Fresh Faves: Batch 48

Man alive, what have you guys been eating? Well whatever it is, keep at it as the resulting noises spewed forth from your respective orifices has been nothing short of incredible. Seriously, we had a hell of a time trying to whittle the original list down for the listening post, so good people, we salute you.

Anywho… you, the discerning public have now cast your votes and the numbers are in. Our Fresh Faves are as follows…

BEN SEE – Moment.Sound.Blur.

Straight off the bat, this is exactly the sort of thing that Fresh on the Net is all about i.e. the discovery and exposure of genuine talent. Ben See is a bedroom musician from South London who delivers a cappella that is at once original, intuitive and just damned catchy. ‘Moment. Sound. Blur’ is an exploration of the human voice that feels like the lap of honour after the breaking of a world record. We’re told that he is currently working on his debut album, which will certainly be one to keep an eye out for. This boy will do well and you can take that to the bank.

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BENJAMIN MASON – Oh To Be A Drifter

I’m not sure whether he eats only fishheads and tails, or indeed whether or not he is inclined to show you his teeth that have rotted too soon. What I do know is Benjamin Mason is a man that plays like he darn well means it. With a tune that trickles in on a wave of illegal cough medicine and cheap scotch, ‘Oh to be a Drifter’ is a song with guts, balls and various other parts of the anatomy. Here we see an artist very much in the raw, shanty-spitting sort of mould. However, take a nosey around his website and you will also find dabblings in the ambient, electronic and various other stylistic whims.

A punch in the liver. But in a good way.

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BISCUITHEAD & THE BISCUIT BADGERS – Dinosaurs

Behold the moustache-powered troubadours that are Biscuithead and the Biscuit Badgers. This Leeds-based act wiggle their naked toes in the pond of the Music Hall tradition, whilst casting a line out into wild blue yonder of the modern bizarre. All aboard this mixed metaphor and set sail for eccentricity! PS from Tom: you’ll find Kerry McKinnon’s extraordinary animated video for this song here.

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DAN LENO – Paint by Numbers

You know when people describe something as luscious? Well this is that. Listening to Dan Leno is like floating to the bottom of the ocean accompanied by a string quartet and an enormous smile on your face. Plus once you get there, a mermaid greets you with a lovely cake and a winning lottery ticket. The Brixton-based band is comprised of Raphael, Sophie, Che, Peter, and Will and should not be confused with the actual Dan Leno, Victorian music hall comedian and famous pantomime dame, because he is dead.

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SEATTLE YACHT CLUB – Same Old Questions

Mighty popular this week with both listeners and Fresh Mods alike were self-defined ‘electro art pop duo’, Seattle Yacht Club. Hailing from the bright lights of Southport, Tom Dale and Denis Brice come together in an infectious mix of quirky melody, as proven by the song ‘Same Old Questions,’ whose jaunty, sun-drenched sensibilities go down a sugary treat.

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THE FLOE – Headlights

Sarah Springett and Liz Townsend are certainly no strangers to the industry having already worked with Simon Gogerly, secured airplay on BBC Radio 2 and supported Ultravox on tour. The Floe are however, looking to step things up and 2013 may just be their year, as with ‘Headlights’ the duo have created bold but menacing pop music that has all the hallmarks of a successful single.

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THE MOURNING SUNS – Metal Horses

The Mourning Suns conjure lucid images of Kate Bush scraping a rusty trowel through sodden soil, pulling up nuggets of poetry and casting them into the air. ‘Metal Horses’ is at once, bewitching, eerie and playful with the vocals of singer, Rosie Wilkes twisting delicately around the haunting slide of Anthony Williams. With traces of older Goldfrapp and just a sprinkling of Broadcast in there too, here we have something that is restrained, dark and decidedly delicious.

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THE PAPER SHADES – Light of the Day

Popular with you were the rich harmonies of Sarah Dollar and Jon Rixon, collectively known as The Paper Shades. Gentle but never underwhelming, this duo display a naturalistic and honest vibe that places them above the swathe of Bon Iver / Fleet Foxes acts out there; there is a genuine, relaxed sense of comfort between the vocals that welcomes you in. Respite from the storm, shelter in the woods and altogether lovely stuff.

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THIRD PARTY – Room with a view

Another track you guys found somewhat moreish was this little ditty from Cardiff act, Third Party, the delivery mechanism of performing-songwriter, Gruff Russell-Jones. ‘Room with a view’ is a garage-rock come angular indie affair that was actually released July 2012 but is still available on the bandcamp page for any price you care to pay, which can surely only be a good thing.

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YOUR NEW ANTIQUE – Open Your Eyes

Huddersfield four-piece, Your New Antique pause briefly to tip their collective hat to Joy Division, Editors and Interpol before tearing hell-for-leather down the cobbled streets and into the night. Incorporating a driving rhythm section that succeeds in lighting something of a fire under the song, ‘Open Your Eyes’ is a tune that looks set to make a name for these boys and deservedly so.

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Chris Bye
This week’s Fresh Faves
reviewed by Chris Bye

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…

Chris Bye

Chris is Music Relationship Manager for the North at Arts Council England (ACE), a national organisation responsible for championing, developing and investing in artistic and cultural experiences. Between 2011 and 2015, ACE will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. Chris has been heavily involved in developing support for contemporary popular, alternative and electronica music. He is a regular panellist both here and abroad as well as a tipper for Amazing Radio. The Arts Council website is at http://www.artscouncil.org.uk - and you can ollow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisnBye

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