It’s Monday and once again it’s time for our weekly ‘Fresh Faves’ round up. As always we’d like to give massive thanks to all the artists who submitted their tracks and to all the Fresh On The Net listeners who dropped by to hear them.
EVIL REGENT – You’re So Strange
Hook laden, with a suitable drenching of fuzziness, it’s nigh on impossible to resist tapping your foot and nodding your head to this immensely catchy and resolutely upbeat tune. There’s a real festival vibe to this and if you close your eyes and you’re almost there, sunglasses on and cider in hand, with the early afternoon sun streaming down. On their Facebook page, Evil Regent describe themselves as, “Leeds’ finest reclusive four-piece”, and they’re true to their word as information on them is scant. However it looks like they’re building up a dedicated following in their native Leeds and on this evidence they won’t be able to maintain their life of anonymity for too much longer.
THE FIREWORKS – All The Things That You Said
There must be something in the air this week, as continuing the summery feel are The Fireworks, with a solid dose of stomping, scuzzy garage rock. Lurching along in slightly tipsy fashion, this track pulls off the trick of being free, loose and a little bit shambolic, whilst all the time maintaining a drive and purpose which holds your focus right to the last chord. The band started life in 2011, with guitarist and vocalist Matthew singing his songs down to phone to friends. However they’ve since developing into fully-fledged four-piece and show of sign of letting up any time soon. ‘All The Things That You Said’ is taken from the band’s recently released self-titled EP, which is available via their website.
FLORENCE JOELLE – 29 Bus Blues
This edition of Fresh Faves is fast turning into a potential soundtrack for the summer which, fingers crossed, finally looks like it might be heading our way. If you’re on a road trip over the next few months, this track might be the perfect accompaniment as you cruise along with the windows down and the wind in your hair. Florence’s vocals are smooth and effortless, happily marrying jazz and blues sensibilities, and combining delightfully with the shuffling groove of her band. However, as Florence tells us in her Soundcloud bio, she’s no ‘twee retro singer’ and prides herself on being ‘socially conscious’ and never shying away from gritty topics; indeed this track was written after witnessing an assault on a London night bus. ’29 Bus Blues’ is taken from Florence’s forthcoming album, ‘Stealing Flowers’, which is released on 13th May.
GYMNAST – Sirens
Formerly of Edinburgh band Mayhew, Cathy Wilcock and Chris Lyon have since found their way to Manchester and now perform as two-piece. Their sound is atmospheric and dramatic, and this track builds beautifully, with stormy pianos and a soft, driving kick drum, which beats like a lonely heart in dead of night. Above this, the duo’s vocals work impressively together, as they ably pass the melody between them, whilst seamlessly countering each other with subtle and haunting harmonies. ‘Sirens’ is taken from Gymnast’s ‘Wait For Dark With A Heady Hart EP’, which is available via their Bandcamp page.
JOE LA POP – You Ready
Next up is Joe La Pop with an irresistible slice of filter infused house. This is a perfect dance floor filler, with tastily chopped samples up top and a relentless bass groove at its root which practically takes control of your body by force. With this sturdy backbone in place, Mr La Pop is not content to rest on his laurels and the breakdowns and switch ups ensure this always sounds fresh, whilst the beat keeps kicking up a notch in all the right places. Originally from Blackpool, Joe, AKA 24 year old producer Joel Harrison, is now based in London but according to his Facebook bio he is equally at home, “travelling through time and space cherry picking the most hypnotic sounds the universe has to offer”. Joe, we’re with you all the way.
THE LINDSAY TIN – Shapeless
Vast and cinematic, this track grabs you from the very start, as snippets of spoken word samples drift over driving acoustic guitar chords, before giving way to the compellingly brittle vocals of the verse. It’s mesmerizing, so much so that when the chorus bursts into life, you’re almost knocked sideways as the drums beat feverishly and the vocals soar; all the while maintaining their vulnerability and intensity. From this point on you can’t help but be completely absorbed, right up until the dramatic finale which ultimately leaves you hanging in mid-air; dazed, confused and clamouring for the rewind button. ‘Shapeless’ is the title track from the Lindsay Tin’s latest EP, which is available via their Bandcamp page.
MAGIC ARM – Is History
Magic Arm is the nom de plume of Marc Rigelsford who tells us he has, ‘spent years painstakingly forging his sound’, and all this work is clearly evident in this track, which showcases his impressive grasp of the songwriting craft. Beautifully arranged, the layers of instrumentation are lush and varied without ever overshadowing the bittersweet vocal at the heart of the song, which is augmented by some truly stunning harmonies. A veritable Tardis of a track, it’s incredible that he’s managed to fit this epic aural journey into a mere three minutes and it’s one of those tunes which keeps revealing more and more with every listen. Check out Magic Arm’s website for details of all his releases and a string of live dates coming up in May.
MONTEZUMA – Branches
Montezuma is London based singer and songwriter Steffan Davies. Clearly opting to focus on music over all else, Steffan doesn’t reveal too much about himself online, but with tunes like this it’s easy to see why he’s happy to let the music do the talking. Here we’re treated to a perfectly formed, compact gem. Starting with a soft lamenting melody, the song builds as guitars are embellished, hands begin to clap and harmonies join Steffan’s sweetly toned vocal, all driving towards a joyous final refrain, which leaves you with a warm glow as it fades into the ether. On this evidence the future can only be bright and we can’t wait to hear more from this artist.
REBEKAH DELGADO – Lamentine
This is not Rebekah’s first time in our Fresh Faves and it’s clear to see why our listeners have been gripped by her dark and harrowingly beautiful musings once again. Gothic and unnerving, you can’t help but be drawn in to the all-consuming narrative of the song and the bleak and strange world it transports you to. Rebekah is a chronic insomnia sufferer, which had a huge bearing on much of the writing for her aptly titled album ‘Don’t Sleep’, from which Lamentine is taken. This seeps through undeniably into her startling vocal delivery, with every tortured note sounding as if it was wrung from the very depths of her soul in the small hours of the morning. ‘Don’t Sleep’ is available via Rebekah’s website.
STEPHEN HUDSON – Song for Dan
Clocking in at under two minutes, this track from Lancastrian singer and musician Stephen Hudson is a masterpiece of brevity. Like the musical equivalent of stumbling upon an old sepia photo, it seems to capture a whole world in a moment of stark and timeless detail. Brilliantly recorded, with a lusciously psychedelic tinge, it’s a simply amazing sounding record, which will leave you yearning for more. Thankfully for us, you can now get your hands on a whole album’s worth of work of this quality, as Stephen’s debut, ‘Sleep for Railway Dreamers’ was released today – you can’t get fresher than that! ‘Sleep for Railway Dreamers’ is available via Stephen’s Bandcamp page.
This week’s Fresh Faves
reviewed by James Robins
PS: 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…