the jaunty piano, carefree handclaps and breezy vocals will keep those storm clouds at bay, at least until the end of the track. Maz possesses a songwriting ability and musical assuredness that belie her tender years. This is no accident. Having started by playing open mic nights in her native Devon at the age of just 9, she’s been building her impressive musical CV ever since. Still a teenager, she’s already received airplay on BBC radio 2 and 6Music with her debut single ‘Counting My Fingers’ and this latest single gives every impression of following suit. The song is taken from her debut album ‘Sweep’, released earlier this year and you can pick up a copy and check for her upcoming gigs on her website.

RICHARD KAPP & THE GOWNS – Let It Go

Opening with a moody, tumbling piano riff, this track never dwells too long in one place, nimbly negotiating the transitions in a manner that fans of Franks Zappa and the Beatles’ later work will certainly appreciate. There’s definitely a knack to getting this kind of prog-pop right and here they’ve nailed it, with beautiful string lines and ringing glockenspiels all tied together by the winding vocal narrative. The result is a song that keeps you on your toes and reveals more with each repeat listen. Based in Vienna, songwriter and musician Richard Kapp has been performing and recording with what he calls his ‘chamber-pop ensemble’, The Gowns, for the past five years. This song is from their new album ‘AMOK’ which is released shortly and will be available though his website.

ROB MARR – Summer In The City

Rob Marr’s preferred mode of transport is clearly the bicycle and here he documents the trials, tribulations, dangers and joys of the London cyclist. As someone who frequently pedals those streets I can certainly relate to some of his more hairy experiences on the road, but ultimately what I love about this track is how he’s perfectly captured that feeling of freewheeling along without a care in the world, taking it all in. There’s a real jazzy hip hop vibe to this, indeed Rob cites the Pharcyde track ‘Yo Mama’ as the inspiration for the drums on the track, which provide the perfect swing for the laid back instrumentation, lush harmonies and lyrical vocal delivery. The track is taken from forthcoming album ‘Anatomy’. Check out Rob’s website for full details of all his releases and the string of gigs which he’s embarking upon over the coming months.

THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH – What Would Arnie Do?

This track is immensely fun and a cursory look at their website will tell you that despite their obvious talent, The Blue Screen Of Death don’t take themselves too seriously. A tongue in cheek homage to Arnie’s 80’s and 90’s movie exploits, lyrically it pokes amusing but ultimately loving fun at the ethical code of the action hero’s onscreen characters. This is all delivered via front man Steve George’s catchy vocal melodies, which ride atop some seriously blistering riffage that doesn’t let up from start to finish. This song is taken from the Southampton quintet’s latest album ‘Leave The Future Behind’, which is available from their Bandcamp page.

THELONIUS – Spanish Joint

Jazz certainly seems to be in the air on this week’s Fresh Faves and it continues here with this frenetic instrumental outing. Opening with an ominous call to arms delivered on what sounds like a beat-up dive bar piano, the track soon builds into raucous jazz rock fusion. There’s some impressive finger work as each of the musicians take their turn to flex their skills and generally throw your ears around like auditory rag dolls, before gently placing them back down, safe and sound in the outro. Based in Bristol, Thelonious are a five-piece who take their influences from across Jazz, Hip Hop and Classical music. Spanish Joint is featured on their debut EP ‘Reminisce’ and you can get your hands on it, plus find details of upcoming shows on their website.

VINCENT BURKE – Your Town

This is Vincent Burke’s second appearance on the Fresh Faves and again his compelling, dark folk has piqued the interest of Freshnet listeners. There’s something off kilter and almost unsettling about his songs, which means you just can’t turn away and you get the feeling there’s a lot going on under the surface here. Originally from Plymouth and now based in London, Vincent keeps his cards fairly close to his chest, so we don’t know too much about him. However, it’s well worth checking out the Soundcloud song page for this track, which offers some further insight into the lyrics and inspiration for the song.

FROM TOM: If you’ve submitted a track that hasn’t made the Fresh Faves you’re welcome to re-submit it again. But if you have been a Fresh Fave in recent weeks could you possibly hold back for at least six weeks before sending us another one. If you keep sending us great tracks they’re likely to get onto the Listening Post, but that means less room for new names who haven’t had a chance yet…

James Robins

Originally from Manchester, in 2011 I came down to London to intern on Tom’s BBC 6Music show and ended up sticking around. Music has been central to my life ever since I can remember, so I'm loving being a part of Team Freshnet. Otherwise I can be found digging through dusty vinyl in musky record shops or arriving unfashionably early at gigs.

15 Comments

  1. Afternoon!
    it’s great to find so many talented artists on the blog, I must come back more often ( I loved De’borah’s voice)
    and thanks again to Team Freshnet and to people who stopped by to listen to Friends In Time over the weekend!
    Well done to the Fresh Faves
    Emile xx

  2. Many many thanks for this

    Cheers

    Thelonius

  3. Eliza Waldman

    Was awesome to be on here this week, and a joy to listen to all the tracks! Thanks!

  4. Thank you for featuring “What Would Arnie Do?”! I guess you must get sent a lot of Schwarzenegger themed songs, so we feel extra honoured that you picked ours!

    Peace, love and Gary Busey,

    Steve (on behalf of)
    The Blue Screen of Death

  5. len

    well done to all this weeks fresh faves – 4 out of my 5 picks made the list this week… a personal best….

  6. Tom

    Big up to James for his lovely, generous and in-depth review of these well deserved Fresh Faves as chosen by our readers. They came from another very strong field of contenders – every one of which was strong enough to qualify for my BBC Introducing Mixtape on 6 Music.

    Alas the splendid Eliza And The Organix (as well as the excellent HC Turk) are based in the USA, and so haven’t been able to upload their music to BBC Introducing – which is license fee funded and can only support artists with a UK postcode.

    But it always amazes me each week how many British-based artists simply can’t be arsed to send their tracks to the BBC as well as this blog. It’s the reason why, for instance, we won’t be able to feature “What Would Arnie Do?” on BBC Introducing anytime soon

    Or (for that matter) the new songs from Chris Hopgood, James Woodruff, Lyna Galliara, Nova Robotics and Sons of Guns that we enjoyed on the Listening Post this weekend.

    #justsayin…

  7. Tom,
    I am on the uploader… play me ;)
    Emile :)

  8. Tom

    You should already have had an email to say I’ve downloaded your excellent Friends In Time, Emile. Can’t 100% guarantee airplay, as Fresh On The Net is only one of the places I source the tracks from, and we can only feature 60 mins music in total. But nonetheless it is definitely a strong contender for the Mixtape on Monday week…

  9. yes, I did.
    thank you so much for your kind words and for listening, it means a lot!
    I’ll keep my fingers crossed then
    you made me real happy, big love all the way to you Tom
    x

  10. Tom!

    “What Would Arnie Do” has been uploaded onto BBC introducing! We uploaded it on 18th August, the very same day we released it!

    Try searching for “The Blue Screen of Death Band”.

    I hope you find it. I am a sad panda.

  11. Thanx so much for picking my song, I feel honoured!

  12. Thanks so much for including us on this!

  13. I see you found us on BBC introducing Tom!

    I am now a double happy panda with extra joy sauce!

    Thanks!

  14. Lyna Galliara

    Hi Tom,

    Sorry, I’ve only just spotted your comment regarding my mistake not to upload my track onto BBC Introducing aswell as send it to the blog. I admit it was very stupid of me to make the mistake of not uploading the track to BBC Introducing, I will take care not do that again! I really really appreciate your kind words and am very grateful to the exposure the blog has given my tracks. I promise to be less clumsy in the future.

    Thanks again for your and everyone else at team freshnet’s support, it means an incredible amount to me.

    Best,
    Lyna

  15. Lyna Galliara

    P.S. I have now uploaded ‘Concentra-sion’ and ‘Gold’ to BBC Introducing – though I realise I’ve now probably missed my opportunity for those tracks to be featured, which serves me right for being such a prat in the first place!

    Anyway, looking forward to hearing what’ll be on this weekend’s listening post.

    Best,
    Lyna

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