This week our Fresh Faves are reviewed by Jim Craigen from AlternativeFriday.com
Twenty five varied and wonderful tracks made up the Listening Post this week, and thanks to everyone who came along to listen to them and vote. The ten that make the Fresh Faves range from thrash to something quite choral, via a drunken Stereolab, and even some Starsky & Hutch inspired rap! There’s certainly something for everyone, so read on and enjoy the tunes.
GREENCLOUD & EROS – Probably the Best Song in the World
GreenCloud and Eros are Joe and Phil, two music lovers from Broadstairs in Kent, who have taken influences from their favourite funk, soul, and hip hop artists and used them to express their own feelings on life in modern British society. Their lyrics are social and political observations; a mix of the liberality of reggae, and the rawness of urban music. The song itself is a wonderful mix of contemporary lyrics spoken as a vocal rap, however the superb music feels like you could be listening to a 70’s US cop show soundtrack.
HUMAN PYRAMIDS – Relapse
It’s not often we hear a choral track on the Listening Post, but Relapse was certainly enjoyed at the weekend. Human Pyramids is a new project led by multi-instrumentalist Paul Russell, who was originally from Scotland but is now based in London, while the track Relapse is a sublime mix of choir-led vocals with a range of instrumentation which moves from acoustic guitars to a quite heavy amplified middle section, before it eases itself back to the calmer melodies that we heard at the start. It’s a wonderfully refreshing tune.
JAZZHANDS – Nigel
Trying to pigeonhole the track Nigel isn’t straight forward as this eccentric but popular chap has multiple personalities that range from brass to thrash. Liverpool band JazzHands describe themselves however, as “a Noise band with 3-4 Drummers, Bass, Saxophone and an In-mouth Pianist”, and they all make themselves heard in this excellent track.
MONKEYS IN LOVE – An Owl With Hands
This amusingly named Manchester band have described themselves and their music far better than I ever could, and so over to them… “Monkeys In Love met at a rave in a disused mental asylum in 2005. Since then we have grown from our original shouty two-piece configuration to become a decidedly more dynamic and considered six-piece. Our sound is hard to pigeonhole, but could be described as a strange canned-cocktail of forgotten film soundtracks, junk shop glam, lead-footed library funk, early eighties British indie, sludge metal… or maybe just a drunken, surly Stereolab. Our lyrics are sly and sardonic and cover a broad range of subjects, including the cycle of life, internet trolls and hair transplants. We are a heavily visual band and incorporate puppetry, props and projection into the live act.” I told you they’d do a better job than me!
POLLEN – This Isn’t California
This Isn’t California is a very tuneful and summery two minutes and forty seconds of mellow rock from London based duo Cam Allen and Chris Boughton. This comes from Pollen‘s upcoming second studio album ‘Our Frozen Sea’, which will be released on September 20th, some 15 years after their debut!
SOPHIE JAMIESON – Waterloo
This haunting folk song from London based artist Sophie Jamieson (plus bandmates Liam Hoflay and Alex Betancourt) beautifully highlights her soft vocals, and comes from her debut, ‘Where EP’, which was released in June.
THE BIG SUN – Stay
The Big Sun are from Oxford, but aside from that I couldn’t find any further information, however Stay is an enjoyably quirky piece of indie pop.
THE NEO-KALASHNIKOVS – Gorgeous Baby
The Neo-Kalashnikovs are an indie rock sibling trio from Auckland, New Zealand, however their Soundcloud page notes their locations as being Liverpool, Los Angeles, and Auckland, so I’m not sure how often they play together live! They note that their influences include Queens of the Stone Age, The Black Keys, PJ Harvey, and The Breeders, and Gorgeous Baby takes a mid-tempo guitar route, which allows lead singer and guitarist Volita Bioletti’s sultry rock vocals to come to the fore.
TOM LARK – Go Get A Job
This track from New Zealand born artist Tom Lark is a bright piece of alternative pop, with a great melody and strong instrumentation led by a fuzzy guitar. Don’t be put off by the “pop” description though, as the excellent production ensures it is more ‘alternative’ and less ‘pop’.
WASUREMONO – Love Again
Wasuremono is a musical project by William Southward, who hails from Bradford-on-Avon near Bath, where he writes and records in his attic studio. Wasuremono apparently means “to be forgotten” in Japanese, however his music most certainly isn’t to be forgotten as Love Again is a delightfully appealing ballad with captivatingly understated vocals, and comes from his recently released debut EP.