Another week, another bumper crop of great independent music springs forth from the Listening Post. Thanks to all the artists who took part this week and made my job easier by writing great music and – to the other artists on this weekend’s Listening Post – we very much salute you. Here are your Fresh Faves, Batch 47:
AMY SPENCER – Reverie
To start us off we have a fine track from Amy Spencer which proved very popular with Fresh On The Net listeners. Amy is a singer/songwriter studying Popular Music at Goldsmiths University in Olde London Town. On Reverie she is joined by four bandmates – namely Tierney Barnes (Vocals/Guitar), Tomas Kaspar (Lapsteel), Shane Boothby (Bass) and Max Woolet (Drums/Production). This is a gentle folk song with a dash of country which rightly puts Amy’s fine voice to the fore. It warms and grows into a choral overture that bodes well for Amy’s future.
BALLERINA BLACK – Birth Of A Felony
Punchy indie guitar and synth blissfulness from this Los Angeles four-piece, who featured in our Fresh Faves last July. The ghosts of Joy Division echo through this cracking song and I notice Ballerina Black describe themselves genre-wise as “Grave-Wave” and “Gloom-Pop” – both of which are new to me. I need to update my genre dictionary. This is Indie the way they used to make it: dark, brooding and packed tight as a cobra in your undergarments. I feel some jerky indie dance moves coming on – come join me!
DOGSTAND – The Assistant
Attracting decent votes on the Listening Post this week are Bromley based 6 piece Dogstand. Starting off a bit like Albi The Racist Dragon meets Jethro Tull, all woodland like, this song grows into something like I’ve never heard before. A little estuary rock, a little prog, a little 60’s organ-driven pop. You get value for your pound with Dogstand, make no mistake. The song spins around a two-sided male and female story about an office assistant – and “no one else can change the toner cartridge like she does”. Great Job.
DUOLOGUE – Push It
Not big on talking about themselves online, Duologue are very good at making interesting music. You really enjoyed the techniclor bliss of Push it – and listening to it again now at 9pm rather than at 3pm my ears are much more in tune with this great song. What they lack in telling us their back story, they certainly make up for in presenting themselves via their excellent website with a wonderfully well shot front page video for ‘Push it’. Images and sounds like this explain so much. I thought the song was very good before but the video makes you want to know more and discover what they are about. You will be hearing lots more about this London 5-piece, mark my words.
GIANT FANG – Aqualung
Giant fang is Douglas Wilson, 26-year old Glasgow-based musician and producer. This is a big, brooding indie Rock God of a song. Douglas obviously deals in big brushes and big strokes when getting his stadium-filling sound onto the canvas. This song has already featured on many a blog and gained airplay on Radio 1 and Tom’s 6 Music show. So Giant Fang’s bid for world domination has already begun to make some great inroads in 2013. Its a fine tune, bold & unashamed. Like a 21st century Psychedelic Furs crossed with Simple Minds – minus the cod rock posturing.
IAN EVANS – Too Tasty For You Lager Boy?
Indie guitars are back in fad – and Londoner Ian Evans brings them forth with a melody that jumps about like a jumping mexican bean. Wonderfully different – and determined to not be tied down to one particular style – we get glimpses of Ride, Blur and XTC. But mostly we get multi-instrumentalist Ian himself. Nice one mate.
LEO ABRAHAMS – That’s What You Do
A beautiful song of the stadium-filling folk variety from Leo Abrahams. Watch this one: it will creep up and grab you by the short and curlies just when you weren’t expecting it. Listening back, Leo’s voice reminded me a little of the vocals of Greg Lake (of King Crimson and ELP) – and very fetching it is too. Leo has had a fascinating career to date – working with the likes of Imogen Heap, Brian Eno and Nick Cave. There’s so much more of the story to be found in Leo’s biography on his website
SKIMMED – Ronnie
Skimmed are based in Malta. That’s a first for me – nice one: I now love Maltese indie music. This is a lovely girl-vocal-led song with an indie pop centre – and a indie rock outer shell – that has POP written all over it. Yep they love indie and pop – but also murder, spies and voodoo beats, according to their Facebook page. Naming a song ‘Ronnie’ was enough for me: they had me at “hello”. Check ‘em.
SONS BETWEEN GUNS – The Other Side
Really like this song and was only too happy to approve it for the Listening Post when it appeared on our Soundcloud page last week. It’s working a similar vein to – albeit uniquely different from – my friend Kevin Pearce. Can you be both gentle and brooding at the same time? This track pulls it off and it has a real glow about it: the restrained elegance of atmospheric folk music inside a magical tinderbox. This two-piece from south east London are no strangers to Fresh On The Net but to me this is their best work to date – and a sure sign of more good things to come
TALK IN COLOUR – Bones
Gentle picked notes of harp interplay start this rich tapestry from this London-based 5 piece band formerly known as The Shadow Orchestra. A beautiful female vocal from Mary Erskine – which put me a little in mind of Judie Tzuke – is surrounded by an ever-changing musical backdrop: by turns ambient, jazz and folk without quite being any these. Excellent balance of real instruments with what feels like some refreshing programmed beats played – and loving up the low end synth bass in the final quarter of the song.
VINCENT BURKE – Goodbye
I already know & like the work of south Londoner Vincent Burke as I wrote about his song Yellow Guitar when you chose it for our Fresh Faves 40. This is a gentle finger picking folk song that does what it says on the tin and does it very well. Played and sung very well, this moves in a similar territory to the lighter Elliott Smith moments. Vincent writes a blog which he informs us that every month until the end of next year he will record and release a new song – is that still into 2013 Vincent?
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…