This week’s Fresh Faves are reviewed by Team Freshnet’s Sam Lee.
ADIOS NINE – Mankind
With lyrics that explore the very essence of human nature and question the existence of the world around us, you could say that ‘Mankind’’s subject matter is a little grandiose. I’m sure that Adios Nine know what they’re on about, but I don’t have a clue. What I do know, however, is that ‘Mankind’ is rhythmic, hypnotic and downright brilliant – think Efterklang or Foals at their most subdued and you wont be too far off the mark.
ISSIMO – Pretty Simple
‘Pretty Simple’ proves that good times doesn’t have to be hard to come by. As the title suggests, there’s nothing over-complicated about this track, and that’s probably the very reason that it went down so well this week. This is good, honest ska-inflected pop with a real sense of fun at its heart.
L.A. SALAMI – Nazis On The Northern Line
With his bleakly poetic lyrics and London accent, it would be easy to pigeonhole LA Salami alongside the likes of Pete Doherty et al, but to do so would be to overlook the subtleties and idiosyncrasies that make Salami such a rare talent. Despite it’s cheery disposition, ‘Nazis On The Northern Line’ is made up of grim tales straight from the blackened heart of Camden, delivered by an artist that we reckon could be accurately labelled as one of the best lyricists around right now.
LOLA’S BAD – Corona Wide
Greek-born Evangelia C, aka Lola’s Bad, might share the same sense of neo-classical pomp as her fellow countrywoman Marina Diamandis of Marina and the Diamonds, but that’s where the similarities end. With Evangelia’s distant, disembodied vocals and breathy synths underpinned by a tribal, industrial beat, this is clinical dream pop that sounds like it was made in a rainforest in the future. Brilliant stuff indeed.
LOST WINTER – People Come and People Go
If only all ‘bored 33 year old guitarists’ made music as wonderful as Lost Winter. The likes of Boards Of Canada and Mogwai are cited as influences of LW (who goes by the name of Richard in real life). This track does share the expansive, cinematic qualities of those two bands, but there’s also an underlying pop sensibility that gives it its own distinct personality.
MELLOR – Never Saw Her Leave
‘Never Saw Her Leave’ is the new single from Reading-based four-piece Mellor. They describe their sound as ‘pop smack’ – we’d probably call it strutting garage-tinged rock delivered with a curled lip. This was a very popular one with our voters this week – and it’s not hard to see why.
RAEL JONES – Silflay
‘Silflay’ was a real favourite amongst voters and moderators alike on this week’s Listening Post, and rightly so. With fluttering, soaring strings set against intricate finger-picked acoustic guitar, this is five minutes of musical near-bliss. Rael Jones is a rare breed, and ‘Silflay’ is something very special indeed. This is more than just a song, this is a story; albeit one without any words.
SOPHIE MORGAN AND HER BAND – Monsters
While listening to ‘Monsters’ I suddenly realised that it had been on a loop for about fifteen minutes and I had been staring at the wall in a trance-like state for the whole time. Blame it on my hangover if you want, but I’m pretty sure that Sophie Morgan and her Band had something to do with it. Morgan’s hypnotic voice has the ability to alter minds, and it’s no good trying to fight it. So just sit back and let it wash over you – you won’t regret it.
THE GREASY SLICKS – Street Queen
The Greasy Slicks sound more or less exactly as you’d hope a band by that name would sound. Trashy, raucous and energetic, ‘Street Queen’ is a bourbon-soaked bar brawl of a song that also shows that this trio are all pretty handy when it comes to their instruments – just listen to the extended middle section for proof. This is exactly the sort of song that dark, sticky-floored venues were designed for. But if you can’t get to one of those right now, a decent pair of headphones and your bedroom will suffice.
VOLCANOES – When We Melodise
Despite the band’s name, ‘When We Melodise’ is not so much an eruption as a slow-burner. They say that it’s not often that they’re this tender – but it sounds like it comes completely naturally. Gentle guitar lines and backing vocals intertwine to form a track that wouldn’t be out of place alongside the likes of Fleet Foxes and Goldheart Assembly.
FROM TOM: if you’ve submitted a track that hasn’t been selected for our Listening Post you’re welcome to re-submit music to our inbox the following week. However, if you’ve been voted as one of our Fresh Faves, please hold back for 2-3 months before submitting a new track. After all – if our favourite keep sending us great tracks every week it leaves less room for new names who haven’t had a chance yet…