It won’t have escaped your notice that we now have two team members called Sam – last week it was longstanding friend and Freshmod Sam Lee who wrote up our Fresh Faves. This week it’s the turn of our latest recruit, BBC Introducing stalwart and all-round good egg Sam Bonham….
Heya. I hope you’re well. It is nice to welcome you to FOTN. I’m relatively new to the fold, but really enjoying listening to everything so far. I genuinely believe in what Tom does here, as well as on 6M. For me, fresh is all about new (in)credible music. No frills and no bullshit. If a song is good and if people like someone’s music then it will get a platform.
This week marks my call to write about the Fresh Faves chosen by our readers over the weekend. Please excuse any nonsense below, it’s been a while since I’ve actually written anything about music. I’ll try not to sound like too much of an idiot.
ALLYSON EZELL – Pick It Up
This tune is for anyone in need of a lesson in less-is-more. “Pick It Up” is erotic on the ears and perfectly prickly, providing a bonafyde “headphones moment” (not in a “Hey kids look at me twerkin’ with a set of Dre Beats perched on my head” kind of way, but more in a “I’m so sorry that I missed your call, but I fell asleep with one ear to my Beyerdynamics” type thing). I don’t think the chorus really does the arrangement or production justice, but still, Allyson Ezell gets extremely close to clinching the deal with these three and a half minutes. “Pick It Up” is available as a free download from Allyson’s soundcloud page too. And it’s actually my favourite this week.
DOMINIC WOLF – Behind The Sun
Mellow and gorgeous, Dominic Wolf has created a little world for himself with this tune. All you need to do is be patient and give yourself the time to open the front door to step inside. “Behind the Sun” came out last month and there’s a neat little video on Dominic’s website, providing a window to peer through (if you’re interested in seeing what is actually going on in his world).
JAMES ERSWELL – You Got Soul
Some might feel that this tune is a bit retro to be called a “Fresh Fave” but I quite liked it. It’s the opening track of James Erswell‘s album “Good Time Too” and it feels like a strong start, especially for an artist who’s obviously (and sensibly?) looking backwards for his influences. Nice to see that Ollie at BBC Introducing in Essex has spun the tune too.
ETCHES – Let’s Move In
Etches sound like they are a bit pissed off about something. In fact, “Let’s Move In” is almost nonchalant at points. Still, to my ears this five-piece is peeved in a really good way. Also, I would love to know how low this guy’s voice can go. He’d give any subsonic boom a run for its money. Etches are managed by a little known radio presenter (who I rate really highly) and with some good support slots coming up, plus a London show on 6th November, I expect more fresh sounds from these guys soon.
JOE LA POP – Oscillate
Anyone who knows me, knows that I like pop music. I was (understandably) surprised when I realised that the artist Joe La Pop didn’t actually play pop music at all. Oscillate isn’t even close to pop! It is most definitely a house tune, and a good one at that. Maybe it says a lot about how far house music has come in the last few years that someone called Joe La Pop can make such credible sounding house. I was hypnotised by this tune.
JOKES (THE BAND) – Pine Cottage
About two minutes and 50 seconds into this track there is a killer guitar solo. The kind of guitar thrashing that eats away at your ears crunching slowly on your lobes. Nothing too “widdley” but these guys know how to maneuver a six string: classic and rousing. Jokes The Band (what’s with the “the band” thing in their name, maybe Google isn’t their friend?) are part of the Burrow Collective, an exciting group of musicians based Bournemouth. The guitar solo is the highlight for me, but the rest of the track is decent too.
KEVIN PEARCE – We’ve Been Lovin’
Upon the first listen, Kevin Pearce‘s voice jumped out of the speakers during the opening verse of “We’ve Been Lovin’.” He’s got a great set of lungs on him and I’m sure that his vocal chords will reach the back of the country’s auditoriums over the next few weeks, as he takes up the support slot for Turin Brakes. His album, “Matthew Hopkins And The Wormhole,” is out thanks to Matchbox Recordings and available in all the usual places. It’s a bit like Turin Brakes, but fresher!
ROSIE MAY – The Rooks
My BBC Introducing stuff means that, prior to today, I already knew about Somerset-based Rosie May. Still, I hadn’t heard her latest EP, which came out earlier this year. “The Rooks” is a perfect song, brilliantly crafted and well-performed. That’s pretty much all I need to say to be honest. Perfect and crafted. Close your eyes and lose yourself in Rosie’s melody-harmony mix. I’ll be playing this tune on my show too sometime in the near distant future I reckon.
THUMPERMONKEY – Own
I am always impressed by an artist who can write and record their own album. It is not an easy thing to do, as any aspiring (or inspiring) musician will tell you. But I am even more impressed by an artist who can write and record a really good album. Thumpermonkey have done a pretty decent job with their LP. “Own” is taken from “Sleep Furiously,” a record which came out exactly 12 months ago. If you like King Crimson (and you probably should like King Crimson, everyone else does) then you’ll almost definitely enjoy Thumpermonkey.
YELLOWIRE – Peter
This is weird. And wonderful. Signed to Believe Recordings, Yellowire are one of those acts who really know how to blend “alternative” with “mainstream.” I feel like I’ve heard this song before (which is maybe a polite way of saying that it’s not entirely original) but even though it’s reminiscent of something, it is definitely reminiscent of something I like.
That’s it, thanks for taking the time. Find me @sambonham if you fancy.
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 artists we already love keep sending great tracks every week it leaves less room for new names who haven’t had a chance yet…