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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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…
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…