Hello all and welcome to Batch 40 of Fresh On The Net’s Fresh Faves. It’s been a real pleasure to listen to these songs – and to the others submitted to the Listening Post last week. (Is it me or week by week are the submissions getting stronger? I have a sneaky feeling the quality just keeps improving.)
Thanks to all the artists who submitted – and to the people who took the time to pick their 5 favourite songs – it’s very much appreciated. So without further ado, here’s this week’s Fresh Faves. In alphabetical order:
DEBS MCCOY & KATHY ANDERSON – Three Hours
Opening up this week is a wonderfully haunting and ethereal folk song from our friend & colleague Debs with Kathy Anderson. A real grower that benefits from repeated plays. I didn’t initially get its full power but it does rather creep up on you when you least expect it so prepare to to be won over.
Debs is quite the all round talent. She is a painter and photographer as well as a maker of music. She trained at The Kent Institute of Art & Design and Goldsmiths, University of London. My guess is that Kathy was the guitarist on this song but have been unable to find any further info.
Debs is also a tremendous pianist and I have found real beauty and joy in her piece Reprise to Fallen. She has four pages of lovely songs on her Soundcloud page too – result!
KING SINGH – Outside Looks Nice. Doesn’t it
This is a fine little piece: keyboard dripping like subtle rain, vocals distant and effected in a cool way, discordant guitar and a tune that grows and grows. I do like tunes that take their time and don’t rely on everything happening straight away. Really loving hearing this later in the evening, where perhaps earlier in the day I didn’t give it my full attention.
It takes some talent to work around the repeated refrain of “Outside looks nice. Doesn’t it?” yet still maintain the interest of the listener throughout. A really great soundscape from King Singh who recently found favour here at Fresh On The Net with his song Dumbfounded. Great job by Alex Singh – for King Singh is he – from Redditch.
LONESOUND – Don’t Hold Me Back
Lonesound is singer-songwriter James Ewers and he certainly packs a punch with a great indie sound. Fine voice, sounds in all the right places, great dynamic – what’s not to like. James sounds like the lovechild of Roy Orbison and Michael Stripe backed by Franz Ferdinand: Don’t Hold Me Back has a familiar air without you quite being able to put your finger on what it reminds you of.
You can easily sit for an hour trying to pin them down while that great voice rolls around your head. Ok, its an hour I won’t see again but that’s no disappointment – it’s my belief you will be hearing a lot more from Lonesound. They sound to me like the next big pop indie band ready to roll. I bet they kick like a mule on stage too.
MADEINMIDI – Cars
A sound effect extravaganza and a very well put together piece of music. It comes across like a highly creative experiment by some zany 1960s BBC engineer: fun, well-made and certain to get producers of TV shows about cars purring.
Made in MIDI is composer and producer of ‘off the wall’ pop and electronic music Mark Marrington – possibly the alias of an extremely intelligent undercover spy having a day off making music with the sounds he has acquired during secret missions. Or maybe a scientist working in a secret bunker in the Nevada desert for the US military with a side career in brilliantly put together sound collages.
But his biog tells us he is actually a Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds, School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering where he manages a BSc course in Music, Multimedia and Electronics while undertaking research into music technology and its effect on creativity. He’s also a freelance composer, writer, producer and guitarist. Ok – if you say so, Mark ;-) But crazy leftfield sounds abound at his most enjoyable Soundcloud page.
PETER AND THE KIBBUTZNIK – Heat of a Thousand Matches
There I was having a nice little snooze, Horlicks in hand, toasty-toes socks at the ready, lavender oil burning gently in the diffuser, feet being massaged with peppermint foot lotion – then I put Peter And The Kibbutznik on the stereogram and WOOOOOAAAHHHHH!!! An explosion of no-holds-barred sound with the volume up to 11: in your face, through your brain and out the other side – going for it big time. It’s beautifully mental in all the right places. There’s something very interesting about this band indeed and for all my dry humour I really enjoyed it.
PORT ISLA – Sinking Ship
Starting off like a male version of KT Tunstall’s Black Horse and Cherry Tree this develops into an indie folk romp – and what a lovely romp it is. Port Isla have been friends of Fresh On The Net for a while now. They featured on Prick and Ding #17 and their gorgeous song Nobody’s Fault also featured on Fresh Faves 21. So it goes without saying that we are fans of the band already. Sinking Ship is yet another fine folk/indie song by this band from Norwich. I really think they have a great sound and are growing as songwriters: what say you, FOTN readers? They’re on the rise, looking good and sounding fine. Great work guys
RETURN TO ALJUSTREL – Miserable Wonderful Lives
Miserable Wonderful Lives by Return To Aljustrel was a popular choice with our listeners this week. This is an indie creeper with a little hint of an XTC style about it. Strangely, in places it reminds me of Hot Chip’s Over And Over. The band submitted this track to via a Soundcloud account called Contact-422 with no info on it. A few minutes on Google (Phillip Scofield style hehe ;-) revealed a Facebook page and indeed the band’s real Soundcloud page.
Not sure why they did that – maybe they’re on the run from the Indie Rock Police – or from Hot Chip fans in fluorescent jump suits? Anyway they are a psychedelic 6-piece from Leeds consisting of James Bornshin, Kyle Coleman, Simon Elvin, Morgan Tatchell-Evans, Luke Smith and Tim Waite – and we are happy to welcome them to this week’s Fresh Faves.
ROSIE MAY – The Water Is Wide
In the right place at the right time? Rosie steps forward with beautiful acappella song that instantly cries out: folk and country music, past times, The Staves – and you know what? It’s simply wonderful. I understand its a traditional song so that would explain the sentiment.
The Water Is Wide was on my short list this week and at 2.34pm sounded very good. But now at 10.37pm it sounds delicious – an object lesson in how the listener needs to be in the right frame of mind to fully appreciate its beauty. Rosie has a wonderful voice and we look forward to hearing lots more of it in the future. This is the right time AND the right place, Rosie!
THE MOJO FINS – Palace Of Memory
Palace Of Memory is a tidy piece of indie folk with a minimal acoustic guitar and great vocal. The intro – with effected piano being played 3 doors down – builds into a real anthemic piece. It’s really lovely – I liked this song even before hearing it on the listening post. The Mojo Fins deal in emotion, mood and gently growing sonic landscapes. They are from Brighton – and what a great town it is for bands and musicians.
There’s something of the yearning of a coastal town in this song – and it’s another tune that sounds really good late at night. I could easily see this band crossing over into a number of radio stations and mean this in the nicest possible way: they sound like a cooler version of the newer Take That crossed with Snow Patrol on indie folk duty.
VINCENT BURKE – Yellow Guitar
Worrying news according to Vincent Burke’s Soundcloud biog: in a tragic and sadly unforseeable event VB will be run over and fatally grazed by a slow moving ice-cream van on September 4th around 4.30pm. But what year, I wonder ? Will it be a ticketed event? Should I leave the kids at home for this one ? (Ice Cream versus Death – oh decisions, decisions…) Interesting guy = great music.
Yellow Guitar is a wonderful, gentle song with just one (yellow?) guitar and voice. It was one of my faves of the week because I like the tone of Vincent’s voice and his ability to move me with just the raw elements at his disposal. It sounds like there could be a version of this song somewhere with big orchestral shapes and heaving drums. But – like reading the best books – that might be purely in my imagination.
Vincent is a quirky guy and, in my book, quirky is the very best way to be.
Thanks for the excellent music everyone.
Fresh Faves reviewed this week by
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 every week it leaves less room for new names who haven’t had a chance yet…