We’re off on our holidays, but before we go here’s one last batch of ‘Fresh Faves’ to see you through the summer break. 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.
BLACK CASINO AND THE GHOST – Hoboland
Stomping and slithering along, this track exudes bluesy grit with ‘come get me’ verses that seem to explode into raucous choruses by virtue of the fact they can no longer contain themselves. Singer Eliza Zoot‘s vocals are primal but masterfully controlled and the air remains thick with tension even whilst the song simmers down for a few moments at the midpoint, before launching into one last vitriolic squall of overdriven guitars, thumping drums and banshee-like cries. Hoboland is available to download via Black Casino and the Ghost’s Bandcamp page.
CONEY ISLAND SOUND – Klang
Coney Island Sound is the musical nom de plume of North East based musician Ewan Shields, who says he, “mixes found sounds, field recordings, accordions and junkshop synths with seashore flotsam and jetsam for percussion”. All these ingredients result in joyously quirky electronica with a distinctly organic feel. Indeed, you can almost smell the salt water and feel sea breeze on your skin as you listen to these rich audio tapestries. Klang is the title track from Coney Island Sound’s debut album, which is available via Bandcamp and was officially released today – get it while it’s fresh.
GIROBABIES – Secret Animal
Clocking in at just two minutes, Girobabies’ new single packs a serious punch. Melodious, but tempered with the right amount of discordance, there’s a lot of detail here, despite its brevity, and a real depth to the instrumentation. The guitars sound amazing, the band is clearly tight as a nut and they must be one hell of a prospect live. Top this all off with some brilliantly bizarre lyrics (“a slug is a snail with no house” really made me smile) and you’ve got a glorious and slightly unhinged slice of grunge noise. Get your hands on it via the Glasgow outfit’s Bandcamp page.
HAZE – In the Midst of the Storm
Our listeners fell in love with this song in their droves and it’s easy to see why. From the moment the opening chords ring out, it feels like the only natural thing to do is drop everything and listen as raindrop pianos and delicate vocals wash over you. Haze’s stunning voice bursts into bloom in the choruses with sumptuous, gospel-esque backing vocals and ethereal swells of lap steel giving it an almost celestial feel. Life affirming and beautiful, this is the kind of music that has the power to sooth a tormented soul – share it with a friend.
JOHNNY LUCAS – Lilo
Next up is Johnny Lucas with possibly the perfect summer holiday track in the shape of Lilo. Eulogising the delights of daydreaming in the sun, there’s a definite dose of eccentricity here with jangly guitars giving a warm psychedelic tinge to proceedings. Capturing expertly that fun and carefree holiday feeling, it’s got an almighty earworm of a chorus I can guarantee you will find yourself singing at work tomorrow or, if you’re lucky, on a beach somewhere. Johnny also obviously had a great time filming the video and on this evidence there’s a lot to be said for grabbing a beer, blowing up that lilo and heading for the water.
LITTLE LAPIN – Waiting Room
Originally from the UK, Little Lapin visited New Zealand whilst travelling a few years back and liked it so much, she now calls the place home. This love seems to be reciprocal as the locals are, by all accounts, falling head over heels for her infectious, dreamlike pop. Our listeners were equally charmed by this track, with the expansive instrumentation, drenched with reverb-laden guitars and lush smatterings of synth, providing the perfect canvas for the understated but undeniably catchy vocal hooks which float effortlessly above. Waiting Room is taken from Little Lapin’s eponymously titled 6 track EP that is available via her Bandcamp page.
SOLDIER’S HEART – African Fire
Summer’s not all about sunny days and this track evokes all the feelings of a restless and lonesome summer night. Beautifully written and produced, it’s lusciously melancholic and full of bittersweet vocal melodies, wistful guitars and yearning synths. Soldier’s Heart aren’t giving much away about themselves; so beyond the fact that they hail from Belgium, we don’t know much about them. However, with tunes like this, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that we’ll be hearing a lot more from them in the months to come.
THE MAP ROOM – All You’ll Ever Find
This feels like the ideal tune for a summer road trip, so it makes sense that this New Zealand duo developed their sound during a yearlong trip around South America, writing songs and gigging along the way. Spurred on by the driving rhythm of the drums and the hypnotic swirl of the guitars, this track is constantly evolving, as instruments are layered up and melodies embellished. From minimal beginnings it gathers pace and intensity and once it hits its stride you’ll find yourself nodding in time to the beat as the sweet vocal lines soar above you. ‘All You’ll Ever Find’ is taken from The Map Room’s self-titled album, which is available from their bandcamp page.
THE MINKE WHALES – Naked Ape
Formed in 2009, Bristol five-piece The Minkes Whales deal in dark and brooding folk. Naked Ape is no exception, with its twisted guitar licks and soulful melodies vividly illustrating this frightening and heart-breaking tale of post-apocalyptic sorrow. Virtually dripping with emotion, singer Stuart Reid seems to be living every syllable, combining with fellow vocalist Elle Ashwell to hauntingly devastating effect. The band released their first full length album, Turncoat, in 2011 and here’s hoping that this latest track heralds a follow up on the horizon soon.
Well, that’s your lot. We hope you’ve enjoyed this fine bunch of tracks as much as we did and until next time, be free, have fun and we’ll see you in September.
(ARTISTS: the Listening Post is taking a break for the rest of August. If you have new music you’d like us to hear, or tunes that you want Tom to consider for his radio show, our inbox will be open for business again on September 2nd. See you then!)