This week our readers picked tracks by BLACK CASINO & THE GHOST, TURNPIKE GLOW, THE GRAVITY DRIVE, MOUNT FABRIC, EYES & NO EYES, SNIPPET, FLASH BANG BAND, GIDEON CONN, SONGS FOR WALTER, THE BIG SUN and KATEY BROOKS as their Fresh Faves.
On a personal note, apologies for the late appearance of this post – I spent much of today in a dentist’s waiting room for an emergency appointment to have a painful back tooth extracted, and have only just got back to my bed, laptop and full access to prescription medication. So… *drum roll*… here are your eleven most-loved tracks from the weekend, in alphabetical order. Enjoy!
BLACK CASINO & THE GHOST – I Like You ‘Cause You’re Free
Black Casino and the Ghost are an alternative rock band consisting of Elisa Zoot (vocals, piano) Ariel Lerner (guitar) Gary Kilminster (bass) and Paul Winter-Hart (drums). The band was formed in London, England, in 2010. Their music is about isolation, disorientation, lust, and how to fly a plane through turbulence without spilling your coffee…
EYES & NO EYES – If No One Else Saw It
Eyes & No Eyes – under their former name of Tristram – blew me away with their passionate and inventive music on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury a couple of years ago. Founding member and frontman Tristram Bawtree met the others at art school in Brighton – and the group has developed over the intervening years from “singer/songwriter+his band” into a tight and fully integrated creative unit: a transformation reflected by the change of name. Their forthcoming debut album has been recorded live to capture the interplay of guitar, bass, drums and cello – with extra synths and electronics added by none other than our old friend Woodpecker Wooliams. This track precedes it a taster 7″ single on 24th June 2013 on Willkommen Records and will be launched with a London gig on July 3rd at The Shacklewell Arms.
GIDEON CONN – Colours
The “About” section of Mancunian musician Gideon Conn’s website offers us: his 2013 Commisions From Photos Price List, a list of tour dates, and the fact that he loves doing pregnancy portraits. Er, that’s it. The only remtely factual biog we could discover anywhere was on his Twitter profile: “musician, songwriter, artist, Utd. fan, i like dogs and cake and Joan as Police Woman”. Still, here are some those tour dates: 6th July: Ipswich Arts Festival 1pm, 7th July: Beatherder festival – Perfumed Garden Stage 4pm. 26th July: Sound-Check – St John’s Chuch, Hackney, 3rd August: Standon Calling festival.
KATEY BROOKS – I Fought Lovers
Born to hippy music-loving parents and raised in communes between Bristol, London and Arizona, Katey’s music reflects, she says “the culturally diverse environment in which she grew up” – drawing influences ranging from Johnny Cash to Kate Bush. We first played Katey’s music in 2010 on 6 Music Introducing when she independently released her debut album Proof Of Life which – we’re told – reached #1 in the Amazon Folk Chart soon after. Despite a slight misunderstanding this weekend about the importance of keeping schtumm while the Listening Post is open, so many of our regulars picked this new tune of Katey’s as one of their fives faves that we’ll say no more about it…
MOUNT FABRIC – Salamander
Mount Fabric are nothing to do with fabric, or how to mount it: they are in fact falsetto, reverb, toms, distortion, effects, shattering highs and abusers of all things classic. They plan to release a series of singles throughout 2013 that focus on the meaning of life, of which Heueristic Fits is the first. Last year they opened for the likes of Alt-J, Dum Dum Girls and Exitmusic, toured California and headlined the new music stage at BT’s London Live in Hyde Park last year – before retreating to their Manchester studio to record new material. Their passion lies, they tell us “in creating interesting music; from their avoidance of chords, choruses, and lyrical clichés, to their ultra-cheap D.I.Y. recording set-up, they try whenever possible to avoid the obvious and pursue the slightly unusual”. Salamander is the followup to their single Heuristic Fits earlier this year.
SNIPPET – Absolutely Love
It won’t have escaped your notice that Snippet is the alter ego of Team Freshnet’s Johnno Casson, architect of Prick’n’Ding, instigator of the Home series of compilation albums and tireless as both a champion – and an exponent – of quirky leftfield pop. It’s no accident that Johnno was invited to become one of the very first members of Team Freshnet: back in the days of my 6 Music Introducing shows Snippet was simply our most-played artist, ever. So you can definitely take it as read that this man’s music pushes all the right buttons for me.
However the reason he’s in this week’s Fresh Faves has nothing to do with personal favouritism, and everything to do with you, our readers, choosing Absolutely Love as one of your favourite tunes on our Listening Post. It comes from Snippet’s highly anticipated mini-album DIY, officially released on July 1st. We’ve already heard the outstanding “Let’s Talk About Us” – in my opinion simply the catchiest, toastiest and most focussed work we’ve heard from Mr Casson to date. These two fine tracks bode very well for DIY indeed – indeed if you can’t wait, you can hear the whole thing at rashrecords.co.uk
SONGS FOR WALTER – Stamping On Snails
When it comes to family, many of us keep things close to our chests. But rather than keeping his kith and kin in an old photo album, Laurie Hulme writes songs about them – in particular, about his late grandfather – hence the project name. My first encounter with Songs For Walter came with the charming and evocative ‘Meet Me At The Empire’ – a tale of Laurie’s grandparents’ first date at the local theatre. Since then he’s enjoyed further radio support at 6 Music from such tastemakers as Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq and Tom Ravenscroft and is currently releasing a free single each month leading up to the release this summer of a vinyl album documenting the full, epic story of Songs For Walter.
THE BIG SUN – Pants!
The Big Sun are an indie band from Oxford, fronted by teenage singer songwriter Berry and backed by ex-members of Candyskins and Ride. When we last featured them on the BBC Introducing Mixtape in November 2012 they had no web page of their own that we could find – and they provided no infomation about themselves when sending their music to the BBC Introducing Uploader. They now at least have their own twitter account, but the only other links are for their record company Balloon Twister records, who released this track Pants! as a digital-only single on May 31st.
THE GRAVITY DRIVE – Tear Me Apart
The Gravity Drive are currently finishing their debut album, Testament. It’s produced by Paul Knight-Malciak with The Gravity Drive, and is being mixed and mastered by Pete Schwier. Debut single Trick of the Light/B-side Push Your Luck was released at the end of 2012 and was played not only by myself on BBC 6 Music but also BBC Introducing: The South and more than twenty 20 other stations across the UK and Europe. The Gravity Drive describe themelves as a harmony driven, him/her, alternative pop duo with a bite, who have had their music played on 4od, E4 and Channel 4 and on US TV. They met, they married, they started making music and independently releasing records on their own label. The Gravity Drive is the sound of a relationship: questions and dramas, lust and fireworks, bitter and sweet – like all good love should be.
TURNPIKE GLOW – Her Flaming Lips
Turnpike Glow are not the first ambitious Italian band to flee the glossy mainstream pop and closed-shop record industry of their homeland for a haven in the UK. Starting life in Rome they soon found themselves in demand as a local support act for the likes of The Futureheads and Cooper Temple Clause. In 2007 they started flying here to do live shows in th UK and core members Sandro Schiena and Giuseppe La Mela soon moved to London fulltime – armed with only their guitars and a bag full of European plug adaptors. They met, talked, laughed and eventually joined up with a UK drummer and guitarist and here they are – making perky upbeat synthy indiepop reminiscent of their fellow countrymen The Banshee. No bad thing in my book.
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 please hold back for 6-8 weeks before sending us another one. After all if you keep sending us great tracks every week it leaves less room for new names who haven’t had a chance yet…