Fresh Faves: Batch 84

Aurora J Young

Chosen by our readers over the past three days, this week’s Fresh Faves are reviewed by Team Freshnet’s Chris Bye, moonlighting from his other life as Music Relationship Manager for the North at Arts Council England and tipster for Amazing Radio.

I love the smell of cordite in the morning. Yes good people, Autumn is once again upon us… The nostalgic glow of the bonfire; the disappointing wet farts of garden fireworks; the pumpkin on the windowsill making its inevitable transition from malice to an expression beguiling in its mixture of fear and confusion.

It’s a beautiful time of year and one to be relished. But only half as much as the frankly, bloody brilliant batch of tracks in this week’s listening post. I say this with complete sincerity; each and every artist that made the shortlist should be immensely proud. But as is always the way, you have spoken and these are your champions. Treat them well…

AURORA J YOUNG – Passing Me By

Easing us into proceedings with a sultry and beckoning hand is award-winning songstress, Aurora J Young (pictured above). Conjuring flashes of Paloma Faith, her soulful delivery and restrained power had your votes doing anything but doing that-thing-that-is-mentioned-in-the-title-of-the-song. Her latest live dates are yet to be released but in the meantime, why not grab a copy of Local Hero, the first single from her forthcoming album, Reap What You Sow.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

BOMBS – Nip It In The Bud

When researching I was really struck by the professionalism of this band. The care taken in the site, detailed biography all speak of a group willing to actually put the effort in. Take note folks, these are the sort of things that can make all the difference out there.

But on with the music. Once again I’m struggling with the urge to make an obvious pun about the effect Bombs had on our listening public. I shall try. Anywho, after the body of this six-piece band came together in 2012, one Jimi Needles joined the fray to help formulate the electronica side of things, steering the group to site influences of trip-hop and turntablism in their work. I also get a late-90s Liverpudlian vibe from this particular track, but maybe that is just me. The cross-genre sound is an interesting one and something to be applauded when it is pulled off. You obviously felt ‘Nip it in the Bud’ managed it, and so did we. One to watch.

In any case, their intriguing stylistic mixture and considered execution certainly blew you guys awa… Damn.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

COURTLY LOVE – Mirage

I see a party. Somewhere swish. Maybe in the late 30s. A Duke-come-gentleman-thief is charming an alcohol-dependent widower whilst planning a way to relieve her of an oversized ruby. Conversations sparkle alongside collections of inherited jewelry then, ah! Who is this but Courtly Love entering the fray? Unannounced but dressed in such a way that no eyes fail to turn… Perhaps there is a cigarette holder? The hint of a garter? I’m not sure but either way, men and women scrabble to offer drinks and marriage proposals.

That’s this band.

A lot has already been said about the way the duo managed to appear almost miraculously onto the scene with such a plethora of polished talent. I would recommend heading over to their Soundcloud page and checking out the track, ‘Voodoo Girl’ as well if you need further convincing of their stylish, post-Velvet Underground vibes.   

Tumblr | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

FAMILIAR CREATURES – Leave Your Lover

Comprising of Brian Kelly, Jessie Barnard, Arwyn Davies, Dan Jenkinson and Jay Ramsurrun, Familiar Creatures are no strangers to Fresh on the Net, having already featured on Tom Robinson’s show. Our exulted leader correctly identified both their tightness and energy which are components also apparent in this particular offering.

Making their respective ways from all corners of the United Kingdom to the giddy heights of East London, this Irish folk-infused band of motley souls impressed you with this number Leave Your Lover and we can all see why. Whilst waiting for a tour, Londoners can get involved with their artist-led residency ‘Creatureville’ in Stoke Newington.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Songkick | Bandcamp

JONI FULLER – Real Love

Ladies and gentlemen, please pray silence for genuine talent. At such an early age, this Lancashire artist is clearly already utterly comfortable around not only a multitude of instruments but also the rare art of decent song-crafting. Joni Fuller is an individual able to choose any number of styles and blatantly pull it off.

‘Real Love’ is a song firmly rooted in the heart of folk tradition but with such a feel for pop that it instantly instills a feeling of familiarity and excitement. Excellent stuff.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

RAINY AND THE DUST – Look Up

Changing the pace once again we have Rainy and The Dust; the live incarnation of Bristol-based singer/songwriter Rainy, alongside guitarist Rob York. . Listening to other songs I sensed influences everywhere from Paul Simon all the way to the likes of an off-kilter Kante Manfila – It’s rootsy, groove-infused and unashamedly upbeat.

Already garnering the attention of BBC Radio Bristol and Radio Cardiff, Rainy also won the 2011 PRS Songwriting Competition. He recorded Hold on to Rhythm at home – which certainly hasn’t stopped you dancing round your living rooms.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

ROO PANES – Home From Home

Roo Panes has been lauded by the good people at Folk Radio UK and rightly so. This is a darling piece of work. This is the sort of song that creeps up on you and wraps a tattered blanket around your shoulders. You turn to look and there is Roo, warming you against the Autumnal chill, together turning and gazing wistfully out at the desolate landscape of neighboring moor. I’m pretty sure there is also a roast in the oven too.

Roo has a London launch on December 10th for his new EP, Land of the Living – from which this track is taken and if you like your folk of a pioneering, yet simultaneously soothing nature, then I thoroughly recommend you go.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

THE JEBS – Get On

Formed in late 2011 by four school friends in Bedford, the lineup soon expanded to became a 5-piece to accommodate talented bassist Sonny, allowing Billy to join Ross on guitar duties. The boys began gigging in March 2012 with long sets containing mostly covers. After some intense writing, they earnt a support slot with The Milk at Esquires – the first of many national bands they would go on to support throughout 2012. Esquires have hosted The Jebs a total of 9 times to (8 upstairs and once downstairs) and arguably their most proud moment was their sell-out headline gig on March 1st 2013 – exactly a year after their first gig. With clear nods to the Arctic Monkeys and the Sheffield scene of old, the group having managed to take a sound and push it forward with energy and a more than a fair share of gusto.

After a reportedly productive period of writing, The Jebs have released their debut 4 track EP No Returns – which is on sale now

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

THE PHANTOMS – Dust

Welcome to The Phantoms website: all you ever wanted to know about Pheltham’s phinest covers band! thephantoms.biz. Or perhaps we’re talking about a different covers band…  thephantoms.net… Possibly the Peter O’Toole movie, the Dean Koontz book, or the unrelated TV Drama? The vintage Xbox game series ?  This is sadly what happens when you pick a generic name like this and put zero information on on your Soundcloud page. Luckily they have provided one single link – to their unguessable homepage URL: facebook.com/TMATW

Here we finally learn that “the band was formed in March 2012. We are a 4-piece indie/alternative band whose influences lie with bands such as Oasis, Blur and The Libertines. We began doing local gigs in our home town of Broxburn. We quickly branched out into Edinburgh and Glasgow, landing gigs at venues such as Cab Vol, The Electric Circus, The Liquid Rooms, Maggie Mays, Sneaky Petes and Pivo Pivo. March 2013 saw the band make their first journey south of the border as we travelled to Sunderland.The band have started recording their debut EP and it will be released in November 2013.”

Alas, they provide no information at all about where you can buy it.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

THE VILLAINY – Tired Of Tears

Ah the life on the lonely road… It can change a person and lead them into all manner of corrupt situations. Thankfully this was not the case for one Ted Morris, whose decision to team up with Henrik Palm, Christian Haglund and Marcus Carter instead led to the formation of the rather special, The Villainy.

The response to the track ‘Tired of Tears’ has been overwhelmingly positive. In this swelling pop number, the band effortlessly succeed in guiding us through a montage of sounds and feelings – From the mournful opening all the way to an anthemic build-up that would sit well in ‘Boxer’ era National output.

The group boast a sound that reflects the international psycho-geography of their make-up: The lack of fear in bringing in multi-instrumentalism; darkness; light; and seamless stylistic shifts are all aspects the Swedish music scene has done so well over the years, and that is certainly apparent here. The group’s Facebook page hints at the creation of a waltz and to that I say yes, yes and thrice yes.   

Keep an eye on these guys, hassle them for tour dates as they have major potential…

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTubeHenrik Palm from The Villainy

PLEASE NOTE: 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. But if you’ve recently been voted as one of our Fresh Faves – or featured on the BBC Introducing Mixtape – please hold back for 2-3 months before submitting a new track. If artists we already love keep sending great tracks, it leaves less room for newcomers who haven’t had a chance yet…

Chris Bye

Chris is Music Relationship Manager for the North at Arts Council England (ACE), a national organisation responsible for championing, developing and investing in artistic and cultural experiences. Between 2011 and 2015, ACE will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. Chris has been heavily involved in developing support for contemporary popular, alternative and electronica music. He is a regular panellist both here and abroad as well as a tipper for Amazing Radio. The Arts Council website is at http://www.artscouncil.org.uk - and you can ollow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisnBye

14 Comments

  1. Jamie Stewart

    I listened to all of these over the weekend. And love them all in different ways.

    The only comment I would make is that your reviewer simply doesn’t make enough comments about the actual music in comparison to previous faves.

  2. Chris Bye

    Courtly Love has an awesome cowbell in it.

  3. Oh god, judging by the above comment I probably shouldn’t point out that we (The Villainy) didn’t get any kind of review. The only thing not written by us is “Based In Sweden” which is unfortunately wrong as we’re 50% English. We’re actually based in Nottingham, Somerset and occasionally sweden! We love what you guys do on Freshnet and are extremely humbled to be chosen but it would have been nice with a personal review of our music so we could add content to our website. We’re a brand new band so it’s important for us. Anyone else care to comment on our track? Good/Bad we’ll take everything on board! Sorry if this sounds like a moan. It’s not meant that way. Thanks to everyone who chose our track!
    Marcus/The Villainy

  4. Chris Bye

    Vast apologies Marcus as this is my fault – My work has thrown up some very last minute issues that I needed to deal with and I had to leave Tom to finish off a couple of bands – The last paragraph was from my research notes, rather than being intended for inclusion in the piece. The biographical information was though taken from your literature so might be worth updating?

    I will though make time to finish your section and send you an update as I wanted to bring out the Waltz project which sounds fascinating.

    In terms of the mentioning of the music (I was serious about the cowbells x) – Totally understand what you mean, some prefer reference points – Having done reviews for a long time I personally now like to read something more obscure that draws me into listening to the track. But criticism duly noted and will be acted upon.

  5. Jamie Stewart

    Marcus , couldn’t agree with you more my friend.

    I think the phrase used on Fresh on the Net goes something along the lines of ” see what complete strangers think of your MUSIC”.

    So a review of the actual music would be nice for the guys that got into the top 10 through complete strangers voting for their MUSIC.

  6. Ah fabulous! We thought it was a bit strange as normally the reviews are great and very constructive! We’re so chuffed to be picked so early on in our career so we were slightly deflated. Point taken about updating our info – we should probably play more on our Anglo/Swedishness!

    And the Cowbell is great! ;-)

    //Marcus.

  7. Chris Bye

    All good – Tom was eager to get the list up for people but I will send a wee update later in the day. Take care x

  8. Chris Bye

    There you go peeps – Added in the bits and there is your rightful response, Marcus. Again apologies, trying to get some pretty major things happening for the good of bands here at ACE and it’s throwing up a few surprises x Hope you dig.

  9. Fully understand and after that review Chris I’d forgive you for impregnating my sister. Absolutely fantastic and you’re now our favourite person in the whole world. About those tour dates…North of England? ;-)
    Cheers!
    Marcus.

  10. Colin (The Phantoms)

    Hi Chris

    We (The Phantoms) see your point re making our presence clearer and easier to find and also providing a better band bio , as well as better marketing.

    We have already begun dealing with those things today- thanks for that

    Would be grateful and appreciate your thoughts on our music as well as that’s the main reason we submitted it to Fresh on the Net.

    The Phantoms

  11. Hi Chris, Tom and the Fresh on the Net team… huge thanks for this – have really enjoyed being part of Fresh on the Net and will be back to vote soon :) This is a great opportunity for new music to be heard on its merits and without the hype!! Brilliant stuff… and thanks again, Joni x

  12. Tom

    We were pleased to see so many first time visitors to our Listening Post here at Fresh On The Next this weekend – and especially the enthusiasm of our new friends Johnny Davidson and Jackie Jamieson who loved the whole thing so much they’ll both be coming back here to vote again in future weeks.

    One of the bands these first-timers liked most consistently were West Lothian four-piece The Phantoms, whose indie-rock stylings have recently won them gigs far outside their home area and have just garnered their newly released debut EP a rave review from the EVO4 website http://evo4.co.uk/feature_phantoms.asp. This is clearly a band with serious drive and ambition; although these are still early days – the group is less that a year old – their range and writing is bound to grow in the months and years ahead

    While many other new artists could learn a lot from the band’s friendly interactions with their public on Facebook and Twitter – what really counts is how well a group can cut it on stage. Only a band capable of convincing live shows could have built up this kind of fanbase and loyalty in just 11 months flat. We wish them well.

  13. Just dropping back in to say what a fantastic boost the band have got over the last few days through being chosen on Freshnet. Anyone out there considering sending in a track should stop considering and just do it!

    Thanks to all involved!

    The Villainy.

  14. Cod

    Wow, this piece of writing is fastidious, my younger sister
    is analyzing such things, so I am going to inform her.

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