Fresh Faves: Batch 73

A LIGHT LEFT ON – Don’t Throw Me Away

Don’t Throw Me Away is taken from A Light Left On’s November 2012 EP, Gentlemen of the Shade and features the genius-named Ramon Goose on lead guitar. The song is an easy on the ear pop folk number with clear and accomplished production. They seem like a very easy going bunch with a penchant for biscuits and cake (and a little bit of PacMan) and in it for the music making not a spurious five minutes of fame. I wanted to mention another of their songs too, the emotive Exit Through The Funfair that they are giving 50% of proceeds to the Fender Music Foundation to help with education. See what I mean? Good chaps.

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AIRPORT 85 – Gliders

I had in mind when listening to this track time-lapse footage of an epic cityscape, most probably at night and definitely in the UK. And then some crazy music dude with a laptop and a pair of headphones creating beats and loops in the top of an apartment block as a means of escape. But that’s just my imagination. In a nutshell, Underworld with some Damon Albarn-esque vocals.

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DIE HEXEN – Siamese

I love that the decade we are now in has brought about a totally unashamed use of the synth. A few years back and your average hipster would have been merrily dry humping an SG whilst cosying up to a cranked AC30. But despite clear 80s roots, time has forgiven and the machines are back. Die Hexen is dark, that’s for sure. And vampy. Especially some pretty, quite frankly odd, art vids using some reclaimed archive footage of wicca types running around in white masks in baron scapes. That said I love the attention to detail, the photos of live gigs are amazing and they have a real vibe going on. I’m off to dig out my old Dance Society LPs.

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GLASS ANKLE – Poor Boy

Poor Boy is beautifully put together, combining many clichéd instruments in a way that is original and imaginative. The track is topped with a great vocal. I don’t think we mention vocals enough. Every week us mods go through a good deal of tracks and the vocal is totally key. A good one will lift a track through tepid production and a bad one will invoke an instant ‘pass’. Poor Boy boasts a cracking array of talent in all areas and I will be interested to see what the rest of 2013 holds in store. Beautiful artwork too.

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JANE WOODMAN – Skinwalker

And talking of things that make me want to listen to tracks that come in to FOTN, the intro folks. If you do intend to use the same tired diatonic progression, spanked pompously on a DIed acoustic please don’t leave it too long before the vocal comes in. On the other hand, if you want to do naughty things with drums and swirly dissonant weird shit, please take your time. San Fran musician Jane Woodman describes the music as apocalyptic romanticism, post punk, and shoegaze over a throbbing industrial rhythm bed. I can’t really argue with that. Just happy listening, me.

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OLD TRAMP – Koksure

I mentioned Damon Albarn already in this set of reviews but it is to him I must again return. Old Tramp is one of those musicians who has no boundaries in production ideas. In the same way that Albarn conjured Gorillaz out of all sorts of bits and bobs from his listening experiences, Old Tramp is clearly a musician who has heard a lot of records. I have a strange image in my head of Augustus Pablo nipping in to Grange Hill to play morning assembly. Tramp Pop. This is the future.

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THE HOUSE OF JED – Last Entry (Gotta Run Now)

The House of Jed is the solo project of Admiral Twin drummer/vocalist Jarrod Gollihare. I don’t know who Admiral Twin are but they sound like a band and maybe one that plays live. And that is where I would like to hear this music. Lots of interesting arrangement ideas and melody and yet something in the production is a little too clean for me. Live, bouncing, slightly squiffy social commentary with a big fuck off sound scape behind it. I had the same feeling when I saw Public Service Broadcasting a few weeks back – on record enjoyable, live, awesome.

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THEME PARK – Jamaica

Theme Park is not really my bag but I can appreciate and acknowledge quality when I hear it. This is a great recording and performance to boot and I am sure this band will be stomping the bigger stages at the bigger festivals in good time. It feels like a pro outfit with some good backing so my advice would be to watch this space for a Theme Park coming to city near you soon.

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WINTER OF ’82 – Bless This House

I can’t remember the winter of ’82. I was 6 and into Lego. I think it was cold and pretty snowy and maybe that has a resonance for Kris Halpin, the brains behind Winter of ’82. He describes his music as a ‘wondrously spooky, wintry musical landscape’. Ironically Bless This House is more upbeat than some of the others but hey, who am I to argue! Other tracks like You Needed Answers are worth checking out to get a better picture and hint at some of that desolation that artists like Kings of Convenience and Elliot Smith do so well.

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ZIBRA – R.I.P (Rest In Peace)

It is getting later and later as I write these reviews and drift around different tracks finding out more about the artists I’m writing about. We do try to do our best but I was starting to lose it a little and now… AWAKE! If this band doesn’t take off like the little elasticband-wound toy helicopter my son and I were playing with this morning, I’ll eat my … well it. Energy, melody, great production, remix potential, SONG… all of the above. As a note to all new artists out there, there is only one track on Soundcloud for Zibra. This is annoying because I want to hear more but great because I want to hear more. I am sure there is more but why give it up yet especially when the track up there is great. Sam and Cal, I’d like to hear more please.

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ARTISTS: 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…

Al

I am a player, producer, label boss and staunch supporter of the independent community. In the interests of transparency, should I post any of my own material, my labels are Ambiguous Records and CRC Music. I am also on the board of AIM which is the trade body that looks after all the UK Independent labels. Read More...

11 Comments

  1. Chris Bye

    Nice work Al and well-chosen, The Public. A really strong batch and a lovely way to finish off before our little summer break.

  2. Great write up’s Al.Honoured to have Old Tramp picked by the public & spoke of in such a way.Thanks

  3. thanks for the write up! we can send us some other tracks sure! :) just send us your email! thanks

    sam

  4. Really enjoyed these reviews. And I *truly* appreciate my music being included in this batch of Fresh Faves. O the niceness.

  5. ‘Really great round up of a brilliant selection of songs. I feel very honoured that our song was selected for Fresh Faves. If you like ‘Poor Boy’ you might be interested to know that it will be released on 12th August, with the proceeds being donated to the Action for ME charity. Thanks very much!

    Greg.

  6. Good luck with Poor Boy Greg,great cause :)

  7. just to let you know weve put some of the roughies on the soundcloud!

  8. Nicely written Al
    Debs x

  9. Many thanks, Johnno :-)

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