ELIA & THE LOW TEARS – Sweet Lies
We kick off the Fresh Faves this week with a slice of joyous pop from Elia and his Low Tears. There’s something about this group that immediately pastes a silly grin across your face as you listen to the infectious, pop-tastic beat. Stock Aitken Waterman would have snapped this puppy up for their hit factory in the mid-eighties as a major money spinner. Elia is the son of two established jazz musicians, which could be the reason he has thrown himself wholeheartedly into making pop pop POP! The group do it with such finesse and originality though that I’m sure even Ma and Pa Elia approve.
JOHNNY SANDS – I Am The Ocean
Johnny Sands is living the hippy dream. Randomly select a folk legend of yore and you’ll no doubt find the album (on vinyl of course) in Johnny’s collection. Shades of Loudon Wainwright III, Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Richard Thompson all combine here in a troubadour for the twenty first century. A regular live performer in his home town of Liverpool there’s something quietly ambitious about Johnny Sands… watch this space.
MILES PROWER – This World Won’t Let Me Down
This is an instrumental piece of electro-pop that conjures up the scene at the end of the eighties Sci-Fi movie when things suddenly get better. Perhaps the hero and heroine survey the plundered landscape of a future world and know that they’ve overcome the evil Bots and will now set about breeding a new human race. Fun times! Optimistic, atmospheric and uncomplicated it’s one to have on your iPod when going for that long overdue run, or if you need to block out the world of big city commuting and reality in general.
ANGUS POWELL – Monsters
And relax… this is a wonderfully gentle piece of electro-folk. Listen to this with your headphones on and enjoy the effect of that solitary drum beat pinging from ear to ear. There are some lovely textures in this tune, not least the understated and very pretty vocal. And yet you’re not allowed to slip away entirely as that beat bop-bop-bops along and keeps you focused. He says on his Facebook page that the Monsters EP is the result of an “intensely focussed writing and self -recording period in Wales. Using basic equipment and recording in various rooms around his house and in nearby fields and hillsides”. Indeed, this music wasn’t made in the city.
THE LAKE POETS – April
As Debs McCoy posted in the comments under our Listening Post this week, this track by The Lake Poets is spell binding. Having seen them live the night before, she admits to shedding a few tears and boy, I don’t blame her! Martin Longstaff is from Sunderland and has been snapped up by the excellent wee indie Tiny Lights Recordings who always seem to get it right. A few years of playing live and maintaining an astonishingly high level of song writing means that The Lake Poets are set for greatness in 2013. You can honestly say you were there first!
THE NEW FABIAN SOCIETY – Cyclothymia
Sometimes Fresh Mod Mr Al Mobbs will moan about the lack of rawwwwk on the Listening Post, well happily for Al Glaswegian duo The New Fabian Society have provided the Post with some much needed raucousness. FYI The Fabian Society is Britain’s oldest left of centre Think Tank, so these self-proclaimed post-industrial punkers wear their political views on their sleeve, combined with a thumping rollicking sound… we say devil horns aloft, people!
THE RUBY KID – Benny & The Crow
You know how Tom R and the rest of us here at FotN are stickler’s for a well presented, informative website… The Ruby Kid delivers! Here’s the shpiel from the front page, telling us everything we need to know about this clever, fast-talkin’ rapper: “Welcome to the online home of The Ruby Kid, a hip-hop artist and spoken-word poet based in East London (via Nottingham and Sheffield, and with roots in New York). He speaks words to anyone who’ll listen, and some who won’t. He is currently to be found co-hosting the monthly live music and poetry showcase Out-Spoken, promoting his latest EP Strange, Lively, & Commonplace, and working on new music as part of the Spinning Compass collective.” What more do you need to know? Get involved!
ORLANDO – Honey In Our Eyes
I’ve been a big fan of Orlando for a while now. Sometimes the music that Hils and John makes literally brings you to your knees, no kidding. Based in Barcelona they make simple, beautiful folk pop records and post them on Soundcloud for fans to enjoy. There was a track from last year Slow Like A Rose that I couldn’t stop playing, there’s something about Hils’ crystal clear, delicate voice that is utterly compelling. A new track from these two is always going to get my thumbs up, and it seems our Listening Post devotees agree.
SUNSTACK JONES – You Can Help Me Out
A group of musicians from the North of England, whose name inversely conjures up the warm sun kissed plains of the mid west. The music does too, mellow, swinging indie rock with a touch of Pavement, 13th Floor Elevators and The Eels. Driving along a Californian beach front in a vintage convertible with the sun in your eyes is how it begs to be heard. This gets an official release in May, no doubt with live shows to follow.
DEATH RATTLE – White Ropes
Since this enigmatic London duo released their first single The Dig back in December 2011, they’ve been honing their sound through a series of free downloads: The Blows, Fixer and Do As You Please. Now we get White Ropes and it’s obvious that Helen and Chris Hamilton are 100% focused on a driving synth-based sound with soaring punchy vocals that demands to be reckoned with. To top it all off, some excellent promo shots and simple stark videos have created a definitive image which plays an important role in spreading the Death Rattle word, other new bands take note!
RICHARD SMITH – Your Ghost
Sunderland’s Richard Smith delivers Your Ghost to the Listening Post and what followed was overwhelming support from our avid listeners. Regular Geoff Smith even went as far as to post another comment: “Two listens later, I wish I had included Richard Smith on my list. Great new music.” All it takes is a few spins of Your Ghost to agree wholeheartedly with Geoff. This is the sound of a confident young songwriter who has found his voice and backed with strong instrumentation it walks a line between the heavy duty macabre of Interpol and the gentleness of Fleet Foxes. There’s new material on it’s way soon from Richard Smith, keep tabs on him at the links below. Find the whole EP Autumn Is Here, And I Guess I’m Still In Love With You at his Bandcamp for free download.