Every Sunday night/Monday morning on BBC Radio 6 Music from 2-3am you can hear a selection of my favourite new tunes from the BBC Introducing Uploader in an hour-long music mixtape. Some of the tunes are recommended by BBC friends and colleagues, others are handpicked by me from our inbox here at Fresh On The Net.
Each of these mixtapes is available free when the radio show ends at 3am via the 6 Music Downloads Page. You’ll also find archived episodes there from the previous 4 weeks. As of this week, the full tracklists and start times are now published here at Fresh On The Net with a link to each artist’s website. These are the listings for Monday, 29th April 2013 – previous mixtape tracklistings can be found on the BBC website.
ELIA & THE LOW TEARS – Sweet Lies [start 00:13]
Last August we played a great track called Violins by Elia & The Low Tears – who are more than happy for you to think of them as a pop band, so long as you agree that “pop” can incorporate funk, soul and electro and the likes of Joni Mitchell. Their eponymous front man Elia Rulli is the son of renowned jazz musicians who played with the likes of Duke Ellington and Quincy Jones. And while he belives that jazz musicians should not – on general principle – be allowed to raise children, he did at least get to tour and perform all over the world as he was growing up. Last year he formed Elia & The Low Tears with a gang of like-minded obsessives who reflect the diversity Elia loves – girls and boys, gay and straight, black and white, English, German, Australian… Elia & The Low Tears are currently supposed to be recording an EP but that seems to be turning into a mini album verging on not so mini! This new track of theirs recently proved so popular with listeners here at Fresh On The Net, I can’t think of a better way to open this week’s mixtape.
FERAL BROOD – Machine [start 03:42]
FERAL BROOD are a Sheffield based 5-piece formed in 2012 by Phil and Tom Goodwin, Dan Williamson, Russ Frisby and Eric Mille – and already have a selfproduced album in the bag. Their biog is short on facts and high on hyperbole “armed to the teeth”, “crammed into the cockpit of a supersonic jet”, “missiles of sound”, “inimitable style” – that sort of thing. Apparently their keyboard player “comes straight from Hollywood Boulevard, with Manzerak-esque electric piano right through to nauseating, candy floss induced fairground blasts, a whirlwind of hair and showmanship” ensuring he is “unrivalled to watch and to listen to”. Enough already. Feral Brood are tight, great sounding rock band with songwriting chops that place them well ahead of the pack. Come on guys, your music deserves much better than to be surrounded by this kind of PR guff. For instance how about mentioning in your biog that said excellent selfproduced album is called Balloon, was released on April 10th 2013 and can be streamed in full on your bandcamp page?
A HISTORY – Fox [start 06:40]
This is the debut single from A History – a band who describe their sound as “like an old VHS with a hit of technicolour. They are three sides of a triangle. One side football stadium drums, one outback guitar and the other heroine vocals.” Aquila Rose began chanting with holy men in the Himalayas, a recent graduate of the 22 piece all female alt-choir Gaggle she’s been swimming in the murky depths of the minimal scene ever since. Graham Alderton learned guitar in the deserts of Australia. With dust still on his boots he entered the London metal scene then finally plugged in his Epiphone and laptop and began making beats. Bel Conde is one of Andalusia’s only female drummers, beating her way through seven-storey buildings and into the lineup of a girl band before joining A History. The band label this track “Glitter Doom” as a genre, and as Al Mobbs rightly points out, it is a little doom-laden and indeed glittery. Expect a followup single called Mississippi Boys in June.
IT GIRL – Neon Signs [start 10:25]
It Girl are, we’re told “a Glasgow-based post-punk, indie rock band” and this is the title track of their debut EP from earlier this year and available right now on their Bandcamp. “We all met at a singles night in the Vale” they say: “We’re not girls. Yet. Probably do some albums or something at some point. Get that killer demo. Limited edition something or other.” They have shows scheduled for Wed 1st May at Cafe Drummonds in Aberdeen, Sun 12th May in Glasgow at Broadcast supporting King Tuff (which they’re excited about). Listeners south of the border will be pleased to know they make their first trip to England to play Proud Galleries in London’s Camden Town on May 16th to open for Casual Sex (“another excellent up and coming Scottish act). The theme of illicit carnal relations aill be maintained when It Girl take part in “the exciting Dirty Weekender Festival”, playing Bakers in Kilmarnock on May 31st. For more information, updates, songs etc check their Facebook page
RODEO TERRORISTS – Drum Beats For Sunday [Start 13:49]
“The Rodeo Terrorists play around with synthesisers, loops and things that make funny squelchy noises, the result of which are tunes that we quite like. At the end of the working week, we like nothing more than to get a few cans of beer (exact measurement optional), plug in the keyboards and twiddle electronic musical things until the wee small hours. Currently we are working on our latest album Big Metal Bird which will be self released mid summer, containing a number of tunes including this track Drum Beats For Sunday. The inspiration came from working in January, getting up, leaving the house before its light and only returning after dark, repeating ad nauseam: ‘one day it will be Sunday’. We keep in touch with fans via Facebook and Reverbnation and each morning we post what music is on the iPod plus other thoughts, condensed into 140 characters or less at http://twitter.com/rwbthatisme.”
RICHARD SMITH – Your Ghost [17:37]
It’s always possible that Sunderland songwriter Richard Smith is pathalogically averse to providing information about himself to fans of his music, although listeners with long memories may recall that he previously fronted the excellent Chased By Wolves. This track comes from his double A single “Autumn Is Here, And I Guess I’m Still In Love With You”. We can tell you however that both tracks were recorded and produced at Room3recording by former Golden Virgin Neil Bassett (now of Hyde & Beast) who also played drums and percussion on both tracks. We emailed to ask Richard about the background to this music and his future plans but got no reply.
FLORENCE JOELLE – 29 Bus Blues [start 21:53]
Florence Joelle was born and raised in France on a diet, we’re told, of “jazz at home, and – on the music of the Paris streets – the Gypsy art of Django Reinhardt, Bal Musette, and North African Rai.” As a girl she started collecting rock’n’roll, doo-wop, Latin jazz, and early blues – all of which have influences her current music. Her lyrics however are based firmly in the here and now – 29 Bus Blues describes an assault she witnessed first hand on public transport in her adopted city of London and is included on her forthcoming 2nd album Stealing Flowers, due out on May 13th. Another song on the album Kiss Of Fire – How Many Chickens Are You Missing Today – expresses her outrage at “the thousands of Roma brutally and illegally expelled by the French Government in 2010” as her website puts it. She plays a series of London shows in the next couple of months, starting at Brasserie Toulouse Lautrec in Kennington this coming Saturday May 4th.
DEADCEREMONY – Trophy [Start 25:56]
This is the way to do it. Keep your powder dry, your quality control tip-top – and then arrive out of nowhere with just one amazing song that you unleash on an unsuspecting public. There’s already a Facebook with regular tips, chat, news and updates; a conversational Twitter (completely devoid of #twitzkrieg selfpromotion), a Tumblr with well-shot images and the song lyrics, plus a YouTube – and across all of them, just the one beautifully understated gem of a song. It’s very rare for a completely unknown act to spring out fully-formed into the blogosphere like this, and in two clicks of the mouse all becomes clear. Dead Ceremony is in fact Chris Stewart – who’s learned his musical and promotional skills as an active member of Tom Williams And The Boat over the last six years – and knows exactly what he’s doing. Right down to recruiting our old friend Tim Worthington (aka Maths Time Joy) as producer to ensure the highest possible quality to the finished track. The band has also grown since Trophy was recorded, with Christopher now joined by drummer David Trevillion, guitarist Neil Allen and bassist Harry Pearce and playing their debut show on Sunday, May 26th at UnFest at Tunbridge Wells Forum. Their followup release Heartbeat is expected soon, with production once again by Maths Time Joy.
MODELISTE – Pirate [start 29:56]
Modeliste – first known to longtime followers of 6 Music Introducing as Team Modeliste have a straightforward enough manifesto – to be purveyors of “bone-popping, fuzzed up goodness wrapped in a perfectly formed 3-minute format”. Hailing from Sowerby Bridge, just south-west of Halifax, this trio of seasoned musicians release their 10th anniversary EP Electricity And I on June 3rd. I’m thrilled to see it includes this much-loved Introducing classic, Pirate since that gives us an excuse to showcase it here for a whole new audience. Ben Francis does the Vocals and the Thudstaff, Ross McOwen does the Crooked//out guitar and some singing, while Benjamin Stevens provides the Nasty Battery – and bigname fans of the band include !!!, CSS, Guy Garvey and Tom Meighan from Kasabian. They open for Arrows Of Love at Oporto in in Leeds this Wednesday May 1st – which should be an unmissable show – and play the Long Division Festival in Wakefield on June 8th. A followup EP called Grace Under Pressure is expected in September.
SUNSTACK JONES – You Can Help Me Out [start 32:17]
“Sunstack Jones is always two, sometimes three, but mostly four maybe five musicians from the North of England, where it is practically the North Pole. This is our first single You Can Help Me Out due out next month on limited edition 7″ 180g black vinyl via Eighties Vinyl Records”. Formed in late 2011 their debut LP Surefire Ways To Sweeten The Mind was released through their own label, Mammoth Bell Recording Company on vinyl in July 2012 and then digitally in October. You Can Help Me Out is a first taster from their forthcoming second LP – while the B-side Sunday Comedown is exclusive to the single. In the spirit of independence the band play a launch gig for the single at Bold Street Coffee in Liverpool on Saturday June 1st and are hoping to put themselves about a bit in the Autumn. A further exclusive track, Golden Age will be released on a vinyl-only compilation LP called Just Records in July.
HIGHFIELDS – The Chase (Oh Lord!) [start 36:29]
The six members of Liverpool outfit Highfields come variously from Canada, Norway, Jersey, South Africa and Singapore, and formed with a view to combining their wide range of styles and tastes to “create a fresh take on western folk/pop music”. When this band elbowed its way into our Fresh Faves a couple of weeks ago, Al Mobbs wrote: “I love it that after a fairly long stint in computer world, pro tools and autotune, there has been a resurgence of bands who actually play their instruments. Now of course I could be wrong and Highfields could have a bank of samplers higher than my house but it sounds like a bunch of musicians have a damn fine time with not even the mere whiff of a click track. Glocks, strings, percussion, wooping backing vocals… a veritable feast of feel good vibes and if this doesn’t pull the reluctant 2013 spring, naked and bouncing from it’s hideout I don’t know what will.” And so say all of us.
BEST BOY GRIP – Monster and Me [start 38:55]
Songwriter Eoin O’Callaghan is the man and the voice behind Best Boy Grip, hailing from the European City Of Culture 2013 Derry~Londonderry (see http://www.cityofculture2013.com).
This achingly beautiful ballad Monster and Me comes from BBC’s accalaimed 2011 debut EP Barbara, which Eoin has since followed up with a further four-track EP called The Clerk in January this year. He’s opened for the likes of Pete Doherty, The Undertones, Django Django, Snow Patrol and Neil Hannon among other and was recently featured on BBC2’s Arts Show. Take one listen to this track and you’ll instantly hear why – this is a genuinely exceptional songwriter. His mastery of harmony, structure, dynamics and lyrical understatement – and of his instrument – places him in a league far beyond the many thousands of run-of the-mill piano-botherers who give singer-songwriters such a bad name. If Joni Mitchell released a song even half this good as her next single, it would be hailed by Rolling Stone and Pitchfork as a major return to form.
THE LITTLE UNSAID – Midnight On An Island [Start 42:10]
The Little Unsaid is the musical alter-ego of John Elliott, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and composer who originally hails from a tiny town in Yorkshire that no one has heard of. As well as regularly performing his music in rooms full of people and animals around the UK, John also composes music for film and theatre and has been known to run long distances for pleasure. His forthcoming album Dig for the Promise was mixed by Jonny Greenwood collaborator Graeme Stewart, and released today Monday April 29th. The album features beats and melodies constructed from ‘found sounds’ recorded around the streets of London, overlaid with piano, strings, brass, electronics, harmonium, harp, guitar and voice. The Little Unsaid toured the UK throughout April with a solo live show featuring live loops, electronics, guitar, voice and percussion – and can next be seen live at Sheffield’s Lantern Theatre on May 29th.
SEA STACKS – The High Tide [start 46:22]
This charming and refreshingly pastoral track from Sea Stacks is the creation of London composer Davy Berryman – on a mission to combine orchestral instrumentations to create “wind and string-strafed indie music that takes influence from Jonsi/Sigur Rós and Sufjan Stevens, amongst others”. Starting out in 2011 with a handful of songs and a studio, Davy’s only rule (mostly unbroken) was that no guitars or pianos would be used. Seven months, three studios, and nearly 40 collaborators later, the first EP was ready. Live, Sea Stacks perform in and around London, in configurations from 8-16 players. The splendid video for this song, shot in sunshine on London’s South Bank, can be seen at http://youtu.be/SBU-zpuKW1M and they play the Meadowlands Festival in Lewes on May 26th.
SHINYRHINO – The Lost And Found [start 50:01]
Mike Cornes describes himself as a “spare-time bedroom songwriter and software musician experimenting with sounds and trying to improve his skills. You can probably tell that he was raised in the 80s, but has yet to rebel against very much (yet). He makes quirky lofi electro pop music, sometimes serious, sometimes less so – and is a bg fan of melody and choruses.” His project name is explained by the fact that Rugby League is one of his latest obsessions and he’s a fan of Leeds Rhinos. Last November we enjoyed his hilariously sardonic lofi gem Your Band on the Introducing Mixtape, yet this is almost as different a track – emotionally, texturally and sonically – as it’s possible to imagine. Poise, space and clarity are all to the fore here, though aligned with the same forensic lyrical precision that marked out the previous single. This is clearly an artist still exploring the world of sonic possibilities offered by juggling music, work and family commitments. Mike is keen to collaborate with other artists and producers in particular to join him in developing the wealth of unfinished ideas he currently has on the boil.
HANNAH MARSH – Dad’s Old Car [start 53:52]
London songwriter Hannah Marsh recently signed a development deal with Ambiguous Records and has been developing new material for an EP release later in the year. When Johnno Casson reviewed this track as part of our Fresh Faves recently, he said “most often it’s the voice that grabs me within the very few seconds of a song, something in my heart/my soul says ‘stay around a little longer, linger a while, relax,enjoy, feel good’. It has to be backed with a melody that warms me and a lyric that touches me or resonates with me in some way. Does it need to be complicated? Most definitely not. Is a wide array of musical instruments in the recording essential? Not at all. Does it need to be loud to ensure the message gets across? Pull the other one. Tick Tick Tick for Hannah Marsh’s Dad’s Old Car, a gorgeous little song that just melts out of the speakers. Lovely endearing voice and great subtle backing. Less is very much more. Love it.”
ANGUS POWELL – Special [start 56:22]
Angus Powell is a Indie/Folk artist from mid-Wales who plays and selfproduces his own material. Special comes from his four-track debut EP Monsters, which was released last July but is still continuing to make waves around the blopgosphere. Only last Friday For Folk’s sake made the title tune their Track Of The Day. He is currently working on a full album release, with release envisaged for before the summer. In a bold and unusual move he is allowing his thousand-plus fans on Facebook to preview the new material as he works on it, via his Soundcloud page. The warmth and depth of the online feedback from his fans suggests that this is an artist with traction and definitely one to watch in the second half of 2013.