Artists at a glance
The Mule Affair
Chosen by our readers over the past three days, this week’s Fresh Faves are reviewed by Team Freshnet’s Chris Chadwick, moonlighting from his role as bass player with the wonderful Spring Offensive – currently recording their debut album after a highly successful funding campaign on Pledge Music.
A LOVELY WAR – Baby, Don’t Be So Defensive
Having only been publicly making music for a matter of months, Patrick Hughes & Sean Keogh. a.k.a A Lovely War, clearly have a knack for churning out material bursting with ideas. ‘Baby, Don’t Be So Defensive’, taken from the duo’s debut EP, ‘Ezra’, can’t go a bar without revealing another piece of interesting instrumentation as it pushes forward with relentless rhythms and beautifully quivering vocal melodies. If this is Patrick and Sean’s first offering, they’ll certainly be ones to watch amongst Merseyside current musical crop.
ERGO SCHMIDT – Touche
Lo-fi beats and a deliciously laconic vocal delivery combine to create something unique on this melancholy number from Devon based solo artist Ergo Schmidt. Whilst the simple piano chords and acoustic guitar chords are reminiscent of classic songwriters, James Taylor or Carole King, the understated vocals and drum loop give ‘Touche’ a contemporary twist, bringing to the mind the likes Menomena and Hot Chip.
GIVE BLOOD – Pearls
It’s always refreshing to come across an act who don’t say ‘pop’ like it’s a dirty word so we welcome London’s Give Blood, proud purveyors of DIY pop, to this week’s Fresh Faves. ‘Pearls’, taken from the band’s EP ‘Cuboid’, released last month and available to download for free right now (hint), is a wash of minimal techno wizardry pack with hooks. The deep vocals and ringing guitar tones collide with pulsating basslines and basic EDM beats, perhaps best described as The Cure’s long lost collaboration with Kraftwerk.
JONAS REINHARDT – Brood & Talk Rot (JAMES BOOTH Remix)
Ordinarily remixes aren’t in our staple diet here at Fresh On The Net, preferring as we do to put original music and great songwriting at the forefront of everything we support, but every once in a while a remix slips through for being as exciting and original as the song it snips and samples. On this occasion, Manchester based producer, James Booth, takes a silky cut by Brooklyn beat-smiths Jonas Reinhardt and transforms it into a hypnotic, swirling mass of synth bleeps and 808 claps.
KHAMSINA – In Love
From swirling remix magic to pristine production. Khamsina is a songwriter, producer and vocalist all rolled into one incredibly talented being. Whilst studying classics at University, the songwriter has been busy penning and producing her own brand of pop, tinged with electronics and elements of Jazz. Intricate piano improvisation and jubilant synth horns are all impressive but it’s the powerful vocals that really shine on ‘In Love’.
LUKAS FREEMAN – Loving You Wrong
Taken from his well-received ‘Rough Love’ EP, ‘Loving You Wrong’ is a beautiful piece of lo-fi experimental electro from London-based artist Lukas Freeman. Spiralling beats and blips give way to distorted, rough-around-the-edges synths before falling back to a glitchy beat and gentle bells, ‘Loving You Wrong’ manages to be totally captivating whilst avoiding anything that could be called conventional.
OLD TRAMP – The Loneliest Fool In This Town
Old Tramp, a.k.a our very own Johnno Casson, is far from the musician his self-ascribed moniker would suggest. Relentlessly inventive, expressive and earnest, Johnno has a habit of self-producing music that will wedge itself in some far flung corner of your brain for days at a time and ‘The Loneliest Fool In This Town’ is no exception. With a hypnotic bass-line that could quite easily be taken from the latest Atoms For Peace record topped by eerily doubled vocals and a simple yet foreboding piano line, be fully prepared to find yourself humming the melody to ‘The Loneliest Fool…’ in the most unlikely of places over the coming days.
OLYMPIAN – Kill The Lights Suzanne
In amongst our EDM-heavy Fresh Faves this week, it’s nice to find something that stands out for simply great songwriting alone. Manchester’s Olympian, Aron Robinson, has a voice with the power to pull at heartstrings and his downtempo acoustic offering ‘Kill The Lights Suzanne’ provides the perfect soundtrack to another particularly autumnal day. With hints of Death Cab for Cutie about the soundscape he creates, Aron has already won fans including Mercury Prize winner Badly Drawn Boy and will be releasing his debut album early next year. I, for one, can’t wait.
SEAN TAYLOR – River
From the opening bars of Sean Taylor’s ‘River’, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d walked into a blues jam above a guitar shop on London’s Denmark Street. But as soon as Taylor’s beat poetry kicks in spewing profound social observations like they’re pleasantries, the reason why you, the public, voted this as one of your Fresh Faves, becomes immediately clear. There’s something charming about Sean’s vocals, like Jamie T minus the angry sense of injustice, and as the guitars fade down to a delicate piano solo we also see the true musicality of the otherwise mono-tonal wordsmith.
THE MULE AFFAIR – Everything You Said
Anthony and Catherine of The Mule Affair are happily married and it shows. The music they make demonstrates how in tune with each other they are, Catherine’s delicate vocals backed perfectly by whrling organs and simple beats. With a debut EP planned for next year, ‘Everything You Said’ is just a preview of what’s to come from the couple but as a starting point it’s grandiose and stunningly beautiful in equal measure.
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 recently been voted as one of our Fresh Faves – or featured on my BBC Introducing Mixtape – please hold back for 2-3 months before submitting a new track. We judge all music sent to our inbox purely by what comes out of the speakers – if artists we already love keep sending great tracks each week, it leaves less room for newcomers who haven’t had a chance yet…