As Fathers Day 2014 draws to a close team Fresh On The Net hopes all the Dads had a brilliant day and weren’t made to sport an oversized “World’s Grumpiest Old Man” badge like my Dad! Cruel brothers eh?! While our eyes have been treated to the first few days of the World Cup this weekend, our ears have been accompanied by this weeks Fresh On The Net Listening post – which as always has uncovered some inspiring new and emerging artists – as well as revisiting a few great ones we’ve met in the past, and making a number of toes tap!
DEATH IN THE SICKROOM – Tonight
The indie pop opening jangly guitar tones of Tonight are at odds with the dark (and frankly a bit twisted) name of this Dublin four-piece Death In The Sickroom. Tonight is their debut single, due for release early July on Reekus Records and shows real songwriting potential for such tender years.
FIRESTATIONS – Never Closer
That fuzzy 90s-esque dream pop is really back in fashion isn’t it? Firestations, a London based guitar band, release Never Closer on their collective imprint Waltz Time Records and – to these ears – the vocals recall Golden Glow. The understated drums, vocals and bass leave the guitars to make the greatest impact, swirling hazily over one another in a majestic way.
FJOKRA – Infinite Loops
Described as “turbo-charged ultra-pop”, London based multi instrumentalist Fjokra played the Isle Of Wight Festival this weekend with an extensive five-piece live lineup on the Hard Rock Rising stage! On record the sound of Infinite Loops is incessant, energetic and almost steps into rock realms at times.
JAMES HOLT – To Go Where The Wind Blows
What a sweet uplifting Beatles-esque voice – with a touch of Dylan about the songwriting on To Go Where The Wind Blows. James Holt is a 20 year old singer/songwriter from Manchester who’s currently studying music at the University Of Salford. This multi-instrumentalist has a real knack for composing and has already featured on FOTN previously… I can’t wait to hear where he goes from here.
KASSASSIN STREET – Royal Handkerchief Ballet
Southsea psychadelic band Kassassin Street have been lauded by the likes of Xfm, This Feeling and BBC Introducing. Their sound is guitar-driven with riffs that give an almost Indian feel to proceedings on debut single The Royal Handkerchief Ballet. They spent the weekend playing at the Isle Of Wight festival and will be playing at Truck Festival in Oxford soon too. Come to Manchester next, yeah?
KHAMSINA – Eleni
Regular FOTN readers and listeners to Tom’s BBC Introducing shows will already by familiar with the work of Khamsina – the artist name of Reading songwriter Stevie Fitchett – which is theatrical, bold, gentle and stunning all at the same time. On this new EP track Elenia, she breaks genre boundaries, taking us on an emotional journey – where her voice builds and builds with layers of backing, interspersed with synth key chimes and stripped back piano accompaniment. Simply beautiful music.
THE LOW COUNTRIES – River Knows The Score
Nub Country recording artists The Low Countries – aka the Anglo-Flemish duo of Nigel Parrington and Els D’hooge – last appeared on our Fresh Faves exactly two years ago when Johnno wrote “they put me in mind of Ron Sexsmith who is rather brilliant… this is indie folk music from the heart and I say give it a go.” River Knows the Score is backed by a simple acoustic guitar and tambourine accompaniment led by layered vocals that exclaim “somewhere an electric chair is waiting for you”. Dark!
MOTHERTONGUE – Nautilus
On their Facebook page Manchester six-piece Mothertongue describe their music as “theatrical progressive pop, which sounds a bit like Mansun, Talking Heads and Madonna having a battle with Babymetal. Their music is described as progressive-indie-rock-jazz-quiff-pop and if that’s not a reason to listen then I don’t know what is?!
VITAMIN – Dancing On The Sun
Leeds has been pretty groundbreaking in the new music realm over the past few years with bands like Menace Beach, Cowtown, Hookworms, AUTOBAHN and Eagulls making waves in the UK and internationally too. VITAMIN are another band to add to that list, they’ve been recording in Parr Street studios today but their pop sensibility offers a new wave approach that has been likened to Bombay Bicycle Club and Friendly Fires. One things for sure, they’ve been a massive hit with the bloggers thus far and that’s not likely to end any time soon> They’re playing at Sheffield’s Tramlines festival next month and I’ll be standing in line to catch a glimpse of them..
PS from TR: If you’ve submitted a track that hasn’t made the Listening Post you’re welcome to re-submit it another week. If your music has appeared on the Listening Post but not in our Fresh Faves, feel free to send us an even stronger track another week.
But if we’ve recently featured you in our Fresh Faves – or on my BBC Introducing Mixtape – please wait three months before sending us another track, so we have space to help other deserving artists… For more info see Robinson Has A Good Old Moan.